Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Beginning

"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 NIV

Here we are, at the door of the ending of 2010. How do you feel about that? Are you glad to see the ending come? Are you a little sad? A little disappointed? Indifferent? A tad-bit excited?

The ending of a year can be all of those things to some people. We start out the year with resolutions. With ideas of all the things we were going to change--about ourselves personally, our lives, the world. Then the end of the year comes, and maybe we didn't get those things done--we didn't follow through with our resolutions. We may have even got into worse habits, even done something or things that we aren't proud of. We feel like a failure.

This verse says the opposite. It says that we are to forget the past. We are to lay them aside. We are to ask forgiveness of them--give them to our Heavenly Father and He will make something new out of them--you--a new person in Him. Isn't that awesome! Isn't that a great way to start a new year? Not focusing on the regrets of the year past, but feeling the freedom of living in the knowledge that God has created a new person in you. That you don't have to regret the closing of the door of the year past--but look forward to the opening of the door of the New Year beginning! How exciting!

If you had a GREAT year--kuddos to you! Keep it going. This verse still has meaning to you because it is a great one to carry in your heart. Each and every day that we wake up, we have the opportunity to become a new creation in the Lord. Our Father will take each and every day of our lives and use the day in the past to make us better people in the future--if we let Him. If we keep our prayer life flowing, our quiet, devotional time with Him top priority and keep our soul open to Him to mold and preen us at all times.

As that glittery ball is falling and they are counting down, remember to say a prayer for the Lord's will on your life this New Year.

Our God is such an AWESOME God! Praise Him for this opportunity of life!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Got Room?

"And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2:1-20 NKJV

Every time I read this passage, verse 7 sticks out to me. The words, "there was no room for them" challenge me. Bethlehem was very busy. The hotels were full and so we find the Savior being born in a manger. I'm able to understand and accept this. But what gets me is the deeper meaning; they had no room for Jesus.

I have to ask myself, "Do I have room for Jesus in my life?" Do you? Do I have room but, it's in the barn of my life? What things keep Jesus from being front and center in my life? I am challenged to look at my life and see if I need to let God clean some things out of my life to make room for Jesus.

What about you? Have you received the gift of Christmas, salvation? Have you opened the door of your heart to receive Jesus? What about today?

"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 NLT

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Gift of Courage

"Joseph was a good man and did not want to embarrass Mary in front of everyone. So he decided to quietly call off the wedding." Matthew 1:19 CEV

This is one of the famous verses that is part of the Christmas story that we hear probably at least once a year. But do we really read it? Do we see the life example that Joseph exhibits?

In order to understand the full lesson, we need to also look at Matthew 1:20-24 CEV
"While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, 'Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after her baby is born name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.' So the Lord's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 'A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be call Immanuel,' which means 'God is with us.'

After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord's angel had told him to do."

You see, Joseph was a good man. A man that was known to to the right thing. In his day, breaking up with Mary after finding out that she was pregnant, was the right thing to do. His culture would have totally understood that act. That is what was done.

But God had another plan for Joseph. It was so important to Him that He had one of His angels come to Joseph in a dream to explain it to him. It was to do the opposite of what his culture practiced. To stand against what Joseph's world was telling him to do and to unquestioningly do what God was telling him to do. As we all know, Joseph was true to his nature, and did the right thing--obeyed his Heavenly Father.

But let's stop and think about this for a quick moment. Do you think that Joseph just rolled over in his sleep and said without a qualm, "OK Lord, this is a little crazy, but I'll do it." I don't know, but if I was him, I think I would be fighting what my culture had been telling me all my life. I would be wondering what would my family, friends, neighbors, customers, would be saying or thinking. You know that he was a successful carpenter--would this decision effect his business, his livelihood?

Even with all of this, even if it was the hardest thing that he had done up to this point of his life, Joseph did it anyway. Doing the act didn't mean that he wasn't fearful and doubting on the inside--no, but he was courageous enough to overcome those feelings and do the right thing.

What about you? Have you been in a similar situation? Have you had to choose between doing what your culture is telling you is right and what the Lord is telling you what is right?

Your God will never have you make a decision without being there to support you. Even if it is the hardest thing you have ever had to do. He IS there. Every step of the way.

Having courage is not always easy, but the gift you get in return is so worth it. Do you realize that each and every time that you use your gift of courage, your gift gets bigger? You get more confident in the Lord and yourself and it just keeps building upon itself.

Please don't misunderstand--it doesn't necessarily get easier--it just gets better.

During this Christmas week, think upon these verses. Pray that you can have the courage of Joseph. And please, don't forget to thank your Heavenly Father for ALL of His gifts.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Gift of Surprise

"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!" 1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message

"Knowing him directly just as he knows us!"--isn't that an awesome thought? When we finally get to Heaven, we will know Jesus as intimately as He knows us. WOW! What a scary but wonderful feeling!

Right now there is a veil between us and our Heavenly Father. It's a natural veil because if we could see what we would only be able to look forward to seeing and experiencing after we get to heaven, why would we want to get there? We would already have seen the prize. It would be like sneaking into the presents before Christmas morning, unwrapping the box peeking inside and rewrapping it. Sure, at that moment, you feel this wonderful sense of knowledge. Now you don't have to wait anymore. There's no more eliminate of surprise. But what happens later? You start feeling a little depressed--you have nothing to look forward to because you already experience it when you peeked.

The same would be here on earth if we had already experienced the extreme awesomeness of a clear, intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior. We would have experience everything there was. Because no matter how wonderful and fulfilling of a relationship you now have with God--it's nothing compared to what is waiting for us. Do you understand this?

Our God is worth the wait. But in the meantime, keep searching, keep striving to build that intimate relationship, keep pursuing your Heavenly Father. He loves surprising you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Let It Go

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13,14 NIV

Sometimes when my kids were acting up I would tell them to "let it go." In other words stop, knock it off, forget it. The other day I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to let it go. I was thinking about some past sin issues. I sensed that it was time to move on. Accept the forgiveness and restoration that Christ gives us and move on.

I also felt the Spirit tell me to let go of some current challenges that I am facing, and move on, trusting the outcome to a loving and benevolent God.

Some of the challenges of letting things go are that we stuff them deep inside of us. We think that we are dealing with them by not dealing with them. But the stuff we stuff will manifest somehow. Another challenge to letting go is that we use things as excuses and "wet blankets" to serve as a means to an end. Sometimes we just keep rehearing things over and over. The greatest challenge are the things that keep us from accepting the love and forgiveness that Jesus Christ give to us.

What about you? Is God calling you to give up an old hurt, habit, or hang up? Is there an issue in your life that keeps haunting you? Will you let Jesus have it today?

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

"Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord." Luke 1:45 NKJV

The Christmas story has a a life lesson that is much more than what it appears on the surface. The above verse is when Mary is visiting her cousin Elizabeth and this is what Elizabeth says after her unborn baby, later known as John the Baptist, leaped in her womb.

Mary is the picture of obedience and faithfulness. And not reluctantly. When the Angel of the Lord first came to her and told her of God's request, did she say, "O.K., well thank you Mr. Angel. Let me think about it and I will let you know in a few of days." or "Well, Mr. Angel, this is all very nice, but I'm pretty busy right now. Can you come back in a couple of months? Maybe by then my calendar will open up."

No, she was a faithful servant, and humbly said, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be done to me as you have said." (Luke 1:38 NKJV) And as I was reading the full passage, I am struck with the thought that God didn't tell Mary through His Angel, that this is how it was going to be and just do it. The way that Mary responded is that she knew it was a request. That she had the right to say 'yes' or 'no'. And she chose to say, 'yes'.

Isn't that the heart of God? He doesn't ever force Himself or His will into our lives. He always gives us the choice--the free will--to decide for ourselves. He doesn't want His precious child, you, to serve Him in fear or grudgingly. No. He desires to have a relationship with you that is open and candid.

As I ponder more on Mary's story, I pray that I have a Mary's spirit to be able to say 'yes' without question--without hesitation--when the Lord speaks into my life. How about you? Do you realize that the more you say 'yes', the more opportunities are opened up? The more times you are faithful, the rippling effect is contagious. It goes way beyond just you and your life. It may go farther and touch more people and lives than you ever dream of.

