Friday, December 18, 2015

Filled with Wonder

Isaiah 4: In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.


As I looked at this passage this morning I noticed that I was left out. I’m not saying that I’m not included in the promises. I am saying I don’t have anything to do but sit here and watch.

  • The LORD will be beautiful and glorious.
  • The LORD will wash away the filth, HE will cleanse bloodstains.
  • The LORD will create.

Sometimes I think GOD is just sitting around doing nothing but watching HIS experiment to see if I will make it out of the maze of life. As I sin, it equates to running into a wall and if I get lost it is similar to going into a dead end section of the maze. BUT GOD wants me to take off my blinders.

  • GOD wants me to see only HIS glory so I won’t use my own.
  • GOD wants me to see only HIS power so I won’t think I need any of mine.
  • GOD wants me to see only HIS promises so I won’t get caught up pouting over what I don’t have.

Looking at GOD does not always mean looking at the answer guy who just sits and waits to fix my problems. HE is the way, the truth and the life. GOD is active in my life on a daily basis. Minute by minute HE is there. Sometimes I just need to see only HIM and nothing else.

  • Can you look at GOD today?
  • Will you seek only HIS face and try to please HIM?
  • Will you ask HIM to show HIS might today?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

You are Doing Well

Isaiah 3: 10 Tell the righteous it will be well with them,
    for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.


Sometimes I just have to say to myself, “You are doing well” just to keep things into perspective. The world has a standard that is ever changing and a dream that is insatiable. In this world of “inadequacy labeling” and positioning for riches, power and fame, I sometimes feel lower than the low. Then someone said, “You are good at…” and that’s all I needed to hear.

  • GOD says to me “I made you perfect for the plan I have for you.”
  • GOD says to me “I will bring many to you if you would follow MY path.”
  • GOD says to me “I love you more than anyone could.”

Living amongst greedy, power hungry people makes me want to do the same. BUT GOD says hold fast onto MY ways and I will reward you for it. Following GOD is easily shown by the fruit I have in my life. I praise GOD for blessing me!

Are you trying to change?
Do you think you are inadequate?
Can you focus on the purpose GOD has given you?

Will you see yourself as righteous only because GOD has done marvelous things for you?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who Do I Trust?

Isaiah 2:Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.


22 Stop trusting in mere humans,
    who have but a breath in their nostrils.
    Why hold them in esteem?


“Get that ‘_____’ Bible off of your desk” were the words of the managing consultant. He went ballistic enough for me to immediately comply. No one that I knew complained, he thought it would make us lose the contract. “Get away from me with that ‘____’ ” were the words of a gang member as I tried to invite him to church. In fear of getting shot I complied.

  • Many times I have felt intimidated enough to hide my beliefs.
  • Many times I have hidden my beliefs in order to get ahead.
  • Many times I have gone with the crowd who could care less about GOD, in fear of being ostracized.

It seemed right to listen to self-made millionaires. I mean they have themselves together right? I soon found out that in many cases they suggested that I put this “GOD” thing on the backseat and learn how to “subordinate” to the people who had contacts. This was a crazy road that I actually considered. BUT GOD had a different thought in mind.

  • GOD wants me to fear HIM instead of bowing down to “connected” humans.
  • GOD wants me to elevate HIS position in order to fully respect HIS power.
  • GOD wants me to believe in HIS plan so I will be open to HIS masterful plan.

Fear of humans still occurs in me, but with GOD’s help I am less and less fearful of those who would harm me with physical, political or mental abuse. GOD wants me to turn my eyes from humans and turn to HIM.

  • Are you following someone?
  • Do you fear you will lose your position if you cross “that” person?
  • Will you stop fearing people and start fearing GOD?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Because I Don’t Want to Listen

Isaiah 1: 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
    I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
    I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
    you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
    you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


“How do you know it is GOD that is speaking to you?” someone asked me. At one point I used to think GOD was speaking to me when a thought would pop into my head or when a situation “I” felt was good would happen. This immature view of GOD lead me down sinful paths with random success.

  • There were times when I thought I was listening to GOD but I was listening to myself.
  • There were times when I thought GOD was speaking to me and I was really being tempted.
  • There were times when I thought just because “it” was said in “church” that “it” must be GOD.

Confused and duped were places I have landed because I sought groups of people who said what I wanted to hear. I went to a church who lusted after money, never once hearing much about salvation through JESUS who is the CHRIST. How can I get out of this confusion? I mean, I don’t like reading.

  • GOD said to me “Seek MY face daily” which means I need to communicate with HIM in prayer.
  • GOD said to me “Seek MY kingdom” which means I need to actively go out and look for people to bring into HIS house.
  • GOD said to me “Seek MY wisdom” which means I had to overcome the barrier of reading HIS word, so take it in small chunks.

After I started truly seeking GOD instead of seeking the stuff I had put in my mind and blamed it on GOD, I started noticing a difference. I noticed fruit. People were opening their hearts to GOD and actively pursuing HIM. I also noticed I was doing more and more things I did not want to do. I was giving more and reading more and praying more.
My temper had to be doused and my graciousness had to grow. I had to get rid of fear of humans and instill the fear of GOD. Most of all I had to listen to HIM!

