Monday, February 29, 2016

Cleared Path

Isaiah 45:I will go before you
    and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
    and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant,
    of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
    and bestow on you a title of honor,
    though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
    apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
    though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
    to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.


Worried about my future, I sat in my apartment thinking about the test I failed. “How will I get a job? Will I be a janitor forever?”, I thought to myself.

  • There were times when I thought the path was closed.
  • There were times when I thought I had no future.
  • There were times when I thought nothing “is” going right so nothing “will” go right.

Looking at my current abilities was the problem. I mean, I had no idea what was in store for me in the future. All I knew was I failed a test and I may not graduate. BUT GOD saw way ahead.

  • GOD saw my problems way before they happened and leveled the mountains.
  • GOD saw the situations way before they happened and broke the gates of bronze.
  • GOD saw me and made me so HE provided hidden treasures stores in secret places where no human or foe could steal it.

GOD summons me by name and bestows a title of honor on me though I did not acknowledge HIM. HE gave me the ability to graduate and have an illustrious career that I never should have had. HE is the reason for all of my blessings. I acknowledge HIM.

  • Do you have obstacles?
  • Does you path seem blocked?
  • Will you acknowledge GOD’s power and allow HIM to deliver you?
  • Will you put your wholehearted trust in HIM and let HIM clear your path?

Friday, February 26, 2016


Isaiah 44:“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
    apart from me there is no God.
Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”


Pondering about the concept of GOD made me ask questions. “If GOD is real, why doesn’t HE just heal everybody?” I then decided this “GOD” thing isn’t enough for me. There has to be more. I mean I read parts of a self-help book and it said “I” should draw from my strengths.” I liked that because it put me in control. I soon started depending on “me” and got deeper into my mess. “I wonder if I should try GOD again” I thought to myself.

  • There were times when I thought there has to be more than GOD.
  • There were times when I thought GOD’s word was not enough.
  • There were times when I thought GOD seems to not love me because I am in another mess.

Looking back on my relationship with GOD, I can see that I was the one who left HIM, not the other way around. During the time when I stopped praying and worshipping, I felt pretty good for a moment. I could do as I pleased and live as wild as I wanted to. But when problems happened, and boy did they happen, I had no place to turn. Should I rely on myself? No!

  • GOD said to me “I AM the first and I AM the last; apart from me there is no GOD.”
  • GOD said to me “Do not tremble; do not be afraid for I AM with you.”
  • GOD said to me “You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

GOD is my Rock and my salvation, whom shall I fear? After coming to my senses I soon realized I just wanted “my” way. I mean all those rules and not sinning didn’t seem “fun.” BUT GOD held onto me anyway. HE watched over me in spite of me and gently nudged me back to HIM. I am very glad to be in HIS arms. HE is the one and ONLY true GOD!

  • Do you doubt GOD?
  • Do you feel you need to add something to what HE said about life?
  • Can you stop fighting GOD and let HIM work in your life?
  • Will you turn your life over to HIM fully and watch HIS power unfold?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Saved From Fired and Drowned

Isaiah 43: But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.


“It hurts me but I am looking to fire you” were the words of my former janitorial supervisor. “Are you drowned in paperwork” a former coworker asked me. Firing and drowning are strange concepts to me. I hope it doesn’t mean placing logs at my feet and lighting a match to burn me or holding my head beneath water until I suffocate.

  • Sometimes the fires of life can get to me.
  • Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in work, debt, pain or something else.
  • Sometimes the waters knock me over and the fires burn my soul.

Fire also has been used to illustrate an unmet yet extreme want or desire. It burns from within and can cause me to turn away from GOD. Meanwhile water, while soft, can knock me over when it comes at me too fast, similar to the problems of life. When I try to hold back the raging river of trials, I seem to get flooded with worry. What am I to do?

  • GOD says to me “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.”
  • GOD says to me “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”
  • GOD says to me “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Only GOD can make those statements. HE is the only one who can protect me, my family, my community and my nation. GOD continues to say to me “No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” When GOD holds onto me, no one can take me out of HIS hand, not even myself. GOD’s salvation is as permanent as HIS promises. HE acts on my behalf and no one can reverse it.