This Christmas season, pray for the gift of "free will" obedience. Can you imagine the spiritual opportunities that you may be opening yourself up to? It's a gift that will keep on giving.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Right is Right

"It is better to be poor and direct,
than rich and crooked." Proverbs 28:6 (The Message)

This verse came to be a life lesson verse today for Peter, my 12 year old son.

You see, we had a 2nd cousin-in-law pass away a week ago. Today, his wife wanted all his clothes and such out. So my husband and son went to pick them up. When they did, she told them that she had looked pretty thoroughly through the pockets of his suits to make sure that there was no money left in them because Pat had a habit of putting money in his pockets. So, if they found anything later, they could go ahead and keep it.

Well, when my family got to the thrift store and starting to unload the bags, Peter grabbed the bag with Pat's shoes in it. He started pulling the shoes out and what do you think he found? Yup, he found a crumpled up bill. When he got it totally unfolded, Peter could hardly believe his eyes, but there looking at him, was a $100 bill!

Boy! Was Peter happy. You see, to us and probably to you, a $100 is a very large sum of money and especially for him, because he had never had one of his own. Now, to my cousin, it wasn't so much because Pat had been a lawyer his whole life, so she had seen a lot of $100 bills.

Peter comes by my office and shares the wonderful news with me--he had found $100 and he could keep it because after all, Cousin JoAnn had said that whatever money they found, they could keep. So, there it is. It's his, fair and square and he already had it spent.

It was true, she did say that they could keep whatever they found but my spirit told me what I had to do. I had to have Peter call Cousin JoAnn and share with her that fact that, yes, they did find money, but it wasn't a dollar or two or even ten--it was $100.

Peter was not happy with his mother. But right is right and I had to explain that we needed to at least give her a chance to either give it to him fair and square or take it back. Heaven wasn't worth a $100.

Well, she did take it back and though Peter was very disappointed, he agreed with this verse. At least tonight, he can look into his Heavenly Father's face, knowing he did the right thing and sleep that peaceful sleep that only a clear conscience can give you.

Has this story ever played out in your life? Have you every been in the position that, boy, nobody would be the wiser if you kept something that you got, but wasn't really suppose to be yours? It's easy these days to be tempted to take from those who have much--but don't give in.

Your God is such a gracious God--don't take His grace from Him by stealing from others something you need. In reality, He really is ALL you truly need, isn't He?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Trials or Opportunites?

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5 NLT

Have you ever experience someone--that is trying to be kind and supportive--come up and say to you as you are going through a trial, "Now remember, God doesn't give you more than you can handle."?

Is that true? Of course, at the time, you don't feel like it's true. You feel like what you are experiencing is waaaaay over your head. That you are totally not prepared to handle this trial. That somehow, God has you mixed up with your neighbor who could probably handle this.

Sometimes, God does give us more than we can handle. And He does it on purpose. Not to punish us. Not because He is mad at us. Not because you are a bad person. Not because He is trying to pick on you.

No. Sometimes God, in His love for us, gives us more that we can handle. What!? Whatever for? Why would a loving and gracious Father do that to His child?

He does it to help us to grow in character. To drive us to our knees and seek His face and heart with our heart and spirit. To us, what we are going through may be a very big thing in our world, but in the scheme of things, it is not so.

For as we see that the Lord will help us through all our trials and tribulations, what naturally happens? For one, we become stronger. Not only in character, but in spirit and faith. Secondly, our trust in our Heavenly Father just leaped to the next level. And thirdly, what an example to the people in our path. Isn't that what happened with Job? How about the martyrs? The apostles? Jesus. When others see your faith deepen and strengthen during trials instead of cursing or turning away from your faith--what a witness!

When you are there, in the midst of your trial, are you alone? No. Of course not. Your heavenly Father loves and values you too much for that. You can be sure, He will equip you with the third person of the Trinity--the Holy Spirit.

Doesn't it seem like tradition for us humans to bond with others as we go through an life experience together. Cancer survivors. Losing a loved one. Financial despair. If we have shared the process at the same time with someone--they become our forever friend. We feel like we have a special bond with that person. Well, the same goes with our Heavenly Father. As we go through an event with Him, and He is there for us to cling to. To share the tears with. To give us the warm, encouraging, safe-harbour hugs to--we are bonded forever.

Our God is an awesome God! Be encouraged!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Seek or Not to Seek

"You have said, 'Seek my face.'

My heart says to you, 'Your face, LORD, do I seek.'" Psalm 27:8 ESV

Sometimes two lines can hit a heart string so deep. And this is one of those for me.

See if this makes sense to you. When I read these verses, it brings a thought--can it be that even when we are not, in our humanness, purposely setting out to seeking God's face--that our spirit inside of us is yearning for it anyway? That when we get caught up in the everyday "have to's" and don't take the time to purposely invite the Lord to join us and to control our day, our journey, our spirit/heart tries to make it happen on their own?

I know that may sound a little crazy and maybe I'm not explaining it very well, but what a thought? It's like a little seed that is under a pile of dirt and even if someone forgets to water it, it will continue to try to grow. It may make it, it may not--it depends on how long the person that in responsible for the seed, neglects it. But even if the person neglects the seed, does the seed give up and dies right away?

No, I don't think so. I think that for a while anyway, the seed has a natural desire--instinct--to survive. And it will do whatever it takes, for as long as it has the strength, to keep trying to get water. But, alas, if the source of water is empty too long, it will stop trying and just die.

Do you understand the correlation? That is how our spirit is. God gives each and every one of us one. It is a gift. We can choose to water it daily with His word and His presence--and it will continue to grow from the tiny little weak mustard seed into a huge, strong Oak, that can stand the test of time--or we can choose to starve it and it will sadly die.

I don't know about you, but shouldn't this be our prayer--or one like it--every day we wake up?

Please Lord, help me to see Your face today in all that I do. Guide me and protect me. Help me to stay on Your path for my life and not stray to the path that it not from You that I may find myself on. Thank you for loving me so much that You stay with me through good times and bad. Please forgive me when I take You and our relationship for granted. You ARE an awesome God. Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Gift of a Temple

"You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 CEV

If you are like me, you've heard this message before. You can agree--OK, my body is a temple--that means that I am to respect it. In my personal case, I have always envisioned this flame, deep inside my rib cage, maybe behind the lungs--and that is where the Holy Spirit lives inside me.

Well, today reading this verse, a new thought came to me. What about our minds--our thoughts? If I was to rewrite this verse with that thought in mind, it would say this, "So use your mind/ thoughts to honor God." Wow! That puts a new twist on things don't it?

It seems that at times, we can put our body under the control of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but our minds are something else. It seems that we can come to the worldly thinking that what goes on in our minds is our own secret thing and it doesn't affect anything. But is that true?

If we say that we are God's chosen, that we treat our body like the temple that we need to do, in order to honor what He has done for us, yet keep our minds out of the picture, are we being complete? If we think thoughts of jealousy, of hatred, of gossip, is that honoring God? If we take drugs that impair our thought process, or get drunk, or fall into pornography and fill our minds with images that are truly not from God, are we honoring God with all of us?

I think you know the answer. If God wants us to honor Him with making our body a temple to the wonderful gift that He left for us to help us on our earthly walk, we need to incorporate ALL of our being--body, heart, soul & mind.

Jesus came and gave all of Himself to you--He didn't hold back anything--not even His very life. What about you? Can you reciprocate the same back to Him? Believe me, He wants you--all of you. Please give it to Him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 NCV

Are you a worrier? Do you wake up some days and just feel grumpy and irritated and wonder what is wrong--then all of a sudden it is brought to your attention that what is wrong is that you're worrying about whatever it is that you are worrying about? Wow! Didn't see that coming.

Guess what? You're normal. I think we as a species were built to worry. That is one thing that is so awesome about being born again--we can be worry-free! We have a God that understands that about us and is constantly prodding us into remembering that He is there. That as a child of His, we don't have to give in to that instinct.

Do you remember when you were a baby how you use to worry? No, of course not! When we were infants, we didn't worry because our parents took care of that for us. Well, that is where we need to be right now. While, in most areas, I agree that we need to be continually maturing in our walk. But--though this may sound crazy--in this one area, I think we need to strive to be more infantile. Does this make sense to you? When you are more infantile, you don't know to worry. You just live. You just trust that things are going to workout.

