Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fix Our Gaze

In light of my accident back in October, I sort of chuckled just a bit as I read the scripture “No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Psalms 91:10-12 NIV

Immediately the thought ran thru my head, "Lord, where were the angels when I kicked the curb and went flying to the ground?"  And immediately the Holy Spirit reminded me that they were right there: shielding me from a fall that could have ended worse than what it did.  As a habit, I tend to walk fast and with a lot of determination. When my left foot hit the curb, I literally went flying fast & hitting hard! But by the grace of God, I could have broke my neck, hit my head or smashed my front teeth. Although I didn't escape complete injury, I am very aware that The Lord was still with me and His angels did shield my fall. And let’s face it folks, sometimes situations in our lives just happen.

As I face surgery this morning, I am reminded & encouraged of the story in Deuteronomy 31 NIV, when Joshua was given the mantle to lead the people into the Promised Land.  The Israelites were facing an enormous army that could have annihilated them with no problem.  But they didn’t face this army alone.  Moses reminds the Israelites not once, by twice that “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” 

So when you face situations in your life and you think the Lord has abandoned or forgotten you, be encouraged and hold on to His promises.  And remember 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Be blessed my family & friends.  Praying you walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

About Our Father’s Business

For quite some time I have sought the Lord, asking Him to use me in ways that would glorify Him.  I asked that He open up doors of opportunity for me to reach the lost & hurting people; share His great salvation plan and restore hope to those who feel like they’ve reached the end of their road. 
And as I drove into work the other day, I was thinking about the different opportunities He has placed in front of me; especially this past year. Most of the time, I do my best to heed to the voice of the Holy Spirit; watching for open doors where I can share the love of Jesus and be a witness. Yet I also realize there have been times where I’ve completed missed His direction; ultimately grieving His Holy Spirit.

But think about Jesus for a moment.  He ministered to those around Him; wherever he went. At the age of twelve, He went with His parents to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover.  But when Joseph and Mary left, He stayed behind.  When they realized Jesus wasn’t with them, they hurried back and found Jesus sitting with the teachers of the temple.  The bible says all who heard Jesus was astonished at His understanding and answers. However, when His parents asked Him why He stayed behind, His response was, Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49 NKJV

In Matthew 5:1-2 NKJV it says, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.  Then He opened His mouth and taught them.”   When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.  And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:1-3 NKJV

Luke 8 NKJV tells us that He went through every city & village, preaching about the Kingdom of God.  But that’s not all He done.  As He walked from place to place, He ministered to those who were lost, blind and hurting spiritually.     

In Mark 5 we hear of how Jesus set a man free from an unclean spirit. And remember Jarius; the ruler of a synagogue who’s daughter was about to die?  He asked Jesus to come and lay hands on her so that she would be healed.  As Jesus was going to Jarius’ home, another woman who suffered from a blood disorder reached out just to touch His garment so that she would be healed.  Immediately Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched My cloths?”  And when the woman came and fell down before Jesus, His response was full of compassion as He said to her,  “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

These are just a few examples of Jesus being used; wherever He was; at any given moment.

Plain & simple folks; Jesus didn’t miss an opportunity. 
And so I ask you, “Have you walked thru the open doors placed before you?  Look around.  There’s a mission field right where He has you.  It may not be the pulpit you’ve been waiting for; or an invitation out to evangelize before millions of people.  But it may very well be the pulpit God has placed before you at this time.  It’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

It’s not about us and what we think.
It’s about being “about our Father’s business”.

Be blessed my family & friends.  I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Robbed From the Joy of Giving

This past weekend, as we drove home from Missouri, I started thinking about my brief experience at Best Buy as I ventured out on Black Friday.  All I wanted was a new flash drive to back up some important business files.  There were crowds of people in the store, but I didn’t notice any long checkout lines.  However, much to my surprise, the lines were formed against the side wall all the way across the store and wrapped all the way down & around as far as my eyes could see.  I was stunned as I looked at the people willing to stand and wait for that great deal they clutched tightly in their hands.  I looked at my flash drive, handed it to one of the workers and said, "I'm not standing in that line for this." And I walked out. 

Now let me clarify that I’m not a scrooge and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE giving gifts to other people; especially my family.    Money or credit cards aren’t the issue.  I can choose any time to go and spend money however & whenever I decide and I can also choose to rack up debt that will take me forever to pay off.  The thing that breaks my heart is what Christmas has come to represent; nothing but materialism.   And let’s not forget how outrageous people become over an item they want; even to the point of physically hurting others.  Seriously folks; is this what Christmas is all about?  When I look around and see so many hurting people; humbled by the life they live, while others with plenty continue to want more than what they can imagine, it robs my heart from the  joy of giving. 

