Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Daily Dose Devotionals

Your New Name

In sales I've learned how important a person's name is to him or her. We like to hear our names said in a positive context. We love to hear our names mentioned publicly for a job well-done, or a great idea. Maybe it stems from our parents always using our names. With seven children in my family, my mother would often call me 4 or 5 different names before she got mine. If she was really upset, she couldn't remember my name! It was usually, " just wait till your father gets home!" But when my father used my first and middle names...there wasn't a hole deep enough to hide in.

When Jesus met Simon the fisherman, he commented on his name. "Simon" meant "reed." Jesus probably laughed and said, "Yes, you are a reed - bendable and changeable, blown about by every wind of crisis. One minute you're angry and the next you're laughing. Sometimes you get drunk and other times who say something deeply intelligent. You may be like a reed now, but I'm changing your name to "Rock" = "Peter." Revelation 2:17 says, "To him who overcomes will I give...a white stone, and in the stone a new name written...." Jesus saw something in Simon, that with the power of the Holy Spirit, he would be a rock. He must have reaffirmed that new name many times, because Peter became the spokesman for the first church. He held so strongly to his witness that Jesus is the Messiah, that he was martyred for it.

If God is going to give us a new name, based on our Spirit-filled character, what would that be? He changed Jacob's name to Israel, from "cheater" to "prince of God." He knows our characters now, but what could they be in His love and grace?

May God build a vision IN US of all that we can be IN HIM!

Have a fantastic weekend in the Lord!

Fish Wish

A tough-minded businessman went fishing one day and reeled in a strange and beautiful fish. As he admired his catch, the fish began to speak to him.

"Sir, spare me, I beg you, and I will give you three wishes." The businessman knew a deal when he smelled one. "You mean, if I throw you back, you'll grant me three wishes?" the man asked. "Give me five wishes and you've got a deal!"

"I only have the power to give you three wishes," the fish pleaded as it squirmed in his hands. "Four and a half, and I'll throw you back," the businessman demanded.

"Please!...accept the three," the fish gasped. The man thought for a minute and finally said, "Four, and that's my final offer!" But the fish could not answer him. It lay limp and dead in his hands.

This week, you may have an opportunity for something big. But you've never done that before. It seems over your head. It will require more effort than normal. It's a bigger risk. You'll have to make a quick decision. What if it fails?

Hey, what if it doesn't!? What if it's an answer to your prayers? There are some things that don't need to be "thought" over!

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (Jam. 4:14). "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Eph. 5:15-17). "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2).

The moral of the story is simple: If we don't take advantage of a timely offer, we may end up with nothing more than a stinky fish.

Have a bountiful day in the Lord, catching your "limit" of great opportunities!

God Bless & Have a Great Day

Scarred Hands

Someone once asked, "What are the only man-made things in heaven?" And the correct reply came, "The nail prints in the hands and feet of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

There was a small cottage in a little country village on the outskirts of York, England. A father, mother, and two small children lived there. One evening, something happened, what, no one knows - and the little cottage caught on fire. In a few seconds the thatched roof, and wooden timbers were ablaze. There was no fire station in that remote area, and the villagers just stood helplessly by. But suddenly, a young man only known as Andy, who had only recently moved to town, came running over. "What, can nothing be done to rescue the people inside?" he cried, and as no one responded, he dashed through the flames.

In just a few seconds, he emerged holding under each arm a little child. They were unhurt because Andy hid them under his coat - but he was seriously burned. Moments after he rescued the children, the cottage fell in with a sickening crash, and the parents were never seen alive again. A kind village woman took Andy in and nursed him carefully.

Meanwhile, there was a debate in the village as to what would become of the two rescued children. It was decided to hold a council meeting that would make that decision. When the day of the decision arrived, there were two who claimed the little ones. The first was the squire of the village. He had money, position, and a home to offer the children. The people seemed very pleased and applauded his generosity, knowing they would never want for anything, again. The second claimant stood with his head bowed slightly, knowing he could never provide for the children as well as the squire. When asked what right he had to the little ones, he never said a word, but held up his hands - burned and scarred for the lives of those two children. A hush enveloped that meeting. Some were embarrassed. Others sensed a deep compassion for this brave man. And the evidence of Andy's claim was accepted.

One day, we will stand before the King of kings and Lord of lords. An angel will proclaim with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?"...Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book.... And they sung a new song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev. 5:2,5,9,10).

May we enjoy and treasure the freedoms we have in Christ, today!!

Have a great Day and God Bless.

Eye of Needle

Of all the gifts God gives to mankind, He is given the least credit for the gift of laughter. In fact, there are many churches that regard humor in worship as inappropriate, bordering on sacrilegious. And they miss the emotional and outward expressions of joy. The Bible says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." The medical community is only recently prescribing laughter as part of its therapy.

Jesus even used humor in his teachings. He talked about how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, much like a camel going through the eye of a needle. The eye of the needle was a name used to describe the door in one of the city gates of Jerusalem. After sunset, when all the gates were barred, the only way a person could get into the city was through the door in the gate. That was fine for a man, but if he had his camel with him, he would have to unload the camel, make it get down on its knees and crawl through the doorway. Well, I could just see the kids in town making fun of these camels being pushed and pulled through this small door. It probably took a long time to get them through, and provided much fun for all watching!

I believe laughter and a good sense of humor are key ingredients to mental, emotional and spiritual health. When interviewed as to how couples have been able to stay together and in love for 50+ years, they almost always say that a sense of humor is critical to a healthy relationship. I'm not talking about sarcastic humor that belittles another, but about finding the funny things of life, laughing at yourself, and sharing that joy with others.

So, this weekend, find someone to have a big bellyache laugh with. You'll find that that may be the most spiritual you've felt all week!

Warning Signs

"No Solicitors", "Beware of Dog", "Falling Rocks", "Slow-Children at Play", "Men at Work", "Ride at Your Own Risk", "Do Not Pass", "Keep Off Grass", "Slippery When Wet." Warning signs. They are designed to prepare us for what's ahead, to avoid an unwelcomed situation, and even to save our lives.

On board the aircraft carrier on which I served, there were flight deck warning signs to stay within the safety zones. These were designated areas that were safe to walk during flight operations. One day, in the Tonkin Gulf, however, one of the plane captains was not paying attention, stepped outside the safety zone, and was promptly blown off the carrier deck by the 120,000 psf. thrust of a F-4 phantom jet, to the ocean 90 feet below. We were able to retrieve him in one piece, but he had a new respect for the warning signs.

The Word of God is filled with warning signs about our human nature, our vulnerability to temptation, how susceptible we are at seeing good as evil and evil as good, and about understanding the signs of the end times.

Some often quoted warning signs are: "Be sure your sin will find you out", "Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh", "Neither cast ye your pearls before swine",

"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near", "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it", "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death", "For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also", "By their fruits ye shall know them", "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned", "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"

This Monday, may we heed the warning signs God has placed in our path, such as "Yield", "Detour", "Stop", and "Proceed with Caution". We might even see this one: "Caution: Lessons Ahead". Have a safe and Spirit-filled one!

God Bless

Show and Tell

Show and Tell. Do you remember those days? Perhaps you already have children who have had to bring in something to school, to show and tell. In an elementary school in Illinois, one little girl brought in her mother's diaphragm. She showed it, but never had the chance to tell what it was!

Well, whether we believe it or not, every day we do a little Show and Tell. Our witness is a Show and Tell. We claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, and people expect our lives to reflect Christian attitudes and principles.

On board ship, our personal space measured 2' x 7' x 3'. Beyond that it was shared space. In those conditions you get to know others more than you care to. When I first accepted Christ, and made it known to my drinking buddies, they became the "hounds of Heaven." They would point out sins in my life that I didn't know were sins! And even though it seemed they were persecuting me, I later discovered that they secretly wanted my faith to be real, to see if Christianity could really work, and make a difference in a sailor's life, in a combat zone, and out on liberty.

James 2:18 says, "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." If people in your office know you are a Christian, they are getting a daily Show and Tell. But what are you showing, and what are you telling them?

Today, be a Show and Tell for godliness!

One Size Fits All

ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Is this really true? Why do I end up with enough extra material to make a pup tent, then? I received a bathrobe as a gift. Inside, it said "one size fits all." I wrapped it around me twice and it looked like the men in the white suits would be along for me shortly.

Many of the world religions point to Christianity and say, "Look how many different denominations they have! And they spend all their time arguing about who's right." It's true. You won't see a Southern Islamic Convention, or a Hindu Temple - Missouri Synod, or a First Church of Buddha. So...they may have a point. We do have many churches in the Christian faith. And our bickering over whether Jesus was right-handed or left-handed, or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin has made us a laughing stock to much of the world. But in defense of Christianity, I also understand the need for different styles of worship.

Some people love to raise their hands and vocally express their praise, while others find a profound sense of worship in quiet reverence. Some believe that salvation is all God's doing, while others believe their freewill is the deciding factor. But what the world doesn't see is that there is only one Body of Christ. There is only one Bride - those whose garments have been washed in the blood of the Lamb - those who love His appearing - who are the redeemed! The Apostle Paul said it best: "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Though we are many - we are one! Let's concentrate on our oneness in Christ with our brothers and sisters, and let the world know that Jesus Christ is still the King of kings and Lord of lords!!

Have a victorious Tuesday!

God Bless

Can't Rebag

Have you ever noticed that things don't go back in the bag the same way they come out? I bought some draperies yesterday that turned out to look blah against my walls, so I made an extra effort to remember exactly how they were folded, so I could get them back in the plastic zipper bag. Yeah, right! It was as if they magically grew in size. Maybe they expanded when they hit the air. I wasn't aware that draperies were vacuum-packed. Alas, I am now forced to return merchandise that looks like the Cowboys played a scrimmage on it.

Jesus said you cannot put new wine into old wineskins, or put a new piece of cloth on an old garment (Matt. 9:16,17). In other words, you can't hear and understand the Gospel (new wine) and just keep going about your same old way of living. Once you've experienced the "times of refreshing" that Jesus Christ offers by His death and resurrection, you can't go back in the bag the same way. Things are different. You're different. The wind of the Holy Spirit has filled your sails, and lifted your wings! "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become new!" (II Cor. 5:17) (the exclamation mark is mine). Now that's exciting. In Christ, you begin to look at life differently - to love the unlovely - to give to those who can't give in return - to feed your spirit, not just your body - to say "no" to temptation, knowing that God has something more spectacular for you - and to walk in the hope that one day, you will see the Lord of glory, face-to-face, and eternally dwell in His presence. As they say in Texas churches, "Yeehah!" (That's Texan for "Praise the Lord!").

So don't be surprised if you can't fit your old life back in the same old bag. It won't work - not after you've heard how much God loves you, and has a fantastic plan for your life. Spend some time in prayer with the Lord, and ask Him to show you His plan. And remember, He will never leave or forsake you.

Have a Spirit-filled day enjoying your new life in Christ. "Yeehah!!!"


We are only as spiritual as we want to be. God is not stingy with His grace, nor is He too busy to fellowship with us. I often wonder what our lives would be like if we were really "sold out" to the Lord; if we stopped making excuses and took responsibility for our actions, feelings, and thoughts. If, in total surrender, we were to say, "Look, Lord. I've been steering my ship all this time. And look at what it's got me. Now, I want you to be the Captain of my salvation. Fill me with your Spirit, direct my steps, and teach me to love as Jesus loved."

Alfred Nobel was the Swedish chemist who made his fortune by inventing dynamite and the other powerful explosives used for weapons. When his brother died, one newspaper accidentally printed Alfred's obituary instead. It described the dead man as one who became rich by enabling people to kill each other in unprecedented numbers. Shaken by this assessment, Nobel resolved to use his fortune from then on to award accomplishments that benefited humanity.

How might our obituaries read? What do we need to "shake our little boat?" Are we so locked into "I'm OK, you're OK" that we don't see a need to become more like the Lord? May God grant us the vision to see our lives through the eyes of our loving Heavenly Father.

Have a transforming day in the Lord!!

Breaking Through the Crowd

I have always loved the account in Luke 8:43 of the woman who pressed through the crowd to just touch the hem of Jesus' garment. She needed physical healing. She had tried everything, and spent all her money on doctors, but had only gotten worse.

The cast of characters is so interesting:

1. Jesus, our Great Physician, Jehovah Rapha = "the Lord that healeth thee"
2. The woman, in desperate need of healing after suffering for 12 years of bleeding
3. The crowd, which is pressing in on Jesus for a variety of reasons
4. The disciples, who are trying to do "crowd control."