Once you realize that you need not to worry, you're spiritual walk will reach a whole new level. What an amazing feeling! How do I know? I've been there. The moments that I have totally given my worries to my Heavenly Father, I have experienced such a sense of release and freedom--words cannot express.

Worry-free? You bet! Just pray and watch what the Lord will do!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"But me, I'm not giving up.
I'm sticking around to see what God will do.
I'm waiting for God to make things right.
I'm counting on God to listen to me."
Micah 7:7 The Message

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel that you are just going around in circles, trying to make a difference, trying to wrong a right, trying to change an outcome--only to seemingly come out to the same place?

Well, that is where Micah was. Micah was trying to save Israel from itself. But it wouldn't listen. So what did he ended up doing? He ended up just stepping back, enjoying the show--watching to see what his God would do.

In the NIV version, the first line said it this way, "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord." I watch in hope. I'm not giving up. What a wonderful way to show the world what the faith walk is all about!

We can depend on our Heavenly Father. He will make things right. He will honor our attempts at following His commands. He will protect us. He will listen to us.

Please remember that as long as you have hope, you can NOT lose. As long as you don't give up on what He has promised you, you will endure.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life Verse

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do, be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV

When ask, a young couple gave this verse as a life verse for their baby boy. What a wonderful life verse for all of us don't you think?

We all need to be on guard, to be able to not "fall asleep" at the wheel of our life trip. When things are good and calm and trouble-free, we tend to get complacent. We tend to think that we have this living the good life, the Christian way, down pack. That we are in total control, but are we?

We need to always remember that without our faith, we would be nothing. Without having our watch guard up all the time so that the world and Satan cannot get in and mess things up.

We need to be brave in and for the Lord. No, we are not like the martyrs of the early days that were burned at the stake or eaten by lions in the coliseums. The joy of being a Christian these days and living a Christian life is being challenged daily. Our rights are being taken away faster than we really want to admit. We can't pray in our schools anymore or at our graduations or in some cases, at our work places if you work in a government place. We need to be BRAVE.

But as with all things, our BRAVERY needs to be entwined with LOVE.

Whenever Jesus was angry or frustrated with His followers, He held them accountable, but it was always done with LOVE. He didn't go off and have a mental breakdown with a bombardment of angry, hurtful words. He would choose His words carefully--making sure that they were right-on, from His Heavenly Father, spoken in LOVE--but always to the point.

What a lovely, life living verse for all of us to memorize to heart and live in action.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Heaven's Soldier

"Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed through reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. and hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things." 2 Timothy 2:1-7 NLT

Our son Peter is the one that has brought these passages to my attention. He's 12 years old and comes from a long line of servicemen. Mostly Marines, but my dad, his grandpa, was in the Navy and his nephew, our grandson, is in the Army.

So, it goes without saying that Peter loves war games and war documentaries. What touched him was the verse, "Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." What touched me--to be honest--was the gratitude of a mother that just had her almost teenage son come to her with a Bible verse that he had found on his own and he actually read it out loud to me and gave me his opinion on it. I praise God that He created verses that touches teenage boys' hearts.

What I also see here, is that God has commissioned us to not only to listen, hear and learn of His word--but also to share it with others. We are not to keep it to ourselves as if it was a treasure to hide in our deepest closets. We are to share it with the people He brings into our world.

Have you ever thought about the fact that if Jesus hoarded His Father's words where would we be now? If the apostles did not record in painstakingly detail, what Jesus shared with them and their life experiences with Him, how would we have known about everlasting life?

If you have been born again and experience the wonderful saving grace of your everlasting Heavenly Father and don't share it with the people that God has blessed your life with, how will you be judged? You would be like the parable of the person that was given one talent and what did he do with that talent? Did he invest it? Did he share it? No. He buried it and there it laid in the dark cold earth, doing nothing for the kingdom of God.

God has entrusted us to run the good race, to plant and to harvest, to share and not to be embarrassed or hesitate in imparting the wonderful saving grace of His everlasting love with everyone we meet.

Are you ready to be a soldier? Are you ready to win the world with Jesus? Grab your mess kit and let's go!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


"But the noble man makes noble plans,
and by noble deeds he stands." Isaiah 32:8 NIV

For some reason, this verse just stuck out to me. It also made me curious--what actually does 'noble" mean? Isaiah uses it three times in this passage so it must be an important word.

I looked it up and Noah Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language says this: 1. (superl.) Possessing eminence, elevation, dignity, etc.; above whatever is low, mean, degrading, or dishonorable; magnanimous; as, a noble nature or action; a noble heart.

So, now that we know what "noble" means, it makes the passage a lot more personal. Obtainable. We can now see that what the verse is saying is this--that when you are a noble person, you are above doing anything that is mean or degrading or dishonorable. That when you make plans, your plans are not for evil or to undermine anyone, but to elevate. And your deeds will NOT dishonor anyone else, yourself and most importantly, your God.

How can you become a noble person? By the glory and graciousness of your heavenly Father. Oh, you can think you are noble on your own right, but it's not a true nobility. Only through your Father in heaven can you be true nobility. It's only through the graciousness of your heavenly Father that you can be of noble birth--with a mind that can make noble plans and spirit that can do noble deeds.

In a world that settles for the easy way out--let's go for excellent--for nobility. It's not just for 12th century romance novels. It's a true way of life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Gift of Correction

"If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God,
I'd throw myself on the mercy of God.
After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts;
there's no end to his surprises.
He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth,
sends water to irrigate the fields.
He raises up the down-and-out,
gives firm footing to those sinking in grief.
He aborts the schemes of conniving crooks,
so that none of their plots come to term.
He catches the know-it-alls in their conspiracies—
all that intricate intrigue swept out with the trash!
Suddenly they're disoriented, plunged into darkness;
they can't see to put one foot in front of the other.
But the downtrodden are saved by God,
saved from the murderous plots, saved from the iron fist.
And so the poor continue to hope,
while injustice is bound and gagged." Job 5:8-11 (The Message)

When Job was going through all of his trials, three of his friends came from afar to comfort him. One of these friends was Eliphaz, the Temanite. He is the one that was counseling Job with the above passage.

When the three friends first arrived to where Job was, they couldn't believe their eyes. They barely recognized their friend. Job had changed dramatically since they had last seen him. For this was after Job had experienced his second test. In the first, he had lost all of his camels, servants and children. The second test was terrible sores that were open and oozing--they covered him from his head to the soles of his feet. Job had to take a broken piece of pottery and use it like a knife to scrape off the sores. And this is how his friends found him.

These three friends were torn apart with sadness. It says that they tore their clothing, weeping and wailing. And then just sat in the dirt, next to him, not saying anything.

At times, when we are with someone that is hurting, or sad, or searching, the best gift to give them is your presence and silence. Sometimes we talk too much. We try to help ease by giving advice or saying comforting words--because we care and even though the intent is honorable, the timing could be wrong.

When Eliphar does start speaking, it's coming from his heart because he loves his friend Job--while the advice is sound--for the timing, it is incorrect. Eliphar is thinking that his friend Job has been bad and has made God angry so what he is going through is "payback". God doesn't do "payback". God will--if the need arises--correct us if we have strayed, but it is never "payback."

The above passage celebrates the blessedness of a man that is being corrected by his God. Because in the end, the healing of the correction is worth the temporary pain of the lesson learned.

Because, if you truly read the above passage--line by line--and meditate on the message, what powerful comfort it will bring.

It brings to mind that our God is an awesome God, full of compassion and strength. He doesn't do anything out of spite or ugliness--but always with our best interest in mind.

Praise Him today for being the Father that cares enough to correct when we need correction, and compassionate enough to hurt with us as we are going through it and rejoices with us when we are on the other side! You are truly loved!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


"In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, run!--on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline--not fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You are all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift." Ephesians 4:1-7 The Message

I love how The Message puts this--"I want you to get out there and walk--better yet, run! on the road God called you to travel." Doesn't that just charge you up!? God hates mediocrity. He would rather you be hot or cold, but not lukewarm. He wants our all--not our half-heartedness.

This verse also brings home the importance of fence-mending. When there is brokenness in a relationship, that's when Satan can get in and truly mess up a great thing. Think of all the churches that have disbanded. Think of the marriages and families that have gone awry because of brokenness, of unmended fences.

