THRIVE: How much change needs to happen for thriving to begin?


As my workday was coming to a close yesterday I got a message for a late meeting/call. It was to discuss that there would be more change. It wasn’t a surprise to me based on where things were at but it is still a change and a feeling of loss. One more layer is being peeled off. One more layer is being taken away. One more step towards the impact or the outcome of change. So what is or will be next?

Today’s verse of the day comes to us from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and says:

‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ‘

2 Corinthians 5:17

It points to the importance of Jesus! It points to the importance of inviting Him into our hearts, our lives, and our every situation. It points beyond knowing Jesus or knowing about Jesus and moves to having a living relationship with Him. Its not about rituals and routines but rather about an intimate relationship with Jesus. When we start this relationship a transformation takes place. God creates a new heart in us. God creates a new mind in us. God creates a new us, a new creation where the old ways of thinking, seeing, acting, and being are gone and a new way o life has begun.

Are you living this new life yet? Do you have a relationship with Jesus yet? Are you looking for a change? Are you looking for a new way? Are you looking for a better way? Invite Jesus in today! Let’s pray:

Dear God
I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen.

Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day3.


A New Work Week Begins…


It’s an interesting day as my body got me up much earlier than I normally do. No specific thoughts that were causing worry or anxiety just a sense of let’s get going. So I prayed as I always do before getting out of bed for my wife, kids, family, and the day ahead and then rolled over and got out of bed. I had tried to go back to sleep but it just wasn’t going to happen.

So a new work week begins and so new thoughts are starting to bounce around in my head. Between yesterday’s devotional on All Things New captured in my post Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take? and this morning’s devotional of Starting Over, it makes me wonder what God is planning and preparing as the year continues. I keep drawing closer. I keep praying. I keep asking. I keep seeking. And His Word continues to speak. I reflect on my mid year conversations and God’s Word continues to speak. I reflect on the larger purpose/plan with the theme around Be The Dads that God put in my head as I was praying and reading through the Matthew Barnett book The Cause within You: Finding the One Great Thing God Created You to Do in This World that I had picked up on one of his visits to our church. As I consider how my family has grown up with my oldest preparing to head out in January, my middle preparing to head out in August, and my youngest continuing his journey, where I am and what I do will need to adjust too as we get closer (my wife and I) to becoming empty nesters – still a few more years to go before that happens but it is on the radar now.

So I need to be moldable in God’s hands. I need to be ready for the good works He is preparing in advance for me to accomplish. I need to prepare spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally for what is yet to come. He’s not done with me yet. I know my final destination will be in eternity with Him and I want to finish the race on this side strong in hopes of hearing Him say the words “well done good and faithful servant”. And so today as I try to process the early morning wake up call and what this day and this week will contain, I turn to God and His Word to receive guidance, wisdom, and strength to make it a reality.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 4th


Starting Over


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.’

Jeremiah 18:3-4

Let’s pause and grasp the context of today’s verses by looking at more of the chapter in the Amplified version:

‘The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will make you hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and saw that he was working at the wheel. But the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled by the potter’s hand; so he made it over, reworking it and making it into another pot that seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” says the Lord. “Look carefully, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I might [suddenly] speak concerning a nation or kingdom, that I will uproot and break down and destroy; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent and reverse My decision concerning the devastation that I intended to do. Or at another time I might [suddenly] speak about a nation or kingdom that I will build up or establish; and if they do evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will reverse My decision concerning the good with which I had promised to bless them. Now then, say to the men of Judah and to the citizens of Jerusalem, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am shaping a disaster and working out a plan against you. Turn back, each of you from his evil way; correct your habits and change your actions for the better.” ’ But they will say, ‘That is hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act in accordance with the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ “Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘Ask now among the nations, Who has heard of such things? The virgin Israel Has done a very vile and horrible thing. Will the snow of [Mount] Lebanon melt and vanish from its rocks [which tower above Israel]? Will the cold, rushing waters of foreign lands [that flow down from the distant land] be dried up? Yet My people have forgotten Me; They burn incense to worthless gods, They have stumbled from their ways From the ancient roads, To walk in pathways, Not on a highway, Making their land a desolation and a horror, A thing to be hissed at perpetually; Everyone who passes by will be astounded And shake his head [in scorn]. I will scatter them like an east wind Before the enemy; I will show them My back and not My face In the day of their disaster [says the Lord].’ ” Then [my enemies] said, “Come and let us work out schemes against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest [as Jeremiah predicts], nor the counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us strike him with our tongue [by making charges against him before the king], and let us ignore anything he says.” Pay attention to me, O Lord [and intercede]; Listen to what my adversaries are saying [and are plotting against me]— Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember [with compassion] that I stood before You To speak good on their behalf, To turn Your anger away from them. Therefore, give their children over to the famine; Give them over to the power of the sword. And let their wives become childless and widowed; Let their men meet death [by virulent disease], Their young men be struck down by the sword in battle. Let an outcry be heard from their houses When You suddenly bring [a troop of] raiders upon them, For they have dug a pit to capture me And have hidden snares for my feet. Yet You, O Lord, know All their deadly plotting against me; Do not forgive their wickedness Or blot out their sin from Your sight. But let them be overthrown before You; Deal with them in the time of Your anger.’

Jeremiah 18:1-23

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Even when broken beyond repair, we can be made new in the Potter’s hands.
  • God’s not ready to give up on us and so we shouldn’t be willing to give up on us either.
  • Let’s give what is broken or holding us back to God and allow Him to start over, make us new, transform us.
  • Let’s allow God to take our fears and replace them with faith like He did with Abraham.
  • Let’s allow God to take our lies and replace them with His truth like He did with Jacob.
  • Let’s allow God to take our denials and rejection and replace them with His forgiveness and purpose like He did with Peter.
  • Just like all the people God gave a do-over or who God allowed to start over, let’s not lose hope but instead take hold of the reality of who He is in order that we too can be healed, forgiven, restored, and be able to start a new as we begin our today.
  • Let’s choose to be smooth, workable, and sticky so that we can be molded by God.
  • Let’s allow God to take away the rough and hard edges.
  • Let’s allow God to continue to form us and mold us to be useful.
  • Let’s allow God to continue to form us and mold us to be beautiful.
  • Let’s allow God to work out imperfections or flaws so that we can become who He has created us to be.
  • Let’s live with the hope that God isn’t going to throw us away but rather His plan for us is good and comes with hope and a future!
  • Let’s be ok if He needs to start over with us because we know He is doing so out of love!
  • Let’s be ok if He needs to start over with us because we know that He will remove the flaws and imperfections.
  • Let’s rejoice in the reality of when He starts over as He removes the flaws and adds in elements necessary for us to be better like His Spirit, accountability friends, and the guidance of His Word!
  • Let’s not become impatient as it takes time!
  • Let’s remember we are being molded for His purpose and for a specific use!
  • Let’s allow Him to both mold us into the vessel He desires and then be ready when the time is right to be used for His purpose.
  • If we need to wait to become useful again, don’t lose hope or start to worry! God’s timing is perfect!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What kind of flaws can make us unusable to the Potter?
  • What’s your role and what’s God’s role in shaping you?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The God who made you can make you over.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you feeling broken or out of sorts and in the need to be renewed or remade? Are you feeling damaged or confused and in needs of repair or hope? Are you looking to find a way to make today count? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Ready for something news? What’s it going to take?


What are you going through today? Are you on a treadmill of experiences? Are you feeling like you are on a hamster wheel? Are you trying to find a way out or a way off? Are you ready for something new? Are you ready for a change? Are you wondering which way to turn? Are you wondering what it would take? Could today be your day for things to become new? Could today be your day to get off the treadmill of life? Could today be your day to stop going round and round in the hamster wheel? What is it going to take for you to get sick and tired of being sick and tired and grab a hold of something new? Would it take an act of God? Would it take a vision of heaven? Would it take a dream of the next step? Would it take a God given purpose that would make a difference? What’s it going to take? Would it require that everything change?