Now, very few preachers/teachers talk much about that crowd. And yet the crowd represents so many different types of people, and even different levels of faith. Some were in the crowd to shake hands with a celebrity. Some just wanted to pat Jesus on the back and tell Him that He's doing a wonderful job. Others, no doubt, were pushed against Him by those shoving from behind. Some may have touched Him out of a fairy tale hope that He would grant them three wishes, or help them win the local lottery - a type of good luck charm. And then there was one woman who saw the crowd as an obstacle to be conquered, driven through, outmaneuvered, until she could reach her one goal, her last hope, the object of her faith.

The hem of a rabbi's garment represents his priestly position. She was thinking that if she could just touch that which represents Jesus' ministry as our High Priest, our Mediator, our Advocate, our Intercessor, then she would be healed. After 12 years of pushing through crowds of doctors, crowds of skeptics, piles of medical bills, crowds of relatives who could only shake their heads, she found what she came to find - healing!

This is a bitter/sweet story. The bitter part is that there was only one person in that huge crowd who was healed! How many went home still sick? We don't see any others falling at Jesus' feet to touch His hem.

I often wonder if I would have been the one to break through the crowd by faith, OR if I would have been one of those who stood in the way of faith?

Today, may we be a springboard for faith, instead of a speed bump of unbelief.

Have a Thrilling Thursday and God Bless.

Cheap Crosses

It seems the things we treasure the most, often require the most sacrifice.

A foreign missionary was addressing the first year students at a Bible college. He testified that as he preached the Gospel on the streets of Mexico, a day never passed that he was not stoned. He told how that during the religious feast days and festivals, peddlers would go up and down the streets selling crucifixes and miniature crosses; and as they walked by they would shout: "Cheap crosses! Cheap crosses! Who'll buy a cheap cross?"

"Jesus said unto His disciples, 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it'" (Matt. 16:24,25).

I've noticed how easy it is to get caught up in a beautiful large church, where one can sit back and "observe" the family of God. Our "cross" has become a cheap cross. What good is salt if it's left in the saltshaker - if we're afraid to get out of our comfort zone, and share God's love with others? I have asked myself many times, "How much of God do I have, and how much of me does God have?"

As we approach a new year, may our song be, "I surrender all," and discover all that God can do in us, and through us.

Have a Fabulous Friday and God Bless.

Old Shack Teardown

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to share the Lord with a butcher friend. He couldn't understand why his own righteousness wasn't good enough for the Lord and Heaven. His favorite line was, "I'm better than most people, and when I stand before God, He'll give me a fair shake."

May I suggest that most of us really don't grasp what God's holiness is all about? "Follow...holiness, without which no man will see the Lord." If we commit only one sin in our entire lifetime, we cannot stand before a holy God. But praise God that He made a way for us to be in fellowship with Him, and have the promise of eternal life, all because Christ paid the price for our unrighteousness. What a swap! "To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified" - (Isaiah 61).

Our "righteousness" reminds me of the elderly man who had a rundown shack just east of town. Some developers came to him and wanted to buy his property. He was so excited to sell it for their offered amount, that he started fixing up that old shack. He patched the roof, painted the exterior, fixed the eaves, and even planted two trees in front. He did the best he could to make them proud to own his home.

After the developers closed on the property, however, they came out to the site with a bulldozer and proceeded to knock down the house. The old man was in a panic and asked why they were tearing down his house! The developer just smiled and said, "We don't want your patched up old house. We are going to build a skyscraper right here that will have fountains in front, a circular driveway, and high- tech apartments to provide housing for many people."

God doesn't want our patched up old lives of semi-good works, and semi-good intentions, and semi-truths. He wants to completely rebuild us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Look, everything is brand new!" (II Cor. 5:17).

Perhaps this is a good time to assess your righteousness compared to God's, and let the love and forgiveness of Christ completely rebuild who you are meant to be in Him.

Have a wonderful Saturday discovering God's righteousness.

Like Father, Like Son

"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser. Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning" (Proverbs 9:9) Influence. We all have it, and we all have been affected by it. We all have influenced others without knowing it. From our parents telling the toddler "No, no, no," to our bosses sharing words of wisdom towards success, we are the product of those who have influenced our lives.

A nine year old boy was having deep psychological problems. He could not concentrate in school, and at home, he was withdrawn and uncooperative. He only referred to himself as a machine. He said he was made of transistors, capacitors, rotors, wiring and knobs. When he would become angry, he'd say, "Crash, pop! I blew a fuse." His mother took him to a child therapist. The counselor found out that the boy's father was an airline mechanic. When he came home from work, he would talk at length about his work, while ignoring his son. He would talk about how he was able to fix the problems on a particular machine, with its complex schematic of transistors, capacitors, rotors, wiring and knobs. The boy had "become" the object of that which most occupied his dad's attention, in order to be noticed and loved.

Whether good or bad, we are influencing those around us. What kind of influence are you? "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" (Rom. 14:19).

Have an uplifting and influential day in the Lord!

New Territory

" go where no man has gone before." That phrase gave us a sense of expectation and thrill in the Star Trek series. Yet, it is a basic principle of success. We might say it's a key element in successful networking.

Jesus was a great networker. He knew He had to get out and meet people. The Bible says, "He entered Capernaum," "He was come down from the mountain," "And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes." Jesus was always on the move, and knew that He must do what no man had done before. He did not put out a shingle which said "The Messiah is in," and expect people to come to Him. He was willing to talk with people of all walks of life, in various circumstances, and with complex needs.

What lies in store for those who are willing to go to new places and try new things with the Lord? Jesus told 500 people to go to Jerusalem, to the Upper Room and wait to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Only 120 disciples obeyed Him. What did they receive? They experienced the first Pentecost of the Church, the wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and empowerment to be a witness of "all that Jesus began both to do and teach." I can only imagine what that Upper Room experience must have been like. It was pivotal for the beginning of the Church.

God has great things for those of us who are willing to take a step of faith. Perhaps you have been sitting on the proverbial fence about a major decision. And the only thing holding you back is fear of the unknown. But you know, if God is in it, He will also empower you to succeed! And as Moses told Joshua, "Be strong, and of good courage, and DO IT!"

Have a stepping-out-faith-filled Monday in the Lord!

What You Love

What do you do best? What occupies most of your time, gives you the most satisfaction, provides you with a feeling of accomplishment, or brings you the greatest joy? You can tell a lot about yourself by just answering those questions.

Mike Murdock talks about how people become successful by staying in the center of their expertise. "What do you love to do?... What would you do with your life if money was not a factor? Your joy is determined by doing what you love.

Jesus associated with fishermen. He talked to tax collectors. Doctors and lawyers and religious leaders were regularly in His life. But He never wavered from His focus. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him" (Acts 10:38).

Jesus knew His mission. He stayed focused. I really believe that broken focus is the real reason men fail. Some people take jobs because they are convenient or close to their home. One man told me that he had spent his entire life working on a job that made him miserable. When asked why, he said, "It's only ten minutes from my house, and in three years I will receive a gold watch. I don't want to leave too early and miss my gold watch." What you love is a clue to your calling and talent. Jesus knew this."

So, are you doing what you love, or what you "should" be doing? Instead of looking back over a life of regrets, step out in faith and believe that God has given you talents, gifts, and passions to guide you into a life of joy and blessing!

Have a focused Tuesday in the Lord!

Same Love

How much does God love you? We know how much He loves the world, according to John 3:16, but do you know how much He loves you? "Well, that's very subjective," you may say. "I mean, He probably doesn't love me as much as He did Mother Theresa, or does Billy Graham. They were really good, and well, I'm not...quite as good."

May I suggest that our standard of love is not God's standard of love - that His is not based on our goodness, or perfection, or likability. We are a people who fall in and out of love. Our very definition of love is as fickle as the stock market. We even think we love our cars, our homes, our jewelry. But there is a definitive answer of how much God loves you. And it has nothing to do with your position in life, because Scripture plainly tells us that for those who follow the Lord "God does not show favoritism..." (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11).

Here is the Biblical answer on how much God loves you: "...and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them (those who have received Christ), AS thou hast loved me" (John 17:23). That's it!

We read right over this verse and miss the most important truth in it, THAT GOD LOVES US THE SAME AS HE LOVES HIS OWN SON, JESUS CHRIST! "But you don't know what I've done. You don't know how many times I've blown it. God can't possibly love me as much as He does His own Son." Hey, join the club. We all feel that way (except the Narcissists in the group). Thank God, His love is not dependent on how we feel! He shows no favoritism, and loves you just as much as He loves me, and as much as He loves Jesus Christ! (Wow, now that truth is going to be more "caught" than "taught").

So the next time you feel unloved, or you do something really stupid, and know that you've grieved the Holy Spirit - don't for one second think that has changed God's love for you! Unconditional love means exactly that - it is not based on any conditions. God loves you today, and tomorrow, and eternally - because He sees His own Son, Jesus Christ in you. SOMEBODY SHOUT, "AMEN!!!"

Have a wonderful Wednesday perceiving and receiving God's love!


Habits. They cling to us like a booger on our finger. The word habit comes from a Latin word which indicates that habits have us, instead of our having them. Instead of saying, "He has a bad habit," it would make more sense to say, "A bad habit has him."

It is mighty hard to shake me,
In my brawny arms I take thee,
I can either make or break thee,
I am Habit.

Through each day I slowly mold thee,
Soon my tight'ning chains enfold thee,
Then it is with ease I hold thee,
I am Habit.

Oft I've proved myself a pleasure,
Proved my self a priceless treasure,
Or a menace past all measure,
I am Habit.

Harmless though I sometimes seem, yet
My strange force is like a magnet,
Like a great and greedy dragnet,
I am Habit.

Though you sometimes fear or doubt me
No one yet has lived without me,
I am present all about thee,
I am Habit.

Choose me well when you are starting
Seldom is an easy parting,
I'm a devil or a darling,
I am Habit.
-Robert E. Sly

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us" (Hebrews 12:1). What habits have weighed you down, and are keeping you from enjoying all that God has promised you?

Enjoy the liberating love and presence of Jesus Christ in your life today, for "Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world"! - Amen.


Psalm 95:1 Oh come, Let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock Of our Salvation!

Getting up in the morning can be a difficult thing to do, especially this time of year when the weather begins to turn cold, there are many things to do. Climbing out of that nice warm bed may not be the difficult part of the morning; it may well be when the mind begins to spin again the problems of the day or the week. We may not want to face those things which life has thrown our way. We get up anyway and set about the daily tasks of life.

Such feelings of not desiring to go on are not reserved just for the mornings. They may strike at any moment during the day. An unexpected bill, an unlooked for problem at work, a pop quiz at school, a moment in the day once shared by a loved one who has passed on may easily move us to pull the shades, turn out the lights and crawl into a corner to hide from the thoughts and feelings.

"Let us go on" comes the encouragement from our gracious Lord. Go on not with gloomy, dismal thoughts, but with a shout for joy to the Lord. For we are to remember that, "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). The Lord our gracious Father is He who sends. He it is who guides and controls all things, leading us not to an end of misery but of eternal joy and peace. Let us then who believe in Jesus go on.

May God Bless you all and Have a Great Friday.

No Temptation

We all struggle with temptations. Those who mature and overcome temptations take responsibility for their actions. Those who keep falling usually are the ones who blame others, circumstances, the devil, timing, etc.

A story comes out of the Persian empire about a young man in the palace who was very weak when it came to temptation. He wanted to know how he could overcome those cravings. The king ordered the young man to carry a jar of oil, filled to the brim, from one end of town to the other. If even one drop was spilled, the young man would be beheaded. The jar was placed on his head and he set off, through the marketplace, passed the fair, and finally reaching the other end of town without spilling a drop. He was greatly relieved, and ushered back into the presence of the king. The king asked him, "Did you notice the beautiful women in front of the inn?" "No." "Did you notice the bag of gold the moneychanger was counting out?" "No." "Did you notice the juggler performing his amazing acts?" "No. I didn't notice any of those things.

I was concentrating on the jar of oil." "That's right. You did not see those temptations because you were focused on something far more important to you - your life!"

If you are going through the same pitfalls over and over, change your focus. Renew your love for the Lord and focus on the bigger picture - your spiritual health and happiness in the Lord!

Have an overcoming Saturday and God Bless.


Lamentations 3:39 say, "Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?"

If you know the book of Lamentations, then you know that before this verse the author had been complaining about how God had been unkind and severe. Here he seems to re-evaluate what he had been saying. He implies that neither he nor anyone else has any reason to complain. He says that we should not complain in view of our sins. If we are honest we know that we often prone to complain. However, we learn here that we ought not to complain but rather we should patiently submit to the will of God.

If we go back to Numbers 11:1 we get a good idea about how God feels about complaining. "Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp." It seems that from this example that when we complain we simply increase our misery and sorrow. As sinners our hardships and struggles are to be expected. Sin naturally brings on misery. If we are to complain we ought to complain about our sin and how easily we fall into it.