At times, it takes great love and strength to mend broken fences. But to have your spirit be healthy, you need to have the strength, discernment and grace of God to do so. There is God's timing on fence mending, but usually the rule is, the sooner the better. The longer the fence is broken, the more that gets out--sometimes the harder it is to fix because pride and self-righteousness can set in.

Because you know, we need each other. God designed it that way. He designed us to be our own unique person, with our own unique gift. And we need each other's gift to be a complete, whole body of believers.

I don't know about you, but whenever I have been at odds with someone, I feel awful. It torments me. But as soon as the Lord brings the right time and the right words to mend the fence--what a sense of relief! Once we have made amends, the complete feelings come back into play and the world just seems right.

How about you? Do you need to make amends with someone? Do you need to put aside the fact that it doesn't matter who is wrong or right? The more important fact is that you need to be complete--to be whole.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Season of Layers

"'Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;

he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;

he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:

You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.'" Daniel 2:20-23 NIV

The last couple of weeks, I've been noticing that the air is getting it's fall smell and look. The air has that musty, moisty, leafy smell, the sky is that extra deeper blue color with of the obvious changing color and dropping of leaves.

Well, that got me thinking about seasons and then of course Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 came to mind and that was what I was going to write on today. But God lead me to this one instead.

Have you ever read it? It's a beautiful praise/prayer from Daniel to his God. He puts into words what I have been feeling lately. The power of my God and His love and acceptance of me is, at times, too hard to grasp. Too hard to accept. Too deep of a truth to wrap my spirit around.

Do you do this? Do you feel or think,"Yes, my God loves me." We say that, but do we really comprehend it? I don't know if I can explain what happened, but the other night as I was driving home, the Lord brought to me the realization that He loves me. That I can truly lean on Him. That I don't need to worry about things. He truly will take care of them.

Duh! No brainer you say. But this was different. These truths were brought into a deeper layer of my spirit. Like you, perhaps, I knew these truths, but until the other night, they were just on the surface of my spirit, if you understand what I am trying to say. But as I was sharing with Him my feelings and such that I had been stuffing the last few weeks, I felt His presence in my mind and it was this thought--"Why? Why do you do this to yourself? Don't you know? I am great enough for you? I am your God. I will take care of you."

WOW! Talk about being stopped in your tracks! I felt so foolish. I called myself a child of God and claim to have unconditional faith in Him--but it was only on the surface of my spiritual life.

Please, within all of this rambling I have shared with you--is this truth--the same God that saved Daniel from the king's butcher's block and prompt him to write the above praise verses, is the same God that saves us from our selves. That the truth of His love and authenticity can safely go a layer deeper into your spiritual life. You don't have to try to protect yourself by keeping on the top, the surface. You can't believe how humblingly freeing it is!

The same God that can change the seasons of nature for centuries, is the same God that can change the seasons of your spiritual life today. Trust Him!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Life Moment

"When God makes you feel sorry enough to turn to him and be saved, you don't have anything to feel bad about. But when this world makes you feel sorry, it can cause your death." 2 Corinthians 7:10 CEV

In a time when you are bombarded with the idea that as long as you are not hurting anyone, that whatever you are doing is OK. If you don't get caught or if you are not in jail, it acceptable.

But if you are a Christian, you know. If you listen to your inner spirit, you know. There is no gray area in God's rules for a peaceful, productive life. It's written there, in black and white and sometimes red, (if you have the version of the Bible that has Jesus's words in red.). Whether you listen to it or not is up to you.

God also uses others in our lives to help us hear His knock on our hearts. If you are doing something that is wrong, He will use healthy, sound Christians to speak into our lives. And when He does, we should listen.

God, your Heavenly Father, loves you so much that He doesn't want to leave you to doing a sin that will keep you away from Him--in essence, died in the spirit. No, He loves you so very much that He will fight for your soul. He will fight for your relationship with Him. He desires you so much that He will fight tooth and nail for you--there's no question about that.

But what about you? Where does that leave you? What is your responsibility? He can only go so far--the rest is up to you. You have to be able to be humble enough to admit that you are living in sin or doing a sinful act. You have to be humble enough to get on your knees, and cry out for forgiveness--and mean it.

The one thing that God will not put up with is hypocrisy. You can not cry out for forgiveness one minute and then go right back into the same sin, thinking that if it gets bad enough, then you can just ask for forgiveness again and again, God will forgive you--after all, isn't that His business?

That is just rude and wrong. Your God is not your magic, feel good genie. He is your Spiritual Father of Heaven and Earth and He sacrificed everything for you. He deserves your complete respect.

So, the next time you feel a knock at your heart or a friend speaks into your life--listen. It may be the moment of a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spiritual Sense vs Common Sense

"And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
Then his people will live there undisturbed,
for he will be highly honored around the world.

And he will be the source of peace." Micah 5:4-5 NLT

There will be times of trouble in our lives that we cannot explain. We feel that we are on the right path, that we are doing the right things, that we are where the Lord wants us and yet, we are being attacked.

And I'm not sure if you've noticed, but it's not always the big, KABOOM attacks. A lot of times, it's the little things that are the attack points--the little nat that keeps flying in your face--buzzing around your eyes and ears. At first you ignore it, then you half-heartedly swat at it, and then when you have had enough, you run into the house. Your peace destroyed.

When I read this verse, the first thought was that this is a great verse for pastors and pastorial leadership. We, the church family, are their flock. God has placed them as our sheepherders, to protect us and keep us from harm. And harm isn't always the most obvious of situations. Sometimes harm is in the little things--the gossip, the unacceptable behavior, hangups, the sin that Jesus speaks about boldly in the Bible--all of these are harm and it is their God-given duty to protect us from it.

Does it make them popular? No, not always. Do they get the appreciation that they should? Probably not. Do they themselves get attacked? At times.

Listen up! When we hear rumors or slander about our pastors or church leaders, shouldn't we run it through our spiritual brain and see what the Lord tells us about it? Instead, at times, it seems that we are ever so ready to jump on the band wagon to believe ugly before we even check in with what God would say.

We need to use our spiritual sense more often, and our common sense less. Jesus wasn't always the most popular man in town because He had to stand up for things that many thought was acceptable--but He knew in His Father's eyes--weren't.

Let's be in prayer for those in leadership roles. What a wonderful way to show them how valuable they are to us!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Honor Role

"'Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great,O Lord God!

What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like. For the sake of your servant, O Lord, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.

O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!" 1 Chronicles 17:16-20 NLT

This was a prayer that King David said to God after the prophet Nathan reported to him the promises that God had told Nathan to share with him--and God's graciousness overwhelmed even him, a king.

At times, is that how you feel? I know I do. God's graciousness has sent me into tears. Tears of gratitude, tears of humbleness, tears of joy, of thankfulness. If we did not serve such a loving, gracious God, where would we be? We would be nothing--we would be worthless.

Do you feel that, as King David stated so elegantly those many years ago, that there is no God like our God? That just to be able to bear His name, is honor enough. Praise be to our Father in Heaven as we serve Him here on earth.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Trust Factor

"Abraham didn't focus on his own impotence and say, "It's hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child." Nor did he survey Sarah's decades of infertility and give up. He didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That's why it is said, "Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right." But it's not just Abraham; it's also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God." Romans 4:19-25 The Message

Sometimes when we are in the midst of a difficult situation, it's hard to be positive. The giants that you are facing are too huge and strong and you are so small and weak. You've been in this circumstance before and you never come out on top. You have prayed about this before and God has ignored you--and here it is again.

These are lies--all lies! Sure, the situation is tough, the giants are big, the circumstance may be overwhelming or reoccurring--but isn't our God an AWESOME God? Doesn't He keep His promises? Isn't He mightier than ANY calamity, situation, circumstance that you could ever be in? YES He is!

The story of Abraham and Sarah is only one of many stories in Bible that show the faithfulness of our God. If you look, almost every chapter, every page, is full of the promise of God. Can you look and find the unfaithfulness of God? Broken promises? You could get a magnifying glass and look every and any where and you will NOT find one broken promise, one act of unfaithfulness, one moment of untrustworthiness. Why? Because that is not who He is. He is the essence of trust.