Person running on a hamster wheel

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
― Henry Ford

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 3rd


All Things New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”’

Revelation 21:4-5

Let’s take a moment and gather a bit more context from the chapter using the Amplified version:

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [ as their God, ] and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable [who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality], and murderers, and sorcerers [with intoxicating drugs], and idolaters and occultists [who practice and teach false religions], and all the liars [who knowingly deceive and twist truth], their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” ‘

Revelation 21:1-8

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are your views on eternity?
  • Do you wonder what life after death is like?
  • Do you have a desire, interest, curiosity about about the afterlife?
  • Do you realize that God put a desire in our hearts for eternity?
    • ‘He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. ‘
      Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • Do you feel like there is life after death?
  • Do you feel like there is more than just what we experience in our lives?
  • Do you realize you aren’t alone in that feeling because people from every culture and in every age have tried to identify what it might be like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation in order to learn about what heaven is like?
  • Have you ever read the book of Revelation and felt like the return of Jesus is getting closer?
  • I know when I started my reading of God’s Word in conjunction with this blog that is how I felt and also how come this blog has the name it does. I started in 2005 and the book of Revelation is how I got the “to eternity” part, hence From 2005 to Eternity!
  • Are you ready for the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you looking forward to the day when all wrongs will be made right?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every pain will be comforted?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when every tear will be dried?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all of the confusion, doubt, and heartache will pass away?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when bitterness, resentment, and strains of every kind and in every relationship will vanish?
  • Are you ready and looking forward to the day when all things will be made new?
  • From God’s Word what do you think are some assumptions we can make about heaven?
  • Things that bring us joy will be amplified?
  • Love, affirmation, understanding, and encouragement will thrill us because they won’t be tainted by selfishness?
  • Laughter will be more heartily than ever before?
  • We will worship God more effectively and wholeheartedly?
  • All the things that cause pain, suffering, anxiety will vanish in the light of God’s love!
  • Are you looking forward to getting spend eternity with God?
  • Are you looking forward to being in heaven with God?
  • Are you looking forward as those who had been oppressed in the past?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were slaves had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were poor and desolate had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were sick and disabled had done in history?
  • Are you looking forward to heaven as those who were prisoners had done in history?
  • Or is life ok, going well for you and you are still looking forward to spending eternity with God in heaven knowing that it will even be better?
  • Not sure? Why not take some time today to consider and meditate on it?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you think heaven will be different from your life now?
  • What do you look forward to most?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is an unspeakable joy.”

—  OSWALD CHAMBERS

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Proverbs 25 (God knows! even those things that incapable of being fully explored or understood)
  • Proverbs 26 (Understand the season, the reason, the purpose)
  • Proverbs 27 (Don’t brad! Don’t fill yourself up! Don’t be prideful! Instead be wise)

So where are you at today? Are you at a crossroad on which you need to make a decision? Are you at a turning point where you need to decide to move forward to turnaround? Are you ready to step off the wheel and start pursuing your God given purpose? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Louder doesn’t mean it’s right. Louder doesn’t mean better.


Ever been in a meeting where people start to raise their voice or even yell in order to make their idea or perspective seem better or right? Ever been in a meeting where it even escalated to the point where people start swearing or cursing? Ever seen those people in the room who are keeping quiet and how the meeting is missing out on their viewpoint and perspective? Ever seen those meetings where the meeting either escalates or gets called because of the behavior? Ever felt like walking out of one of those rooms?

The verse of the day from the Bible App today has an interesting perspective about when we speak:

‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. ‘

1 Corinthians 13:1

It is about our hearts! There are so many things that aren’t about the physical actions but rather about the content of our heart. If we aren’t speaking out of love then we are missing the point. If we aren’t overflowing from our hearts in love then bad things happen. Remember how it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks? If we haven’t filled up our hearts with love then the anger and frustration, the bitterness and resentment, the hate and other ugly things are what come out. So we need to ask God to help us clean house and to fill our hearts with love!

So where are you at today? What is the content of your heart? What are your motives and intentions? Consider them today before you start or get into that conversation and look to speak what you have to say in and out of love!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 12th


Old and New


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.’

Ephesians 4:20-24

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever caught yourself battling the ways of the world vs the ways of God?
  • Ever struggled with choosing between the sinful way and God’s way?
  • Ever been challenged with the selfish choice vs the selfless choice?
  • Ever noticed how this challenge can be more evident when you become a Christian?
  • God forgives us for all our sins, we become a child of God, and we have our names written in the book of life that will allow us to spend eternity with God.
  • Ever noticed the challenge of this newness when the old sinful nature hasn’t fully gone away?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that God doesn’t care?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that we are foolish to be following God?
  • Ever noticed how it challenges us with lies that it is ok to be selfish?
  • Today’s reading points out how the old selfish nature as a self-preservation actually gets worse.
  • Paul as he speaks thru today’s verses uses the metaphor of getting dressed to help us grasp how to deal with the old (selfish) and new (selfless) ways to live.
  • Are you going to put on clean clothes today or are you going to go thru the laundry hamper to pick what to wear?
  • Can you tell the difference? Do you even realize that you are doing it? Do you put all your clothes and so it is harder to detect or distinguish?
  • What happens when you notice that you are wearing something with a stain or an odor? Do you change into something clean?
  • It is similar to how when we notice we are acting in the old way, the stains or odors of pride, arrogance, indifference, and other things need to be taken off and replaced with something new and clean.
  • So when we notice it, let’s give it up to God and ask for forgiveness and then put it down and pick up the new and clean behavior instead.
  • Let’s decide to be putting on clean clothe and habits that will honor God and bless people!
  • Let’s decide to let God’s Word to sink into our hearts and our lives so that walk refreshed and renewed (like clean clothe that just came out of the dryer)
  • Let’s take hold of God’s truth so that we don’t get stuck wandering around wondering what the stink is until others point it out that it is us. That loudness! That rudeness! Let’s make sure we are speaking from a heart filled with love and a mind filled with the Word of God!
  • Let’s be aware so that when we notice the bad behavior, we can stop ourselves and like dirty clothes, we can change our attitude!
  • Let’s not ignore it but instead let’s do something about it!
  • Let’s put on our clean clothes!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some dirty clothes you’ve worn lately? When did you realize they were dirty?
  • What are some clean clothes you need to put on today?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”

Bob Pierce

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready for the old to be made new? Are you ready to start living a new? Are you ready to be a new creation where the old is gone and the new has come? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Happy New Year! How will 2021 be different? How will 2021 be the same?


It took me some time to consider how I would spend my morning time with God. I was considering different reading places and options. I was considering different devotionals and focus. But as of Tuesday after talking with a friend from Israel, I have decided to use JPS to read through the Old Testament which is in a different order from the Old Testament I have in my Bible as it goes in the order of the Tanakh. I have read through the Bible in many orders over the years including using the Chronological Bible which gave me an interesting twist on things. I have read through the Bible in other orders based on devotionals that would direct me through the Bible in the year. I have read through the Bible in other orders where you read part of the Old Testament or New Testament for the day along with a Proverb and a Psalm. I have read through the Bible with various translations too like King James, New King James, New Living Translation, New International Version, Message, Amplified, Common English Bible, Contemporary English Version, using tools like physical Bibles, biblegateway.com, bible.com, biblestudytools.com, biblehub.com, studylight.org and more. And so this year with the gift I received for Christmas of the One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar that I will read the daily devotional and then after researching reading models for reading the Tanakh that I will read 15-30mins to make my way through that before I turn the page and find a New Testament reading plan for the remainder of the year. The amount I am able to make it through in the Tanakh may vary in cases where I look to compare what it says using online version from Sepharia.org with my go to sources bible.com and biblehub.com.

So 2021 will remain the same with my day starting in God’s Word, exercising, and posting what God is speaking to me to this blog. I almost put my blog but I am just a steward of this blog as God called me to blog back in 2005 and to blog publicly and when I asked what to write about He directed me to write about my morning readings. I remember back in 2005 starting my blog using Windows Live Spaces and the people around the world that connected me to. I remember how in 2010 Windows Live was getting out of the blog business and migrated me to WordPress.com where I have been posting ever since. So I will press forward towards what God is calling me to do in order that I may be a good steward of my time and one day hear from my Lord and Savior, “well done my good and faithful servant“.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 1st

ONE THING

Memory Verse of the Day: Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV

‘Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’


Points from the devotional:
  • Remain humble – do not become cocky. Do not allow pride to fill you and cause you to get tripped up. Remember how pride goes before the fall.
  • As long as we are still here, we are a work in progress. God’s not done with us yet!
  • Take hold of the One Thing just like Paul did and how everything we do is to be towards that One Thing, the singular objective made up of two parts: “not dwelling in the past” but “reaching ahead to achieve the vision of the future”.
  • Reflecting on 2020, the past can hold us back or distract us (as my 2020 in the rearview theme spoke to)
  • The past can bog us down in one of two ways and neither are good for us. Ashamed of failures causing every decision we are considering in the present through the prism of grief and fear. Clouded by the glory days and trying to relive those moments rather than use it as a foundation or spring board for the present and future.
  • As my posts about 2020 pointed out, living in the rearview mirror will cause us to miss out on the life we are supposed to be living now. The present where we need to be focusing. Whether positive or negative pasts, getting stuck there will rob you of your the gift of life, the present.
  • Today’s memory verse begins with “forgetting those things which are behind” – and so as Paul tells us we need to forget the past and move forward.
  • Today’s memory verse then points us in the way we should go “reaching forward to those things which are ahead” in order for us to accomplish God’s vision for our lives.
  • Just like how in 2020 I had the opportunity to read the book Chase the Lion which called me to dream big, to set God sized goals, that if my dreams big enough to require God’s help they are too small.
  • We need to take hold of a God sized cause that will make a positive impact on the lives of people and expand the kingdom of God.
  • As I consider and reflect on this I consider my home and my role as husband, father, neighbor, and friend
  • As I consider and reflect on this I consider my workplace and my role as employee, mentor, and manager
  • As I consider and reflect on this I consider my service work and my role as director for T.R.A.C. and director, media, and online mediator for church services
  • In each of these my goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of people and expand the kingdom of God
  • So as I begin 2021 my focus is on Paul’s One Thing – “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Discussion Topics from today’s devotional:
What are some past failures or successes you need to leave behind?
  • eServices
  • Beta Program
  • 2020
  • Central Services
Is there a God-sized cause that has gripped your heart? Explain your answer.
  • H.A.F.K./T.R.A.C. – to lead people in serving kids and teens in the foster care system along with their families
  • Entrepreneurs who are trying to make it work with a transition to online – providing tools and services on a global scale that will help them with their purpose and calling.
Quotes from today’s devotional:

The day our memories become larger than our dreams is the day our soul begins to shrink.

