Friday, April 21, 2017

I Doubt It

Matthew 14: 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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After searching for a while I prayed, “LORD help me find my license.” Then it came to me, “Look behind the desk.” It was there. After being in school for too long I stubbornly prayed, “LORD please help me graduate.” Seemingly in no time, I graduated. After job loss and bills were mounting I thought, “I wonder if GOD will hear me.” I doubt it.

  • There are situations that I think are too large for GOD.
  • There are times when the world is coming at me so fast that I think GOD cannot possibly handle this!
  • There are circumstances where I think my sin is greater than GOD’s grace so I doubt HIS grace.

During the winds of life I simply want things under “my” control. I try to place logic around what’s going on and somehow I can’t make things make sense. The question “why” would pop into my mind without resolution. My doubt grew. BUT GOD had a remedy.

  • GOD wants me to focus on praising HIM so I can build stronger faith.
  • GOD wants me to rest in HIM so I can calm down enough to hear HIS voice.
  • GOD wants me to seek HIM versus seeking to always “fix” the problem.

Sometimes it is best to let go of the problem for a while and just walk out to GOD. HE can handle life’s troubles while I take steps towards HIM. Since GOD was only an earshot away, Peter wasn’t far from making it all the way to HIM, same with me.

GOD wants me to have total trust that HE has the situation fully covered. HE wants me to stop looking around and look at only at HIM.  GOD is my complete Savior.

  • Do you doubt GOD?
  • Have you trusted HIM in the past and are choosing not to trust HIM now?
  • Can you drop your timelines and focus only on how GOD is blessing you today?
  • Will you take more steps towards HIM today?


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Unseen Solution

Matthew 14: 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

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“LORD, please grant me my prayer” is what I asked. Days later I got exactly what I asked for but got nervous that I would mess up. “What If I don’t do well?” “What if I can’t handle this?” More questions flooded my mind and I began to falter.

  • Sometimes GOD gives me exactly what I asked for.
  • Sometimes GOD instantly grants me favor.
  • Sometimes GOD does some amazing things in my life that I am not quite ready for.


“If you don’t really want it, don’t ask for it”, don’t ask it is what I learned. GOD has said “Okay” to some of my prayers and I found myself in over my head and overwhelmed. I looked around and suddenly began to sink. BUT GOD pulled me through.

  • GOD hears me when I earnestly cry out to HIM.
  • GOD knows I need saving even before I get into a mess.
  • GOD saves me from the turmoil’s of life even when I ask for them.


Faith was the unseen solution to Peter’s problem and mine. When I place my faith in GOD I can face enormous challenges. I have to tell myself constantly, “Don’t look left, don’t look right, just keep looking straight towards CHRIST.” When I focus on GOD my worries diminish. GOD saves me from the waves.

  • Are you sinking?
  • Do you have worries and doubts?
  • Can you stop looking around at your situation and look at CHRIST as your Savior?


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Trapped

Matthew 14: 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

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My mind raced as I heard a noise. I paused to perk my ears like a rabbit tracking a predator. “What or even worse, who is that?” I cringed in terror. This went on for an eternal two minutes! “Hi, just checking in to see how you are doing” was the statement from my boss. I was not expecting him. My trapped feeling went away.

  • Sometimes my mind conjures up the worst that could happen.
  • Sometimes my mind thinks of pain and problem when facing the unknown.
  • Sometimes my mind magnifies the figment of my imagination to be something bigger than it is.


Seeing a figure come out of the dark must have scared the wits out of the disciples. I mean no one had ever walked on water before so it must have been a ghost was their logic. I concur. I would have been scared too. They were not able to run or get away so the “trapped” feeling magnified their fears. I feel like that sometimes. BUT GOD wants me to fee different.

  • GOD wants me to expect HIS miracles in ways I will never understand.
  • GOD wants me to know HE can do anything so I need to watch for the peculiar and the norm.
  • GOD wants me to “Take courage” for it is HE who calms the situation.


“Don’t be afraid” was JESUS’s calming words and HE says this to me when I get scared. HE wants me to focus on the miracle, not the problem, so I can praise HIM. Feeling trapped and scared blinds me. GOD wants me to slow down to see HIS might.

  • Are you feeling trapped?
  • Are you afraid?
  • Can you slow down and look for GOD in the situation so HE can show you HIS miracle?


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Slip Away


Matthew 14: 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

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Rock music blasted on one side, rap on the other. I could not concentrate with all of the noise so I slipped away to a quiet location to study. With no distractions, I could comprehend more.