We are reminded in Matthew 6:19-21 NLT “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

And so I ask –

Where are You, God, in all our plans?  Where is Your Son in this joyous celebration?  Have we really strayed that far away from You that we've forgotten the true reason we celebrate Christmas?  Oh, God, how You must feel robbed; robbed from the joy of giving us Your One and Only Son.  You sacrificed Your Son in order that we would be forgiven of our sins and live in eternity with You one day. 

Where are You, Jesus, in all our plans? Wasn’t it You that was born in a humble manager; You who walked the earth forgiving & healing others; You who were beaten & whipped beyond human recognition; You who were crucified on a cross and bore the sins of this world? Oh, Jesus, how You must feel robbed; robbed from the joy of giving us Your all so that we could be joint heirs with You.  Isn’t it Your birthday we are celebrating? 

Where are You, Holy Spirit, in all our plans? Are You just as grieved by what you see; grieved that we ignore Your direction; grieved that we turn a deaf ear to Your voice?  Oh, Holy Spirit, how You must feel robbed; robbed from the joy of giving us Your comfort; helping us thru situations we got ourselves into simply because we did not heed to Your voice. 

Heavenly Father….Thank You for all You’ve given me; Your Son, Jesus!!!!!  He is the best gift I’ve ever received!!!!!

Jesus….”Happy Birthday!”  You are My everything and I celebrate YOU!!!!!

Holy Spirit……You are and will always be….my Comforter!  I wouldn’t want to live my life without You!!!!

I am truly blessed and have all I need because I have my Father, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  What more could I ask for?

Don't be robbed from the joy of giving this year! 

Take time and celebrate Jesus and be sure to share Him with those around you!

Be blessed my family & friends.  Praying you walk in the Lord’s total favor!

Love you all!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

From Rags to Riches

Moses was an awesome example of someone with strong faith. Remember the story?

Pharaoh was fearful because the Israelites were starting to outnumber the Egyptians. And so he sent out an order to kill all Israelite babies. In an attempt to protect her son, Moses’ mother placed him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River. She watched closely as Pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the waters and claimed him as her own. But when Moses got older and realized he was really an Israelite, he made a decision that would change his life forever.

He chose to follow The Lord instead of enjoying the worldly riches he had grown accustom too. Let’s face it folks, he could of had it all since he was raised the son of Pharaoh's daughter. And yes, it appears that Moses literally went from rags to riches from a simple little boat ride down the river. But we are told in Hebrews 11:24-26 NLT, "It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.”

You might think, really? That’s faith that he went from rags to riches and then back to rags again?

Oh contraire, my friends. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that the true rags were the riches of this world Pharaoh& his daughter had to offer Moses. Only when Moses chose to acknowledge his true identity in the Lord did he become rich.

God’s word reminds us in Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV,“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

And so I ask you my friends, what great reward are you looking for? Trusting in what the world has to offer you here on earth? What treasures are you clinging too? "He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage." Proverbs 11:28 NKJV

Looking to everything & everyone other than God to meet your needs? Matthew 6:8 NKJV tells us, “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Are you lacking the faith to trust God and believe what His word tells you? Maybe you’ve faced hard times lately and your faith has been shaken. Let me encourage you to take time right now and ask the Lord to renew your faith in Him. Remember Hebrews 11:6 NKJV says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Look ahead just like Moses did and see your great reward. Then watch how God blesses you as you diligently seek Him.

Be blessed my family & friends and walk in the Lord’s total favor!

Love you all,



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Firm Foundation

Ever wonder what makes a house stable; able to withstand storm after storm?  Recently I was looking at a video about adding on an addition. The builders started by pouring a good foundation; about 42” deep.  However, if it were my home, I would be tempted to go even deeper into the ground.  Although many things need to be considered; one big concern would be how much of a load the foundation can bear at its roughest time, while also considering how the ground shifts in various locations during different seasons. Skyscrapers need a deeper foundation in comparison to a house, so clearly the deeper the foundation, there would be a better chance the building will be able to withstand a devastating and unexpected storm. If the foundation is deep & solid, the building will most likely remain standing even if the outside of the building takes a beating and looks a bit scarred.

And so goes our relationship with the Lord. 