— Ike Reighard

Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

— Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Happy New Year! Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Thankful this New Year’s Eve!


Has this been a fun year? No. Has this been an enjoyable year? No. Have there been trials? Yes. Have there been troubles? Yes. Have there been challenges? Yes. Have there been trials? Yes. Have there been shake ups and shake downs to try to destabilize me? Yes. Have the challenges and the struggles slowed down or stopped? Nope. Even as I sit here on the eve of a new year, there are many open questions for what is yet to come.

But in the midst of all that there has been so much to be thankful for this new year’s eve that will start my second semi-centennial. I got more time to be with my family as so much of the world shutdown for a while. My wife and I started a routine of reading a devotional and then praying for each other each night after dinner. God’s opened up new doors of communication where I am able to speak to people from around the country and around the world. God’s opened doors for me to have conversations most mornings with other men and share life together. God’s even opened the door for me to be able to connect and pour into on evening a week too. God has provided for the needs of my family. God has protected my family as they come and go. God is love! God is light! My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’s blood and righteousness! My faith allows me to know this is not the end but as each day goes by it draws us closer to His return. I have learned the importance of love! I have learned how important it is to allow God’s love to fill me up in order that I can overflow into the world around me. There are so many things to be thankful for!

I continue to learn from the lessons of the past in order to press forward towards the prize which Jesus has prepared and put before me. I continue to celebrate all that God has done and continues to do to help me through each day. I continue to lean on Him rather than my own understanding so that I won’t be in despair from the attacks of the enemy. I continue to pray believing for God’s wisdom and discernment so that the Holy Spirit can be my comforter and my guide, leading me through each day.

Happy New Year’s Eve of my second semicentennial!


Today’s verse of the day comes to us from Philippians 4:13 and says:

13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

— Philippians 4:13

With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today?
With September in the rearview mirror how will you live out your today? T-1 day till we will have October in the rearview mirror. T-1 day till a semicentennial will be in the rearview mirror. It is interesting to consider the first 30 against the last 20 and all that has taken place in the last 20 with God as the focal point, as the center, so that the chord of with Him in the middle has been so much stronger in helping me in and through life. How in the last 20 I have seen lives transformed including my own. I have seen incredible children grow up into incredible human beings who love God and serve people. How God was able to speak to me daily through His Word about where I am at, not to give up, and press in and press on for the glory of His kingdom. They say hindsight is 2020 and it has revealed to me that I still have more to learn and more growing to do. It has revealed to me the importance of have God at the center of the house and the impact it makes not only in my hope but beyond as it extends to work, to the community, to the next generation. So as I reflect on the past, I am excited for the future because I know that God is in control and that He will give me strength to complete the good works He has prepared in advance for me to accomplish. So let’s learn form the past and press forward today! Let’s make the most of today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring but we do know that today will be more than enough to deal with.

The 49 week challenge
Day 304

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 304 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading
from GOD’S WORD–THE BIBLE:

My Notes:

  • ‘Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.’ — 2 Peter 3:1-18
  • ‘Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down. Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record? Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord , whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.’ — Psalms 56:1-13
  • ‘“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord . Therefore this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord . “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord . “The days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior. “So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord , “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.” Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words. The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord . “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord . “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord . They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord , “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord . “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord . “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord . “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord , “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? “Therefore,” declares the Lord , “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the Lord , “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord . “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord . “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the Lord ?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord .’ If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ I will punish them and their household. This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord ’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord ’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord ’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord ,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord .’ Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”’ — Jeremiah 23:1-40
  • ‘The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious people. During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile. While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it. Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the Israelites.” So I did as I was commanded. During the day I brought out my things packed for exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched. In the morning the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, did not the Israelites, that rebellious people, ask you, ‘What are you doing?’ “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This prophecy concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites who are there.’ Say to them, ‘I am a sign to you.’ “As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives. “The prince among them will put his things on his shoulder at dusk and leave, and a hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylonia, the land of the Chaldeans, but he will not see it, and there he will die. I will scatter to the winds all those around him—his staff and all his troops—and I will pursue them with drawn sword. “They will know that I am the Lord , when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine and plague, so that in the nations where they go they may acknowledge all their detestable practices. Then they will know that I am the Lord .” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, tremble as you eat your food, and shudder in fear as you drink your water. Say to the people of the land: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says about those living in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will eat their food in anxiety and drink their water in despair, for their land will be stripped of everything in it because of the violence of all who live there. The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’? Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of Israel. But I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay. For in your days, you rebellious people, I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ” The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ ”’ — Ezekiel 12:1-28

As day 304 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

It’s new but is it better? Is it really new? Is it just different?


Ever heard that there is nothing new under the Sun? Ever heard people try to reformulate something and then put it out there as new? Is it new? Is it better? Is it different? What impact is the change supposed to make? What improvement is the change supposed to make? Who will benefit? How will they benefit? Will it be real or just a perception? Will it be truth or an illusion? Will it make things better in the long run? Will it help the group? Will it help the customers? When we consider the who, what, where, when, why, and how elements can we answer them and understand them? So how should you respond? How will you respond? How much time should you give it before you need to make a decision or act? Where will you turn for such wisdom and guidance? Do you have a source you can depend on that is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Will you share your hope with those around you who may struggle? Will you share your joy with those around you who may need it? Will you share the love of God with everyone so that you can be the difference and make a difference? Are you ready for a transformation?


Day 59: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge 
 Day 59 —

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 59 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

January is in the rear view mirror

With January in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:

(I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Ever heard of the word TRANSFIGURED? It means to transform into something more beautiful or elevated. It means to transform outwardly and usually for the better.
  • Ever read of a case where someone was transfigured?
  • Can you imagine the response or reaction to being present when someone is transfigured?
  • What would you response be to a loud, deep, booming voice without someone visible to have said it? I know for me it shocked me, it surprised me, it made me look all around and realize there was nobody else in the room.
  • Would it take a still quiet voice to get your attention and response or does it need to be loud?
  • Will you choose to respond out of faith or out of fear?
  • Will you decided to do it when you are prompted by the Spirit in a still quiet voice?
  • Are you getting prepared before you start your day so that you are ready to respond and accomplish the will of God in and through your life?
  • Do you have faith? Even just a little bit of faith? Will you choose to believe?
  • Will you trust God to provide? Will you trust God that when He calls you too it, He will provide and get you through it?
  • What needs to die for something better to live?
  • Consider how a seed needs to go into the ground and die for the plant to grow and produce more.
  • Will you allow God to get the glory through the good and bad times?
  • Will you praise God when He takes what the enemy planned for evil and used it for good?
  • Will you trust God enough that even when you look or feel cornered?
  • Will you trust God enough that you won’t fear and you won’t worry?
  • Imagine the miracle when God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way!
  • God goes before you preparing the good works He has planned for you!
  • God goes behind you to protect you as you move forward after His plan and His will.
  • Imagine finding the Egyptian’s stuff at the bottom of the Red Sea
  • God will use those in authority over you for His glory! The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord!

As day 59 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

It’s a new day!


Up and at ’em. Dressed and ready to go. But before I can get my day started I need God’s Word and wisdom. I need to get prepared and the best way I have found to make that happen is to jump into God’s Word which provides with wisdom and discernment to get my day started. It helps bring questions and curiosities to the surface and answers and revelations to help me get ready for today. God’s Words never returns void!


Day 41: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge
– Day 41 —


Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 41 link to join link here to join me and sign up.

