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.


Did you hear about that “new” thing? Do you realize how much history repeats and how not much new happens?


If it’s news does it make it new? Nope. If it is portrayed as different does it make it new? Nope? What’s new? Let’s see what the dictionary has to say:

Definition of New from Oxford Dictionary per bing.com

https://www.bing.com/search?q=define%20new&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=define%20&sc=8-7&sk=&cvid=93F0577EC5CB4883B1A69FB6FFC5EEC7
Oxford Dictionary definition of New

Because it looks different the next time, it gets called new. Because it feels different the next time, it gets called new. Because it sounds different the next time, it gets called new. Because it tastes different the next time, it gets called new. Because it smells different the next time, it gets called new. But is it really new?

How do you respond to what others are considering new? How do you react to what others are considering new? Ever heard the quote about history by George Santayana?

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

George Santayana

Ever heard other similar quotes?

  • Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. — Edmund Burke
  • Learn from history or you’re doomed to repeat it. — Jesse Ventura
  • He who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it. — Pittacus Lore
  • The philosopher and historian George Santayana once remarked that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. A perusal of some of the essays will reveal that this is not always true. In some cases psychologists have known about mistakes of the past and sought to repeat them. But the recurrence can sometimes be fruitful: going round in circles can be a good thing, provided the circle is large that when one returns to the task one sees it in a new light and the error brings new insights. — Noel Sheehy

So is it new or is it history? Is it a repetition because we didn’t know or is someone pulling the strings in order to force something to repeat? This past year our church went through the book of Acts and there were so many things that mirrored what is going on in society today, thousands of years later. Ever considered that there might be a book that can help you navigate through life, even if it seems new? Ever considered the information you could pull from the lessons taught through the Bible? Might you consider starting your journey into the Bible today? Consider insights like Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 which says:

‘I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live; and also that every man should eat and drink and see and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. ‘

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Consider insights like Esther 4:14 which says:

‘For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?” ‘

Esther 4:14

Consider insights like Genesis 45:5-8 which says:

‘Now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to save life and preserve our family. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five more years in which there will be no plowing and harvesting. God sent me [to Egypt] ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on the earth, and to keep you alive by a great escape. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. ‘

Genesis 45:5-8

Consider insights like Psalms 13:1 which says:

‘How long, O Lord ? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? ‘

Psalms 13:1

So are you ready to experience something old in a new way? Are you ready to look at something old in a new way? Are you ready for today? It’s a new day! Are you ready for today? It’s a new work week! Are you ready for today? Will look at it in a new way?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for October 18th


Qué Será, Será


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.’

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Let’s take a bigger view at what Solomon is saying about life. Let’s dig a bit deeper by using the Amplified version with additional context from verses around this one.

‘The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “Vanity of vanities! All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity [futile, meaningless—a wisp of smoke, a vapor that vanishes, merely chasing the wind].” What advantage does man have from all his work Which he does under the sun (while earthbound)? One generation goes and another generation comes, But the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hurries to the place where it rises again. The wind blows toward the south, Then circles toward the north; The wind circles and swirls endlessly, And on its circular course the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, There they flow again. All things are wearisome and all words are frail; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be [again], And that which has been done is that which will be done again. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it can be said, “See this, it is new”? It has already existed for [the vast] ages [of time recorded or unrecorded] Which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things, Nor also of the later things that are to come; There will be for them no remembrance By generations who will come after them. ‘

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever taken time to absorb the wisdom God had given to Solomon?
  • Ever taken time to consider the lessons God provides us through the wisdom He gave Solomon?
  • Ever considered the benefits of constancy in the world, the universe, and life?
  • Ever taken things for granted because of that constancy?
  • Ever taken for granted the patterns of life like days, weeks, seasons, and years?
  • Ever taken for granted directions like up, down, left, right?
  • Ever taken hold of the benefits of constancy?
  • Do you find constancy and consistency boring?
  • Do you appreciate the constancy of life as a gift from God?
  • Do you appreciate the constancy of life because it allows you to live your life without worry or fear thanks to God?
  • With things that come into our lives, have you considered how much of it remains constant?
  • Do you appreciate the stability that is life?
  • Do you appreciate the stability and constancy of life that keeps you from needing to spend too much energy on living or surviving?
  • Do you appreciate how this allows you to spend your energy on doing things that can make a difference in the lives of others?
  • Do you appreciate how this allows you to spend your energy on doing things that can care for others?
  • Do you appreciate how this allows you to spend your energy on doing things and taking risks that will allow you to accomplish greater things for God?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are some things you appreciated about God’s gift of constancy?
  • How can you use the security of constancy to focus your energies on things that matter?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“One cure for boredom is to forget yourself through activities which bring you in touch with people and ideas outside yourself.”