Throughout the years of walking with the Lord, it’s been a learning experience.  However, as I continued to draw closer to Him, the foundation His Word poured into my life would soon take the challenge of standing during the most crucial trials I was forced to experience.  When I look back at the many times our family faced devastating situations, it is so clear to me that I was able to weather the storm only because of the foundation I have in knowing the faithfulness of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.  Trust me when I say that my foundation got shaky more times than I can recount.  But by His grace, He gave me the ability to withstand the horrendous storms I’ve faced.  And yes; the outside of my building is a bit battered, bruised and beaten down.  But rest assured, because of His mercy, I’m still standing! 

Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7:24-27 NIV, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

And so I ask you, “How Stable Is Your Foundation?” Maybe you think it’s too late.  But let me encourage you that it’s never too late to make a fresh start with the Lord.  Don’t wait until you come crashing down.  Take time right now to renew your relationship with the Lord.  It’s as simple as asking the Lord to forgive you of all your sins. Then get back into His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to dig your foundation deeper. 

Or maybe you’ve never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Well it’s not too late for you either.  You’ll need to repent of your sins too and then ask the Lord to be your personal Savior.  With the Lord, there is forgiveness for your sins.  In 1 John 1:9 NLT we are told, “But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

What are you waiting for?  Get into God’s Word, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.  Starting a small foundation is better than none at all.  But as you grow in the things of God, allow yourself to build even a deeper foundation with Him.  Don’t place limits on the depth He desires you to be in your relationship with Him.   Remember, the deeper your foundation in Christ, the better you will be able to withstand the storms life brings your way.  And storms will come; it’s inevitable.  And I promise……It won’t always be an easy journey, but you will never regret the decision to serve Him!  And if you ever do think you’d be better off without Him; ask yourself one simple question. How much more difficult would your journey be without Him?

“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.  Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.  We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT
Don’t waste another minute; start building your foundation; brink by brink.  And remember to make Jesus the “Corner Stone” in your life and allow Him to direct your steps! 

Be blessed my family & friends!  Praying God’s continued favor to shine over you with true hope, grace & mercy that only comes from Him.
Love you all!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

If My People

Although I don't know the original writer to the following little scenario, I felt it was definitely worth sharing it with all of you.
While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator (that may be redundant) was tragically hit by a car and died. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St.. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator. "Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."  And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.

In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.  Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing
and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.The elevator goes up, up,
and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven.

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. "Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean
heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste
and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning, Today, you voted.."

Vote wisely on November 6, 2012
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
Be blessed my family & friends.  Praying you walk in the Lord's total favor!
Love you all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

“Stop Trying To Please Man; Please Me!”

Back when I was a new Christian, it was difficult being around some believers. Seemed no matter what I did, what I said or how I acted, it was unacceptable to them. I was always falling short in their eyes one way or another.  I found myself continually trying to please them; just hoping they would accept me and believe that I was a Christian just like they were. But nothing seemed to work.  Then, one day as I sought the Lord, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Stop trying to please man; please Me!”  It couldn’t have been any clearer if it had been a lightning bolt shoot from the sky.  Almost instantly the heavy burden I carried for so long was lifted from my shoulders. I finally understood that it didn’t matter how other’s judged me for my past or present situation; as long as I truly repented and was seeking the Lord to please Him.

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Paul, (once known as Saul).
Remember the story about his conversion? 
At one time, Saul persecuted the Lord’s disciples; murdered many and received approval from the chief priests to seek out more believers to have them killed. He was on a mission and no one was going to stop him; or so he thought. However, while on the road to Damascus, Saul had an amazing encounter with the Lord; one that would prove to change his life drastically and cause him to turn from persecuting believers to professing Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior.
The bible tells us in Acts 9 NIV, “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
Saul fell to the ground. But when he stood up, he was speechless and couldn’t see.  The bible tells us that in a vision he saw a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.  In the meantime, the Lord was preparing Ananias to do exactly what Saul had seen in his vision.  However, Ananias was reluctant as he reminded the Lord that Saul was there to persecute & arrest all believers.  And then the Lord said something that goes completely against the grain of our human minds.  In Acts 9:15 NIV, it says, But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.
Wondering how the Lord could use such a vile man as Saul to bring forth His message?  
Truth is…God’s ways are far beyond what we could ever understand.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV, it tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Wondering if the Lord could ever use you to reach the lost & hurting people of our world?  Are you worried about what others might think, what they might say or how they will treat you?
Moses was clear in Deuteronomy 13:4 NIV, where he says, “It is the LORD your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.”
Still not sure?  Ask yourself this simple question that we find in Galatians 1:10 NIV
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
In the words from the Holy Spirit, “Stop trying to please man; please Me!”
Be blessed my family & friends and walk in the Lord’s total favor as you seek Him.
Love you all,