  • Are you turning your ears away from GOD?
  • Have you placed something in the way of you being able to listen to HIM?
  • Are you listening to yourself and blaming it on GOD?
  • Can you turn from your ways and start seeking HIM today?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Get Up!

Broken dreams, broken hearts, broken finances and broken limbs have been reported to me over the past year. As I sat with the LORD this morning, I realized that the attack is on and we have not armed ourselves for a battle.

Today please take a pledge to do the following:

1. Ask GOD to have you stop focusing on the problem and to move your eyes to the solution (HIM).
2. Act with the passion of your youth before your got hit in the face.
3. Stop trying to fix and allow GOD to fix you first.
4. Say NO to being tired and GET UP!

GOD is all powerful and HE invites you into HIS home. HE made you and of course you are being attacked by the enemy who is jealous of your relationship with HIM. Stop focusing on what is wrong and exclaim what is right today!

  • Pray with someone today and you will feel a release of the thing that is holding you back.
  • Tell someone about GOD today and you will see the blinders fall from your eyes.
  • Believe again and you will see the deliverance of GOD.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Do Well

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.


Confused about life, I just sat at the edge of my bed wondering “what am I supposed to be doing?” I mean, I had desires but life was difficult for me at this particular time. Even the people I went to see for help were there only to talk “at” me, not “to” me. I wondered why I was, where I was. I could get no answers.

  • There have been times where I felt lost.
  • There have been times where I felt distressed.
  • There have been times where I felt as if I had no hope.

Confusion is the curious word that I wondered about. Why was I confused? I found out that confusion is caused by unmet expectations coupled with strong desires. This leaves a huge gap that keeps me from going with the flow. BUT GOD has a plan.

  • GOD said to me “I AM the author of peace, not confusion.”
  • GOD said to me “I CAN guide you to rest and peace if you would follow MY ways.”
  • GOD said to me “I WILL be with you always, even when other people fall away.”

I soon started following GOD again and soon realized that my confusion came from following the world. When I started helping people instead of helping myself my deeds changed into blessings for many, including myself. I started thriving again.

  • Are you confused?
  • Do you think you are worthless?
  • Can you believe that GOD made you for a purpose?
  • Will you stop looking at the circumstances and start looking at GOD who will give you strength?
  • Will you add a tiny bit of belief to your day?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Life is Too Short

Ecclesiastes 11: You who are young, be happy while you are young,
    and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
    and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
    God will bring you into judgment.


Miserable was probably the best word for how I felt. I sat there and thought to myself “Woe is me” for at that time it seemed like everything was going wrong. I was not doing well in school, I had no guidance and bills were not getting paid. Things looked pretty bleak.

  • There were times when I felt things looked pretty bad.
  • There were times when I felt miserable while it seemed like “everyone” else was happy.
  • There were times when I felt the situations were too difficult for me to handle.

Gloom and doom led me to think, “Maybe I should quit, do whatever sin feels right at the time and let things happen as they may.” I wonder where that thought came from. It seemed like a good excuse at the time to do what I wanted to do anyway. I mean I deserve it since things were going so bad, right? Wrong!

  • GOD wants me to praise HIM in good times and in bad to keep myself even keel.
  • GOD wants me to see life in a positive light rather than being miserable.
  • GOD wants me to see blessings instead of curses and then I can feel HIS awesome power.

It is quite amazing that GOD allows me to have a choice. I can choose to be miserable, in which HE cannot do marvelous works through me, or I can choose to be excited! I finally chose the latter and within a short time, everything I fretted over cleared up nicely.

I not only graduated but I had a new outlook on life that made me appreciate difficult times instead of dreading them. GOD blessed me with a new outlook that includes amazement of HIM.

  • Are you stuck?
  • Do you feel miserable and blaming someone else over your misery?
  • Do you realize that some of your misery may be coming from your heart?
  • Will you turn your heart over to GOD and allow HIM to add gratitude to it?
  • Will you stop focusing on “what isn’t” and get excited about life and focus on “what is?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Keep Going!

Ecclesiastes 10: 10 If the ax is dull
    and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed,
    but skill will bring success.


Confusion filled my face as my boss tried to give me instructions on what to do. I did not know how to program and my first job was a programmer. I sat at my desk with a couple of books and read them cover to cover.

Meanwhile I could hear the murmurs of my boss feeling they had made a mistake hiring me. Eventually I learned what I was supposed to do and I gained confidence. Even later, I learned more and more and became one of the best in the department.

  • There have been many times when I was in over my head.
  • There have been many times when I did not know what to do.
  • There have been many times when I felt overwhelmed and simply lost.

Embarrassment was how I felt by not knowing what to do. I did not even consider they could fire me. I stayed up until two or three in the morning trying to make things work until I got it right.