Blanche McKeown

So where are you at today? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your life and your heart? 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?


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

Ever heard that hindsight is 2020?


Is it reversible? If so does that mean we are about to head into 2020 and so it will be hindsight? Looking up the word hindsight we can find the definition is “understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed“. So going into 2020 might it be possible that we can understand the situations and events that are going to happen or develop? Might it be possible in 2020 that we won’t have to question why we had to go through a situation or event because we can already understand it?

Ever considered that there is a book with the answers? Ever considered that in that book it shares how there is nothing new under the sun? Ever considered that there is a book that was given as a love letter to us so that we could know without having to go through the experience ourselves? Ever considered how we can learn through others experiences rather than having to go through each and everyone one on our own? Ever considered taking up the challenge to read through the Bible in a Year?

Being December 31st 2019 and pondering what devotional or reading plan I was going to pick up for my 2020 Bible reading plan, this post came to mind to not only pick a reading plan but to also invite everyone to join me in reading it together. Each person may want to choose a different translation to read from that is easier for them to understand or comprehend like NIV, NLT, NKJV, Amplified, The Message, etc. I am even considering setting up a small group that can meet together on a weekly basis to discuss the readings. Based on responses from you the readers and friends, I will look to find time(s) for us to get together and discuss it. For those who are far away, I am hoping we can stay in touch and discuss the topics through the comments section of this blog. If you want to join me in seeing how much of 2020 will be hindsight, email 2020devotional@from2005toeternity.info or text me at (425)659-3655 .


The words from God’s Word that I want to share with everyone today come from Ecclesiastes 1:9

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NLT)

The other part that I am hoping will draw people into wanting to join me in this 2020 hindsight journey is The Father’s Love Letter that I discovered many years ago during one of my reading plans:

It is provided in different formats so that you can: Read. Watch. Listen.

Choose the way you would like and take a moment to receive God’s Word into your heart!


Here is the reading plan that I have chosen: The 49-Week Challenge

Leave me a comment, send me an email, or send me a text if you are interested in joining me on the journey into 2020…


So where are you at today? How will you respond to the offer from God of grace, mercy, and salvation? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you.  Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re-commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it. Reply with a comment to let me know of your decision so that I can pray with you. Respond to God’s prompting on your heart. Take time to hear from God today. Take time to be with God today. Take time to respond to God today!

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today

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

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.

What if you could be the catalyst for change?


What if you could be the beginning of people turning away from doing bad and starting to do good again? What if you could be the one who starts a revival that points people in the right direction? What if you could be the one whose life would rekindle the love and the hope and the truth back into your community? What if your life was the catalyst for a real change in the way things work and help get things back on track?

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How are you living today? Are you living as a witness to the love of God? Are you living as a testimony to all that Jesus has done? Are you living as a living sacrifice so that other may come to know the truth about God’s plan for their lives?

Be a catalyst for an internal change

What if you could be the catalyst
for change?


Today’s reading begins with 2 Kings 11…

Wicked Queen Athaliah Overthrown

1Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring. 2But Jehosheba, daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death. She put him and his nurse in the bedroom, so he was hidden from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3He remained with her, hidden in the House of Adonai for six years, while Athaliah was reigning over the country. 4Now in the seventh year, Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains of the hundreds, of both the Carites and the guards, and had them come to him in the House of Adonai. After he cut a covenant with them and put them under oath in the House of Adonai, he showed them the king’s son. 5Then he commanded them saying, “This is what you will do: one-third of you—those going on duty on Shabbat—keeps watch over the palace. 6Then another third will be stationed at the Sur Gate and the last third will be at the gate behind the guards—so you will keep watch over the house on every side. 7Your other two divisions, who are off duty on Shabbat, will also keep watch over the House of Adonai for the king. 8So you are to surround the king on every side—every man with his weapons in his hand—whoever breaks through the ranks must be put to death. You must be with the king in his comings and goings.” 9So the captains of hundreds did all that Jehoiada the kohen commanded. Each of the captains took his men—those who were on duty on Shabbat and those who were off duty on Shabbat—and presented themselves to Jehoiada the kohen. 10The kohen delivered to the captains of hundreds the spear and shields that belonged to King David that were in the House of Adonai. 11So the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the House to the left side of the House, by the altar and the House, around the king on every side. 12Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown and the insignia on him, and so they proclaimed him king and anointed him. Then they clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!” 13When Athaliah heard the noise of the guards and the people, she came to the people in the House of Adonai. 14She looked and behold, the king was standing by the pillar, as was the custom, with the captains and the trumpets beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason, treason!” 15Then Jehoiada the kohen ordered the captains of hundreds, appointed over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks—whoever follows her, put him to death with the sword.” For the kohen said, “Let her not be put to death in the House of Adonai.” 16So they laid hands on her, and brought her to the horses’ entry of the royal palace, where she was put to death. 17Then Jehoiada cut a covenant between Adonai and the king and the people—that they would be Adonai’s people—and also between the king and the people. 18Next, all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They broke his altars and his images into pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. Moreover, the kohen appointed officers over the House of Adonai. 19Then he took the captains over hundreds, the Carites, the guard, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the House of Adonai, and came by the way of the gate of the guards to the royal palace. So he sat on the royal throne. 20Then all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet—they had already slain Athaliah with the sword in the royal palace.