  • Sometimes I needed to get away from the distractions.
  • Sometimes I needed to get away from the noise.
  • Sometimes I needed to get away from everyone around me so I could concentrate.


Concentration sometimes requires solitude in a peaceful setting. JESUS chose a mountainside. My guess is that HE could see the people HE created and pray for them. HE needed total concentration so HE slipped away from the crowds often to pray.

  • GOD wants me to slip away from people in order to have concentrated prayer.
  • GOD wants me to sometimes have quick prayer and other times deep concentrated prayer.
  • GOD wants me to dismiss the crowd, go to a place and pray for those around me.


There is no definition for “real” prayer. I mean sometimes I can only say a few words “Help me LORD” and other times I can feel praise while other times I can feel deep empathy. GOD wants me to take time to communicate with HIM on a regular basis. Slipping away to talk to HIM about anything definitely clears my heart.

  • Are you flooded with thoughts?
  • Is it very noisy around you?
  • Can you slip away to a quiet place so you can concentrate on the LORD?


Monday, April 17, 2017

Being part of it


Matthew 14: 13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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 Amazing life in abundance is what GOD wants me to have. When HE has something for me to do, HE will not only provide HE will multiply. The strange thing about this slice of history is the JESUS told the disciples to feed the people with inadequate resources. They even questioned HIM.

  • GOD expects me to do amazing things with my limited resources.
  • GOD expects me to feed thousands without having the means to do so.
  • GOD expects me to be part of HIS solution rather than constantly voicing the problem.


Being part of it means I have to trust GOD when HE tells me to do something huge and I don’t even know where to start. It means being diligent when there is nowhere left to turn. GOD wants to do some amazing things with me and through me. All I need to do is trust HIS provision.

  • Is GOD calling you to do something amazing yet you don’t have the resources?
  • Do you feel GOD is leading you to do something and you don’t know how to do it?
  • Will you allow GOD to provide the resources while you provide your willingness? 


Friday, April 14, 2017

Mistaken Report

Matthew 14: At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

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Herod’s beliefs made him hear the report of JESUS’s miracles differently. Herod thought that if a person is killed they could come back as a super-powered ghost-human. Though he may have had many killed, he chose John as the cause because he had John murdered.

  • My soul will last for eternity and will never enter into someone else.
  • My soul will be raised to heaven only because I believe that JESUS is my savior.
  • My soul will receive a new sinless body not another sinful body.


Herod almost had it right. JESUS would later be raised from the dead but not for Herod’s self-center purpose. JESUS would in fact be murdered, just like HIS cousin John. BUT JESUS died for a much greater purpose.

  • JESUS came to earth as a human who never sinned.
  • JESUS was accused, slandered, beaten and killed by those who were church leaders.
  • JESUS rose from the dead to assume all power.


Suffering was JESUS’s purpose, not to come back and torment one person. Herod’s beliefs got him an eternity separated from JESUS. My beliefs bring me eternal salvation.

  • Do you have beliefs in reincarnation?
  • Do you think science will explain away your eternal soul?
  • Will you take the step today to believe in the ONE who can save you, namely JESUS? 


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hits Too Close

Matthew 13: 53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

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“But you are supposed to be a role model to me” I said to myself as I watched yet another mentor fall by the wayside. This person seemed like a godly giant, but turned out to be just like the others. My faith dwindled quickly.

  • My faith used to be based on someone else’s actions.
  • My faith used to be based on what I could see others do.
  • My faith used to be easily thwarted by the fall of others.


When “that” person sinned, I would be so disappointed. I could not hear any preaching or teaching from them. BUT GOD wants me to think differently.

  • GOD wants me to have faith in HIM and the people HE sends.
  • GOD wants me to drop my arrogance of thinking “that” person can’t possibly perform miracles.
  • GOD wants me to stop looking at the sinner and look at GOD inside.


I am in a very popular club, namely ALL those who committed sins. Miracles do not come from humans rather they come from GOD. I should focus only on the SPIRIT not the sinner. Judging people weakens my faith. GOD wants me to see HIM in action, even through the highly unlikely.

  • Are you judging someone who is an unlikely candidate for GOD?
  • Are you basing your faith on someone else’s actions?
  • Can you stop looking at others and start looking at the HOLY SPIRIT?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ownership

Matthew 13: 47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

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“Step on it” my passenger said to me on a dirty, gravely, tar filled, construction zone road.. I replied, “I don’t want to kick up too many rocks.” I was surprised by the reply. “It’s a rental, who cares what happens to it!” Hmmm, I thought. I spun the tires!