  • GOD blessed me to be put in positions where people were patient with my folly.
  • GOD blessed me to have opportunities that I could not brag about “my” skills.
  • GOD blessed me to be protected from those who lost their patience with me so I could keep going.

Giving up would have been easy then. No one was willing to help me since I was supposed to be this great asset to the company yet I was a detriment at the time. BUT GOD had me “keep going” until I learned what HE wanted me to learn. With HIS intervention I grew up.

  • Are you facing something large?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you stop looking at the big picture and look only at today’s accomplishments?
  • Will you ask GOD to give you the energy to keep going?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Have Quiet Words

Ecclesiastes:9 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
    than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
    but one sinner destroys much good.


“There he goes talking again” I said to myself. This man from our church seemed to go on and on about stories of people who lived in the eighteenth century with him. He was usually quiet, but when he got going, there was no stopping him.

One day I went to visit his son to play over his house. The father came out and said some very quiet words that stuck with me… “Where is your faith?” he asked me. “I don’t know?” was my answer. Those were his only words. He got me thinking.

  • I have found wisdom does not need a lot of words.
  • I have found wisdom does not equal bragging on television.
  • I have found wisdom does not mean pontificating to charm a crowd.

Later in life I came to appreciate his stories. He wasn’t just talking about the past, rather trying to impart wisdom to us through stories in his life. He experienced a lot and through his quiet words he passed down knowledge that I am grateful. I was the one who could have torn him down with my words which would have destroyed much good.

  • GOD opened my ears to hear wisdom.
  • GOD blessed me with people who cared enough to mentor me.
  • GOD surrounded me with people who watched over me.

I now recognize my immaturity and I am excited that he was wise and humble enough to share what GOD blessed him with.

  • Are you acting foolish?
  • Have you spent a lot of hours talking bad about someone?
  • Can you go back to those people you have spread slander to and clean up the mess you’ve made?
  • Will you seek GOD’s wisdom over a human’s foolish words?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Getting Away with It

Ecclesiastes 8: 12 Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.


Scared to even cuss, I tiptoed around doing “bad” stuff. I went to another school and met more people. They had some great ideas about doing stuff that seemed like “fun.”  Leaving the house without permission was my first test. I had never done that before and it felt great until I got home, late, to worried parents.

I then started trying other stuff. Lying felt pretty good and so did cursing. After a while I asked myself, why was I worried about being “bad?” This stuff did not feel “bad” and besides, I hadn’t killed anyone!

  • There were times when I tried sin and it never felt “bad.”
  • There were times when I dabbled in sin and the crowd was pleased with my actions.
  • There were times when I tested my “sin boundaries” to see what I could get away with.

Little did I know that I was headed in the wrong direction. I was chipping away at my character a little at a time. I did not know I would be out on my own someday with fractures in my character here and there. When I went to my next place in life I faced some difficult times that sin could not fix. What was I to do?

  • GOD said to me “Come unto ME all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
  • GOD said to me “Return back to me and I will wipe away your tears.”
  • GOD said to me “I sent you the COMFORTER who will be with you always.”

Forgiven was the feeling I missed when I was engulfed in sin. I could not do things right and it seemed like my road was getting harder and harder. BUT GOD rescued me and put me back on HIS path. HE said to me “I have a plan for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I believed and HE blessed me thoroughly!

  • Do you feel you “got away with it?”
  • Are you on the wrong path?
  • Can you stop with your plans and start following GOD?
  • Will you start looking at GOD as the solution instead of thinking HE is the problem?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

In the Spotlight

Ecclesiastes 7: 21 Do not pay attention to every word people say,
    or you may hear your servant cursing you—
22 for you know in your heart
    that many times you yourself have cursed others.


Walking past a group of the “in crowd” I stopped and paused next to them. They were chattering about different subjects that I found relevant and I wanted to be in the clique. I answered a question that was not asked to me and got “looks” from a few people in the group.  Expecting to hear something good, I returned again later. The next time I tried to insert myself into the conversation, I realized a couple of people were talking “about” me and giggling.

  • Sometimes I wanted to be part of the crowd a little more than I should have.
  • Sometimes I listened in on conversations that I was not welcome.
  • Sometimes I eavesdropped when I should have kept to myself.

It is not a bad thing to seek friends, but choose them wisely is what someone taught me. I wanted to be in the spotlight with a crowd of people who did not care about me or anyone else. I was even willing to change my personality in order to fit in with the group. BUT GOD guided me away.

  • GOD wants me to join a crowd of people who are serving HIM.
  • GOD wants me to accept people the way they are.
  • GOD wants me to be the person who brings people together and throw my slanderous tongue away.

Instead of being like people GOD wants me to be like HIM. HE cares infinitely about me and wants me to do the same for HIS people on a smaller scale. GOD wants my tongue to be encouraging and my ears closed to negative conversation. I pick and chose conversations to join in on.

  • Are you an eavesdropper?
  • Do you listen in on conversations that you may get your feelings hurt?
  • Can you step back and add GOD’s discernment to whether you should be listening?
  • Will you start your own crowd of followers of GOD?