To never complain when we feel like we are under affliction is simply impossible. I am not saying we have to keep our mouths totally shut when we are struggling and our grief's and sorrows seem only to increase. In fact we find godly complaining in the words of David in Psalm 102: 1-11. David takes his struggles to the Lord and acknowledges, after his rant, throughout the rest of the chapter, the glory, graciousness, and compassion of God.

We must be sure not to complain to God. It is not a wise thing to complain about the sovereign ruler of the universe. As we saw in the passage in Numbers 11, God can silence complainers at his will. We also know that God can do no wrong so when things seem to go wrong with us, we know that God in not to be blamed. "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all," 1 John 1:5. When we are sick we don't go to the doctor and blame him for our illness. So also when we experience afflictions we do not go to God and blame Him for our troubles.

To complain is simply to torment ourselves. The origin of the word comes from a Latin word that means to lament. So to complain really signifies that we are making ourselves sad. It does not really mean that we are sad, but rather that by complaining we make ourselves sad. When we are tempted to complain we ought to remember a couple of verses which we also find in Lamentations 3: 22-23 which tells us, "The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness."

Have a successful and faithful day in the Lord!

Seeing What We Want

Expectations have a lot to do with what we encounter and receive in life. Those who seem to have a great deal, usually have high expectations, and are willing to make the effort to reach their goals.

Two men were on a boat returning from India. One was an English big game hunter, and the other was a missionary. The hunter said to the missionary, "I've been in India for 25 years, and I never saw one of the natives converted." "That's strange," said the missionary, "did you ever see a tiger?" "Hundreds of them," he replied, "and I have shot dozens in the hunt." "Well, I have been in India for many years, myself," said the missionary, "but I have never seen a tiger. But under the power of the Gospel of Christ, I have seen hundreds of the natives of India turn to the Savior!" One man was looking for tigers, the other was looking for souls.

What are you looking for today? What are you expecting to find?

"Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He will give thee the desires of thine heart" (Ps. 37:4)

Have a faith-filled day in the Lord! and God bless you all in this New year.

Jacob's Thigh

We've all heard, "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link." But have you ever considered the opposite? Our strongest characteristic or physical attribute may be the one weakness that's keeping us from a powerful and fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ. Our pride in our strengths may be our own undoing. Our self- confidence may be the very thing that pulls us away from our need of the Lord.

Have you ever wondered why, when Jacob wrestled with the angel, God touched the sinew of Jacob's thigh, and caused him to limp the rest of his life? This confused me for many years until I found out from a doctor that the sinew of the thigh is the strongest in the human body.

A horse could barely tear it apart. God had to break down Jacob's physical strength to get to his spiritual weakness. This is one of those "pearls of great price." We may have wonderful strengths. The world may ooh and aah at them. But if they are an obstacle to walking with God, He may choose to touch them in such a way as to get our attention. and demonstrate our total dependence on His strength, His will, His plans, and His goodness.

Something to think about. God bless!

Open Invitation

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24.

It is nearly impossible to have an intimate conversation with someone in a crowded room with all the noise and distractions. When we want to talk with God we don't need to shout across a room but simply step into His presence. In His presence everything else seems to vanish. The door has been opened for us to be with Him and to share our concerns, requests, and our needs and to receive from Him instruction, wisdom, and love. It is a time for us to mingle with God. Talk about hanging out with someone prominent. We have been afforded the opportunity to hang out with the Almighty Creator of the Universe. He has extended an open invitation and is always available and waiting for us to respond. In His presence we will find hope, peace, joy, acceptance and His unconditional perfect love. What are we waiting for?


Thank you Father for your love and your acceptance and the open invitation to come into your presence and share my thoughts my dreams my concerns, my sorrows, and my joys. You have been faithful to me always. I thank you for giving me strength, wisdom, joy, peace, hope, love, life, and the opportunity to hang out with you. Thanks for being my friend. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Remember What You Were

One fellow was bragging to another how important he was on his job. Not to be outdone, the other man said, "Well, I've got 500+ people under me where I work." "What do you do?" "I cut grass at the cemetery." It's been said, "He who thinks he leads, but has no one following, is only taking a walk."

Pride was not only the first sin, it is really the only sin. It demands its own way, sees only itself, and often ends up hurting others.

One Oriental ruler used to carry with him a mysterious chest of which no one knew the contents. After many years, his closest friend asked him about that chest. In much confidence, he was allowed to look inside. To his surprise, he saw only the common clothes of a peon. Then as he looked into the humble face of the ruler, he was told, "Such was I when our King deigned to lift me from the dust. If ever my heart is tempted with pride, I correct it by looking at these things, and saying, "Remember what you were."

As much as we'd like to take credit for our achievements, we need to humbly thank God for allowing us to do what we've done, and become what we are.

Have a grateful day, and spread it around.

Sons and Daughters

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.Philippians 3:9.

God never asks us to do anything alone. He is always with us giving us the ability and strength to accomplish whatever He requires. What He requires of us He is requiring of Himself through us. We can't forget where we came from and who we are now and why. We don't always do the right thing or feel like the righteousness of Christ, but we are. We are the sons and daughters of God and we owe all of who we are to Him. Our flesh may desire credit for what we accomplish so you could say it is natural to feel gratified with ourselves. There is no one who could live the standard without the standard (which is Christ Jesus) dwelling within them. We receive from Him treasures of wisdom and knowledge, sanctification and redemption; equipped by His word and His Spirit for whatever service we have been called. He began a work in our lives and will continue until the work is completed. As Paul says in Galatians 3:3 We are foolish if we think we can begin in the Spirit but complete the work ourselves in our flesh. To God be all the glory.


Thank you for making me the righteousness of Christ. Without Jesus I could not make it through a single day. All that I am and all that I hope to be is because of Him and the Holy Spirit which dwells within me. Let my life bear the fruit of your righteousness and bring glory to You. In You I trust. In Jesus sweet name I Pray.- Amen.

Have a Great Day and God Bless.

Sheep Thief or Saint

We all have our shortcomings. We all make mistakes. We all sin. Some of us take responsibility for our actions, and some of us blame others or circumstances. Some confess, receive forgiveness, and go on stronger than before. Some stay stuck in the same pattern and never grow.

In the late 1800's in a small southwestern town, two teenagers were caught stealing sheep. Usually they'd hang sheep thieves, but the town sheriff suggested they make an example of these two boys that would haunt them the rest of their lives. So, they branded the forehead of each boy with a large ST for sheep thief.

One boy felt he could never live down the disgrace in that town, and left, never to be heard from again. The other teenager decided to take his medicine like a man and make something of his life so the townsfolk would eventually forgive him, forget his crime and treat him like their own. He became very active in the social affairs of that town, worked very hard with his church and community, and after many years was privileged to be a well-respected and successful businessman.

Many years passed when one day a visitor dropped by the local barbershop and asked the barber who that old man was around town with that ST on his forehead. The barber told of the virtues of their leading citizen. Then came the question, "What does the ST stand for?" The barber stood there a minute and scratched his head, and replied, "Near as I can stands for... "Saint."

We may have done some real stupid things when we were young. But we serve a God who loves us and forgives us, and wants to bless our lives abundantly. Let Him!

Enjoy the day the Lord has made.

Asking and Receiving

Each time I come across the promises in the Bible that tell us that God will give us what we ask for, I'm tempted to ask for those things that I think will grant the fulfillment of all my dreams. Isn't that what we'd all like, to be able to make a "Dear Santa" letter and then receive everything on that list? But that's not how God works, nor is that what He is promising in these verses. In fact, in each case where He makes these promises there are conditions:

Promise: "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalm 37:4)

Condition: Before we can have the desires of our heart, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord. To delight in the Lord means that He becomes our desire, and our other "delights" become secondary.

Promise: "Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:2b-3)

Condition: We need to ask, but with the right motives. God wants us to come to Him with our requests. When we ask Him for what we desire, we show our trust and dependence on Him. But it is also important what our motives are for asking God for something. Is it primarily for our own pleasure and fulfillment? Or is it for the good of others and to fulfill God's purposes?

Promise: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13)

Condition: What we ask for must bring glory to God. "Whatsoever ye ask" should not be those things that will satisfy us, but rather those things which will further God's Kingdom and bring Him glory. If what we ask for does not bring God glory, He may not give it to us, and if He does upon our insistence, we may be sorry that He did.

Promise: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7)

Condition: What we ask for needs to line up with God's Word. When we abide in Christ, and His Words abide in us, we won't be as apt to ask for those things that are contrary to His Word.

Promise: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (I John 5:14-15)

Condition: What we ask for must be according to God's will. We can be confident that, if what we ask for is His will, He will grant it. If it isn't, He won't.


I realize that I often mistakenly think that what I'm asking for complies with these conditions simply because I want what I want so much. I have to admit that in my human fallibility I don't always know what God's will is, nor do I always delight in God first, nor are my motives always right.

And so as I humbly lay my requests before the Lord, I also acknowledge that in the end it is His choice to grant or deny them. He alone knows what is best. But I'm pleased to know that He still wants me to pour out my desires before Him, and to willing and trustingly let the final choice up to Him.

May God bless each one of us and have a great day of Promise.

Six Inches to Life

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. -PHILIPPIANS 4:7.

Perhaps you heard of the traveler in the country who was accosted by two men, who robbed him of everything he had. They blindfolded him and led him deep into the woods. There they tied a rope to the limb of a large oak and forced him to grab the other end. Then they swung him out into the surrounding space, telling him he was hanging over a large gorge. The instant he let go, he would drop to his death on the rocks below. And then they left him. He was filled with fear. He clutched to the rope with all his strength, trying to figure out how he could pull himself up. But with each panic-stricken moment that passed, his fate was certain. His grip slowly weakened. At last he couldn't hold on any longer. He could now only think of the loss to his wife and children...and all the things he would not accomplish in life. His clenched fingers relaxed their convulsive grip. He fell - six inches to the ground at his feet! It was only a trick so the thieves could make their get-away.

I often think we are like that man. We have been lied to, and made to believe that we hold our lives in our own hands. Our generation has become a group of "control freaks." One company's motto is: "If it is to be, it's up to me!" Instead of daily trusting Christ, we live in fear of not "doing enough," or "being good enough," or "missing something important." We are stressed out, burnt out, played out, strung out and wrung out, until we drop out, having given it our all-out, and finding ourselves just plain out!

Let's trust God again, and allow His peace to override the temporal problems and anxieties we all face today..."and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Have a peaceful Monday and God Bless.

Leprosy Blessing

And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.- Mark 12:33.

Sometimes we discover our greatest strengths in the most unlikely places and under the most adverse conditions.

A story is told of a Christian girl in India, who was about to be married. She was beautiful and the whole community loved her. But just weeks before her wedding, sores appeared on her hands, and it was discovered that she had leprosy. In those days there was only one place to go, the leper asylum. She was dressed in her beautiful white flowing sari, as she walked with her brother into that awful place. The women who were there were filthy, and their faces looked sad and hopeless. When she saw them she threw her head on her brother's shoulder, and wept and said, "My God, am I going to become like them?" She was so depressed, those around her were afraid she might try to take her life. The missionaries had compassion on her and asked if she would like to help some of those poor women. A ray of hope came to her and she caught a vision. She started a school, and taught the women to sing, read and write. She could play, so the missionaries bought her a folding organ.

Gradually a transformation took place. The houses were cleaned up, the women began to wash their clothes and comb their hair, and that horrible place became a place of blessing.

After being there for some time, she said, "When I first came to the asylum I doubted that there was a God. Now I know that God has a work for me to do, and if I had not become a leper, I never would have discovered my work. Every day I live, I thank Him for having sent me here, and that He has given me this work to do."

Maybe you've got an open door for your talents right in front of you, in the midst of that unpleasant circumstance. Just maybe.

Have a thankful Tuesday and God Bless.

What Meat Are You Eating?

"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." (John 4:34-35).

Once again Jesus shows to us by example that the concerns of this world are not what is most important, but rather those things which extend into eternity.

After Jesus' detour through Samaria and His revealing of Himself as the Messiah to the woman at the well, His disciples were concerned that Jesus should have something to eat, and His reply to them was that He had meat that they didn't know about. As the disciples were discussing with each other where He could have possibly gotten something to eat, Jesus explained that His "meat" was doing God's work.

Time after time Jesus drove this point home: following after God and furthering His Kingdom is to be our primary focus and goal in life, not what we are to eat or wear, not what our relationships are going to be, not what kind of money we are going to make, not what kind of house we are to live in....