Let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from: (I have chosen to use NIV translation, but feel free to choose whichever version you feel more comfortable with)


My Notes:

  • Be aware of your surroundings!
  • Be aware of the hearts of the people around you!
  • Be aware that some may be hard and so may not be receptive to you and will require time and effort to build a real relationship of love and trust in order for them to be able to receive the seed of Good News.
  • Be aware that some may be sharp and so need to tread carefully to that neither of you get hurt, it will require that you tread carefully and remove the sharp edges in order to provide room and space for water to go and the seeds to be planted before they will be ready and available to receive the see of Good News.
  • Be aware that some may be filled with thorns and require much more careful and sensitive behaviors, it may require approaching the situation with gloves to protect yourself and still be able to show you care as you pull out the thorns and allow for the sun, the water, and the seed to come in and take root in order for them to be ready and willing to receive the seed of Good News.
  • Some may be ready and have their hearts in a situation to receive the Good News and be saved.
  • In any of these cases we need to be prepared.
  • In any of these cases we need to be willing to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in order to know how to act, respond, and engage.
  • Let’s allow our lights to shine into this dark world.
  • Let’s not allow fear or worry or doubt to turn or hide our lights.
  • Let’s take hold of God’s Word and put it into practice.
  • No matter the storm that comes our way, let’s pray and trust Jesus who can calm the storm or calm our hearts in the midst of the storm.
  • Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s be ambassadors of restoration! Let’s do it because the redeemed of the Lord say so!
  • We each have a part to play!
  • We each have something to carry!
  • Let’s be prepared for this new day and allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength!
  • Trust in God’s timing! He is never late! rarely early! always on time!
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to engage you?
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to transform you?
  • Will you allow the power of Jesus to direct you?
  • Let’s live out today glorifying God as living sacrifices!
  • Be prepared for the call of the Lord!
  • Be the one who can answer God’s call He has for you.
  • God has sent the Holy Spirit to give us power to accomplish His purpose, will you be prepared and willing to do what He asks of you?
  • Don’t allow nature or man to cause fear in your heart!
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind!
  • Believe the Lord!
  • Believe the Word of God!
  • Take hold of the promises of Isaiah about Jesus

‘Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord ’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’

Isaiah 53
  • We learn even that back then God was preparing people for the arrival of Jesus!
  • Praise God!
  • Trust God’s timing!
  • Trust God’s plan!
  • Trust God’s purpose!
  • Be prepared for what He will ask of you today!
  • Be bold and courageous for what comes your way!
  • Fear not, Just Believe!

As day 41 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Today’s devotional comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

Do you have a plan? Are you ready? Get ready! Get set! Go!


So what’s the plan? You need a plan, not only for you but also for others. Where there is no vision the people perish. Once you have the plan you need to get ready. You need to be prepared. Not only you but the others too. You don’t want to end up like the people who didn’t bring enough oil and didn’t make it. You want to be clear and help everyone get ready like Joshua did in chapter 3. So once we have a plan and we get prepared we will need to go when we get the sign, be it sound to start the race, be it the priests walking to the Jordan river, or whatever sign it is that says or tells you to start to run the plan. And remember… Remember what God did in and through it. Remember how God showed up through it. Remember to share it with others so they too will know how good God is. Let us be good stewards of what God has given that one day we will hear Him say “well done, my good and faithful servant“. Let us put our trust and hope in God so that even when it gets hard and tiring, He will renew our strength.


Today’s reading begins with Joshua:

‘Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia Grove and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.” In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people. The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’” So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord , the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.” So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’

Joshua 3

and

‘When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’” So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the Lord your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.” So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day. The priests who were carrying the Ark stood in the middle of the river until all of the Lord ’s commands that Moses had given to Joshua were carried out. Meanwhile, the people hurried across the riverbed. And when everyone was safely on the other side, the priests crossed over with the Ark of the Lord as the people watched. The armed warriors from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh led the Israelites across the Jordan, just as Moses had directed. These armed men—about 40,000 strong—were ready for battle, and the Lord was with them as they crossed over to the plains of Jericho. That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses. The Lord had said to Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to come up out of the riverbed.” So Joshua gave the command. As soon as the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord ’s Covenant came up out of the riverbed and their feet were on high ground, the water of the Jordan returned and overflowed its banks as before. The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. Then they camped at Gilgal, just east of Jericho. It was there at Gilgal that Joshua piled up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan River. Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord ’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”’

Joshua 4

Today’s reading then brings us into Isaiah:

‘“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins.” Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord ! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord . And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord ? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth. To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains? Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down! Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing. They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing. O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.’

Isaiah 40

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament:

‘“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver A talent is equal to 75 pounds or 34 kilograms. to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’

Matthew 25:14-30

and

‘And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear. It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.

For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.’

Philippians 1:12-30

Today’s reading concludes with a new start in Psalms:

‘Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord , meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.’

Psalms 1

Lord of all your life or not Lord at all in your life…


We can’t compartmentalize our faith! We shouldn’t try to compartmentalize our lives! We need to give it all up to God! We need to allow Jesus into all aspects of our life as we only have one life to live! So will you allow Jesus to be Lord of all your life? Or is He not Lord in your life? God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever will believe in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life! Will you choose to believe? Will you trust Him? Will you Love Him with all your with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

–from Matthew 7

in Matthew, we also read…

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

–from Matthew 22:37

we also read in Luke…

“‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

–from Luke 10:27

we also read in Proverbs…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

–from Proverbs 3

we also read in Deuteronomy when the people were being reminded…

A Call for Wholehearted Commitment

1 “These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10 “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. 11 The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. 13 You must fear the Lord your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name.

14 “You must not worship any of the gods of neighboring nations, 15 for the Lord your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God. His anger will flare up against you, and he will wipe you from the face of the earth. 16 You must not test the Lord your God as you did when you complained at Massah. 17 You must diligently obey the commands of the Lord your God—all the laws and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the Lord swore to give your ancestors. 19 You will drive out all the enemies living in the land, just as the Lord said you would.

20 “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?’

21 “Then you must tell them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand. 22 The Lord did miraculous signs and wonders before our eyes, dealing terrifying blows against Egypt and Pharaoh and all his people. 23 He brought us out of Egypt so he could give us this land he had sworn to give our ancestors. 24 And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day. 25 For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.’

–from Deuteronomy 6

Do we want to live in the blessings of God? Do we want to live under the covering of God? Do we want to experience the intimate relationship God desires for us to have with Him? Will we receive the incredible gift of Jesus and allow ourselves to live out the new life, the transformation, and the hope and future promised by God?

Or will we try to do it all in our own strength and in our own way?

What will be say is the only thing we will lean on? Will we pickup the solas of Martin Luther and say…

The 5 Solas

We today are blessed with the reality that God’s Word is available for us to read, to study, and to learn! It has been translated into so many languages that there are so many more people today who can get this opportunity! There are still more languages that don’t even have a written form and so similar to back when the German language got standardized at the time of the writing of the Bible so that the people could hear from the Word of God by Martin Luther, there are many people who are working to help everyone get the opportunity to hear God’s Word in their own tongue!

God’s Word is a Love Letter from the Father! It is a foundation that we can build our lives on as it teaches us about Jesus and opens the door for us to start and develop a relationship with Jesus that will last forever! So if you have only heard about Jesus, why not take today, the first day of the year, and invite Him into your life and start a relationship with Him, spending time with Him, seeking truth through His Word and through speaking with Him, asking for wisdom and discernment, allowing Him to guide your path by leaning on Him rather than your own understanding! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! Let’s lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways (not just some) acknowledge Him and allow Him to lead us and guide us so that our path can be straight! Let’s put Jesus as the cornerstone to our lives with which to align and build upon all of our lives!

So let’s allow Jesus to be Lord of all of our lives and be transformed! Let’s invite Jesus into our lives and be saved!


Who is Lord of Your Life?

Day 350: Bible In One Year 2018

  • Jesus – the Lord who has come down from heaven … Psalms 144:1-8
    • 1Praise the Lord, who is my rock.
      He trains my hands for war
      and gives my fingers skill for battle.
      2He is my loving ally and my fortress,
      my tower of safety, my rescuer.
      He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.
      He makes the nations submit to me.
      3O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them,
      mere mortals that you should think about them?
      4For they are like a breath of air;
      their days are like a passing shadow.
      5Open the heavens, Lord, and come down.
      Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
      6Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!
      Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
      7Reach down from heaven and rescue me;
      rescue me from deep waters,
      from the power of my enemies.
      8Their mouths are full of lies;
      they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
      –from Psalm 144
  • Jesus – the Lord at the center of worship … Revelation 7
    • God’s People Will Be Preserved

      1Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree. 2And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God. And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, 3“Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.”
      4And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God—144,000 were sealed from all the tribes of Israel:
      5from Judah 12,000
      from Reuben 12,000
      from Gad 12,000
      6from Asher 12,000
      from Naphtali 12,000
      from Manasseh 12,000
      7from Simeon 12,000
      from Levi 12,000
      from Issachar 12,000
      8from Zebulun 12,000
      from Joseph 12,000
      from Benjamin 12,000

      Praise from the Great Crowd

      9After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10And they were shouting with a great roar,
      “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
      and from the Lamb!”
      11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. 12They sang,
      “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
      and thanksgiving and honor
      and power and strength belong to our God
      forever and ever! Amen.”
      13Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”
      14And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
      Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in7:14a Greek who came out of. the great tribulation.7:14b Or the great suffering. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
      15“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne
      and serve him day and night in his Temple.
      And he who sits on the throne
      will give them shelter.
      16They will never again be hungry or thirsty;
      they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.
      17For the Lamb on the throne7:17 Greek on the center of the throne.
      will be their Shepherd.
      He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
      And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
      –from Revelation 7
  • Jesus – the Lord who refines and blesses … Malachi 2:17, Malachi 3, Malachi 4
    • 17You have wearied the Lord with your words.
      “How have we wearied him?” you ask.
      You have wearied him by saying that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight, and he is pleased with them. You have wearied him by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

      –from Malachi 2

    • The Coming Day of Judgment

      1“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
      2“But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. 4Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.
      5“At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

      A Call to Repentance

      6“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
      “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
      8“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
      “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
      “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.3:11 Hebrew from the devourer. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12“Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
      13“You have said terrible things about me,” says the Lord.
      “But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’
      14“You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”

      The Lord’s Promise of Mercy

      16Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
      17“They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
      –from Malachi 3
    • The Coming Day of Judgment

      1The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.
      2“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
      4“Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel.
      5“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. 6His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
      –from Malachi 4

Do you need a change? Is it on the inside or the outside?