Now turn the tables. What about you? What about me? Could you look in your life book and find any unfaithfulness, any broken promises towards your God? If you got the magnifying glass out, would you be able to find one act of...oh, please, put the magnifying glass away. I don't need anything to magnify my sinful nature with my Lord, do you?

Just because at times we find ourselves in life situations that are not pleasant, easy or desirable, doesn't mean that we give up on our Heavenly Father--or that He has given up on us. This is not the time to turn your back on Him but totally the opposite. This is the time that we turn ourselves full front towards Him with our arms open wide, waiting for Him to fulfill His promise--to always be there for us, to never let us alone, to never give us more than we can bear, to ALWAYS love us, even when we withhold our love for Him.

"This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it.... For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that's reading the story backward. He is our faith father." Romans 4:16 The Message

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Blessing

"The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God's Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: 'This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.'" Matthew 3:16-17 (The Message)

Every so often, the Lord brings this verse to my forethought and I ponder on it. As I ponder about it, I get this picture.

The picture is of me and how, all my life, I have wished that my own father--who is a good man and a wonderful father, that unselfishly provided for me and my siblings--would accept me as I am--not perfect, not brilliant or beautiful--but a good person who loves God with all her heart. A person that wanted to be valued and to be considered, now that she is grown-up, a friend.

But I have to insert here that to be totally honest, he may. But because he has never verbally told me or by his actions, shown me--I feel what I expressed earlier--that he has to love me because I am his daughter, but he doesn't like me or is proud that I am even his daughter. I don't feel like I have an important facet of my emotional makeup-- my father's blessing.

Are you in a similar emotional tangle? Can you relate? You may or may not agree, but it can really mess with you. It can affect your other relationships or how you relate to others. It can make you feel unworthy, insecure.

Turn it all over to Jesus. Speaking from experience, it is the best thing that you can do for yourself. That is when I was able to begin to shed the layers of my hangups, hurts and habits and truly be the person that God created me to be.

When I was finally able to accept that my Heavenly Father accepted me as I was, once I admitted that I was nothing without Him, that He wanted a relationship with me, that He was proud of the daughter that I am and am continuing to become--that was when I became empowered. That was when I was able to accept my father as the wonderful man that he was. That I was able to have compassion for him. Realizing that he wasn't on purpose withholding his blessing--but that he didn't have enough love and self-respect in himself to give it.

Do you see? In my case, it wasn't intentional. In yours, maybe it was. But no matter which way it is, the awesome part of it is that we, you & I, can be free! We can be free in the knowledge of Jesus that, by His graciousness and selfless act of giving up heaven for 30 years, dying on the cross and raising up again--we are priceless! We are cherished! We are worth every drop of blood that He shed for us. Can you grasp that concept? Can you grasp that if our/His Heavenly Father would ask Jesus to do it all over again, that He would in a heartbeat? No questions asked? That just blows me away and humbles me to tears all in the same instant.

You have your Father's blessing! Claim it, cherish it and then continually thank Him. Every time you approach Him, He is saying to you, "You are mine, chosen and marked with My love, delight of My eye!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time Issues

"But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames." 2 Peter 3:8-9, 11-12 NLT

The promise here is the promise of God's return--His 'coming'. What prompted Peter to write this passage was that there were people, (he called them 'scoffers'), that were going around making fun of God and the fact that He said that He was coming back, but, 'hello', where is He? They were saying that God was lying to us. But in fact, what our God's doing is giving us a chance.

He knows that we are a people that, even with good hearts and intentions, fall short. We have good days and bad days. Some of us are a very bull-headed, stubborn or hard-hearted breed. And since our God is a loving, gracious God, He wants to give ALL His children a chance to turn to home--to Him.

Because folks, whether we want to admit it or not, when He comes back, that's it--no more chances. No more retries. No more timeouts. Our witness is what it is--the good, the bad or the ugly.

What grasp at my heart was the concept that after all that we have done to Him--the denial, the rejection, the pain--He still wants us. He still wants me.

He's not the condemning, hateful deity that is just sitting up there above the clouds somewhere, waiting to pounce on us. Purposely trying to ruin our lives. He is my wonderful, loving, compassionate Heavenly Father that no matter what I do, wants to have a relationship with me. With you. Isn't that a humbling reality?

Your God wants to be in a relationship with you. He desires more than anything to have you turn from the world life you have and enter into the Heavenly life that He has so patiently prepared and waited for you to accept.

Will you? Can you? You can. All it takes is the bending of a knee, the humbleness to accept the fact that you are a sinner and that you need to ask for forgiveness,and finish with the wiliness to have an open heart that desires a life that is filled with God's presence.

Do you think that it'll be easy street once you accept your Heavenly Father's invitation? Wrong. But when you do have troubles, sadness, tragedy, sorrow, temptation--you have a God that will help you through it with His Holy Spirit. You never, ever have to do it alone again.

Come to Jesus! Today. For it is true, you will not know the minute or the hour--but He does and He's waiting for you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Simple Praise

"Do you have any idea how powerful God is?
Have you ever heard of a teacher like Him?
Has anyone ever had to tell Him what to do,
or correct Him, saying, 'You did that all wrong!'?
Remember, then to praise His workmanship,
which is so often celebrated in song.
Everybody sees it;
nobody is too far away to see it.

Take a long, hard look. See how great He is--infinite,
greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!

He pulls water up out of the sea,
distills it, and fills up His rain-cloud cisterns.
Then the skies open up
and pour out soaking showers on everyone.
Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens?
How He arranges the clouds, how He speaks in thunder?
Just look at that lightning, His sky-filled light show
illumining the dark depths of the sea!
These are the symbols of His sovereignty,
His generosity, His loving care.

He hurls arrows of light,
taking sure and accurate aim.
The High God roars in the thunder,
angry against evil." Job 36:22-32 The Message

Our God is an AWESOME God is He not!? Praise Him today. Praise Him for all He is and all He is not. Do you realize that some religions have gods that are always angry and judgemental? You have a God that is full of indescribable love, uncontainable light, limitless grace.

I'm afraid that at times, we take our Heavenly Father for granted. Don't! Truly take time and read these verses and mediate upon them. Take time to look at the spiritual vision that the Lord puts into your mind when you read each line. "He hurls arrows of light..." "He pulls water up out of the sea...""The High God roars in the thunder,.."

Praise Him and all His graciousness!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Godly Consistency

"I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope.

God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times." Lamentations 3:21-26 (The Message)

Have you ever been there? There at the bottom of your circumstance? At the point when you are wondering how in the world did you ever allow yourself to get to this point? Was that the time where you vowed never to let this happen again?

It is sad when we get to that point. It doesn't have to happen--but at times--we allow it to. Remember when the prodigal son left all cocky and thoughtless--only to have to come back, groveling on the ground, prepared to plead to his father to have mercy on him and allow him to come back, not as his son, but as his servant?

Why does this happen? Because your Heavenly Father knows you better than you know yourself. Because He knows that sometimes, He has to knock us off our self-serving, self-righteous pedestal in order to have room for Him and His wisdom in our hearts and soul. Because when we are at our lowest, that is when He is at His strongest. It's when we give up on us and allow Him to come and do His will into our lives.

The above verses are full of promise and praise and everlasting hope. Old Testament, New Testament--God's love, faithfulness and hope is never changing. It's there. Don't abuse it, but don't let your shortcomings keep you from experiencing the deepest feeling of forgiveness that you will ever feel.

Your Heavenly Father loves you the same today, tomorrow and yesterday. Thank Him for that and go forth with strength and God-assurance to get done this day, what your God purpose is meant to get accomplish!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spiritual Pictures

"Every word you give me is a miracle word—
how could I help but obey?
Break open your words, let the light shine out,
let ordinary people see the meaning.
Mouth open and panting,
I wanted your commands more than anything.
Turn my way, look kindly on me,
as you always do to those who personally love you.
Steady my steps with your Word of promise
so nothing malign gets the better of me.
Rescue me from the grip of bad men and women
so I can live life your way.
Smile on me, your servant;
teach me the right way to live.
I cry rivers of tears
because nobody's living by your book!"
Psalm 119:129-136 (The Message)

"Every word you give me is a miracle word." Isn't that verse awesome? How does it make you feel? How does it touch your spirit?