  • Are you being burned by the fires of life?
  • Is life dishing out trials that are knocking you over like a flood?
  • Can you slow down and see that GOD is holding onto you tightly in spite of the way you think about HIM?
  • Will you call out to HIM today?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Overcoming the Unknown

Isaiah 42: 16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
    and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
    who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’
    will be turned back in utter shame.


Scared was my first memory of school as my mother let go of my hand in preschool. Frightened was my first thought as I rode multiple busses to high school. Fearful was my first reaction as my father gave a driving lesson. Worried was my first thought as I ventured into the unknown after a long and glorious career.

  • Sometimes the unknown can be scary.
  • Sometimes the unknown can be frightening.
  • Sometimes the unknown can be dark and rough.

Whenever I was frightened or worried or fearful I could not enjoy the moment. I turned good situations into bad and soon I was on a path of destruction. I mean if I never got over the stifling fear of the unknown then I could not get settled enough to enjoy my surroundings. How can I get over this?

  • GOD says to me “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known” which means HIS knowledge will be imparted to me.
  • GOD says to me “I will turn the darkness into light before them” meaning HE is the way the truth and the light for my path.
  • GOD says to me “I will not forsake them” which means HE is the only one powerful enough to keep promises.

GOD knows I can get scared of the unknown. HE is not mad at me for being worried. HE knows I am blind and reaches out to grab my hand and lead me besides still waters and restores my soul. As long as I let HIM lead me, I will be just fine!

  • Are you scared?
  • Are you worried?
  • Does the way you are going seem dark and mysterious?
  • Can you allow GOD to lead you?
  • Will you put your total trust in HIM today?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chosen Friends Have No Fear

Isaiah 41:“But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


Laughter poured out of the house as we played the game. Distracted with conversation, the game kept getting interrupted followed by, “is it my turn?” Tears of laughter fell from my face as I said for the fourth time “It’s your turn.” The distractions were more fun than the game!

  • Having “Chosen Friends” is a blessing.
  • Having “Chosen Friends” is warming to the heart.
  • Having “Chosen Friends” is truly a gift.

Friends believe in your cause instantly, no matter how crazy it may seem. They stick with you through thick and thin and do not have to be convinced. Great friends correct my course, especially when I am trying to stray from GOD. The great news is GOD says I am a friend.

  • GOD says to me “There is no love greater than to lay down MY life for you as MY friend.”
  • GOD says to me “I have called you and chosen you as MY servant.”
  • GOD says to me “I have not rejected you so do not fear, for I AM with you, I AM your GOD.”

GOD strengthens me and helps me like no other friend can. HE leads me, guides me and upholds me with HIS righteous hand. It is great knowing I have a friend in my corner who will never leave me no matter how tough things get. GOD chose me as a friend and I am grateful!

  • Do you need a friend?
  • Have people left you or stepped away from you?
  • Can you allow GOD to choose you?
  • Are you willing to speak HIS words instead of yours?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ready to Soar

Isaiah 40: 27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.


“Great job” were the words that fueled my zeal. When I heard these words I was ready to work harder and longer. I put in my best work when I hear a compliment. On the other hand when I heard a complaint, work seemed to be WORK. It dragged on for seemingly days in one shift. It seemed like during those long times, I complained to GOD. “Where are YOU?” I would yell out.

  • Sometimes it seems like life beats me down.
  • Sometimes it seems like I will not “get my way.”
  • Sometimes it seems like GOD is off somewhere making thieves rich and wealthy meanwhile HE is punishing me for even my tiniest sin.

Blind to the compliment, I put my trust in those who would feed my ego more and more. I mean it felt good to receive accolades and when they ran out, it was time to change jobs or locations or relationships. BUT GOD says to do something different.

  • GOD says to me “I do not grow tired or weary” which means HE can take anything I give HIM no matter how many times I give it to HIM.
  • GOD says to me “I give strength to the weary and power to the weak” which means HIS strength and power is being used on a daily basis.
  • GOD says to me “I will make you soar on wings like eagles” which means I will run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.

Sometimes I think GOD wants me to run out of steam. I mean when I stop thinking “I” am in control then GOD can do HIS best work. Relying on GOD’s strength means truly believing HE can do anything. HE places me in positions for HIS purpose. I should not complain, rather compliment HIM for where HE has me. HE gives me strength that only comes from HIM.

  • Are you growing weak?
  • Do you feel weary?
  • Can you rely on GOD’s strength?
  • Will you put your trust in HIM instead of trying to win HIS favor by working your fingers to the bone?