Do you know what it will take? Do you know what to do? Do you know where to turn? Do you realize the benefits it has?

Have you already made the decision and started moving forward in change? Has it been a mental change? Has it been a physical change? Has it been a heart change? Has it been a spiritual change?

As I ponder these questions, I am so glad that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior because when I made that decision, I was transformed. I know spiritually I had begun the transformation from the inside out. As I ponder these questions and with knowing through God’s Word that my body is the temple for the Holy Spirit, I am considering what can I do to help make the outside better too. I have purchased workout equipment which probably a good start. I am now considering diet, and how I eat to help as well.

I know that because of the big decision to receive Jesus, it has impacted my life for eternity. I am now considering best ways to live a longer and healthier life to be able to be around for the next generations where not only can I share the importance of living with and for God but also living and eating well. I want to see them grow up and develop into all that God has purposed and planned for each of their lives. Time goes by so fast and so I need to make time to do what is right and make sure to stay on track for all the things God has planned and purposed for my life too.

Will you allow God to radiate in your life to the point where your life will point others to God and to believe in Him? Will you allow God to work in and through your life so that when others see your good works they will praise your Father in heaven?

When someone looks into your eyes, what do they learn? When you look into the eyes of others, what do you learn? Ever heard that the eyes are the window to the soul? Ever considered that windows tell a story based on what you can see? Consider windows you can look in through and see the beauty, the love, the hope. Consider tinted windows where you can’t see anything but darkness or maybe a reflection of yourself. Consider windows that do the screening so that they tell one story without actually knowing what is on the inside, you might be able to get close enough to look through the dots and see in, but from a distance you only case see what it was designed to say. When people take a look into your eyes what do they see? When you look through your eyes how do you see? Is your vision keeping you from seeing others as God does? Are you allowing God glasses to help you see the people He has brought into your life in the way He does so that you can see, hear, understand, and respond like you should?

So what does your face and your eyes say to the world around you?

What does the Bible say about faces and eyes?


How to Have a Spiritual Facelift

Day 242: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. God’s face … Psalm 104:19-30
  2. Our faces … 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
  3. God’s eyes … 2 Chronicles 35:20-36:23

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

  • Psalms 104:19-30
  • 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
    • 7The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
      12Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.
      16But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

  • 2 Chronicles 35:20-27
  • 2 Chronicles 36

Are you living the new transformation?


This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –from 2 Corinthians 5:17

Have you allowed the old you to be crucified with Christ so that the new you can live?

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

–from Romans 6:4

Have you experience baptism yet? Not christening as a baby but full immersion water baptism? As you consider or remember the experience of going into the water and dying with Christ and then coming out of the water reborn with Christ how did or would that impact you?

How has your life changed after starting your relationship with Jesus? Have you shared the experience with others so that they would know the impact of Jesus on your life?

So are you living the new life? Are you ready to live a new life? Are you willing to receive Jesus into your life and be transformed? Is today your day? Are you taking hold of everything that life can be thanks to your relationship with Jesus and all that He has already done for you?

If not, why not start today?


How to Live Your New Life

Day 201: Bible In One Year 2017

Devotional, Psalms 87, Romans 6:1-14, Hosea 1, Hosea 2

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/3420-bible-in-one-year-2017/day/201

  1. New song … Psalm 87:1-7
  2. New freedom … Romans 6:1-14
    • You HAVE BEEN saved from the PENALTY of sin
    • You WILL BE saved from the PRESENCE of sin
    • You ARE BEING saved from the POWER of sin
  3. New love … Hosea 1:1-2:23

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that You have planned for it. I thank You Lord for having sent Jesus to demonstrate Your love for us and for His ultimate sacrifice on the cross and resurrection power that conquers both the grave and the power of sin! Thanks You Lord for the truth through Your Word that calls us to live a transformed life leaving the old ways behind and start living out a new life with Jesus! Grant me wisdom for this day Lord that I may accomplish all that You have for me today! Help my light to shine so that You will be seen through me! Help my light shine so that others may see that I am but reflecting the light of Jesus to the world around me. Lord, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to this world that I can be saved. May this day I glorify You in the name of Jesus by being a conduit of Your truth, Your love, and Your ways to the people around me so that in and through it all that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you realize the impact of what you are doing?


Do you realize who you are impacting? Do you realize what impact your words are having on others? Do you realize what impact your actions are having on others? Do you realize what impact your behavior is having on others? Do you realize what impact your attitude is having on others? Do you realize the impact of your decisions? Do you realize the impact of your character? Do you realize the impact of your honesty? Do you realize the impact of your integrity? Do you realize the impact of your intent? Do you realize the impact of your caring? Do you realize the impact of your openness? Do you realize the impact of your authenticity? Do you realize the impact of your reputation? Do you realize the impact of your fairness? Do you realize the impact of your experience?

Is your impact positive or negative? Is your impact improving things? Is your impact helping things? Is your impact building up or tearing down? Is your impact setting others up? for success? for failure?


Let’s jump in to read from Zephaniah to kick off our reading for today…

1The Lord gave this message to Zephaniah when Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. Zephaniah was the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah.

Coming Judgment against Judah

2“I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 3“I will sweep away people and animals alike. I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish in the sea. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, and I will wipe humanity from the face of the earth,” says the Lord. 4“I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship. I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear. 5For they go up to their roofs and bow down to the sun, moon, and stars. They claim to follow the Lord, but then they worship Molech, too. 6And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the Lord’s guidance or seek my blessings.” 7Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord, for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near. The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter and has chosen their executioners. 8“On that day of judgment,” says the Lord, “I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah and all those following pagan customs. 9Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. 10“On that day,” says the Lord, “a cry of alarm will come from the Fish Gate and echo throughout the New Quarter of the city. And a great crash will sound from the hills. 11Wail in sorrow, all you who live in the market area, for all the merchants and traders will be destroyed. 12“I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad. 13So their property will be plundered, their homes will be ransacked. They will build new homes but never live in them. They will plant vineyards but never drink wine from them. 14“That terrible day of the Lord is near. Swiftly it comes— a day of bitter tears, a day when even strong men will cry out. 15It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out— a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of trumpet calls and battle cries. Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements! 17“Because you have sinned against the Lord, I will make you grope around like the blind. Your blood will be poured into the dust, and your bodies will lie rotting on the ground.” 18Your silver and gold will not save you on that day of the Lord’s anger. For the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy. He will make a terrifying end of all the people on earth.

–from Zephaniah 1

Will you turn to God? Will you ask for forgiveness? Will you humble yourself and pray? Will you follow His commands? Will you love God? Will you love people? Will you seek to do what is right? Will you invite Jesus into your heart? Will you choose Jesus before it is too late? Will you decide before the end times and judgement comes? What would it take? How bad would things have to get? How far down the downward spiral would you have to travel before you start looking up and asking God? We all have to decide for ourselves! Your choice and decision do make a difference! Don’t miss out because of your selfishness or pride!

A Call to Repentance

1Gather together—yes, gather together, you shameless nation. 2Gather before judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins. 3Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you— protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.

Judgment against Philistia

4Gaza and Ashkelon will be abandoned, Ashdod and Ekron torn down. 5And what sorrow awaits you Philistines who live along the coast and in the land of Canaan, for this judgment is against you, too! The Lord will destroy you until not one of you is left. 6The Philistine coast will become a wilderness pasture, a place of shepherd camps and enclosures for sheep and goats. 7The remnant of the tribe of Judah will pasture there. They will rest at night in the abandoned houses in Ashkelon. For the Lord their God will visit his people in kindness and restore their prosperity again.

Judgment against Moab and Ammon

8“I have heard the taunts of the Moabites and the insults of the Ammonites, mocking my people and invading their borders. 9Now, as surely as I live,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, “Moab and Ammon will be destroyed— destroyed as completely as Sodom and Gomorrah. Their land will become a place of stinging nettles, salt pits, and eternal desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them and take their land.” 10They will receive the wages of their pride, for they have scoffed at the people of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 11The Lord will terrify them as he destroys all the gods in the land. Then nations around the world will worship the Lord, each in their own land.

Judgment against Ethiopia and Assyria

12“You Ethiopians will also be slaughtered by my sword,” says the Lord. 13And the Lord will strike the lands of the north with his fist, destroying the land of Assyria. He will make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. 14The proud city will become a pasture for flocks and herds, and all sorts of wild animals will settle there. The desert owl and screech owl will roost on its ruined columns, their calls echoing through the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will be exposed to the weather. 15This is the boisterous city, once so secure. “I am the greatest!” it boasted. “No other city can compare with me!” But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a haven for wild animals. Everyone passing by will laugh in derision and shake a defiant fist.