This lesson comes at a time for me when several of these earthly concerns beg to take precedence in my focus. I am tempted to place my security and fulfillment in where I live, in my relationships, in whether or not there will be enough money -- and yet Jesus reminds me that my "meat" (the source of my strength) needs to lie in my continuing to do the will and work of my heavenly Father.

These earthly concerns will pass away, and along with them the opportunities to harvest the fields that are waiting for workers. I cannot waste my time worrying about these earthly concerns when God has already promised to be my Provider and my Sustainer. My concern is to make sure I am busy in His fields -- encouraging others to make Jesus their Lord and Saviour, and encouraging those who have already become His disciples to keep growing in Him.

What is your "meat" today? Is it a person that gives you your security? Is it your job that gives you reason to live? Is it knowing you have enough money to have the latest of everything that gives you satisfaction? Or is it being hard at work in the "fields", harvesting disciples for Christ's Kingdom which keeps you going day after day?

Don't put off the work of the harvest. Jesus said, "Don't say there are still four months." No, the fields are ready now. Each one of us is needed to get the job done. Not only will souls be harvested into God's Kingdom, but we will find a strength and satisfaction that no earthly "meat" will ever give us.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday and God Bless.

Calf Shoes

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? - 1Kings:3:9.

Are you trying to get someone to do what you want? Do you find the harder you push, the more difficult it is? Usually, the easiest way to motivate people is to find out what they want, and give it to them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson and his son were trying to get a calf into the barn, but they made the common mistake of thinking only of what they wanted: Emerson pushed and his son pulled. But the calf did just what they did - he thought only of what he wanted, so he stiffened his legs and stubbornly refused to leave the pasture. The Irish housemaid saw their predicament. She couldn't write essays and books, but, on this occasion at least, she had more horse sense, or calf sense, than Emerson. She thought of what the calf wanted, so she put her maternal finger in the calf's mouth, and let the calf suck her finger as she gently led him into the barn.

Now maybe you're in a similar situation at work. You've got a stubborn calf (your Boss or Head of the Department or Colleague) who won't budge. Try putting yourself in their shoes, and finding out what they want. Not only will you get them to move, but you also might make a friend, as someone who cares enough to find out who they are!

Have a Thoughtful Thursday and God Bless.

Silver Mirror

While currently teaching a series on finances, I've become much more aware of that precarious line between wanting to do our best with our God-given talents, and prosper as a reward, or to love money and all the things that it can buy, while neglecting the Lord and others.

One day a certain old, miserly, rich man visited a rabbi, who took him by the hand and led him to a window. "Look out there," he said. And the rich man looked out into the street. "What do you see?" asked the rabbi. "I see men, and women, and little children," answered the rich man. Again the rabbi took him by the hand, and led him to a mirror. "What do you see now?" "Now I see myself." Then the rabbi said, "Behold, in the window there in glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with silver, and no sooner is the silver added than you fail to see others, but see only yourself."

"When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay back" (Prov. 19:17).

God has given us two hands -- one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham

Have a prosperous and generous Friday!

No Fault in Him

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. - John 8:12

We'd all like to think we are "positive" people. I mean, very few of us will walk around admitting we live on the dark side of life, being critical, expecting the worst to happen, or having very little hope. I'm just glad no one records my conversations or thoughts during the course of a day. I'm sure there'd be a slam here, or a barb there. Criticism seems to be its own worst enemy.

A preacher announced a men's meeting in his church, proposing to give the men a chance to air their objections to Christianity. Over 1200 were present.

The first objector said, "Church members are no better than others." "The ministers are no good," said another. And so the objections were mentioned one after another, and the pastor wrote them down on paper: "Hypocrites in the church," "The church is a rich man's club," "Christians don't believe the Bible anymore" - 27 in all. When they were through the pastor read off the whole list, then tossed it aside, saying, "Boys, you have objected to us pastors, to church members, to the Bible, and other things but you have not said a word against my Master!" And in a few simple words he preached Christ to them as the faultless One, and invited them to come to Him, and believe on Him. 49 men responded.

Hopefully, as we walk with Christ, we will see our own faults, be less critical of others, and more willing to become like Him.

There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us,
To talk about the rest of us.
Have a great week and God Bless.

Pig in a Poke

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. -Galatians 6:7.

As intelligent adults of the 90's we'd like to think we are not easily deceived. With all the Hard Copies, and Inside Editions, we should be up on every scam and ruse on the street. Yet, we want something for nothing. Or we want to take a short-cut. And there are people who prey on those weaknesses. Remember, you can't buy a pig in a poke. Do you know where that saying came from? It seems to have come down from the English when people were off to the market to buy a fat pig for the family. "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggity jig." There were men who would act as pig farmers on their way to the market, and they'd come in step with a likely prospect. They'd convince the customer that it would be cheaper if they would buy their pig before they go to market (what with overhead and fees, and such). But they would tell the buyer that they had a wild pig in the sack (poke) and so couldn't open it up to show the customer, lest he escape and they'd both suffer a loss. So the customer would buy this "pig in a poke", but once he arrived home and opened the bag, he found only a large raccoon!

The Apostle Paul said, "Don't be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap."

Much of the deception in our lives comes from wanting the easy way out, up, or in, - but it all comes around, because you "can't buy a pig in a poke."

Have a prosperous and honest Sunday!!

Run over faith

Though many of us would not openly admit this, many Christians think that God places us in a bubble of protection where the world or pain cannot touch us. Then, when something adverse happens, we are shocked, disappointed in God, confused, and thrown for a loss in our faith.

It reminds me of the cowboy on the western frontier who came across an Indian lying flat with his ear to the ground. The Indian said, "Wagon...four horses...two people...woman wearing calico gown...heavy man driving...10 minutes away." The cowboy said, "That's amazing. Can you tell all that just by putting your ear to the ground?" The Indian, rather aggravated, said, "No! Him run over me 10 minutes ago!"

Well, perhaps you feel like that right now. Someone you trusted has betrayed you, or you've been crushed by circumstances beyond your control. And your prayer is, "God, where are you? Don't you care? Can't you see what I'm going through!"

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?.... So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good" (I Pet. 4:12-17,19).

Today, when we get run over, may we find God's grace to make our cups run over with praise for Him!

Trapped Monkeys

Every once in a while, it's good to take a "priority check" of our lives. I know I am ready at a moment's notice to expound on my Christian faith, but the truth is, my lifestyle isn't always in line with the principles I would fight "tooth and nail" for.

It's much like the story of the North Africans who have a creative way of catching monkeys. They take a gourd, hollow it out, and cut a hole just large enough for the monkey to thrust his hand into the gourd, which is filled with nuts and fastened firmly to a tree branch at sunset. During the night a monkey will pick up the scent of food, discover the gourd, and will put his hand into it while grasping a handful of nuts. But the hole is too small for the monkey to withdraw his clenched fist, and he doesn't have enough sense to let go of his bounty so that he may escape. So he pulls and pulls without success, and when morning comes he is easily and quickly taken.

Unfortunately, many humans have no more sense than those monkeys when it comes to the trappings of the world. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Jesus asked (Mark.8:36).

May you prosper today in body, soul and spirit!

Have Thoughtful Tuesday and God Bless

Nailing Honesty

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. - 2Corinthians:1:12

Even as believers, there are times we may do something wrong and are too embarrassed to admit it. We think if we confess it, it will ruin our testimony. And suddenly we are caught in a tight place where our conscience keeps eating away at us - like the following guy:

One boatbuilder confessed to his pastor that he had been taking very expensive copper nails home from his workplace. His boss was an unbeliever, whom he had shared the Gospel with many times, and invited him to church. But his boss just ridiculed Christians and religion. The boatbuilder was building his own boat at home and was using the copper nails from work because they do not rust in the water. He said, "I can't go to my boss and tell him what I've done, or offer to pay for those I've used. If I do he will think I'm just a hypocrite, and yet those copper nails are digging into my conscience, and I know I'll never have peace untill I put this matter right."

A few weeks passed and he came to the pastor again, and said, "Pastor, I've settled the matter of the copper nails, and my conscience is relieved at last!" "What happened when you confessed?" asked the pastor. "Oh, he looked at me strangely, and said, 'George, I always did think you were just a hypocrite, but now I'm beginning to feel there's something in this Christianity after all. Any religion that makes a dishonest worker confess that he has been stealing copper nails, and offer to settle for them, must be worth having.'"

How's your conscience today? Or do you have some unfinished business to take care of before you can have the peace of God, again?

Let's make this an:
"I'm-going-to-confess-to-him/her-regardless-of-the-consequences" day, and trust the Lord for the results. Have a good one and Good Day.

Have Witnessing Wednesday and God Bless.

Giving Unfreezes

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.- Hebrews.4:16.

We are such a self-driven society, it's easy to get caught up in our own little world. Somebody once said, "The person who is wrapped up entirely in himself makes a very small package."

A man, who was hiking in the mountains, was taken by surprise in a sudden snowstorm, and quickly lost his way. He knew he needed to find shelter fast, or he would freeze to death. Despite all of his efforts, his hands and feet quickly went numb. In his wandering he literally tripped over another man who was almost frozen. The hiker had to make a decision: Should he help the man, or should he continue on in hopes of saving himself?

In an instant he made a decision and threw off his wet gloves. He knelt beside the man and began massaging his arms and legs. After the hiker had worked for a few minutes, the man began to respond and was soon able to get on his feet. Together the two men, supporting each other, found help. The hiker was later informed that by helping another, he had helped himself. His numbness vanished while he was massaging the stranger's arms and legs. His heightened activity had enhanced his circulation and brought warmth to his hands and feet.

Could we actually be helping ourselves by giving ourselves to others? Why don't we try it and find out?

Enjoy the Cold Weather!!

Have a Thoughtful Thursday and God Bless.


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is HE that is in you, than he that is in the world.-1John.4:4

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be a specialist these days? There are shops that just work on your brakes, and others that will just change your oil. There are doctors that just treat your ears, nose and throat, and others who just work on your feet. There are lawyers who only handle divorces, and others who just do wills. There are housecleaners who don't do windows, and window washers who don't clean homes. We may have to stand in one line for one thing, and then another line for something else. Aaaaggghhh!!!!

A man who had just been promoted to vice-president boasted so much about it to his wife that she finally retorted, "Vice-presidents are a dime a dozen. Why, in the supermarket, they even have a vice- president in charge of prunes."

Furious, the husband phoned the supermarket in the expectation of proving his wife wrong. He asked to speak to the vice-president in charge of prunes. "Which kind?' asked the cashier, "packaged or bulk?"

Aren't you glad that the Lord is not limited in His outreach to us? (Though I often hear how God can't do something, or doesn't do miracles anymore, or won't heal us from certain diseases). He CAN save, heal and deliver. He IS the great "I Am!" He said, "I am, that I am." He IS everything we need for health, joy, peace, strength, love, friendship, hope, salvation, and freedom! "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Lk. 12:7). "Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you" (I Pet. 5:7). "Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you" (Is. 46:4).

Today, may we limit God less, and believe Him more.

Have a friendly and faithful Friday and God Bless.

New name

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1John.1:9

We call ourselves one thing. Our friends call us something else. Our family has nicknames for us. And coworkers may give us different monikers. Names are ways of denoting identity and belonging. But God knows who we really are - aside from names, titles, nicknames, or pedigrees.

When Napoleon's horse ran away and a lowly soldier caught him, Napoleon said, "Thank you, Captain." Knowing that Napoleon's word was better than money in the bank, the soldier at once packed his belongings, moved to the officers' quarters, and started eating meals with them. The emperor had called him captain, and he was therefore an officer.

When we come to Jesus Christ with all our sin and guilt, and allow His blood to cleanse us from every stain - He gives us a new name: "Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and name better than of sons and of daughters. I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off" (Isaiah 56:5). "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God...and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name" (Rev. 3:12). "For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God" (Eph. 2:18,19).

Have a great day knowing that you are no longer a stranger, but in Christ, God has given you a new name! Amen & Alleluia. God Bless.

Prepare the sails

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. - 1John.5:4

Faith is not just something we believe. Our churches are filled with those who say they believe in God and His power to save, heal and deliver - but their lives contradict their "faith." Real faith is that which affects our thoughts, plans and actions.

When the famous missionary, Hudson Taylor, first went to China, it was in a sailing ship. At one point, the ship was drifting dangerously close to cannibal islands, due to a lack of wind. It was evident, by the savages gathering on the shore, that they were anticipating a feast. The captain came to Mr. Taylor and begged him to pray to God for help. "I will," said Taylor, "provided you set your sails to catch the breeze." The captain declined to make himself a laughing stock by unfurling in a dead calm. Taylor said, "I will not undertake to pray for the vessel unless you will prepare the sails." And finally, it was done.