Friday, February 19, 2016

I’m Good, You’re Not

Isaiah 39:Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.”


“Why would I go to another country?” I said. “I” have everything “I” need here in this country. We have exotic vacation spots, plain vacation spots and exciting vacation spots. My family and friends are here and my stuff. All I need, right?

  • Sometimes I think only of my world.
  • Sometimes I think only of my kingdom.
  • Sometimes I think only of my area.

As I surveyed where I was, I felt pretty content. I mean everyone in my family was healthy, all my bills were paid and I had a pretty full refrigerator. What more could I ask for? BUT GOD wanted more out of me.

  • GOD wants me to see other people struggling.
  • GOD wants me to see other people in need.
  • GOD wants me to see other people around me rejecting HIS SON and following after “the dream.”

Like Hezekiah, I put blinders on and as long as everything was good in my circle, I was fine. BUT GOD wants me to see that homeless person. HE wants me to see the hurting neighbor. HE wants me to see other people in other countries and pray earnestly for them. GOD wants me to live my life with a purpose and that purpose is for others, not myself.

  • Are you focused only on your wellbeing?
  • Do you worry only about your security?
  • When is the last time you prayed for your neighbors instead of complaining about them?
  • Will you accept GOD’s great commission and “go” even to the uttermost parts of the world for HIS kingdom?
  • Will you start small and go to your family, friends and neighbors?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Death or Life

Isaiah 38:Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
“‘This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.


“What would you do if you only had two weeks to live?” were the words of the speaker at a conference I attended. Would you have “that” argument? Would you work as hard as you are working? Would you worry about what you are worrying about? All of these poignant questions got to me.

  • Sometimes I get caught up in the speed of life.
  • Sometimes I think I will live on this earth forever.
  • Sometimes I think I have plenty of time so I can do “it” later.

After that conference I had to ponder, am I living my life with purpose? I mean work certainly got the bulk of my time. Was I providing poison or fruit to people? Hezekiah was going to die, BUT GOD told him he had fifteen more years to live. What would I do in this situation?

  • GOD wants me to live an abundant life.
  • GOD wants me to focus on HIM as much as I can during the time I am living.
  • GOD wants me to speak of life not death.

Why waste time speaking about negative things? There is only so much time in a given day and I have a choice. I can speak of death or I can speak of life. Death could equal bragging about money and clothes that rot, rust or moths eat. Life equals speaking about how GOD chose me in the middle of my sins, died because of my sins and has forgiven me of all my sins.

I can speak about “that” person in a poisonous way or I can pray they receive life and that GOD forgives me for thinking they need prayer.

  • What would you do if you only had two weeks to live?
  • Would you have “that” argument?
  • Would your words be poison or fruit?
  • Why not change your life and live as if you only had two weeks to live?
  • Can you speak more about GOD and less about your problems?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nothing is Too Large

Isaiah 37: 14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.


“Impossible” is what I felt when I tried to button my shirt on my own. It seemed like the buttons would never line up. I eventually learned. “Impossible” is the same feeling I felt when it came to getting into the high school I attended because it required a test. I passed. I started accomplishing more and more. Soon “I” was the one who could accomplish bigger and bigger things. But after a while some of the big things became BIG things that I could not handle on my own. What was I to do?

  • Sometimes the problems I face seem to be insurmountable.
  • Sometimes the situations I am in seem to be overwhelming.
  • Sometimes the battles I am in seem to be a losing effort.

There are times in which I see the odds and they do not look good at all. I mean look at “insert problem”, it is huge! When I look at the problem a little longer I get worried and scared. Then the problem turns from big to BIG!

  • GOD says to me “Bring your problems to ME because I can handle them.”
  • GOD says to me “Spread your problems out before the LORD your GOD and acknowledge MY power.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the one who holds everything in MY hands, I will deliver you as I promised.”

The reason GOD “can” make a promise is because HE is the only one who can keep a promise without failure. GOD’s strength is impossible to move and HE alone is GOD over all the kingdoms of the earth. Whenever I have a problem, the first place for me to run is to HIM. HE has the right to chasten me, pick me up and deliver me from insurmountable odds within the same movement.

GOD hears and sees all of those who are against HIM and HE protects me daily!