–from Zephaniah 2

Will you choose to rebel? Will you choose redemption? There are many paths but only one that will lead you to God! Jesus told us that He is the way! Will you turn to Him? Will you allow Him to transform you from the inside out? My redeemer lives! Choose to be redeemed by Jesus! Don’t walk out on God (or think you should or could)! Don’t walk away from God (or think you can hide from Him)! Turn back to God! Ask Him to heal and forgive you! Come with a humble spirit! Allow Jesus to start a work in your heart that will transform you for the rest of your life and the rest of eternity!

Jerusalem’s Rebellion and Redemption

1What sorrow awaits rebellious, polluted Jerusalem, the city of violence and crime! 2No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God. 3Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. 4Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions. 5But the Lord is still there in the city, and he does no wrong. Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail. But the wicked know no shame. 6“I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers. Their streets are now deserted; their cities lie in silent ruin. There are no survivors— none at all. 7I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now! Surely they will listen to my warnings. Then I won’t need to strike again, destroying their homes.’ But no, they get up early to continue their evil deeds. 8Therefore, be patient,” says the Lord. “Soon I will stand and accuse these evil nations. For I have decided to gather the kingdoms of the earth and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them. All the earth will be devoured by the fire of my jealousy. 9“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. 10My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. 11On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no more haughtiness on my holy mountain. 12Those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. 13The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will never tell lies or deceive one another. They will eat and sleep in safety, and no one will make them afraid.” 14Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! 15For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. 16On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! 17For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” 18“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. 19And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed. 20On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction, among all the nations of the earth, as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

–from Zephaniah 3

Jesus knew the price it would cost to be able to redeem the sins of this world! Jesus knew the cost of wanting to make a way when there wasn’t a way! Jesus knew that it would have to be something He took into His own hands in order to provide that way to bridge the gap and reconcile us back to God’s righteousness! And even though we didn’t deserve it, He came and gave His all! He gave His life on the cross! He conquered death! He is now seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us!

Have you decided to follow after Jesus? Have you decided to ask Him into your heart? Are you now walking in the hope that comes from that relationship? Are you now walking in the truth of Jesus to be able to lead you and guide you all the days of your life?

If not, why not start today? Go questions? Leave me a message!

Let’s get back into God’s Word…His love letter to us!

Paul Preaches in Thessalonica

1Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people. 3He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.” 4Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.
5But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd. 6Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too. 7And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”
8The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports. 9So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

Paul and Silas in Berea

10That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
13But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

Paul Preaches in Athens

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
18He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”
19Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
22So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
24“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
27“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
30“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
32When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

–from Acts 17

Will you allow Jesus to create a new heart you in? Will you allow Jesus to transform you into a new creation? Will you allow Jesus lead you into heaven? Let’s live out our lives to please God! Let’s be God’s ambassadors to this world! Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s not do it to puff ourselves up but to point people to the one who deserves all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Let’s be ambassadors of Christ to the world around us!

New Bodies

1For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.4While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
6So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

We Are God’s Ambassadors

11Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

–from 2 Corinthians 5

Have you been touched? Have you been able to keep quiet? Have you been able to keep it to yourself?


Has your life had a divine encounter? Has your life been transformed? Have you had your eyes opened to the truth? Are you able to see things more clearly because of the transformation? Are you keeping it all to yourself? Are you not sharing the good news with others? How have you been able to keep it to yourself? What is keeping you from sharing?

God had a plan for me and when I moved thousands of miles away from my comfort zone, He provided a divine encounter. He provided a special invitation to a Christmas pageant/production at a near by church. He provided a powerful encounter of worship and preaching that drew us even closer. He provided incredible teaching from God’s Word that opened my eyes to the truth. He provided divine appointments where not only was I able to learn about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but also to experience it. He provided divine appointments where I didn’t only learn about freedom through Cleansing Stream, but also had been freed from years of violent responses when I was hit in the head through the power of forgiveness. Not only did I get to hang out with a bunch of men at a men’s retreat, but God spoke to me about how He wanted me to get more involved in my community where I was called into a higher level of leadership within my homeowners association. It also got me plugged into serving at the church where I was involved in productions – acting, signing on the stage as well as off stage with media, and production. It has impacted me at work and my interactions with others to the point where I even started to blog about it. My plan was a private site but God called me to open it up and to share my time with Him with others that His Word would be heard and be a testimony to many others. So to say the least, I haven’t been able to keep quiet. Today’s Word triggered this thought and topic to me because the two men who had a divine encounter with Jesus couldn’t keep it to themselves either.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

27Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, two blind men started following him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” they shouted.
28When Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I can heal you?”
“Yes, sir!” they answered.
29Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it happen, then, just as you believe!”— 30and their sight was restored. Jesus spoke sternly to them, “Don’t tell this to anyone!”
31But they left and spread the news about Jesus all over that part of the country.
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

When we are freed and start to speak of what God has done in and through our lives, there will be people who try to play it down or call it something else. Jesus even faced that type of doubt and fear…

Jesus Heals a Man Who Could Not Speak

32As the men were leaving, some people brought to Jesus a man who could not talk because he had a demon. 33But as soon as the demon was driven out, the man started talking, and everyone was amazed. “We have never seen anything like this in Israel!” they exclaimed.
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is the chief of the demons who gives Jesus the power to drive out demons.”
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

There are many people who don’t know. There are many people who have never heard. There are people held back by fear. There are people held back by doubt. But what can you do? What can you say to speak hope and life to those God brings into your life? You may be the only experience they have ever had and so you need to speak up and speak out. You need to provide a hand up rather than just a handout. Today, let’s make a difference!

Jesus Has Pity for the People

35 Jesus went around visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the Kingdom, and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness. 36 As he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 So he said to his disciples, “The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in. 38Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.”
— from Matthew 9 (GNT)

Not everyone is going to want to hear! Not everyone is going to want to respond! But don’t fear, just believe and put your trust in God! God has greater plans for you! God’s plan for you and those around you isn’t that anyone should perish, but that through Jesus Christ we will all have eternal life with Him! So don’t stop sharing because some people don’t what to hear. Don’t stop sharing because some people threaten you. Press in to what God calls you to and get it done! It’s incredible what God can do in and through us if we open up and allow Him to flow through us into the lives of those He brings into our lives. But don’t allow pride to trip you up. Don’t allow others to lift you up but point them all to Jesus. There is a risk when people are able to see and experience God working through you that they may get misdirected and think it is about you, but we need to make sure we point them to the true source and the true savior of the world … Jesus!

In Iconium

1The same thing happened in Iconium: Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of Jews and Gentiles became believers. 2But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the Gentiles and turned them against the believers. 3The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord, who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders. 4The people of the city were divided: some were for the Jews, others for the apostles.
5Then some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to mistreat the apostles and stone them. 6When the apostles learned about it, they fled to the cities of Lystra and Derbe in Lycaonia and to the surrounding territory. 7There they preached the Good News.

In Lystra and Derbe

8In Lystra there was a crippled man who had been lame from birth and had never been able to walk. 9He sat there and listened to Paul’s words. Paul saw that he believed and could be healed, so he looked straight at him 10and said in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” The man jumped up and started walking around. 11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they started shouting in their own Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us!” 12They gave Barnabas the name Zeus, and Paul the name Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of the god Zeus, whose temple stood just outside the town, brought bulls and flowers to the gate, for he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice to the apostles.
14When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, 15 “Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them. 16In the past he allowed all people to go their own way. 17But he has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness.” 18Even with these words the apostles could hardly keep the crowd from offering a sacrifice to them.
19Some Jews came from Antioch in Pisidia and from Iconium; they won the crowds over to their side, stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, thinking that he was dead. 20But when the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he and Barnabas went to Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News in Derbe and won many disciples. Then they went back to Lystra, to Iconium, and on to Antioch in Pisidia. 22They strengthened the believers and encouraged them to remain true to the faith. “We must pass through many troubles to enter the Kingdom of God,” they taught. 23In each church they appointed elders, and with prayers and fasting they commended them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
24After going through the territory of Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25There they preached the message in Perga and then went to Attalia, 26and from there they sailed back to Antioch, the place where they had been commended to the care of God’s grace for the work they had now completed.
27When they arrived in Antioch, they gathered the people of the church together and told them about all that God had done with them and how he had opened the way for the Gentiles to believe. 28And they stayed a long time there with the believers.
— from Acts 14 (GNT)

Let’s sing songs of praise to God! Let’s celebrate the incredible things He is and has and will do in and through our lives! Let’s make each day so filled with joy because He is with us that it will be hard for others to hold back or to get down, let’s give us a reason for the joy that is within us! Let’s not allow our circumstances to direct our attitudes and actions. Let’s allow Jesus working in us to drive our attitude and responses to everything that comes our way!