While still praying, there was a knock on the stateroom door. The captain shouted, "Mr. Taylor, are you still praying for wind?" "Yes." "Well," said the captain, "you'd better stop praying, for we have more wind than we can manage." And sure enough, within a hundred yards of shore, the wind filled the sails, and robbed the cannibals out of their intended prey.

"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works. Show me they faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:18-20).

On this Monday, if we are praying for God to add, subtract, divide or multiply something in our lives, then lets cooperate with Him for the results. Because faith means "preparing the sails!"

Have a Marvelous Monday and God Bless.

Holy dove

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.Matthew.3:16:

It's not a mistake that, at the baptism of Christ, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove (Mark 1:10). The Spirit did not come rushing out of the bush as a roaring lion to scare people off. Nor did He come as a sly fox to trick us with His clever wit. Nor did He come as a flitting bat who only loves the darkness. Nor did He come as a vulture to pick to pieces those who were weak and dying. Nor did He come as an ox, which is strong, but nothing more than a servant. No, the Holy Spirit came as a dove, who is gentle and inviting - who welcomes us to draw near in fellowship - who represents peace around the world ("...but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" Rom. 8:6).

The Greek word for "spirit" is "pneuma" which also means "wind." On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was presented to the believers as a "rushing mighty wind." We are told not to "grieve" or "quench" the Holy Spirit. It's not that God is fragile, but that His "still small voice" can only be heard by hearts that are quiet in His presence. A dove is easily scared away, and our fellowship with the Lord can easily be disrupted by the noise of the world.

Ironically, we receive the most power, the anointing, when we quiet ourselves before the Lord and become filled with His Spirit. D.L. Moody asked his audience, "How can I get the air out of this glass?" One man said "Suck it out with a pump." "But that would create a vacuum and shatter the glass," replied Moody. After many impossible solutions, Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. "There. All the air is now removed." He then went on to show that victory in the Christian life is not by "sucking out a sin here and there," but rather by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

"And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:18-20).

Have a fantastic Tuesday getting rid of a lot of hot air by being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Water walking

It's not unusual for a group of believers to respond differently to a miracle or mighty move of God. One such instance was when Jesus came through the storm, walking on the water, as the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 14:22-33). Although they were all afraid, thinking it was Jesus' ghost, only Peter had enough faith to believe he would be safe at the Lord's side, even on the water.

But I can't help wonder what the other disciples were thinking as Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water with him. Perhaps I may be granted a little liberty in reading their minds:

Thomas: "Wait! It is physically impossible to walk on water."
Matthew: "Hey, I don't remember any Old Testament prophecies about water walking."
John: "If you don't mind, I'm staying with the fellowship."
Philip: "Go, Peter. Show us the way!"
James: "I'm with John."
Judas: "Yo! If I don't get paid for it, I'm not going to try it."
It's not surprising to hear all these comments in churches when the Lord begins to touch peoples' lives. The question is: "Which comment are we making?" Or are we stepping out of the boat of security, and by faith, doing the impossible under the protection and guidance of our Lord, Jesus Christ? As with Peter, even when our faith wavers, we will sense the strong hand of Christ rescuing us, calming the storm, and bringing us safely home.

There's a lot of safety in the boat, but the real growth in faith is in the storm with Jesus as He says, "Be of good cheer; it is I. Be not afraid" (Matt. 14:27). Someone recently asked, "Where is the safest place on Earth?" The answer came, "In the center of God's will."

Have a Trusting Tuesday as you believe God for water-walking faith!

Rockefeller's remedy

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; - 1Timothy.6:17.

Are your priorities good for you? I mean, do the things that captivate your attention bring you good health in body, mind and spirit?

John D. Rockefeller, Sr. determined to earn as much money in life as possible, no matter what. At age 33, he made his first million. By 43, he controlled the largest company in the world. And by age 53, he was the richest man on earth. Then he developed a disease known as alopecia, where all the hair falls out, eyebrows and lashes included. His body became a living shell. Although his weekly income was more than a million dollars, he could only eat milk and crackers. He was so hated in Pennsylvania that he had to have bodyguards day and night. He could not sleep, had no reason to smile, and stopped enjoying anything in life.

The doctors predicted he would not live out the year. The newspaper had written his obituary in advance. Those sleepless nights made him think. He finally realized that he could not take one dime into the next world. Money wasn't everything. The next morning, he was a new man. He began to help churches with his enormous wealth. He concentrated on the poor and the needy. Heestablished the Rockefeller Foundation, whose funding of medical researches led to the discovery of penicillin and other wonder drugs. John D. began to sleep well, eat normally and finally enjoy life with a whole new outlook. Although the doctors said he would die at 54, he lived to be 98!

We were not designed to hoard riches, alienate people, or work 24/7. It's amazing what will happen when the love of Jesus Christ draws us to the needs of others - when we are no longer the center of our world. There is healing and joy in giving!

If you can, find the fullness of God's joy today, by giving it to someone else!

Have a Generous and wise Wednesday and God Bless.


That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. - Eph:5:27

Let's get one thing straight. A true Christian is not one who understands all truth, and never sins. That's like saying a baby or toddler can read, drive a car, and balance a checkbook. The growth of the believer involves the same trials and errors that we experience in child development. Many unbelievers complain that there are too many hypocrites in the Church. (A convenient excuse why not to get involved). The truth is, every church is filled with believers in different stages of maturity: Newborn, toddlers, primaries, teens, adults, and elders.

The word "hypocrite" originally came from the verb "hupokrinesthai" which means "to answer." Then it came to mean "an actor" on the stage who answers a role. Finally, it came to mean a man who is constantly acting a part, while concealing his real motives. A hypocrite then, would be a person whose alleged profession is for his own profit and prestige, and not for the service and glory of Christ.

When faced with the objection that "there are too many hypocrites in the Church," I will often agree and say, "And since you have such a keen sense of right and wrong, you need to get saved, and become an active member of the Church so you can show those hypocrites how to really live a godly life for the Lord!"

"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (I Pet. 2:1-3).

May God give us the maturity to see the stick in our own eye, before we try to remove the speck in someone else's, so that one of the signs of a growing church would be a pile of "sticks" at the front door!

Have a Thoughtful Thursday and God Bless.


For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. - Romans.8:15

There seems to be a proliferation of adoptions going on, lately. I don't mean babies. I mean everything else: Adopt-a-highway; adopt-a-pet; adopt-a-grandparent; adopt-a-park; adopt-a-bed (flower beds at schools that the ISDs won't pay to maintain); adopt-a-teen; adopt-a-landmark; adopt-a-beach (for cleanup); even, adopt-a-pew! The good thing about these adoption programs is that they teach us what adoption means: "To take legal responsibility as one's own."

We've all met Christians who are proud, and even arrogant in their faith, as though they deserve to be saved. But John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave He power (or the right) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." All that we can do to be "adopted" into God's eternal family is to "believe and receive."

Now, no one will make a big deal about someone who reaches out and receives a gift. "Oh, wow! Did you see the way he took that gift? What a great receiver!" No, the praise goes to the giver, not the receiver! "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Rom.8:15). You see, there is only one Son of God, Jesus Christ. We become sons and daughters of God "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9).

So the next time you see an "adopt-a-something" sign, remember that, by the wonderful grace and compassion of our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, you have been adopted into His forever family!

Have a Fabulous Friday thanking God for His great gift, and putting up a sign in your office: "Adopt-a-praise!"

Faith vs. Hope

Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. - Hebrews.6:14

I have to confess something. I've been getting hope mixed up with faith, again. I've been praying in hope, and walking in hope. But scripture doesn't say, "The just shall live by hope," or "Without hope it is impossible to please Him..." or "Now hope is the substance of things believed in, the evidence of things not seen," or "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our hope."

Many people pray in hope, but do not exercise their faith. Hope without faith is nothing but a pipe dream - a wish - a fantasy - a roll of the dice. Faith tells the believer that it is done NOW according to God's promise. Faith personalizes our walk with Christ. It makes the general Word of God (Logos), the specific Word for you (Rhema). Oh, we may not see the end result of our faith until some time later, but faith says it has already been accomplished. Now, walking by faith will bring about these results: No fear, no worry, no doubt, joy, comfort, peace, growth, hope, guidance, patience, self- control and love.

Why should we believe that we can even have faith?
1. God shows no favoritism (Acts 10:34)
2. Faith comes from trusting in God's Word (Rom. 10:17)
3. God doesn't want anyone to be lost (II Pet. 3:9)
4. God loves us so much, He sent His own Son to die in our place (Jn.3:16)
5. God will never let us go through anything we can't handle in Christ (I Cor. 10:13)
6. God never changes (Mal. 3:6)
7. God is in the forgiveness business (I Jn. 1:9)
8. We could not enter God's presence without it (Rom. 5:1)

After 27 years in Christ, my conclusion is that, I have only as much faith as I want. God has "opened the windows of heaven and poured out blessings that there wasn't room enough to receive" (Mal. 3:10). And why isn't there room enough to receive His blessings? Because I have a stopped-up faith which makes God's abundant shower, my trickle. I need a spiritual Roto-Rooter. So, there's going to be some changes! I'm preparing myself to receive all that God has for me!! How about you?

Have a great and Blessed Saturday remembering that we don't serve a stingy God, but One who is able to do "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us!" (Eph. 3:20).

Small big things

O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?- Deut.3:24.

Never underestimate the power of small things, for "Who despises the day of small things?" (Zech. 4:10).

Baker and Lukas in 1623, published a Bible in England which was nicknamed "the Wicked Bible" because the little word "not" was omitted in the seventh commandment: 'Thou shalt not commit adultery." The printers were heavily fined by the High Commission and the whole edition destroyed. Fortunately, there were few casualties.

On a more positive note, the Bible is filled with illustrations of men and women who had very little, but were used by God in mighty ways: Moses and his rod; Samson and a donkey's jawbone; Gideon and his trumpets; David and his sling; Elijah and a little meal and oil; a mustard seed; and 5 loaves and 2 small fish.

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in His presence" (ICor. 1:27-29).

Can you imagine what God can do with what you have, when it is fully surrendered to Him? Let's stop thinking like the world, and what it "takes to get ahead." What we have in our hand may seem small, but our Lord is in the multiplication business!

May your small things become big possibilities in the Master's hands!

Have a Surprising and Blessed Sunday, God Bless.

Right hand love

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.- Eph:3:17

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. - 1John:4:7

There is rarely a better picture of God's love for us on earth, than the love and commitment a married couple might have for each other. In fact, men are told just how much they should love their wives, "just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.... In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself" (Eph. 5:25,28). Conversely, wives are told to "submit to your husbands as to the Lord" (vs. 22). This passage has stirred much controversy in our independent society, until we actually see this type of love in action.

During the Crusades, a knight was taken captive by the Moslem Saladin. The knight begged for his life, claiming that he had a wife in England who loved him dearly. Saladin commented that she would soon forget him and marry another. On second thought, the cruel chieftain offered to set the man free if the lady in question would send her right hand as a token of her love for her husband. When word was sent to this lady in England, she immediately cut off her right hand and sent it to Saladin. The man was promptly returned to England. There is a statue of this faithful woman in one of the old cathedrals of England. The knight's wife is depicted as very attractive, with a flowing gown, love etched on her face, and... without her right hand.

Our heavenly Father has given us relationships to understand and grow in His love. Perhaps, this would be a good time to evaluate the kind of commitment we have for each other, and "close" any back doors, or "erase" any loopholes that would hinder our love.

Enjoy this Monday, and give those you love the right hand of fellowship!


Jesus often used animals to refer to certain types of people. In Matthew 10:16 He said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." One of the strangest things that ever happened to a man in the Bible is found in Daniel 4:28-33 when Nebuchadnezzar was cursed to become the very animal he portrayed in life. "Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird."

For example, are you: Wise as an Owl; Graceful as a Gazelle; Clever as a Fox; Proud as a Peacock; Meek as a Mouse; Cold as a Fish; Silly as a Goose; Busy as a Bee; Dumb as an Ox; Eager as a Beaver; Cuddly as a Kitten; or Gentle as a Lamb? What animal would you be turned into if you were in Nebuchadnezzar's shoes?

The lessons we learn from this passage are:
1. Pride goes before destruction (Prov. 16:18)
2. God will always keep His Word (Rom. 3:4)
3. Sin will always have its price (Num. 32:23)
4. God's chastening is meant to develop godliness (Heb. 12:11)
5. God will always seek reconciliation with us (II Pet. 3:9)

Have a great and Thoughtful Tuesday, and remember, "The person who is all wrapped up in himself, makes a very small package."