  • Are you in a huge battle?
  • Do you feel that the odds are against you?
  • Will you step back and spread your problems out before the LORD?
  • Will you allow HIM to thoroughly change the situation that is out of your power?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Empty Promises

Isaiah 36: 13 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! 15 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

16 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, 17 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.


“I’d like to promote you” were the words of one who felt he was on his way up. Two months later he was fired. “If you would just work a little harder then…” were the promises of another manager. I worked harder and she was promoted and I stayed where I was. “I like your style, I want to promote you” were the words of the next boss. Wait, I think I heard these words before.

  • Sometimes I had desires that were not in the best direction.
  • Sometimes I had desires that were expressed but not understood.
  • Sometimes I had desires that were surprisingly miscalculated.

After I heard the empty words from another manager, I thought I would take my career in my own hands. I climbed the ladder only to find dead grass rather than green grass. The fame and fortune was there but something was missing, GOD.

  • GOD says to me “Do not be ashamed of me or I will be ashamed of you.”
  • GOD says to me “Trust in the LORD with all your heart.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not believe in flattering words, believe in the LORD your GOD.”

Companies threaten to take money away or they flatter with giving more money. I bought into the latter and found myself with less time for GOD and more time for work. BUT GOD was gracious. HE was glorious enough to allow me this away time from HIM. HE welcomed me back with open arms and guided me to HIS safety.

  • Are you being threatened?
  • Does the situation seem hopeless?
  • Are you tempted to give up on GOD?
  • Can you return back to HIM and believe in HIS deliverance?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Words of Encouragement

Isaiah 35: Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.”


“Your tie is supposed to line up with your belt and zipper” was the great dressing lesson my uncle gave me. “Use fine sandpaper after the clear coat” was another lesson from another uncle. “Make a loop when stitching your pants” my aunt told me in yet another lesson.

  • Sometimes I need help.
  • Sometimes I need assistance.
  • Sometimes I need someone to teach me.

Many times I really needed help. I mean I ran into situations where I felt lost and could not accomplish what I set out to do. I was faced with problems and sometimes had no way out. Fortunately I was blessed with people I could call.

  • GOD says to me “Strengthen the feeble hands” meaning I need to help someone who cannot do for themselves.
  • GOD says to me “Steady the knees that give way” meaning I need to support those who cannot stand for themselves.
  • GOD says to me “Say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong and do not fear, your GOD will come with vengeance; with divine retribution HE will come to save you.”

Many times I received help and now it is time to be the help. GOD calls me to speak words of encouragement into others so they will continue on HIS wonderful path. HE removes barriers and HE is the only one who can speak blessings into existence. HE shows the way and holds up the weak. GOD wants me to not just talk, HE wants me to “do” and to “be.” GOD wants me to help.

  • Are you passing by the weak and feeble?
  • Are you dodging those who need your help?
  • Can you reach out and help someone in need today?
  • Will you ask GOD for more strength to help others?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Being Take Care Of

Isaiah 34: 14 Desert creatures will meet with hyenas,
    and wild goats will bleat to each other;
there the night creatures will also lie down
    and find for themselves places of rest.
15 The owl will nest there and lay eggs,
    she will hatch them, and care for her young
    under the shadow of her wings;
there also the falcons will gather,
    each with its mate.
16 Look in the scroll of the Lord and read:
None of these will be missing,
    not one will lack her mate.
For it is his mouth that has given the order,
    and his Spirit will gather them together.
17 He allots their portions;
    his hand distributes them by measure.
They will possess it forever
    and dwell there from generation to generation.


Scared was the only word to describe how I felt as I clutched my chest. I had never felt a pain like this one and it would not go away. As I sat in my apartment alone I wondered if this was it. Was it my time to go? I mean I was just starting out.

  • There were times when I felt afraid.
  • There were times when I felt scared.
  • There were times when I felt alone.

I called a coworker the next day and he took me to the doctor. I had a bruised sternum and needed to lay off the exercise for a while. What a relief! But the incident made me think. How do other people feel?

  • GOD wants me to tell people they are never alone.
  • GOD wants me to say to others “HE will never leave them nor forsake them.”
  • GOD wants me to exclaim to many that HE has a plan for them and HE is providing order on a daily basis.

Looking back I can see that I was never alone. HE was always there for me and is faithful to always be there for whatever I go through.