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NIV

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Omnipresent God

Monday morning started out extremely stressful as I headed up to London, Ontario in hopes for a successful outcome during a business meeting with our sister company and representatives from US & Canadian service providers.  Getting everyone on the same page; focusing on a great resolve for a “win” “win” outcome was my goal and it wasn’t going to be easy.  And if that wasn’t enough stress, my thoughts ran ramped as I remembered the last visit thru Canadian customs just a couple months ago as they not so lovingly directed me to immigrations for further questioning. 

Yet all along my mind kept jumping to our church prayer meeting that was scheduled for 6:30 later that evening.  All I kept saying is “Lord, I just want to get back to the US in plenty of time for our visit together at Your altar.  I tried to remain hopeful that I would return back soon enough to make it.  However, as the meeting continued thru mid-afternoon, it was clear I’d be pushing the time since we all decided to go out to lunch before heading back.  Every now & then I would glance at my watch and think…Ok…just might be able to make it and have my personal time with the Holy Spirit.  There’s just something about His altar and I love being in His presence with nothing else to hinder our intimate relationship.  
We finally headed back; feeling like the day was successful.  No issues at the border and meeting went well.  Once we crossed back to the US, we went our own way; yet I still had about 2 hour drive ahead of me in rush hour traffic.  Need I say more?
I did my best to get back in time...but as I drove on Interstate 696 I realized I was running out of time.  Now mind you, I pretty much chat with the Lord the whole time I’m driving anyway.  After all, it was just Him & me in my car and who better to talk too, right?  Yet my heart was broken that I’d be late and I cried out to God in desperation, "But I want to be at Your altar!"  Quite honestly, I was upset and my tears just ran down my face.  But as usual, the Holy Spirit, in His compassion, quickly and softly reminded me as He said, "I'm right here with you.  My altar is right where you are.”
I kept driving and immediately started to internalize what He had said.  And yes, although I was bummed about missing my prayer meeting at the actual altar I was used too, the drive home was sufficient for my situation and I still had my intimate time with the Lord. 
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20 NIV
How; you may wonder? 
Very simple!
God is Omnipresent! He fills the universe in all its parts and is present everywhere at once. 
What are you waiting for my friend? 
Let me encourage you to take time and talk to the ONLY One that knows your ever thoughts.  I promise you that He will meet you right where you are at this very moment.  Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV tells us, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
God is truly amazing! He is awesome! He is magnificent!

And I love Him with all my heart!!!!
Be blessed my family & friends!  I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Oh God, Help me! I can’t do this alone!”

Ever have one of those days where you want to just throw your hands up in the air and scream? This past week I had one of those days.  It started out being a pretty quiet morning; until about 8:30 – 9 am. Now mind you, I actually love my job and enjoy it about 99% of the time.  But there are days where the pressure gets to be a bit much, and well, Friday was just one of those days.  It seemed like all the demands hit at one time.  Everything was urgent and everyone needed an answer “now”.   And if that wasn’t enough; some folks pushed the right buttons that would soon cause my flesh to war against my spirit man as I fought the resistance in responding back in a negative way.  Instead, I found myself with an inward war; one that no one else could see, except the good Lord, Himself.  It took everything I had not to burst into tears and all I kept hearing is “Don’t respond.” 

Oh Lord, seriously?  Don’t respond?  But didn’t you hear what was said just now?  Didn’t you see, Lord? 
And still nothing but, “Don’t respond.”

I fought my flesh and forced my thoughts to dwell on hearing the Lord’s voice as He continued to speak softly “Don’t respond”.   Talk about a challenge.  Anyone that knows me knows it is indeed a challenge at times.  As the morning went by, things did not seem to get any better.  As lunch time drew near, I went to the fridge, warmed up my lunch and sat at my desk eating as I continued to fight back the tears.
I wanted to scream!!!!  “Oh God, Help me!  I can’t do this alone!”  And yet, I knew without doubt that I wasn’t alone.  The Holy Spirit reminded me that He was there and that it was nothing more than spiritual warfare.  Satan was doing his best to pull my attention away from the Lord in hopes he could tempt me to fall into a situation where I would respond in a negative manner to those around me.  Satan knows that if I allowed him to persuade me into something contrary to God’s word, it would damage my character as a servant of God, make me lose credibility with those around me and ultimately bring separation between me & my Lord.