Eternal bleach

And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.-Acts.22:16

Another one of life's lessons learned the hard way. Don't ever do anything with bleach when wearing dress slacks. So now my nice pants have been demoted to golf slacks. Hey, I'll be the best dressed golfer on the course. Clorox has cornered the bleach market around the world. You never realize how big bleach is in our daily lives, until you meet thousands of people making good livings by producing and marketing a powerful little liquid. Does anyone know what's in bleach? When all else fails, you can usually count on bleach to do the job. It not only cleans, it vanishes stains. There seems to be no rival, other than exposure to the sun. After you've tried cleanser, ammonia, nail polish remover (I borrowed it, okay?), and a chisel - bleach will finish the job.

God has given us a spiritual bleach. It is very costly - no, priceless! There is no rival. Nothing can clean and vanish the stain of our sins more than this precious and eternal liquid. It hit the market nearly 2000 years ago. It is carried in every gospel-preaching church. Even before it was mass distributed, it was test-marketed on an Old Testament people called the Hebrews. It was 100% effective for everyone who placed this on their door posts. Today, it will work on young and old alike. Its powers transcend cultural, economic, race, religious, and political barriers. And when one is exposed to the Son and this liquid, every sin and spiritual stain is completely and eternally removed! "'Come now, let us reason together', 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'" (Is. 1:18).

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I Jn. 1:7).

May Christ's blood wash away that which you've been trying to scrub out of your life for years.

Have a Washed and Witnessing Wednesday and God Bless.

Soul whole

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. - Psalms.100:4

Some believers don't know whether God is talking to them, they are thinking it themselves, or the devil is tempting them. One way that is almost foolproof in detecting Satan's tactics is that he will point out what you don't have: "You don't have enough money; you don't have enough talent; you aren't good looking enough; you can't do it like she does; you aren't strong enough; you don't have enough smarts." Sound familiar? Why do so many of us believe that physical wholeness and ability are the same. If we are good at football, we think, we surely will be highly successful in the business sector. The man who makes my real estate signs played with the Dallas Cowboys for nine years. Any casual sport fan would know his name. I asked him why he didn't capitalize on his fame after he retired (being caught in my own trap as devil's advocate). He simply said, "That's not me. I enjoy making signs."

They took away what should have been my eyes,
(But I remembered Milton's Paradise).
They took away what should have been my ears,
(Beethoven came and wiped away my tears).
They took away what should have been my tongue,
(But I had talked with God when I was young).
He would not let them take away my soul,
(Possessing that I still possess the whole).
-Helen Keller

One of the greatest joys next to salvation in Christ Jesus, is knowing that you are in the center of God's will! Instead of looking at what you don't have, thank God for all that He has given you, and watch your whole perspective change. "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over" (Psalm 23:5).

Enjoy the day, knowing that your wholeness is found in Christ, not your abilities!

Have a Thankful Thursday and God Bless.

Mirror image

There was a truck right behind me, blocking my view. I looked in my side view mirror and stepped on the gas. After I had successfully slipped into the next lane and was on my way, I realized that I had trusted completely in what I saw in the mirror. There was no way I could physically look back at the traffic. I trusted in a piece of glass that merely reflected light off other objects, yet I never once questioned what it told me. In essence, I put my life on the line for a reflection - an image.

I've been asked many times why I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Perhaps the simplest way to explain my faith is found in Colossians 1:15-20 "He is the IMAGE of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross." "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority" (Col. 2:9,10).

Jesus Christ is the only true image of God, for whom I have placed my eternal destiny.

Have a great Friday and, if you're feeling lonely, remember, "OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR!"

Sheep & Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. - Psalms:23:1-3.

There are many paths to travel in life but they all come down to only two. The one is the path to destruction and the other is the path spoken of here, the path of righteousness. The masses will follow the path of destruction and will gleefully gone along its twists and turns and high and lows never realizing until it is too late where they will end up. They will be deceived into thinking that because they have many companions with them that they surely must be right.

Left unto themselves the sheep would join right in with the masses on the broad path to destruction. Thanks be unto God He has not left the sheep to choose the wrong path, but the Great Shepherd leads them in paths of righteousness for His name sake. We are told that natural man would never see or even sense that there was such a path.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. - John 10:11.

Left unto themselves they go about seeking to establish their own self righteousness. However, the sheep of the Great Shepherd are lead along the safe and pleasant path of righteousness for the sake of the Name of their Great Shepherd. How blessed they are to be so led, led along the path of the righteousness of the One who is their Great Shepherd the One who bought their redemption at the price of His own shed blood and is their complete and perfect Savior.

Indeed we might add here that the Lord God chose that path of righteousness before the foundation of the world for His elect sheep and not one of them will fail to walk that path in their life time. How blessed it is to walk along a path that you know was purposed by a loving heavenly Father with your best interest in mind.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. - John 10:14.

Have a great Saturday and follow the Shepherd.

White noise

1. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.- 2Corinthians:4:1.

White noise is defined in Encyclopedia Brittanica as "a complex signal or sound covering the entire range of frequencies, or tones, all of which have equal intensity." Many people use white noise to help them meditate or sleep. Noise, however, is generally undesirable, because it masks information. White noise can cause confusion by covering the actual signals.

We encounter noise around us constantly. We hear the sounds of the traffic outside or the TV inside. Our families provide a constant source of words and sounds. We are even aware of the more subtle sounds around us, like a dripping faucet or the refrigerator running. Some noise is unpleasant. We learn to tune out much of the noise around us, hearing only the information we deem important. Children are particularly good at selective hearing, blocking out the voice of mom calling them home when they are not ready.

Unfortunately, we often get so good at tuning out undesired noise, that we often stop listening to the important information. Many arguments occur due to lack of communication, one person not hearing the words of the other. We keep the TV on and tune it out, yet the words and information still reach our ears. Confusion reigns when we can no longer distinguish between the important information and the white noise.

This often happens in our walk with Christ. God's truth is the true information, but it is often covered by the white noise of man-made doctrines and practices. We become confused when we can no longer distinguish between the two. Many of the ideas coming from man sound good, and seem to play a valuable role.

It is very important to discern between the true message of the gospel and the false ideas of man-made doctrine. Through prayer and Bible study, we can set aside those things that distract us. When our focus is on God and we hear His word, we will know His peace.

Have a Great Saturday and Listen to God's Voice.


1. And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 3.And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 4.And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. - Numbers 14:1-4.

A harbour is normally a place of safety. The boat that is moored in its slip appears protected, but in the midst of a storm, being secured is dangerous. The boat is tossed in the wind and the waves, crashing against anything that stands in its way. After a storm, we often view pictures of boats stacked upon one another, splintered by the lashing they received.

Smart boat owners will take their boats out to sea, set anchor, and ride out the storm. This seems downright crazy. After all, who would leave the comfort of home to go out in a storm? I imagine there are moments that are terrifying. For some, the fear can be overwhelming and they question the decision to leave the safety of the harbour. They want to go back. A well-trained captain will know how to ride out the storm, and will not turn back.

The Israelites faced a similar dilemma. They knew Egypt was not a safe haven, but the uncertainly of what lie ahead was overwhelming.

Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua knew that before them lie a land flowing with milk and honey. They cried out to the Israelites to have faith in God. Yet the people still rebelled.

Sometimes we are called out of our comfort zone. God moves us away from the safe harbour to ride out the storm. He trains us to stand up against the wind and the rain, so that we will still be standing when the storm blows over. Ride out the storm in faith, away from the harbour, with the knowledge God gives you. You will be blessed.

Have a Miraculous Monday and God Bless.

Weight Loss

Romans 13:11. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

When you successfully diet, many things change about your body. As the pounds drop, you find physical activity is easier, breathing steadies, your heart and other organs work well. As the pounds drop, your physical appearance changes. Clothes that once were snug become looser, until they are too big to even wear. It can be very frustrating to wear a pair of jeans that are much too big. The advantages of weight loss far outweigh the disadvantages of buying new clothes.

Accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is something like weight loss. We unburden ourselves of the things that weigh us down. He takes away our sins. As we go through the process of sanctification, we realize that our old clothes no longer fit and we must replace the old with the new.

Weight loss is a process. We don't lose 30 pounds overnight. We take one day at a time, eating properly and exercising, working toward a goal. At first the clothes do not feel too bad. We hide the fact that they do not fit with big shirts and belts. We continue to put up with the clothes which no longer fit, until the day when we can no longer stand them.

Our relationship with Christ is the same way. At first, we continue in our old ways, covering them with new ideas and actions, which seem to hold up the old clothes. As the process continues, we realize that our old ways no longer fit our new bodies, and that we must remove those death clothes. Then we can clothe ourselves with Jesus Christ and His righteousness. This is LIFE.

Have a Tremendous Tuesday and Keep your Health fit.

The Benchmark

One of the favorite texts is found in Rom 12:2. It reads, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

"Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

God's acceptance of us enables us to feel security and therefore we do not need to sacrifice our values just to receive the acceptance of others. We have no need to be acclimatized anywhere accept in God's Kingdom. God's Kingdom has a culture that liberates and gives amble opportunity for ultimate growth as a child of the heavenly King.

God grants us insight, intelligence and wisdom to discern right and wrong. He enables us to understand real value in life and what choices we need to make that will produce happiness and growth not only for ourselves but for our families and friends who associate with us. With God in us we become the benchmark for others. We will know God's will for our lives.

Have a Witnessing Wednesday and God Bless.

Don't Blame God!

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. - Psalms.91:4

Do you ever get tired of everything being blamed on God? When people get sick often they say, "It must be God's will." If there has been a tragic accident once again people say, "It must be God's will."

Do we ever stop to think about what we are saying about God? He tells us to call him Father. If we had a human father who caused his children to be ill or have car accidents not only would we take the children away from him, we would most likely put him in jail so he could not get near another child.

Jesus tells us to call God our Father because like any other good Father He wants the very best for His children. Jesus told us that He came that we might have life and have to its fullest. That certainly does not include being kicked around by some superior force.

Then why do bad things happen to us? We live in a world of consequences. People make mistakes and thus people suffer. People age. People have accidents. Machines break. While it is true that God does answer prayer it is also true that Christianity is not an insurance policy against all risks in life. If it were, everyone would be a Christian, not because they loved the Lord and for the character building changes He makes in our lives, but just because it was a way to avoid pain.

Jesus never promised us that we could avoid pain. He only promised to be there with us. He promised to give us the strength to bear life in this world. Some day soon He will come and take us to that place where there will be no more pain.

Have a Task facing Thursday and God Bless.

Jesus is a Verb!

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. - John.14:21

When I was a little boy I had to learn the Ten Commandments as memory verses. Those were the days when we always and only used the King James Version so when I was reading Exodus last evening in the New International version verse 6 of chapter 20 jumped off the page at me and said, "This is different." The King James Version reads, "And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." The translators of the New International Version changed it to read, "but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." They replaced the word "Mercy" with the word "Love."

This set me to wondering if the words "Love" and "Mercy" are the same thing and thus interchangeable. The dictionary defines "Mercy" as being compassionate and forgiving. It seems to me that is different from "Love." It is a fruit or a product of love. Because He loves us He is compassionate and forgiving.

For those of us who have received God's forgiveness and compassion the name "Jesus" is not only a proper noun but becomes a verb. For thousands of years God told people He loved them. 2000 years ago He put that into action in His gift to us in a manager in Bethlehem.

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is God putting His government, His philosophy, His promises, His proclamations, His character, His universal reputation, His dreams for His creation into tangible reality. No longer was it an idea or belief now it had become flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is a verb.

Have a Fantastic Friday with Jesus Christ.


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. - Ecclesiates 3:1.

There are specific times when farmers do certain jobs. In the spring, they plant crops, which are watered and grow. In the fall, they harvest the fruits of thier labour. Some crops need to be planted early in the season, some later. Some crops may have two or three growing seasons in one year. The farmer knows which crop needs to be planted at which time, and when they need to be harvested.

Take potatoes. A potato farmer knows exactly the moment a potato needs to be put in the ground, and when those potatoes need to be uprooted. Too early, and the crop will not be fully developed. Too late and the crop will go rotten. There is a time to uproot.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;-Ecclesiastes 3:2

We like to set our own time for things. We plan our lives down to the minutest detail, scheduling time with our kids like appointments with the doctor. We keep calendars which are jam packed with meetings and activities, leaving no room for the unexpected encounter with a friend. We like to think our time is under our control, forgetting that God has a time and a purpose for everything.

The agricultural cycle has been in existance for as long as man has domesticated the land. The Jewish festivals and feasts revolve closely around the cycle, showing God's hand even in the mundane task of growing food for the people. When man tries to change the cycle to fit his desires, the crops do not prosper.

When we witness the Lord Jesus Christ to people, we like to set the time. We think, "I will plant the seed now, watch it prosper and harvest it in my time." We forget that God's hand is involved in witnessing. God sets the time for His children to be born, physically and spiritually. God sets the time for death, of self and flesh. God sets the time for seeds to be planted, and He sets the time for the harvest to be taken. Listen to the Spirit, and work according to God's time, the harvest you see will be plentiful.