12Many enemies surround me like bulls;

they are all around me,
like fierce bulls from the land of Bashan.
13They open their mouths like lions,
roaring and tearing at me.
14My strength is gone,
gone like water spilled on the ground.
All my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like melted wax.
15My throat is as dry as dust,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have left me for dead in the dust.
16An evil gang is around me;
like a pack of dogs they close in on me;
they tear at my hands and feet.
17All my bones can be seen.
My enemies look at me and stare.
18  They gamble for my clothes
and divide them among themselves.
19O Lord, don’t stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
20Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
21Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless before these wild bulls.
22  I will tell my people what you have done;
I will praise you in their assembly:
23“Praise him, you servants of the Lord!
Honor him, you descendants of Jacob!
Worship him, you people of Israel!
24He does not neglect the poor or ignore their suffering;
he does not turn away from them,
but answers when they call for help.”
25In the full assembly I will praise you for what you have done;
in the presence of those who worship you
I will offer the sacrifices I promised.
26The poor will eat as much as they want;
those who come to the Lord will praise him.
May they prosper forever!
27All nations will remember the Lord.
From every part of the world they will turn to him;
all races will worship him.
28The Lord is king,
and he rules the nations.
29All proud people will bow down to him;#

22.29: Probable text will bow down to him; Hebrew will eat and bow down.
all mortals will bow down before him.
30Future generations will serve him;
they will speak of the Lord to the coming generation.
31People not yet born will be told:
“The Lord saved his people.”
— from Psalm 22 (GNT)

So today as we get started, let’s put on the full armor of God and be prepared for what will be ahead of us. Let’s share the Good News of how God has worked in and through our lives and how He wants to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Yes, you reading this text, that is you. He wants to make a difference in your life because He loves you so much. Yes, you reading this, He wants to hear you sharing the Good News with others as you have been transformed and saved. Yes, you reading this text, if you want to hear more or talk more, please leave me a comment for me to respond to … feel free to read through other postings if that is more comfortable for you. Do a search about something that is on your mind.

 

Don’t be arrogant. Don’t be prideful. Don’t do things at the expense of others.


Where are you at? Are you at the top of your game and using it to take advantage of others? Did you take it too far and risk the wrath that would come because of your behavior? Do you think you are all that and not really realizing where true hope and help comes from? Considering your actions, what would be just in return? Considering your attitude, what would be appropriate as a response? Do you realize who is in charge? Have you considered turning to Him for wisdom and direction?

Are you someone who is leading? Are you someone who is helping? Are you someone who is encouraging? Are you someone who is showing others that they are worth it? Are you someone who is generous? Are you someoe who is a giver?

What is your focus? What is your direction? What is your reason? What is your purpose?

Do you stand up for what is right? Do you sit quietly not saying a word? Do you step in to set things right? Do you stand back not wanting to get involved?

If you are on the receiving end then seek wisdom? If you are on the delivering end then seek wisdom? Before it is too late, and you put yourself into a place that will reek pain and suffering. Be it caused by bitterness and unforgiveness! Be it because of your brutality and selfishness. Seek truth! Seek wisdom! Seek love! Seek God!

It may not be easy, but God will be with you and help you. I remember a season where things were so rough. I remember every night on the way home, the songs on the radio were there to speak hope and love of God over me. I also remember not fully receiving it. It too me time of spiraling down before I got to the point of looking up and asking God to help me. He never left me. He never forgot me. He spoke truth and wisdom every day through His Word and the songs that played on my radio. I even used my phone to capture the songs and created a playlist. I remember that day driving down the road thinking God Help me. I remember the song coming on the radio 7×70. I remember the start of the process being that I needed to forgive others. I remember a weight lifting from my shoulders. I then remember the second part of the message, as you forgive others, God will forgive you. I remember asking God to forgive me for allowing the bitter root to take hold, for the unforgiveness to take hold. I remember all the weight to be removed and for a new joy to flow out of me. The darkness was gone. The light had replace it. And God’s will and plan for me to be able to speak life into the lives of others had been accomplished. I had an experience that allowed me to relate with others who were angry, bitter, depressed, and more. I had an experience that allowed me to speak life into the lives of others through the power of forgiveness to break the chains free.

It wasn’t to hurt me but to make me stronger. It wasn’t to punish me, but to help me learn and be able to relate. God’s plans are for my good. God can take what the enemy had planned for evil and to tear me down and turn it around and use it for good, and not only my good but the good of those who were in or were going to encounter my life.

I am not sure where you are at in your life, however, just as I experience and just as God’s Word speaks hope into lives in my reading for today (Day 180), hold onto this promise:

Remember God in your long and distant exile.
Keep Jerusalem alive in your memory.”
51How we’ve been humiliated, taunted and abused,
kicked around for so long that we hardly know who we are!
And we hardly know what to think—
our old Sanctuary, God’s house, desecrated by strangers.
52-53“I know, but trust me: The time is coming
Jeremiah 50

The time is coming. The time when you will be ready to receive the truth. The time when you will be ready to let go of the pain. The time when you will call out to God. The time when you will turn back to God.

So who will you give the credit? I know in my case, God has been my source and He has been the reason for the incredible things that have taken place in my life. Even today as I start my day I am where I am in a great company (2nd one out of school) with great people He put in authority over me from my immediate manager, to his manager, to his manager. God is so incredible. Things I have accomplished have been because of His miraculous work in and through me. I have said to many people that I don’t need luck, I need miracles. I say that because I know that nothing is too big for my God. He can do infinitely more than I could ever ask or imagine. All things are possible for those who believe. So my hope and trust are in Him. And I ask that today as I start this day that His wisdom, His strength, His will be done in my life. I ask that my every thought, word, and action be guided by Him. And that with every thought, word, and action that He would receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thank You God!

Ever read about dinosaurs? Ever read about them in the Bible?


My morning reading today came from Job 40, 41, 42 and Psalm 134. In Job 40, we read of this incredible creature, the Behemoth:

15-24“Look at the land beast, Behemoth. I created him as well as you. Grazing on grass, docile as a cow— Just look at the strength of his back, the powerful muscles of his belly. His tail sways like a cedar in the wind; his huge legs are like beech trees. His skeleton is made of steel, every bone in his body hard as steel. Most magnificent of all my creatures, but I still lead him around like a lamb! The grass-covered hills serve him meals, while field mice frolic in his shadow. He takes afternoon naps under shade trees, cools himself in the reedy swamps, Lazily cool in the leafy shadows as the breeze moves through the willows. And when the river rages he doesn’t budge, stolid and unperturbed even when the Jordan goes wild.
But you’d never want him for a pet— you’d never be able to housebreak him!”
In Job 41, we read of this incredible creature, the Leviathan:
1-11“Or can you pull in the sea beast, Leviathan, with a fly rod and stuff him in your creel? Can you lasso him with a rope, or snag him with an anchor? Will he beg you over and over for mercy, or flatter you with flowery speech? Will he apply for a job with you to run errands and serve you the rest of your life? Will you play with him as if he were a pet goldfish? Will you make him the mascot of the neighborhood children? Will you put him on display in the market and have shoppers haggle over the price? Could you shoot him full of arrows like a pin cushion, or drive harpoons into his huge head? If you so much as lay a hand on him, you won’t live to tell the story. What hope would you have with such a creature? Why, one look at him would do you in! If you can’t hold your own against his glowering visage, how, then, do you expect to stand up to me?
Ever looked them up? Ever considered that man and dinosaurs coexisted? God as He confronts Job uses both of these creatures to compare how much more He is able to do and is able to manage compared to man. It would appear based on the description of the size and structure of the Behemoth that it would be a Brachiosaurus type of large land dwelling dinosaur. It would also appear based on the description of the Leviathan that it would be a Elasmosaurus type of large water-dwelling dinosaur.
Behemoth
Leviathan

It is interesting what we find in the Bible and how theories, even those that the person who made them didn’t believe get propagated for generations upon generation. It is interesting to consider what life would be like living during the times of the dinosaurs and being able to coexist. It is interesting to consider what life would have been like living in a part of the world where either on land or in water such majestic and magnificent creatures would walk by. I consider when I see nature either walking through my yard or when travelling or when on vacation be it at the zoo or a nature preserve, wow. We know from God’s Word that He created the Earth and everything in it – on land and in the water.

As I complete my reading in Job, I have such incredible reminders of that day when I was putting in my resignation at the only company I had worked at since graduating from university. That morning my reading was the same as today, but I was at a different point in my life and on that day God encouraged me with Job 42:12. As I was coming to the end of the first half of my career, it was going to be a change and God knew me stepping out — as called out in earlier blog postings — “Get out of the boat”, that I would need Him as He had lead me this far and I was going to do what He wanted and was going to Go where He lead me. As I was spending time with God and considering the 2nd half of my life and my career, I was wondering what things were going to be like. I knew I got to walk through the valley and I got to learn through it all the importance of forgiveness and the power it has to free us. So He put this verse on that day to encourage me and prepare me for the 2nd half of my career with these words from Job 42:

Forgiveness:

1-6Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”

Promise for the 2nd half — that it would be twice as good as the first (compare these numbers to the ones in Job 1):

10-11After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.
12-15God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job’s daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.
16-17Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.
As I continue to walk in the 2nd half, I look to God with awe, for His wisdom and His majesty, His ways and His purposes. Lord help me today. Help me to walk in the miraculous that exists in Your presence so that in everything that I think, say, and do Lord, that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

We can endure when we know the reward that awaits us.


Are you going through some tough times? Are you going through some challenges? Are you working through difficulties? Are you dealing with pain? Are you suffering? Are you sick?

365 Fear Nots: Verse of the Day today shares the following word of encouragement:

And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.”

Genesis 35:17 (ESV)

Biblical Truth: Though pain and sorrows exist, we can endure knowing that a reward awaits us. As children of God we take comfort in being absolved with eternal salvation and look forward to what lay ahead without fear.