"How could I help but obey." David makes it sound so easy. Like an--excuse the term--no brainer. But if you see it together and think about it, it is a no brainer. If our Heavenly Father is our father, then shouldn't we obey Him and His commandments? Shouldn't we want to honor Him by respecting His words of wisdom? They are not just words, for the sake of words. You know that each and every word was given to us carefully, knowing that at sometime, at someplace, we would be needing that exact word or words.

A great idea for today. Please slowly read each line of this psalm. Savor the words and meaning. Each line has a visual that makes it come alive. Pray ahead of time and ask your God to please open your heart and mind to the personal meaning that He has for you in it--and then claim it.

Just look at these lines! "Break open your word and let the light shine out!" "Mouth open and panting, I want your commands more than anything."

Make this your prayer today! What a glorious day you're going to have! Can't you just feel it?

Monday, August 2, 2010

God Chosen

"Meanwhile, we've got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God's original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. This is the life of the Spirit he invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ.

So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech." 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 (The Message)

If you are saved, do you think it was 'by accident' or was it a plan? Do you think that it is all up to you? If you haven't asked your Lord & Savior into your life yet, do you think you are the only one that has the power to ask or not ask?

These may seem like rudimentary questions, but reading this verse made me think. It made me think that we live in a time when it is somewhat advertised that you are in charge of everything in your life. That you have the power to create your life to be whatever you want it to be. Do whatever you want to do. You make it happen.

But it's not you. Yes, God needs you to be a partner with Him in this gift called life--but you need Him as much, if not more--than He needs you. He has planned this before you were born. It is no accident that you are called to be His. Every single person born, is born with the offer of a life in God--it's up to us if and when we accept it. That's when the 'you' comes in. God has planned since you were conceived, God has offered, now it is up to you to accept.

I don't know about you, but I think that it is pretty neat that God chose me when I was conceived in my mother's womb that I was going to be one of His. He knew me before I was born. He knew all my mistakes, my hangups, my hurts--and He still wanted me. It didn't matter to Him how 'not perfect' I am. He loves and wants me. ME! YOU! Isn't that so humbling incredible?!

Praise your Heavenly Father today! Praise Him for His agape love for you. His unconditional relationship that He wants with you. You'll never meet anyone like Him again in your entire life here on earth.

If you haven't accepted His invitation, please seriously consider it today. Your Heavenly Father desire more than anything to have you 100%. There's no magic words--just admit that you are a sinner and you would like forgiveness and please take your life and fill you with Him. A word to the wise, if you don't have a Bible, please get one. And also, if possible, find a least one strong mature Christian that you trust to come along side of you to help you on this new and exciting road.

And one last thing--don't forget to thank Him. We tend to remember to ask for things, but not always remember to thank. It is very important to remember to give Him heartfelt thanks. Then watch the miracles pour into your spirit!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Importance of Being Centered

"But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven." Jude 1:20-23 (The Message)

God knew that we, if left to our own devices, could be easily swayed to the left or the right. But when are you the strongest? Right. When you are planted smack down in the middle--right in the center.

If you think about it, being centered has a very important play in life. What happens if a bookshelf isn't centered on it's nail? The books fall off. What happens if you don't have enough people placed in the center of your aluminum fishing boat? That's right. The boat will tilt and you could fall out.

Have you ever had to ride in the middle of the seat while riding in the car, with someone on either side of you, how did that feel? While the scenery may be a little better for the person on your left or your right, for safety reasons, I always felt safer. I felt that I was better protected. I would tell myself, if--heaven forbid, we were to have an accident--I would have a better chance of not being hurt.

Well, that is what it is like if you plant yourself right smack dab in the middle of your Heavenly Father's love. You would have the protection of His unwavering love, His undying devotion and His endless wisdom. Keeping yourself right smack dab in the center of His Holy Spirit--it's like the the taproot of a tall ancient Oak tree--not even the strongest winds could blow it over.

And please remember, just as the Lord does unto you, you are expected to do unto others. So, be gentle to others that may be a little unsure what this Christian walk is all about. Share the insights that your Heavenly Father has shared with you to keep others on the right path.

Because even when you have the wisdom of Solomon, the boldness of David, or the faith of Abraham, this thing called Christianity is sometimes a scary and mysterious journey. But with the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus on our side, we'll be just fine.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nothing Less

"That's why the Lord Almighty said:
'Take a good, hard look at your life.

Think it over.'

Then God said:
'Here's what I want you to do:

Climb into the hills and cut some timber.
Bring it down and rebuild the Temple.

Do it just for me. Honor me.

You've had great ambitions for yourselves,
but nothing has come of it.

The little you have brought to my Temple
I've blown away—there was nothing to it.

'And why?' declares the Lord Almighty.
'Because while you've run around, caught up
with taking care of your own houses,
my Home is in ruins. That's why.'" Haggai 1:7-9 (The Message)

Do you see that the traps of today, seem to also have been traps during 520 B.C.? If you read these verses carefully, God is using the prophet Haggai to send the message to the people of that time that He is not going play second fiddle to anyone or anything. That He wanted their best--their first-rate--not their cast offs or their half-hearted attempts of honoring Him.

The same goes for today. Do you catch yourself thinking, "Oh, I'm going to be a little short this month so I'm going to give only a portion of my tithe this month."? "I really want to go to the lake today but I can't do my devotional time and go boating. Well, God will understand that I need to give up on our devotional time. I'll make it up to Him later."? "I really feel the need to pray, but I just don't have time. Well, O.K., I'll do it but I'll just have to rush it."?

Do any of these sound familiar? Have you thought of them or others close to it? Are you getting uncomfortable? Hitting too close to home?

God didn't want the Jews and Gentiles of that time half-heartedness--and He doesn't want ours today. Your God deserves 100% of you, your time and your devotion. Nothing less.

Sometimes people think that if they throw enough money in the offering plate on Sundays, that's all the Lord wants. Wrong! Yes, your Heavenly Father deserves your first fruits when it comes to your pocketbook--but He desires so much more. A personal relationship with you that is as important to you as it is to Him is what is the dearer to His heart. The first fruits of your heart, soul and mind is what He yearns for.

Can you give them to Him? He held nothing--nothing at all--back from you. It's only right that you give back nothing less than that to Him. Don't you think?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Godly Jealousy vs Human Jealousy

"I have been the Lord your God
ever since I brought you out of Egypt.
You must acknowledge no God but me,
for there is no other savior.

I took care of you in the wilderness,
in that dry and thirsty land.
But when you had eaten and were satisfied,
you became proud and forgot me." Hosea 13:4-6 NLT

Our God is an AWESOME God! Our God is also a jealous God. He freely admits that throughout the Bible. "What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?" 1 Corinthians 10:22 NLT

Isn't jealousy bad? Isn't that one of the deadly sins that the Lord warns us about? These may be a couple of the questions you are asking. And you would be right.

Noah's International Dictionary defines jealous as: (a.) Disposed to suspect rivalry in matters of interest and affection; apprehensive regarding the motives of possible rivals, or the fidelity of friends; distrustful; having morbid fear of rivalry in love or preference given to another; painfully suspicious of the faithfulness of husband, wife, or lover.

Reading the above, there are two kinds of jealousy. A good kind--like the Lord has for us--and the bad kind--like the kind that makes people do, say or think bad things.

God's jealousy for us is derived from His total and complete love of us. He created us and sacrificed His one and only Son for us. He gave everything He had for us and our salvation. His jealousy has not one ounce of ill wish for us. Not one ounce of selfishness in it. Not one ounce of thinking, saying or doing anything evil to us. His jealousy is one that is wanting to protect us. Protect us from ourselves, from false gods and false teachings.

Paul writes, "I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me. For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.

But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things. I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way." 2 Corinthians 11:1-6 NLT

Your God loves you so much, that in His love for you, He will jealousy guard and protect you from what Satan is trying to lead you away from--your salvation and your eternity with Him. And if you think about it, those of you that are parents, don't we do that with our kids? Why would our Heavenly Father be any different?

Just a word of caution--you must be very careful of your motives. It is only a thin line between Godly jealousy and human jealousy. Pray carefully over the feeling.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wish List

"This is what the Lord says:
'Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.

But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken!'" Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT

There may be many times in which we wish that we were richer, or had more power, or were wiser. But if you think of it, if you have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life, don't you already have all those things?