  • Do you feel alone?
  • Are you nervous and confused?
  • Can you reach out to GOD and ask HIM for HIS divine order today?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Wonderful Prayer

Isaiah 33:Lord, be gracious to us;
    we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
    our salvation in time of distress.


What simple words. This prayer has everything needed for this day. Too often I look into the future and my mind races towards the wrong things. In an effort to resolve everything that is out of my hands, I fall into distress.

  • I thank GOD for HIS marvelous blessings for HE has been gracious to me.
  • I thank GOD for being there even when I think HE is not.
  • I thank GOD for being my strength every morning so I do not have to rely on my own strength.
  • I thank GOD for being my salvation in time of distress and forever!

LORD please bless all those who read these words. Bless them and heal them. Be their strength this morning and save them from their distress. amen

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Peace in the Desert

Isaiah 32: 16 The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
    his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
    its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
    in secure homes,
    in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
    and the city is leveled completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
    sowing your seed by every stream,
    and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.


Silence was the strangest sound I heard after being released from the high paced position that was eliminated in the reorganization. With no conference calls or fires to put out or people complaining about sagging profits, I felt strange. There was actually enough quiet to listen.

  • There were times when my pace was so noisy that I could not hear.
  • There were times when I did not have time to stop and listen.
  • There were times when I had not time to listen to GOD.

“The Desert” is a symbolic place for me. I mean the Israelites were glad to leave Egypt because they were under someone’s forceful hand. But then they found themselves in “The Desert” and that felt even worse to them. No heavy hand, but no crumbs from the “master’s” plate. When I sat down for the first time with no appointments, at first it felt great, but weeks later I wondered, “Where is GOD?”

  • GOD said to me “MY justice is in the desert which is right where I want you now.”
  • GOD said to me “MY righteousness lives in the fertile field and I want you to seek out this field.”
  • GOD said to me “MY reward to you will be peace and you will have quietness and confidence forever.”

It took some time to get used to the quietness. I learned to use it as lost time I had not spent with GOD, family and friends. I found the fruit GOD wanted me to seek in the first place and HE blessed me the entire time. GOD truly is great!

  • Are you in “The Desert?”
  • Do you feel lost?
  • Can you quiet down and listen to GOD?
  • Will you seek HIS guidance instead of yours?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Rescue from Above

Isaiah 31: This is what the Lord says to me:
“As a lion growls,
    a great lion over its prey—
and though a whole band of shepherds
    is called together against it,
it is not frightened by their shouts
    or disturbed by their clamor—
so the Lord Almighty will come down
    to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
Like birds hovering overhead,
    the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
    he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”


“How are we going to make it to the bus?” I thought. I mean there were gang-bangers everywhere this day. One of my classmates, who lived in the neighborhood, whistled a very distinct whistle. Suddenly I noticed the gangsters retreat.

  • There were times when it seemed like this is going to be “it.”
  • There were times when it seemed like the situation could not get any worse.
  • There were times when it seemed like I was going to meet my demise.

Still frightened, I stepped outside with my friends. We walked safely to the bus stop and amazingly got on the bus without harm. Our classmate knew the thugs and with one whistle, told them to retreat. We were watched over.

  • GOD says to me “I AM watching over you on a daily basis even when you don’t feel it.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the almighty and I will do battle for you.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM rescuing you every day so do not be afraid.”

Looking at the problem too long makes me frightened. I mean as I stare at the calamity, I am no longer looking at GOD. HE is the one who shows me the way. GOD put my classmate there, at the right place, at the right time. GOD watches over me daily and I praise HIM!

  • Are you scared?
  • Are you frightened?
  • Can you put your trust in GOD rather than your knowledge?
  • Won’t you stop fighting GOD by spreading your ways and follow HIS?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Seeking Protection

Isaiah 30: “Woe to the obstinate children,”
    declares the Lord,
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
    forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
    heaping sin upon sin;
who go down to Egypt
    without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,
    to Egypt’s shade for refuge.

18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!


Convenience was the thing that got me. I mean the agent and doctor came to my office, drew blood for an analysis and brought insurance papers that I signed for a life insurance policy. That same group came to my house while it was being built and gave me another policy. In fact they insured my cars, jewelry and probably my next door neighbor’s dog.

  • Sometimes I put my trust in money.
  • Sometimes I think that because I am insured, I’m safe.
  • Sometimes I place my safety in a job because I think I am not expendable.