  • When it’s not mine, I don’t care what happens to it.
  • When it’s not mine, I treat it like it is someone else’s problem.
  • When it’s not mine, I could care less about the condition I leave it in after I use it.


From cars to apartments to houses, if I don’t own it, I do not care what happens to it. I may even have a title or a deed, but not “own” the thing in the way I treat it. Same with people, if I do not take responsibility for those around me, then I could care less for what happens to them.

  • GOD says to me “Help MY people get into the net.”
  • GOD says to me “Help MY people understand MY kingdom.”
  • GOD says to me “Help MY confused sheep follow MY voice.”


Ownership in this parable points to the kingdom. The teacher is responsible for speaking about CHRIST as the new covenant, but upholds the laws of the Old Testament. Owning GOD’s word means I see things as “us” versus “them.” “We have sinned” not just me.

GOD wants me to take ownership of HIS people so I can tend to them with care.

  • Are you looking at GOD selfishly?
  • Do you refuse to pray for “that” person?”
  • Can you include more people in your care and provide for them “new treasures” as well as old?




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

An Incredible Find

Matthew 13: 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

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Incredibly, JESUS uses money as an analogy to Heaven. I guess it’s because money presses against humans from all sides and is sometimes my highest worry. HE knew just how to get through to people to enable them to gain understanding.

  • GOD’s kingdom of heaven is far more valuable than any currency in the world.
  • GOD’s kingdom of heaven is extremely rich and well worth everything I have here on earth.
  • GOD’s kingdom of heaven is a wonderful find.


Finding GOD is an indescribable feeling. It is like a weight lifted from my soul. I mean when I lose my way, I always have a way back. GOD provides in incredible abundance but sometimes in ways I cannot see.

I noticed the second parable discusses the person who was “looking” for fine pearls. Those who seek GOD shall find HIM.

  • Are you looking for something else?
  • What are you looking for?
  • Can you seek GOD today and delight in HIM?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Fate of the Seed

Matthew 13: 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

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GOD put me here for a purpose, namely to speak about HIS SON. Everything else is a distraction. Yet I find myself focused on the things and worries of the world. People tend to pop up with new shiny messages that keep me from focusing on the glory of GOD.

  • GOD wants me to focus on HIM daily.
  • GOD wants me to seek HIS face each and every day.
  • GOD wants me to believe in HIM, not in humans around me.


One day GOD will harvest those who believe in HIM. I’m not just talking about HIS existence. I’m speaking about HIS love. The way HE died and was raised from the dead. I’m talking about the HOLY SPIRIT who was sent on my behalf, who now lives in me. That belief!

GOD does not want me to be part of the weeds, so HE grows me to bear fruit.

  • Are you being distracted with the things of the world?
  • Do you desire to be grown?
  • Can you allow yourself to be led of GOD’s SPIRIT today?


Friday, April 7, 2017

Only a Pinch is Necessary

Matthew 13: 33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,

    I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

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Study hard, stay away from sin and live in church was my thought of “success” in GOD. I mean that sounds about right doesn’t it? Well maybe…

  • There have been times I put too many rules in front of GOD.
  • There have been times I worshiped the structure of GOD rather than worshiping HIM.
  • There have been times I felt I could earn GOD’s favor by being “righteous.”


The kingdom of Heaven requires a little, not a lot. What I mean is GOD saw “no” righteousness in me, yet HE saved me. HE gave me a tiny bit of faith and watched it grow in me.

  • GOD says to me “I only need a little of your faith and I will do the rest.”
  • GOD says to me “If you would have a tiny bit of faith, I will grow it in you like a mustard seed.”
  • GOD says to me “I provide infectious faith that grows you and others around you.”


Faith does not come from me. I cannot manufacture it or think I have it when I don’t. Faith comes only from GOD. HE has to provide me with a tiny kernel of faith to believe in HIS guidance. It is up to me to ask for faith and to believe in it when HE provides it.

GOD does not mind providing faith. I have to recognize when HE gives me chances to use it.

  • Do you want faith or more of it?
  • Are you tired of being scared and worried?
  • Can you ask GOD for a tiny kernel of faith today?


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Small is Large

Matthew 13: 31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

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“Go and evangelize the neighborhood” was the overwhelming message I felt. This was very scary because I did not know anyone in the area and some of the neighbors were into some dangerous things. I felt small and did not know where to start.