I felt compelled to finish my lunch and go find a quiet place where it could be just me & God; no one else!  As I stood up to leave, I grabbed my water and some tissues and then went to grab my cell phone; just in case something urgent came up.  The Lord spoke softly again, “Don’t take it.  Leave it there.”  And I did.  Without any further hesitation, I went outside, found my favorite spot and sat quietly in His presence.   As I looked up, my tears became my silent prayer.  The sun gently pierced thru the clouds that gloomed over it, covering me with gentle warmth of God’s presence.  I noticed the clouds kept trying to cover over the sun again, leaving me feeling cold and alienated.  But then the sun would find its way to pierce thru the clouds as if the clouds didn’t exist.  (I know this is a normal thing, but this particular day it actually captivated my attention.)
As I could see the sun vaguely thru the clouds, the Holy Spirit showed me that no matter what may try to come between us, He is still there.   Nothing but His peace flooded my soul.  I knew God was at work and I was assured that this would somehow bring glory to Him, for He has a plan greater than what I can see.

Later that afternoon, some of the people I had a run in with earlier kept coming around acting as if they knew they hurt or offended me.  It was obvious they were trying to make things right between us and yet, unsure of what to say as they grabbed thru straws to hold a conversation.  At that moment, I was able to respond with true compassion and genuineness of heart; only because I heeded to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Apart from Him, I would not have had the strength to do so otherwise.
What about you?  Are you in the middle of an inward war other’s can’t see?  Wondering where God is at in the midst of your circumstance?  You’re not alone.   Trust me when I tell you; there are others just like you & me.  Let me encourage you to find a quiet place; a place where you can be alone with God.  No need to say anything.  Your submission in His presence will say it all.  He knows what you’re going thru and has already prepared a plan to see you thru.  Allow His peace to flood your mind and be open to His direction. 

Remember, He has promised us in Hebrews 13:5 NIV  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Be blessed my family & friends.  I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!

Love you all,

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:8-12 NIV

Philippians 2:3-4 NCV

“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.”       

Sunday, September 16, 2012

James 3:9-12 NCV

We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good and bad water flow from the same spring?My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mark 8:34-38 NLT

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38 NLT)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Need A Breakthrough?

In Matthew 17, we hear about a man that needed a breakthrough.  He wanted his son healed of epilepsy; and yet Jesus’ disciples were not successful in helping his son; but the man didn’t give up.  When he saw Jesus, he knelt down beside Him; begged for mercy and asked Jesus to heal his son.  Without hesitation; Jesus took authority, commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man’s son and within an hour, he was healed.    

Matthew 17:19-21 (NKJV)Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Do you need a breakthrough? Maybe you have a desire to serve God and allow Him to be Lord over your life; yet it seems regardless of all your efforts to serve Him, there are always trials or temptations that emerge in the face of adversity.  Possibly a stumbling block you continually kick away; only to find it resurfacing time and time again.  It’s as if it taunts & tempts you to jump on board for a joy ride adventure!  Maybe you’ve even prayed and sought God; asking that He remove it forever; and still it lingers and rears its ugly head at your weakest moment;  leaving you to feel absolutely hopeless in an already bad situation. Well, you’re not alone! 

When I look at temptation, I can almost envision the enemy quietly slipping a noose around my neck, spiritually of course; waiting for me to take the bait and trip; causing me to fall in the midst of sin; sin that will inevitably bring death and separation from the One I desire to serve the most; God, Himself.
Every wonder why the same trials or temptations keep resurfacing? 

We need to be careful not to blame God.  According to James 1:13-15 (NKJV), it clearly tells us, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
Simply put; there is no one else is to blame except us. Truth is according to James 1:13-15….for us to “fall” into the temptation, we actually have to have some type of desire for it or at the very least; be enticed by it.  Then, before we realize it, we’ve made a decision to entertain those thoughts and "Voila” (French for 'here it is')"; we’ve kicked open a door of opportunity….to “sin”.  That’s right!  All we have to do is entertain the thought of that temptation and it won’t be long before we put it into action! That’s all it takes to start prying the door open to sin. Wow; now that’s a tough one to swallow!  Not only have I been tempted by sin; but it’s actually me that chooses to open the door and invited it in.  Not a good choice!