Have a Satisfied Saturday and God Bless.

The Number 13

I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. - Isaiah.43:12

Recently we had a Friday the 13th and I found out something I didn't know. There is actually a name for those who have a fear of it: paraskevidekatriaphobia. I can't pronounce it but it seems that there are multitudes plagued by it.

For many people, this day affects decisions such as whether or not to leave the house, whether to schedule surgery or buy and sell stocks. In the article I read, a doctor commented that as long as people are not incapacitated by the phobia, there is no harm in it. I disagree with that. I think there is much harm.

Fear of Friday the 13th is only one small example of a whole parcel of superstitions entrapping millions of people all over the world. What is at the root of superstition? Ultimately, isn't it lack of trust in God? After all, who is really in charge? Almighty God who sits on the throne or: a black cat, a broken mirror, a date and day, a stone or charm, a certain ritual, a knock on wood?

Superstitions replace the true God with false ones and the Bible says: "Let there be no strange god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god." (Psalm 81:9) Rather than embrace strange gods remember; "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a joke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

If by any chance you have fallen for superstitions of any kind, discard them and trust in God only. Next time the 13th of the month falls on a Friday think this way: thirteen is the number after twelve and Friday is the day after Thursday and God is on his throne. Count on it!

Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.- 1Corinthians:2:10

There is a wonderful old book published in 1921. It has 360 pages full of very short stories. You will recognize the name. It is Ripley's Big Book of "Believe it or Not!" There is stuff in this old book to interest the most saturated mind around.

There is the story of Hsieh Hsuan of China. He lives in the 1400's and had transparent flesh so you could see his bones. There is Leach, the noted dwarf, who had arms so long he could touch the ground while standing upright. And a famous Yogi who could touch his forehead with his tongue.

It is like reading a book of tabloid stories from the 1920's. What is it about Ripley's stories that make you want to believe them? Maybe it is because he gives us a choice and does not force it on us.

Our Bibles are full of some pretty fantastic stories. And just like Mr. Ripley God does not force us to believe them. Instead He encourages us to read them and study for ourselves whether or not they are meaningful for us. Paul tells us in 1 Cor 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

In 2 Pet 1:16 we read, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

God has shared with us fabulous stories designed to draw us to Him that we might participate in a relationship designed to last forever. It is a story we cannot afford not to believe. The rewards of faith are just too too wonderful.

Have a Marvelous Monday and God Bless.


"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important then himself, do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." - Philippians 2: 3&4.

There is a story of a certain corporal and a general two centuries ago. The general as he rode along saw group of men endeavoring to lift some timber. They were shorthanded, and the work was not going well. Their corporal stood by and repeatedly yelled orders at them. The general passed and said, "Why don't you lend them help and put your shoulder into it?" "Why sir," said the lofty corporal, "How can you think of such a thing? Do you know who I am? I am a corporal!" The general got off his horse, pulled off his coat, and helped move the timber, and by his efforts the soldiers achieved their task. Then he turned to the high and mighty corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you want a man to do such work as this you can send for me: I am General George Washington."

This is the attitude we should have. It is the attitude that Christ had.

Christ, was not greedy about the privileges of His diety. He divested Himself of the glories of diety and took on the form of man. But His humilitation did not end there, it was only the beginning. He was born in a manger. He undertook the limitations that all mankind has, He had to grow in knowledge, He got hungry, He needed sleep. He who was God and selfsufficient in all ways, emptied Himself and became needy. But his humiliation did not end here...

Isaiah 53 says He took on the form of a servant. He went from reigning in heaven, to being lowly and unknown on earth. Christ did not come as a king, but He was a King. There was no glory for Him here. There was humiliation in every way. His humiliation was the very humanity of his existance. The creator became the created. The humiliation of Christ consists in this: He was born. And yet, we all know that His humiliation did not end there, it was only the beginning. He was crucified as a criminal, he died and was burried. How great was His humility.

So it should be with us. We are to be Christlike. This is what it means to be a Christian. We are to cultivate the qualities that Christ had, including humility.

Take an hour today and count the times in conversation you say "I". This may not be a great guage, but it might be a start. Humility is often unseen, unrewarded, unknown. This is because it does not seek its own. Yet, while it is often unseen, it is crucial to our Christian walk.

Have a Humble Tuesday and God Bless.

Beware of Anger

I was intrigued while reading the little book of James. Right at the beginning he says and I read to you from 1:19 and 20, "My dear brothers, ... Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."

This is excellent counsel.

1. Be quick to listen. Don't jump to any conclusions until you have heard all the details of a situation. Usually things are not what they at first appear to be.

2. Be slow to speak. Take the time to consider what you have heard. Mull it over in your mind, gather more information, place yourself in the shoes of the those talking and always give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

3. Be slow to become angry. Note it does not say not to become angry but to be slow. Don't just pop off. When we do that we have no control. The anger controls us. But if we are slow they we are in control.

We actually have a verse in Mark that describes Jesus becoming angry. Mark 3:5, "He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, `Stretch out your hand.'"

Jesus became angry because of the absolute refusal of the religious authorities to have compassion on another human. They were so rigid about rules and regulations their hearts were ungodlike. The message is very clear to understand. People are most important. The relief of pain and suffering, physical or mental, is a priority of God and should be a priority of those who claim His name.

The second message is controlled anger is not wrong. But it better be for a righteous cause and not just because our feelings have been hurt or because we have been inconvenienced.

Have a wisely controlled Wednesday and God Bless.

The Value of a Thank You

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; - Ephesians.5:20

In John 11 Jesus stands before the tomb of Lazarus and begins His prayer to His heavenly Father by giving thanks. Once again on the night of His arrest His prayer in John 17 records Him giving thanks for the disciples God had given Him.

Jesus always sets such a fine example for us. Giving thanks is such an essential ingredient to an abundant life. Giving thanks causes us to reflect upon the good things we have. Giving thanks acknowledges that we have received something from someone other than ourselves, which reminds us of the care we receive from others. Giving thanks moves the focus of your thoughts away from ourselves toward those about us. Giving thanks is inventory taking of our abundance. Giving thanks enables us to realize just how very rich we are.

Saying those two simple words is pure therapy for the worries of life. "Thank you" reminds us there are others with resources who are willing to share. We need not worry about our future because we are surrounded by generous others.

If it has been a while since you have prayed a prayer of pure thanksgiving do it today. Tell the Lord just how grateful you are for what you have received. If you are in the process of watching a loved one pass away be thankful for the time you had. Happiness is a state of mind not a state of circumstances. Happiness is a creation enhanced and enabled by saying, "Thank You."

Have a Thankful Thursday and God Bless.

50 Billion Planets?!

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; - Acts.17:24

I want to share with you an exciting headline from yesterday's CNN science page.

"Half of galaxy's stars may have planets, analysis suggests."

Then the article goes on to read as follows, "After a year in which scientists discovered several apparent planets outside the solar system, a new analysis concludes that folks, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Hidden planets may be lurking around half the Milky Way galaxy's 100 billion stars, the analysis suggests.

`We'll see an explosion' in planet discoveries, said researcher Steven Beckwith of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany."

God's word, our Bibles, once again harmonizes with the findings of science. We should not be amazed as historians continue to find records that coincide with scripture records. Archeologists for decades continue to dig up and unveil treasures that fit right in with stories we have all heard since childhood. Now astronomers are confirming such wonderful verses as Hebrews 1:2 God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"

Christians are not so narrow-minded to believe in God's vast universe we are the only ones here. While we have not found evidence of other intelligent life forms we have finally scientifically located about 50 billion possible homes for God's other children.

This is an exciting time to be alive. It is always an exciting time to be one of God's children.

Have a fantastic Friday and God Bless.

Leave a message

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. - Psalms.19:14.

"Please leave a message." Don't you just love hearing those words? Not only can you not speak to a person, but now what you say will be recorded. There's something about knowing that my voice is being recorded that makes me cringe. Surely, they're going to read something into my tone that might not be there. "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue" (Prov.17:28). Okay, should I make it short and sweet - or would that sound too uninterested? Should I sound more formal and sophisticated - or would that sound like a snob? Should I make it extremely friendly - or would that sound too phony? How about casual and off-the-cuff, or would that sound like I spent a lot of time trying to sound casual and off-the-cuff? Aarrgghhh!

Of course, it's always fun to hear your own voice on a recording. No one likes to hear how they sound, because we all sound differently to ourselves. Who's that guy with the dumb-sounding voice? Oh, it's me. "If this message is okay, press 1. If you would like to change it, press 2." Man, you can spend all day trying to make an important message say and sound just right. There must be an art to all this. Some people probably leave scores of messages every day, so they are proficient at voice-mail message leaving. There may even be a Voice- Mail Hall of Fame somewhere.

And we want these people to call us back, so we structure our comments to make sure they will. "Yeah, Bill? Please call me as soon as you get in!" (So, now Bill's in a panic, wondering what's wrong. Or sometimes, we need to downplay a crisis: "Yes, Mr. Seymour? This is Frank the plumber at the house. We've found the problem and everything's fine. I just need the name and number of your insurance agent. Call me when you have a minute."

If we can record every word a person says today, why are we so surprised that God is recording every word we say? Jesus said, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:34,36,37).

After all this, have a great day and "leave a message," OR better yet, just e-mail me! & God Bless.

Comparing success

"We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise" (II Cor. 10:12).

If I were to ask you how you measure success, would you give me a description of someone whom you believe to be successful? If I were to talk about riches and talent, would you determine how you are doing by comparing yourself to someone else, maybe even trying to duplicate their actions?

At a state dinner at the White House, a number of guests were whispering that they knew very little protocol for dining with the President. One diner suggested that they all carefully observe the President and just repeat what he does. All agreed that that would be the safest and least embarrassing course of action. The evening was going surprisingly well, and all the guests seemed to be handling this rare opportunity with great enjoyment. Then, after dessert, while having his coffee, the President took the cream pitcher and poured some cream into his saucer. The guests all copied his actions. He then took the saucer and placed it on the carpet for his pet dog to enjoy.

God has given each one of us a certain degree of talents, smarts and abilities. The best we can do, is the best we can do. Let's take our eyes off the "success" or "failure" of others, and use the gifts God has given us individually to be all that we can be in His kingdom, and for His glory!

Make this Sunday a time of thanking God for making you just as you are, searching for all that you can be, and rejoicing in all that you have!

Lost coin

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. - Joh:10:14

Don't you just hate to lose anything valuable? Or it may be sentimental, and now it's gone. Can you recall the moment you realized it was missing - that sinking feeling - that sudden shock of "Oh, no! Where is it? It's got to be around here somewhere, but where?"

In Luke 15:8-10, Jesus tells of a woman who loses one of her ten silver coins, searches frantically throughout the house, sweeping the floor, finally finds the coin, and calls her friends and neighbors to tell them the good news.

We may not appreciate how significant that discovery was until we examine the culture of that day. These pieces of silver were joined together in a chain and given to a wife by her husband to seal the marriage ceremony. They were worn across the wife's forehead and valued as a wedding ring is among us, today. If one coin should be lost it was thought to indicate the wife's unfaithfulness to the husband. Naturally, in order to "save" the marriage, the wife stops everything she's doing to search for the lost coin. There is nothing more important to her than to find it and avoid any question of her fidelity. When she does find it, she carefully puts it back into its place on the chain, relieved and happy.

Jesus told this story to represent how our heavenly Father searches for those who are lost. He doesn't just sit around saying, "Oh, they'll eventually show up. Some day I'll run into them." No! He stops everything to search in every nook and cranny. He sends the light of His Holy Spirit to convince us that we are lost, so that one day we will allow the Lord to find us and place us into his "marriage chain," which is extremely valuable to Him. He will tell the other saints and angels that we are found, and there will be great rejoicing in the kingdom, that we have come home!

Have you come home, or are you still one of God's priceless coins who is lost? Don't be surprised if you sense His Spirit looking for you! You are more valuable to God than you think.

Have a great Monday finding the love and security of His embrace!


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.-1John.4:4

Have you ever noticed how we will spend more time on the symptoms than the cause?

An old deacon was asked to close every Wednesday Bible Study with prayer. He would always end the same way: "And, Lord, clean all the cobwebs out of my life." Obviously, the cobwebs were the things that didn't belong in his life, but had gathered during the week. After hearing the same prayer week after week, it grew to be too much for one young upstart in the meeting. So, the next Wednesday when the deacon said, "and Lord, clean all the cobwebs out of my life," the young man shouted: "Lord, don't bother with the cobwebs. Just kill the spider!"