If you and your Lord have a close "koinonia" (communion by intimate participation.) relationship, if you are in a living prayer life with Him, if you have a daily, meaningful Bible time with Him, if you surround yourself with friends that are healthy with their relationship with Him, then you have all those things.

So, let the world have what they have--but you keep what you have--do NOT trade! What you have in the Lord is so much more valuable than the wisdom, strength and riches of this world.

Please remember that one of the greatest truths is this--to truly know your Lord God intimately and understand without a doubt that He is your GOD!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What do You Treasure?

"He handed me the scroll and said, "Eat this and fill up on it." So I ate the scroll, and it tasted sweet as honey." Ezekiel 3:3 CEV

When you read this verse, what is your immediate thought? The picture that comes into your head?

In the Old Testament, they didn't have the Bible like we do today of course. But everything was written down on scrolls. God is telling Ezekiel to eat this scroll, and then, if you read on, in the next verse, God tells Ezekiel to go the house of Israel and "speak my words to them."

God is basically telling Ezekiel to fill himself with the word of God. To feed upon the words of the Lord God and then he will have the courage and the knowledge to be able to share the Word of God to those in his world, which at that time, was the Israelites.

The Words of God are sweet. They may seem bitter to us at times because of the way we live. The truths that are being revealed to us may be a little hard for us to swallow. The truths revealed may make us feel ashamed of what we are doing or not doing. Saying or not saying. Thinking or not thinking.

You will notice that whenever they refer to something as sweet, it is referred to 'as sweet as honey.' In Biblical days, they didn't have Sweet'n Low, Splenda, or just good ol' plain white sugar. They had honey. Honey was the sweetest thing that they could compare something to. Today, we have sugar coming out of our ears. But back then, honey was not easy to find or cheap. It was a commodity that was treasured.

So, when you think of that fact, does the verse take on a different light? Do you see that not only is God saying that His words are sweet and pleasant, but shouldn't they be treasured? Shouldn't you guard them with the same ferociousness that you would guard your most valued treasures in your treasure chest?

These days, everything is disposable--God's words aren't. God's words are the greatest of all treasures and they should be treated as such, don't you think?

How do you show them respect? By reverently reading them. Don't just skim over the words so that your conscience can say, "I did my Bible reading today. I'm good to go." Truly read the words. Savor each word. Mediate and pray on the meaning that your Lord wants to show you. Some days, you may just get a couple of verses done. That's wonderful!

Compare it to, let's say, a love letter. If you are sent a love letter, don't you read each and every word? You may even read it 3 or 4 times during the day. Then, when you are through with it, don't you put in a really safe place? Don't you think about the words during the day? Smiling occasionally--getting all warm and gushy inside?

Well, that is what the Bible is from your God to you. Treat it the same. And as you read, please remember to thank Him for this most beautiful and treasured love letter.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Size Doesn't Matter

"As long as I live,
while I have breath from God,
my lips will speak no evil,
and my tongue will speak no lies.
I will never concede that you are right;
I will defend my integrity until I die.
I will maintain my innocence without wavering.
My conscience is clear for as long as I live." Job 27:1-6 NLT

Job is speaking this to his friends that have been telling him that the reason that he has been having such tragedy in his life of late is because he must have had wickedness in his heart or had done something very wrong against His God and His God is punishing him.

Job is declaring his innocence. He is stating that he is not going to admit to doing something wrong in order to appease his 'friends', his counselors. He knows that he is right with his God and his conscience is cleared.

Have you been in that situation? You're with your friends heading into a restaurant and you find a $100 in the parking lot. They say, "You lucky dog. You should go ahead and keep it. You'll never find the true owner." What do you do? Money's been tight and that $100 would truly help the ends meet this month. And your friends are probably right--how would the restaurant find it's owner? The temptation is great--but ask yourself--what would Jesus do? Yup, Jesus would turn that money in. What happens to it isn't your business. What is your business is the condition of your conscience and the example that you are setting for your friends.

We are surrounded every day by little & big temptations that would affect our conscience, which in turn would affect our relationship with our Lord. But with the Lord, I don't think that there is big & little--big sin, little sin--size doesn't matter to Jesus. Sin is sin. Temptation is temptation. You just don't do it.

We are our own worst enemies at times. We want to please. We want to fit in with our 'crowd'. We want what we want. We want to please God but sometimes it's easier to give in to peer-pressure, self-pressure, world-pressure, than it is to stay strong in our God and lean on His strength and stand up for what is right.

Doing right isn't very often easy. Especially on your own. The secret? Jesus. Yes, Jesus is there just waiting for you to ask Him for help. For strength. For wisdom. How do you ask? By praying. How do you know? By being in His Word. And you need to surround yourself with accountability friends that are also strong in prayer and His Word.

Isn't that what Job did? Job knew his God so intimately, that he knew that he wasn't being punished. He knew that his conscience was clear. So he was strong enough to stay clear of temptation.

How's your conscience? Have you checked it lately? Humbly take it to Jesus and make it right. You'll be so blessed!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Good Medicine

"Shout praises to the LORD!
Shout the LORD's praises
in the highest heavens.

All of you angels,
and all who serve him above,
come and offer praise.

Sun and moon,
and all of you bright stars,
come and offer praise.

Highest heavens,
and the water
above the highest heavens, come and offer praise.

Let all things praise
the name of the LORD,
because they were created
at his command.

He made them to last forever,
and nothing can change
what he has done."
Psalm 148:1-6 CEV

Are you surrounded with sadness, sorrow, negativity, bad attitude? Sometimes when we get in these ruts, we need to adjust our focus--our heart.

Yes, there is so much stress and bad things happening that at times it's hard to look on the upper side of things. It feels like the Lord has deserted you. Like you've become invisible to Him. But He is there. Truly

Being a Christian and living a Christian life, doesn't magically make all the bad things go away and all the good things become yours exclusively. Being a Christian means that during the times that you are struggling, you know that you have your Heavenly Father there, helping you through it.

So, when you are going through hard times, when you are in a bad mood, when the world that you are in isn't exactly pleasant, read the above loving and peaceful verses--truly read them--they will bring you peace to your soul. Read them, line by line and then ponder on them a moment.

Ask your God to show your heart and spirit what He wants to teach you. Savor the meaning for a minute. By the time that you get through, the not pleasant world may still be there, but your outlook and the spirit in which you see it in, hopefully has changed 360%.

Your God may not be able to take you physically out of a situation, but He has given you the gift of His word to help you through it--please accept and open it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Soul Food

"You are always loyal
to your loyal people,
and you are faithful
to the faithful.

With all who are sincere,
you are sincere,
but you treat the unfaithful
as their deeds deserve.

You rescue the humble,
but you put down all
who are proud.

You, the LORD God,
keep my lamp burning
and turn darkness to light.

You help me defeat armies
and capture cities.

and your word is correct.
You are a shield for those
who run to you for help."
Psalm 18:25-30CEV

These are such a beautiful praise verses. If you get a chance, you should really read the whole chapter. It is filled with just wonderful words of praise, wisdom and thanksgiving. Some days, it does a soul good to just read chapters or verses like these so that your spirit is uplifted.

As you read these, a cool idea is to pray to the Lord to ask Him to embed the word, the phrase, the thought, that He desires you to carry in your heart and spirit today. Then pray that He shows you how He wants you to use it. Maybe you are to share it with a co-worker, a family member, a stranger or He just wants you to use it for yourself.

Your God so dearly loves you--wrap yourself in that knowledge today!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bragging Rights?

"If I have to "brag" about myself, I'll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus." 2 Corinthians 11:30 (The Message)

I'm struggling. I feel that the Lord brought this verse to me this morning and I'm not sure why. Maybe I shouldn't be so honest, but there it is.

The one thought that keeps coming to me though-- and maybe this is why we needed to see this verse today is this--that God uses us. He has faith and uses us to further His Kingdom.

But this is what I struggle with--how do you let Him use you and then share the glory of what happened without sounding that you are bragging? I don't want to be the center "me". My prayer of late is to please help me not to keep putting "me" in the center of everything. To take the self focus off of me.

As I've been pondering this, the Lord used a friend to give me some insight. It's not in the words of how you share the miracles, it's in the spirit of how you tell it. Does that make sense?