Don’t lose heart; even Jesus faced trials and was tempted by Satan.  But He knew how to handle all of it.  We are told in Matthew 4:1-11 that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to withdraw for 40 days & 40 nights; fasting, praying and seeking His Father. During that time He faced every temptation Satan threw His way; yet He battled every one of them using the Word of God. 
I believe we need to put into practice the instructions Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 17:21, where He said, However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  Jesus exercised fasting & prayer on a continual basis.  And I can attest that prayer and fasting bring about “breakthrough”!  I’ve experienced it multiple times thru my Christian walk; and most recently this past year. 

So what spiritual battle have you been fighting lately?  Isn’t it time you see a breakthrough? He knows what you need before you even ask and He is quick to direct your every step.
Ok…so we’ve prayed; sought God; asked Him to help us get rid of the temptation and it’s still there.  What do we do? Time to get serious folks!

 It’s time you took your rightful place as a child of El Elyon, The Most High God.  Time to fast & pray! And if you choose to fast & pray, do as we are instructed in Hebrews 4:16 NKJVLet us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Is it really that simple folks?  Well, I can honestly say from my perspective, no. 

Fasting & prayer take determination from us.
Don’t delay; get determined! Seek God; fast & pray! 
And in the midst of asking for your needs to be met; whatever they may be, remember to enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart and His courts with praise!

I pray that as you seek the Lord, you will walk in His total favor!
Be blessed my family & friends. 

Love you all,

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hebrews 4:6-7 NLT

So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Philippians 3:12-14 MSG

I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Believe In God?

Just believing there is a God isn't enough. Scripture tells us in James 2:19 NKJV
"You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!"

However, you must believe that Jesus is the Son of God; that He was crucified for the remission of your sin; that He died, was buried and on the third day He rose again and He sits at God's right hand. Now just one other very important thing you must do....You must turn away from sin and ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life. Seeking a relationship with Jesus and allowing Him to direct your steps will help you walk away from the sins of this world.

Remember….Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:24 NKJV
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

The Apostle John calls Satan the ruler of this world. John 12:31 NLT

In Ephesians 2:2 NLT we are reminded that Satan is considered the commander of the powers in the unseen world and he is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 

Haven't you allowed Satan to rule over your life long enough? 

I pray that today will be a fresh start for you, my friend; that you will walk in the Lord’s total blessings and favor as you continue to seek His direction for your life. 

As for me, "I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father." John 14:31 NLT

Love you all!

Monday, August 20, 2012

What Controls You?

Ever wonder why you do the things you do; whether good, bad or indifferent; sin versus holiness?  I do.  Honestly, there are times I struggle to do what is right.  Good thing is, I hold myself to a very high standard of accountability; not only to myself but to the Lord.  Even so, there are times when I still do things I shouldn’t even though I know it won’t please God.   

I can’t tell you how many times my flesh wars against my spirit man.  Which battle I win depends on me.  If I’m honest with myself, I need to ask myself if I was prepared to fight the spiritual battle that would please God or please my flesh; a battle that comes to each and every believer at one time or another.  Have I taken the time to establish a relationship with the Lord; seeking Him with a true heart of repentance; feeding my spirit man with His Holy Word on a daily basis; being sure that I put on His full Armor, (Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT) which will protect me against the schemes of the enemy of my soul?  Or do I allow myself to become lazy in my pursuit to follow God; therefore giving full reign to Satan; allowing him and his vicious demons to lead me down a road of worldly desires; pleasures and ultimate destruction?  It’s not hard to see that clearly those are the times I allow myself to be controlled by my flesh instead of by the Holy Spirit.  And honestly, there are times I have to literally fight my flesh with fasting & prayer to overcome the battle within me; the desires to fulfill my weak flesh versus my spirit man warring to do that which pleases the Lord.   

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:5-8 NLT “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.”

Let’s face it folks -
When there’s a fork in the road; one leading to death and destruction and the other leading to everlasting life, the decision we make on which road we take will determine our eternal life; Eternity with Jesus or Hell with Satan.   

Which road will you choose? 

It’s not too late to turn away from sin and make a fresh start with God! All you have to do is truly repent and turn away from sin and ask Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of your life.  Ask Him to renew your mind in Him according to His Word. He is faithful to meet you right where you are this very moment. Please don’t put it off until tomorrow.  Tomorrow could be too late.

But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” 
Joshua 24:15 NLT

Be blessed my family & friends!
I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all!