  • Sometimes I feel insignificant.
  • Sometimes I feel like I’m facing giants as an ant.
  • Sometimes I feel so small that the issues, situations and circumstances seem to be overwhelming.


“What powers do I have?” I mean I’m no one special, am I? Yes!

  • GOD does not expect me to be powerful but believe HE is the most powerful.
  • GOD does not expect me to be the answer; rather believe HE is the only answer.
  • GOD does not expect me to be a savior but believe JESUS is my savior.


Millions of people saved begins with the one person I talk to about the Great News of being rescued by JESUS. I don’t have to “be” special or “do” anything special. HE sends people to me! How much easier can it get?! GOD’s only requirement is that I have the tiniest bit of faith to follow HIS leading.

  • Do you feel small?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed?
  • Can you have the tiniest bit of faith and let GOD handle the rest?


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Two People


Matthew 13: 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

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Every day I have a choice of which person I will be. Person one in this passage sowed “good” seed and person two sowed “bad” seed or weeds. Each seed grew in the story.

  • Some days I sow bad seed of fear, worry and doubt.
  • Some days I sow bad seed of lust, slander and rage.
  • Some days I sow bad seed of self-centeredness, self-promotion and self-righteousness.


There are many reasons I sow these seeds, none of which are good. BUT GOD wants me to prepare myself for something different.

  • GOD wants me to prepare myself daily to sow “good” seeds.
  • GOD wants me to seize every opportunity to plant something “good.”
  • GOD wants me to seek out situations where I can say something “good.”


Complaints, slander and arguments weaken my “good” seed. In fact, every negative word I speak grows in weird ways I cannot imagine. GOD wants me to speak the “Good” seed about HIS SON especially when I feel like spreading bad seed.

  • Which person will you be today?
  • Will you choose to sow GOD’s “good” seeds or your own seeds which could contain weeds?
  • Can you identify negative words and positive words that come from your mouth?


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Guarding the Fruit

Matthew 13: 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

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People got on my nerves discussing the Bible. I had not read it and did not understand what was said in it. “Trust in the LORD” people would quote. “What about my needs right now? I would quote back this was a bad path.

Every once in a while I would attend church, especially when things were going wrong. I would hear some music, cry a little and feel better after service only to disappear for months on end. This was rocky ground.

When I started attending church regularly, I finally fit in. I would sit and listen for a couple of hours but would act different on the very next day, sometimes the next hour. My worries about finances and other aspects of life would creep in and there was no way I would talk about CHRIST.

  • GOD wants me to seek not only HIS word but HIS SPIRIT.
  • GOD wants me to plant my roots deep in HIM so my relationship with HIM is everlasting.
  • GOD wants me to clip the thorns of life on a daily basis by quieting down and listening to HIM.


Yielding fruit is the most important thing I can do, according to this passage. It requires understanding and purposeful relationships that bring people to GOD.

  • Do you lack understanding of GOD?
  • Do you pop in and out of church, meanwhile wondering why your life is not on track?
  • Do you worry about life’s difficulties or financial woes?
  • Can you stop your lack of understanding by seeking GOD’s kingdom to purposefully bring people to HIM?


Monday, April 3, 2017

Looking and Listening


Matthew 13: 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

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Seeing and hearing GOD are two things that eluded me for the longest. I just wanted to hear the movie like voice, booming through the clouds. I also desired to see the hand people always paint, reaching down to pick me up. Wouldn’t seeing and hearing make me believe more?

  • My faith in GOD has sometimes been small.
  • My faith in GOD has sometimes been mixed in with fear and doubt.
  • My faith in GOD has sometimes had a dangerous mix of “prove YOURSELF.”


“If YOU are GOD, then why don’t YOU…” has been a thought that has popped into my mind This thought is one that I have learned is the most dangerous one to entertain. It questions HIS being, authority and love. It also introduces my doubt which leads me to need for HIM to boom HIS voice and reach down in ways my small faith can understand.

  • GOD shows me HIS hand when HE feeds me daily.
  • GOD talks to me through HIS word and HIS SPIRIT.
  • GOD gives me purpose of spreading HIS word to those who can hear it.


Every day GOD shows me something and says a lot to me. HE takes my fears, doubts and worries and transforms them into faith, love and peace. HE walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. Now I expect to be attacked and I also expect that GOD will protect.

  • Are you looking tor GOD?
  • Do you want a sign from HIM?
  • Can you seek HIS face in a different way by seeking to do HIS will?
  • Will you listen for HIM by reading HIS word today?