Seeking protection of my stuff, my body and my job was something that pleased me. I mean, now that I had a lot of stuff, I had to protect it, right? Maybe. But what kind of protection should I seek?

  • GOD says to me “I will be gracious to you even though you did not seek ME first.”
  • GOD says to me “After I take you through trials because of your obstinate actions I will show you compassion that I have longed to do.”
  • GOD says to me “Be patient and wait on ME.”

GOD wants me to consult HIM on the little things as well as the large. HE wants me to ask if I really need the largest TV in the world that I have to insure for a boatload of money. HE desires that I run my plans for jobs and other activities by HIM so HE can say “yes or no.” GOD wants me to seek HIS kingdom first and all these things will be added to me.

  • Are you looking for protection?
  • Do you think you can buy security?
  • Will your job provide you with everlasting life?
  • Can you take time today and recognize GOD who saved you?

Friday, February 5, 2016

No More Shame

Isaiah 29: 22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob:
“No longer will Jacob be ashamed;
    no longer will their faces grow pale.
23 When they see among them their children,
    the work of my hands,
they will keep my name holy;
    they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
    those who complain will accept instruction.”


“Move out of the way, it’s my turn” were the words that caught my attention as I saw a small group of guys huddled next to doors that were not exit doors. My curiosity climbed so I went to investigate. When I got my “turn” I peeked through a hole carved in the crease of the door. I got a glimpse of nakedness that made me want to stay there the whole day!

  • There have been times where I tried to hide my thoughts.
  • There have been times that I tried to cover up my actions.
  • There have been times I tried to pretend I had not fallen, but I had truly fallen.

Late for class I decided to get a better glimpse. I wondered why there was no one around. Then a gym teacher came in and caught me. I was ashamed. I am glad I was caught, because I was headed down the wrong path.

  • GOD says to me “You will no longer be ashamed.”
  • GOD says to me “I will open your eyes and heal your heart.”
  • GOD says to me “I will help you gain understanding and guide you with MY instruction.”

He simply yelled, “Get away from that door!” and off I ran. He gave me a strange look every time he saw me from then on. They fixed the door and I was glad. BUT GOD fixed my life. HE put me on a better path that includes acknowledging my need for HIM. By confessing, the sin no longer has power over me. I give the power to GOD who in turn gives it back to me.

  • Do you feel powerless?
  • Do you feel like your prayers are not being heard?
  • Can you acknowledge the hidden things in your heart?
  • Will you confess your sins and enable GOD to heal your soul?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Time to Grow

Isaiah 28: 16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.
23 Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
    barley in its plot,
    and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.

29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,
    whose wisdom is magnificent.


It didn’t hit me until I was driving and the radio station faded out. The morning sun was shining in my face and I was headed to my new residence with bright aspirations. I finally realized this is not a drill. I was now about to embark on my career journey. Was I ready? Did I know enough? What if I fail?

  • There are times when I get nervous.
  • There are times when I am stricken with panic.
  • There are times when I have fear that causes me to race around lose sleep.

Being unsure of myself has popped in and out of my life numerous times. Sometimes I look at my abilities and shutter. Can I do the thing that I am facing?

  • GOD says to me “I have laid a precious tested, cornerstone as your foundation.”
  • GOD says to me “I will be your instructor and teach you the right way.”
  • GOD says to me “I have a wonderful plan for you.”

I should be unsure of myself because in life I am way in over my head. BUT GOD has “magnificent wisdom” and a “wonderful plan” for me. I must place my trust in HIS strength and let HIM fight my battles. HE is the one who prepares me and HE is the one who tells me when I am ready to grow. HE wants me to turn from preparation and go into planting seeds of encouragement. GOD is truly magnificent!

  • Are you nervous about your abilities?
  • Are you scared to try something new and more difficult?
  • Can you stop relying on your abilities and start relying on GOD’s “precious and tested” foundation?
  • Will you believe that HE has a better plan for you than your plan?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bold and Daring Protection

Isaiah 27: In that day—
“Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
    I, the Lord, watch over it;
    I water it continually.
I guard it day and night
    so that no one may harm it.
    I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
    I would march against them in battle;
    I would set them all on fire.
Or else let them come to me for refuge;
    let them make peace with me,
    yes, let them make peace with me.”