We know from God’s Word that what the devil planned for evil, God can turn around and use for good. We know from God’s Word that God’s plan for us is to give us a hope and a future. God’s Word also tell us to consider it all joy when we face challenges and trials:

2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4

His plan is that we are complete and lacking nothing. So let’s build up our faith strength. Let’s hold onto the truth and rebuke the lies of the devil. Let’s let the past stay in the past. Let’s look forward to all that God has in store for us, not only when we get to heaven, but also here on earth in our journey of life.

It may not be easy, but as we read today, it will be worth it.

So let’s live this life loving everyone that God brings into our lives. Let’s not allow the devil to get a foothold but rather let’s press in to all God has in store and use every opportunity to be something that we can use to glorify God by our thoughts, words, and actions. Let’s live today to let our light shine for Jesus so that others will see them praise our Father in Heaven.

As a new year dawns…


As I start this new day and consider the last year, all I can say is “Wow!”. There were so many different experiences and feelings. There were so many different responses and changes. There were big changes, happy changes, experiences to share and be open rather than to fear and clam up. There were times to learn and times to prepare. There were times to listen and times to take action. So many changes and God was in them all. He calmed any doubts or fears. He spoke into every question or doubt. He answered when I had questions. He encouraged as I waited.

It started with bad news, but God told me He had my back. He rewarded my behavior and actions better than the company that seemed to turn its back on me. From a previous experience, I knew I had to start it with forgiveness. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Because of God’s love and provision, I was openly sharing how I knew that God was working on something and either things would be fixed and improved or He had something else planned for me. I used it as a testimony of how we don’t have to worry or fear what man can do to us, but rather that we can trust in God and allow the joy that surpasses all understanding to help us get through it all.

I had times of doubt, not in God, but if there was really anyone who cared  or could be trusted. God made it clear that there was by setting divine appointments where people would come in and speak truth, speak care, speak love into the situations.

Then the message about Peter shows up in one of my morning devotionals when get walks on water. As I drive to work I ask God if the company I was working for was the boat and if it was and if I was to get out, that He would grant me wisdom to know which side. I was just about to turn onto the highway after driving over the hill and my phone made it’s texting message that ended up being “get out of the boat“. I knew what that meant. I knew that no matter how things changed at work, my time there was limited and that God was preparing me for the next phase of my career. Since I included the clarity of “which side”, I knew that wasn’t the day, but that night I had to start to prepare. I updated my resume, I updated my LinkedIn profile, and I started to reach out to people who worked at companies where I found jobs of interest and the process began. I went to work each day with the joy of knowing God was with me and that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I knew He was working out a plan for my future and so I did my job the best I could for His Word tells me “work as unto the Lord“, He is the real boss of it all.

Interviews were happening. Preparation was taking place. And then right when I thought I knew which side of the boat, God opened the door with the clear message that He had a different idea. He provided me with every sign, every notice, every encouragement I needed so that I knew which side to get out on. Be it rainbows. Be it songs on the radio. Be it my morning Bible reading. Be it the offer. He knew what He has planned and started so many months earlier and this has been an incredible year and one I wouldn’t want to give up. The valley may be deep and it may not be easy, but when you come out the other side and look back, the things you learn are things you wouldn’t want to give up or give back. What an incredible time it has been in my new role. What an incredible group of people I have been blessed to meet. What an incredible opportunity and challenge faces us. And with God directing my path, I know that even greater things are yet to come.

So today as a new year begins, what do I think? what do I want? what do I think? what do I need? what do I plan? Theses are incredible and powerful questions.

What do I think?

I am blessed by God!

What do I want?

To help share the love of God with my family and friends and those who God will bring across my path.

What do I think?

God, what is it you have for me to do today. No need to worry about tomorrow, today has enough things to keep me busy.

What do I need?

God’s wisdom for every action, every activity, every decision, every moment of every day.

What do I plan?

To have another great year spent with my wife, my kids, and my friends and family trying to love them better and share God’s love with them to a new level. To help those I work with to accomplish even greater things that we could have ever asked for or imagined by the grace of God!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Thank You Jesus!

Love,

Phil


365 Fear Nots: Verse of the Day

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

1 Peter 2:17 (KJV)

Be of good character and live your life with integrity, treating everyone the same, with dignity. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ and be respectful of authority. Honor and revere the Lord God!

Spurgeon’s Morning Devotional – Day 59 – My Expectation is from God!

5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 62:5

Do you owe? Are you in debt?


Whether you consider this question from any particular angle, it is an interesting question to ask. Be it on a relational basis. Be it on a financial basis. Be it on a spiritual basis. There are many angles and view points to consider this question.

Now imagine if there was someone who would pay it all off for you. How would that make you feel? How would you respond? Would you feelings last or fade? Would it matter how big or how small the debt was? Would you be grateful to them forever? What if it ended up coming from an unlikely place? How about even someone you don’t know and didn’t even ask for help from? How big or impacting would that be?

As I think of the title above, lyrics came to mind…

Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe

ALL : Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe. from Hope Church North Park on Vimeo.

And as I did a search the above video caught my attention.

This morning’s devotional from 365 Fear Nots, speaks of how God came to us before we were even looking for Him.

Isaiah was fearless enough to tell that the Lord had said, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I appeared to the ones who were not asking about me.”

Romans 10:20 (CEV)

We give thanks to God for choosing us in love and can be bold and fearless when speaking His truth. Do not be afraid of upsetting men.

He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to reconcile us back unto Him.

This morning’s verse from Spurgeon’s Morning Devotions (Day 34) comes from Romans:

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. – Romans 8:12

God created us. God set the rules and having broken them we are in debt to His justice, a debt we can’t afford. God provided a way for us to become debt free, Jesus! So we no longer owe once we have turned back and received Jesus, we have asked Him into our heart and to help us clean it out. Spurgeon’s devotional put it this way:

“But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God’s justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt his people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love. I am a debtor to God’s grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to his justice, for he will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, “It is finished!” and by that he meant, that whatever his people owed was wiped away forever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God’s justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Christian, pause and ponder for a moment. What a debtor thou art to divine sovereignty! How much thou owest to his disinterested love, for he gave his own Son that he might die for thee. Consider how much you owe to his forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts he loves you as infinitely as ever. Consider what you owe to his power; how he has raised you from your death in sin; how he has preserved your spiritual life; how he has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way. Consider what you owe to his immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, he has not changed once. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast–yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.” – Day 34 from Spurgeon’s Morning Devotions

So where are you at today? Are you still under the justice? Are you free from the penalties for what you have done? Are you now living in a life where you are living a life of love because God first loved you? Are you giving yourself into God’s hands as a sign of worship and to give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory? Are you helping others so that by your good works others will glorify Your Father in heaven?

We all have been given freewill to choose. What are your choices? What are you choices saying about you? What are your choices saying about what you believe? What are your choices saying about your heart?

Today is a new day. This is the day the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it. Let’s live a life that shines salt and light so that by our works, people will praise and glorify our Father in Heaven.

Does your world seem to be falling apart?


I remember a time almost a year ago when mine did. It was interesting as I had a choice of how I would respond and it was interesting as I reflect how I responded. I responded with hope and in faith. I was open and transparent to my friends and coworkers. I was speaking with forgiveness and love keeping myself from getting bitter or angry. Even those who would have tried to hurt me I wasn’t responding with hate or anger or bitterness, but rather with forgiveness and how can we work through this to fix the lies and replace them with the truth. I turned to God as my source and my strength wondering what is next. I even wrote a post titled “It’s reset time…” and revisited it this year when a reminder on my calendar told be to look back a year with a follow-up post titled “It’s reset time… (Sept 11th, 2012)–A reflection on the past year!” My response, my conversations with other co-workers would all have been testimonies of God’s hand in my life. My conversations didn’t speak of how good I was but that I knew God was in control. Today in the devotional 365 Fear Nots, the following verse is brought up that is very much in alignment with this topic.

Terror will make people faint. They will be worried about what is happening in the world. The sun, moon and stars will be shaken from their places. “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud. He will come with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up. Hold your head up with joy and hope. The time when you will be set free will be very close.” – Luke 21:26-28

The devotional goes on to speak about how we shouldn’t get angry or afraid when the world around us appears to be falling apart, but that we should be looking to heaven with faith and hope for renewal.

Where are you at today? Are wheels falling off the cart? Is there someone in your life whose having a hard time? Do you need to be looking up for yourself and for wisdom and encouragement? Do you need to be loving and sharing the hope of God with someone else who is in the midst of it?

You can share your walk and bring glory to God in Heaven. You can come beside and share the yoke with someone else so that God’s love will be visible to them as they are being challenged. Either way, let’s respond in love so that by the words we speak and the things we do, our Heavenly Father will receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

This wasn’t the first time I had to go through a valley, but it was the first time that I responded this way and lived through a different experience that not only was healthier to me, my mind, and my body, but also glorified God! The first time was where I learned the power of forgiveness and the freedom that comes through forgiveness. The first time, I learned that unforgiveness isn’t a word! (The editor showed me image)