We may be overly concerned about our vices, habits, shortcomings and quirks, while ignoring the real source of our temptations: "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever" (I Jn. 2:16,17).

Today, while we are trapped in that proverbial "tangled web we weave," may God grant us His grace to do a little spider exterminating.

Have a Thankful Tuesday and God Bless.

Be Joyful Always

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John.3:16.

In Paul's closing in his first letter to the believers in Thessalonica he says, 1 Th 5:16 "Be joyful always;"

I like this. It is an important message a great many Christians have either forgotten or never learned. Sometimes we can be the most joyless people around. In our effort to be better people we sometimes focus on our faults and the faults of others. We are so busy concentrating on not doing certain things we forget to fill our days by doing good things.

In our zest for the coming of Jesus we often concentrate on the world's calamities and solemnly remind each other that they are signs of the end. Sometimes I am suspicious inwardly we are glad when something terrible happens in the world because we view it as an indication that the end is near. Thus our focus is on the negative and not the good.

While it is true there are bad things in this world and not all is right and well, we must never forget this is our Father's world and He does send us blessings. We have much to be thankful for and we should be sharing the good news not the bad news. The message of Jesus is not one of doom and gloom it is one of forgiveness, salvation, redemption and joy.

We need to brighten up if we are to attract non-Christians to join our family. Who in their right mind would want to join a bunch of sour- pusses.

Paul was right. 1 Th 5:16 "Be joyful always;" We have a wonderful story to tell. Our redeemer lives.

Have a Witnessing Wednesday & God Bless.

Space God

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork" - (Psalm 19:1).

Something happens when we get outside our own little world. Travel is always a great teacher. We learn of different cultures, see the wonders of the world, and begin to get a bigger picture of how God works on this tiny planet.

The astronauts have had the ultimate experience in travel. Many have had a deep faith in God, too. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, just before stepping onto the moon, read from the Bible and shared in a communion service. James Irwin, another moonwalker, later became a minister who said about his 1971 experience, "I felt the power of God as I'd never felt it before." Last year when John Glenn returned to orbiting the earth, he said, "To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible. It just strengthens my faith." Frank Borman radioed this message from 250,000 miles from earth, "'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.' I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us - that there was a God, that there was indeed a beginning."

The first revelation God gives to any one of us is His creation. "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20). How we respond to that revelation will determine How God will continue to reveal Himself to us.

Have a Thankful Thursday knowing that we are being changed from "glory to glory" in Christ!

Until tomorrow God Bless.

The Responsibility of Grace

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. - 1Corinthians.15:10.

Most of everyone has heard the expression, "You cannot tell a book by its cover." Obviously it is possible for a great intellectual treat to be sequestered in some dirty worn out cover. And it is indeed possible to find a piece of worthless trash bound in exquisite leather. But after having taught college for several years I have noticed it is difficult to appreciate the intellectual content of a term paper that is poorly typed, full of misspellings and ragged on the edges. It does help a student if they do hand in a paper that presents itself well. It does not have to be done on expensive paper but clean and neat goes a long way.

The same goes for people. You do not have to richly dressed or highly educated. But genuine effort in grooming and manners do indeed make a difference in the opportunities opened for someone. It is important to do the best with what you have and people will notice and give you the opportunity to do more.

Jesus made a very interesting comment in Mat 7:6. He said, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

Just five verses before this He told us not to judge. Now He tells us not to throw good things before pigs. It is obvious He wants us to be wise and not foolish with the good things we have to share. Scholarships should be carefully given to those who have proven they will use them wisely. And eternal life will be given to those who will appreciate the great gift of God's grace. It will not be squandered upon those who would use it as an eternal opportunity to continue to cultivate filth and corruption.

Responsibility comes with privilege. The privilege of living forever comes with the greatest responsibility. God will provide power, wisdom and strength for us to grow. We have an obligation of grace to wisely use the gifts given.

Have a Great Day and God Bless.

The Real God

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. - Proverb.30:5

Perhaps the greatest reason why God has given us the Bible is that we might know His character: Holy, unchanging, loving yet just, all powerful, ever present, merciful, all knowing, and personal. Yet, with all the Bibles we have in our homes, it's surprising how our concept of God is distorted.

One mischievous 8 year old boy wanted a baby sister. He decided to write a letter to God. "Dear God, I've been a good boy..." but he knew that wasn't true, so he started again - "Dear God, I've tried to be a good boy..." but knew God wouldn't fall for it. So, in desperation, he had an idea. He got a towel from the bathroom, went into the living room, took the statue of The Madonna off the mantle, wrapped it up tightly in the towel, put a large rubberband around it, and sat down to write again: "Dear God, if you ever want to see your Mother again...."

Aside from the humor in that story, some of us think we can strongarm God into doing our will. We have the "name it and claim it" gang who treat God as a 24-7 Santa Claus. We have the "foxhole" converts who will do anything for God if He will just get them out of that mess. We have the "C & E" Christians who try to appease God by attending church on Christmas and Easter. We have the "drone believers" who are working their way into heaven. And we have the "Lotto gamblers" who think salvation is all a big crap shoot, and just hope their lucky number comes up.

If we really took the time to read God's Word, we might just discover that He loves us unconditionally through Jesus Christ, has a fantastic plan for our lives, has provided for all our needs, and gives us a power from His Holy Spirit that we could never know in the natural!

This weekend, begin a new habit of daily reading His Word, and discover Who you've been missing!

Have a Great Saturday and God Bless.

Shrink Back?

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.- John.8:12.

Have you ever suddenly had a bright light shine in your eyes causing you to shrink back? If you have been in a dark house and walk out the door to a very bright sunshiny day you know what I mean. Another example is a flash bulb unexpectedly going off in your face.

If our eyes are not prepared, light can cause us to recoil. Unfortunately, that's what is going to happen to a lot of people when the Lord returns. Listen to this: "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." (1 John 2:28)

Jesus is the light of the world; can you imagine how bright he is? For those whose eyes are not prepared for him, they will fall back in deep shame. We therefore need to walk in as much light as possible every single day. Any of us who have pulled the curtains over our life to hide sin are foolish. Our darkness will entrap us and we won't be joyous at his appearing.

How much light are you walking in? Beware lest "that Day come on you unexpectedly." (Luke 21:34) Do you long for his return or when he comes will you shrink back?

Be prepared to face the Light of the World (Jesus Christ) and His Second coming.

Have a Nice Sunday and God Bless.

Prison Praise

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: - 1Peter.2:9.

Praising God is one of the most liberating and healing things we can do as humans. It stretches our faith, heightens our awareness of Christ, enhances a positive attitude, is contagious, and may even change our environment. But the ability to praise Him in the midst of personal struggle, persecution, physical pain, or financial loss, comes from a life filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas had just been severely beaten, thrown in prison, and shackled hand and foot. "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed" (Acts 16:25,26).

Now, get this picture. Their backs were lacerated. They were lying on the floor of a rat-infested cell, surrounded by real criminals, tired, and with their feet in stocks. All the ingredients for a hearty, "Praise the Lord!", right? Well, I know what I'd be doing - complaining, weeping, demanding my lawyer, and whining to God. But their singing and praises moved the Lord. They must have been singing songs like, "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul..." or "Faith, faith is the victory...." Now, If Heaven really is God's throne, and the Earth is His footstool, then God started tapping his foot to the beat - tappity, tap, tap - tappity, tap, tap. And the next thing they knew, the Earth started to shake! It wasn't a 1.5 on the richter scale. It was "the big one", because the prison foundation was damaged, and the doors flew open!

I know some of us do not come from church backgrounds where we are accustomed to outwardly praising God. But may I suggest to you, that there is a power and liberating force that is ours when we worship the Lord with our whole body, mind, soul and spirit? You may want to try it at home, or close your office door, lift your hands and let it rip! I have never heard of anyone saying that praising God made one backslide, or led them into depression, or brought on temptation. " filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spirituals songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:19,20).

Have a praise-filled Monday knowing that God is tapping His feet to your song! God Bless you all.


"Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)

Reboot. If you're reading this, you know that word means to restart your computer. Now, that concept has alluded me for some time. If my system was experiencing a problem, I'd panic and call tech support, or complain to the retail store. But all I had to do was restart my PC and that program was suddenly working again. Obviously, I don't understand how or why that works, but it just does.

Likewise, as believers, when we face problems, we need to exit our fears and anxieties, and "reboot" by going back to the cross.

A little girl was lost in a big city was taken to the police station where a very caring sergeant asked the girl, "Do you know your address?" In tears, she just shook her head. "Well, do you know your phone number?" Another shake. "Do you know what's by your house?" At that, the little girl's face lit up. "There's a church with a big cross in front of it. If you can get me to the cross, I'll be home!"

Too often, we try to find our own way in life, and soon find that we are lost in a myriad of problems. Oh sure, we can battle our way out in our own strength, griping and complaining, and blaming everyone else, pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But one day, we might discover that we don't have the strength, that we are lost, that this problem wasn't covered in "Egoism 101" or the seminar on the "Self-made Man." Or we can go to the cross of Jesus Christ and recognize that He invites us to "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations...." (II Pet. 2:9).

If you've been struggling with something, and not getting anywhere, it's time to "reboot" and go back to the cross.

Have a great Tuesday in the Lord, knowing that He's the One who designed your program!


Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. - James:4:7.

Temper - that loose cannon within our souls that may go off without warning. Some temperaments, such as Phlegmatics will go a lifetime without ever losing their temper. Others, such as high-strung Cholerics, will fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. Regardless of our disposition, there is one quality that will override a man's temper. "Love never flies into a temper" (I Cor.13:5).

Two Chinese men were arguing vehemently for some period. An onlooker asked if these men were going to get into a fist fight. "Oh no," said a spectator. "The first one to throw a punch loses the argument."

"Christian love rarely becomes exasperated with people. Exasperation is usually a sign of defeat. When we lose our tempers, we lose everything. Kipling said that it was the test of a man if he could keep his head when everyone else was losing his and blaming it on him, and if when he was hated he did not give way to hating. The man who is master of his temper can be master of anything."

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Prov. 16:32). "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression" (Prov. 19:11).

It's not a matter of trying harder to control one's temper - attending anger management sessions - or pretending to be something you are not. It's a matter of allowing Christ's love to overrule that feeling of being right and doing it your way, because His love "never fails."

May the love and peace of Jesus Christ be your constant companions today.


And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:- Joel.2:28.

There's nothing like being around someone with a dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. stirred America nation with his, "I have a dream" speech.

Both biblical Josephs were recognized by their dreams that changed the course of history. Oral Roberts told everyone, before he had two dimes to his name, "I'm going to build a Christian university for the Lord." Everything we see throughout the day started with someone's dream.

D - dreams DISTINGUISH us.
Most of us grow to the size of our problems, not the size of our potential. Everyone who has ever accomplished anything, started with a dream, and is usually known for that dream.

R - dreams RELEASE our potential and gifts.
E - dreams ENCOURAGE us, especially when we want to give up.
A - dreams are ATTITUDE breakers and makers.
Your attitude determines your altitude - how high can you go?
M - dreams MOTIVATE us.

If we have a lack of dreams, we will have a lack of energy. But dreams before their time, become nightmares. Ezekiel's tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth until it was time to share the prophecy (Ezek. 3:26,27).

When you dream, you will become a target, because dreams challenge the status quo, bring adversity, and demand persistence. But most of all, dreams must help others. If your dreams don't allow you to help others, then you need to wake up!

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18,19).

Have a Thoughtful Thursday transforming your dreams into reality!


I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. - Rev.1:18.

Keys - those little things that open, unloosen and ignite. All of us carry them. (Some of us lose or misplace them). They grant the holder the right to enter a designated place, or use a specific item. Keys convey ownership, authority and privilege. When a citizen is recognized for an outstanding achievement, he is often granted a key to the city. When a teenager passes a drivers test, he is often, reluctantly, granted the keys to the family car. This is a turning point both for the teen and the parents. It is a time of untethered freedom, and great prayer.

In Matthew 16:19, Jesus said, "And I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven." This was in response to Peter's statement that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." These keys represented a great privilege and responsibility. Peter was being given the keys to the new family vehicle, called the Church. He would be the first one to open doors to men and women to enter the kingdom of God. (He would also have the task of excluding those who refused God's free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ). How did he do? Peter opened the door of heaven to 3,000 people the first time he preached! The apostles spread the gospel to most of the known world in the first 60 years of the Church. Today, every believer is a keeper of the keys of the kingdom, and has the awesome power of granting access to the kingdom of God. Perhaps it's time to find our Father's keys again, and let others enter into the joy of the Lord!

Have an enjoyable weekend discovering the variety of kingdom keys the Lord given to His Church. God Bless you all.