When God uses you to do something, great or small, if you are to share it, you need to put you in the place of the miracle that you need to be. That is obvious. But it is in what spirit that you share it that makes the difference between "bragging" and just sharing a wonderful God-moment that you were honored to be apart of.

Doesn't that sound so simple? I get it so wrapped up with all sorts of emotions that before I know it, I have a tangled mess of emotions in my hands. And while I sit there, all frustrated with this big ball of tangled mess, Jesus just gently comes over and picks up my ball and calmly unwinds everything and makes it right.

So, go ahead, share your miracles! Our God is an awesome God!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Gift of Grace

"Real love isn't our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts.

God has given us his Spirit. That is how we know that we are one with him, just as he is one with us." 1 John 4:10-13 CEV

How do you see love? Is love to you what you see on the movie screens, the soap operas, the prime time evening television shows? Is it what you read about in those romance novels?

True love isn't any of those, as you can guess. True love is what our Heavenly Father did for us. True love is knowing a person's sin, and die for that person anyway. True love is when you don't even blink an eye when asked to protect this person. True love loves even when it is not returned.

The Bible are full of stories that are true love stories--and the greatest one being that of Jesus loving us to the point of sacrifice.

Can you love that way? Have you ever loved that way? Love to the point that all else fades away--that you instinctly and without thinking, sacrifice yourself or your own needs, desires--for the betterment of the one you love.

I truly enjoy how John starts this out--"real love isn't our love for God--But His love for us." You see, John knew that it is usually so easy to love someone if they love you. If that person was good and kind and pleasant to be around, yes, it is usually easy for you to love that person. But what about the person that isn't so nice? Isn't so pleasant? Isn't so good.? What then? Do you love them then?

That is when grace comes in. God, in His Graciousness, loves us in all the above unlovable times. Our God loves us even when we don't love ourselves.

Please remember, that salvation is God-given, God-driven, God-empowered--it is a gracious gift from God to you. It is not necessarily a gift from you to your Heavenly Father--even though when you come home and accept Him as your Lord and Savior, your Father is leaping for joy and happiness.

Grace was created by God and given to man as a gift to show His true love for you--all you have to do is graciously accept it and then past it on.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Power of a Sigh

"Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing." Psalm 5:1 NIV

"Consider my sighing..." Those words captured my attention. Have you ever been in that place where you just couldn't put into words your feelings? The deep sorrow, a frustration or anger or discouragement, the overwhelming grief, the sense of loss, or just the unnamed feeling that you can't put a finger on?

I have been there. There are times that yes, even me, who never seems lost for words, because even if I am, I seem to keep talking anyways--have been there. And apparently, so has the psalmist, David.

Sometimes, words just don't cut it. Sometimes you can't always put into words what you are experiencing. Sometimes, just a mere sigh, a moment of silence, a look--can say a million words. And it's O.K.

Your Heavenly Father understands. Your Heavenly Father is so in tune with you that you don't have to speak everything--because in your silence, in your sighing, your groaning, your pleading look heavenwards--you are telling Him everything He needs to know.

So please, don't let those deep times keep you from "talking" to your God. Don't let the fact that you may not be able to put into words, you may not be able to voice what is going on inside of you and your spirit, keep you from getting on your knees and just being in His presence.

Maybe prayer is much more than a combination of the 26 letters of the alphabet. If you remember--your God did know you before you could speak. After all, He knitted you in your mother's womb.

"O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.

You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb." Psalm 139:1-2, 13 NLT

Just know--He knows & understands--that's enough.

Monday, July 5, 2010

First Things First

"My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:5-8 NASB

This is one of those beautiful reminders that God is ALWAYS there for us. He has designed our relationship to be one that has us needing to have a close and personal one with Him and He with us. He is always there, even if you feel that He isn't. He is always willing even if it seems that nothing is changing. He is always listening, even if you feel that you are not being heard.

Your Heavenly father is a father that wants to be active in your daily life, your every thought, your every hurt, your every feeling. He's there to protect you, not only from others and dangers, but more times than naught, from yourself. As you know, sometimes we are our own worst enemy. He can and will keep you on the path that He has designed for you but you need to do your part also.

What is that you have to do? It's pretty simple actually. Jesus Christ wants to have a personal, genuine, healthy relationship with you. He wants to know that you love and trust Him. He desires more than anything to be in 'koinonia' with you. What's koinonia you may be asking? It is a Greek word that means, "communion by intimate participation."

A koinania relationship with your Heavenly Father is achieved by: 1.) first and foremost, humbly confess you are a sinner and sincerely ask for forgiveness. Then ask Him into your life--to be the Lord of your life. 2.) Get into His word. You don't have to read the Bible in a day. That thought will overwhelm you. The important part is to just begin. Begin to read where ever it is that the Lord leads you. 3.) Pray, pray, pray. Praying can not ever be emphasized enough. It's your form of communication. And not only praying for wants and needs--but also remember to pray about praises and good things.

As a side note, another fun way to communicate is starting a prayer journal. It's a wonderful way to see, as you look back on your growth and path, how God has blessed you. You write down your prayer, and as the Lord answers it, then you write that down also.

Dear Child of His, just please remember that whether you have been saved for years, or just today, we need to always cherish this relationship and not take it for granted. We need to keep it nourished by giving it the attention it deserves.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


"At once, this same Spirit pushed Jesus out into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights He was tested by Satan. Wild animals were His companions, and angels took care of Him." Mark 1:12-13 (The Message)

I have this friend that has this dilemma--He has been offered this job that is closer to his girlfriend and pays more money. But he also is a dad to 3 children and this job will take him 5 hours from them. So he is torn between the nice new job and the girlfriend and knowing that he should stay at the old job so that he can be around for his children.

His walk with the Lord is somewhat shaky. He wants to do the right thing, but Satan is dangling this temptation in front of him.

When he was telling me this, the story about Jesus in the desert came to my mind. (Luke 4:1-13) Satan knows what we desire just as much as Jesus does. He knows how to play games with your mind and spirit that can make seem that it was or is the choice you should make, but it's not.

To me it's a no brainer--stay with your kids. But I'm not making the decision. Have you ever been there? You're trying so hard to stay on the path that you feel the Lord wants you on, and then oops, there's a concession stand, right there in the middle of the road. It has all the things that you want on it, but what we have to remember to ask ourselves is this--are those things what your Heavenly Father wants for you?

Satan tempted Jesus several times that time in the desert. He even used scripture to try to trick Jesus up. Jesus was hungry--Satan tempted with bread even serving it with a Bible verse. Jesus didn't fall for it, He came back with His verse. He offered Jesus power over all of the kingdoms--Jesus didn't flinch, He came back with His verse. Satan taunted Jesus that if He really believed in His Heavenly Father, He would jump off this cliff, knowing that the Father would save the Son, complete with a Bible verse--Jesus calmly stated 'no need' and came back with His verse.

So, there will be times that you are tempted, and please remember, not all temptations from Satan are going to be obvious. They are not all going to be flashing Code red, Bad idea, Satan Alert. They are not going to be on the list of the Top 10 'You Shall Not's..." Because if you noticed, Satan offered Jesus bread. Is eating bread when you are hungry bad? No, of course not. But if you haven't checked in with your Heavenly Father and find out if that is what He wants for you, then, yes, it could be the wrong choice, for that particular time.

My heart's desire, "when I grew up", was to get married at the age of 18 and have lots of children. That was my dream. Well, when I turned 21 and wasn't married, I panicked and married the first guy that asked me. It ended in sadness. Looking back now, I see the temptation story in my own life. Was it wrong to marry? No. But did I check in with my Heavenly Father to make sure this was the mate He had picked out for me? Not really. I thought I did. I used the worldly thought that He wanted me happy and if this made me happy, He was alright with it.

When you are tempted by something that you are not sure about, do what Jesus did. Check with your Father by praying and getting into His word. Jesus had His Father's powerful words to counteract Satan's. And you can see, Satan also knows God's powerful words. So, you truly need to be immersed in His word and presence so that you have discernment to know the truth.

So, please, don't be afraid of temptation. But be ready. Be spiritually ready. How? By feeding everyday on the words of your God (Bible life), by being in constant communication with Him (prayer life), and by surrounding yourself with mature, godly, spirit-filled people. You do these three steps, you'll be O.K.!