Frustrated because of our tardiness, I sat trying to get into a better mood. The camper was broken “again” and we sat on the edge of the road. “This is a mission’s trip, for GOD’s sake! We can’t be late!” The driver said something strange “I don’t like these drivers, they could hit you.”

I wondered why he was not considering how we could get the camper fixed. After about forty five minutes the restless group left the camper after a round of murmured complaints. Suddenly a car seemed out of control headed towards us and, at the last second, gained control and barely missed us.

  • Sometimes I complain.
  • Sometimes I murmur.
  • Sometimes I get frustrated that I am not getting my way at the time I want it.

GOD saved us in spite of our complaints and we had to pray for forgiveness and protection. I mean my mind was not on GOD but on blaming the driver for not being prepared and blaming the pastor for putting me in the slowest most broken down vehicle. My mindset was not on fruit and GOD showed me HE expects different.

  • GOD said to me “I want your entire mind and soul.”
  • GOD said to me “I want to be first in your life, no matter what the circumstance.”
  • GOD said to me “I will watch over you as you attempt to bear fruit.”

We made it safely to our destination and the trip was very fruitful. GOD protected us during more car mishaps. We even got lost for four hours, but that is another story! GOD’s methodology was extremely strange, but effective. HE was able to tear through my rotten core to see that I was the one who needed to change. GOD protected me.

  • Are you complaining?
  • Do you have a problem with someone?
  • Can you stop and look to GOD to be your refuge?
  • Will you stop fighting and start believing?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mindful Trust

Isaiah 26:You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.


Seized with fear I stared at the wheel one more time. I puffed out three quick breaths, pushed off with my left foot and found myself gliding down the sidewalk on my bike. I rode past three or four houses without falling this time and when I fell, I got up excited. The next time I got on I was at peace and I could ride even further.

  • Sometimes fear takes away my peace.
  • Sometimes worry makes me doubt.
  • Sometimes anguish makes me think I cannot overcome “this” circumstance.

I am so happy that I learned how to ride a bike but it took pain to do it. I flipped over the handlebars on a few occasions and came into the house with a bloody lip on others. I had to go through the pain in order to have peace.

  • GOD takes me through storms, so I need to have trust in HIS plan.
  • GOD takes me though painful situations and heals me from my bumps and bruises.
  • GOD takes me through difficult circumstances, providing peace along the way.

Just like riding a bike, having peace takes practice. Instead of getting worried about the situation I had to learn how to have peace in the middle of the storm. I started small by not worrying about misplacing my security shirt I fashioned into my carry around buddy; to not worrying about the fact that someone broke into my car to now worrying about larger life events.

GOD grows my peace the more I trust HIM instead of the thing I worry about. HE may have a good reason for allowing whatever to be removed or destroyed. HE helps me grow and gives me peace. I trust in HIS plan.

  • Are you worried?
  • Are you nervous?
  • Can you take three deep breaths and decide to follow GOD?
  • Will you put your trust in HIS plan for you today?

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Praise Moment

Isaiah 25: Lord, you are my God;
    I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
    you have done wonderful things,
    things planned long ago.


    he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.


Standing in front of my clothes, my mind flipped between what to wear and the events of the day. It seemed like it took me an eternity to get dressed as I replayed my preparation. I jumped in the car and listened to voicemail all the way to work.

  • Sometimes I get very busy.
  • Sometimes my mind is full.
  • Sometimes I get so distracted that I cannot see what GOD is doing.

I don’t know if I took a moment to even notice GOD. AS I got closer and closer to work, I could feel the pressure build. How could I have peace?

  • GOD wants me to stop and take a moment to praise HIM, this way I acknowledge HE has the power to overcome my day.
  • GOD wants me to stop and take a moment to praise HIM, this way I can move away from my distractions and have peace.
  • GOD wants me to stop and take a moment to praise HIM because HE deserves to be praised!

GOD is not needy, HE is GOD.HE doesn’t beat me up when I do not praise HIM, but HE strengthens my relationship with HIM when I do. Praise is not because of the things I do, but because of who HE is. GOD rescued me time and time again. I have nothing but praise for HIM!

  • Can you stop and take a moment to praise GOD today?
  • Will you seek preach today by praising HIM without wanting something?
  • Can you open your mouth and audibly say “LORD I love you and I praise YOUR name and YOUR decisions today?”