–from 2 Kings 11

Where will you find wisdom? Where will you find guidance? Where will you find direction? Where will you find hope? Where will you find truth? Where will you lead others? How will you make a difference?

Jehoash Restores the Temple

1Jehoash was seven years old when he became king. 2Jehoash began his reign in the seventh year of Jehu and he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. 3Now Jehoash did what was right in Adonai’s eyes all his days, just as Jehoiada the kohen instructed him. 4The high places, however, were not taken away. The people were still sacrificing and burning incense on the high places. 5Then Jehoash said to the kohanim, “All the money of the sacred donations brought to the House of Adonai—the money in exchange for each person’s valuation, as well as all the money that anyone’s heart prompts him to bring to the House of Adonai— 6let the kohanim receive it, each from one of the treasurers, so they may repair the damage to the House wherever any damage is found.” 7But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the kohanim still had not repaired the damage to the House. 8Then King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the kohen and the other kohanim, and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the damage to the House? Now therefore, take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for the damage to the House.” 9The kohanim agreed that they would take no more money from the people, nor would they repair the damage of the House. 10But Jehoiada the kohen took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one entered the House of Adonai. The priestly guards of the threshold deposited there all the money that was brought to the House of Adonai. 11Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal scribe and the kohen gadol would come up, put the money in bags and count the money that was found in the House of Adonai. 12Then they would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had been overseeing the House of Adonai—they, in turn, would pay it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the House of Adonai, 13and to the masons and the stonecutters, and for buying timber and cut stone to repair the damage to Adonai’s House, and for all that was laid out for the House to repair it. 14But there were no silver cups, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, and no vessels of gold or vessels of silver made for the House of Adonai from the money brought to the House of Adonai. 15For they gave it to those that did the work, and with it they repaired the House of Adonai. 16They did not check on the men to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, for they dealt faithfully. 17The money from the guilt offering and money from the sin offering was not brought into the House of Adonai—it was for the kohanim. 18Then King Hazael of Aram marched and attacked Gath and captured it, and next Hazael set his face to march against Jerusalem. 19But King Jehoash of Judah took all the sacred objects that his fathers Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred objects, and all the gold that was found in the treasuries of the House of Adonai and in the royal palace, and sent them to King Hazael of Aram, so he withdrew from Jerusalem. 20Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21But his courtiers arose, conspired against him and assassinated Joash at Beth-Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla. 22His courtiers Jozacar son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer struck him down, and he died. Then they buried him with his fathers in the city of David. His son Amaziah became king in his place.

–from 2 Kings 12

Do you see the need? Do you hear the need? Do you feel the need? What will you do about the need? Remember what you were taught and don’t be tricked or turned from what is right! Avoid the trip up that the devil is trying to create in your life! He will even bring in people who pretend to have your best interest at hand! Stand firm for what God has taught you! Stand firm for what is right! Stand firm for what is true! Stand firm for what is just! Speak the truth in love!

Joash Repairs the Temple

1Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem 40 years. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. 2Joash did what was right in the eyes of Adonai all the days of Jehoiada the kohen. 3Jehoiada took two wives by whom he fathered sons and daughters. 4It came to pass after this that Joash had a heart to renovate the House of Adonai. 5He assembled the kohanim and the Levites and told them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel year by year to repair the House of your God. Do this quickly!” However, the Levites did not act quickly. 6So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and asked him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the tax of Moses the servant of Adonai on the congregation of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony?” 7For the sons of wicked Athaliah had broken into the House of God, and had even used all the sacred things of the House of Adonai for the Baalim . 8So the king commanded that a box be made and placed outside the gate of the House of Adonai. 9A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in to Adonai the tax of Moses, God’s servant, upon Israel in the wilderness. 10All the officers and all the people rejoiced, and brought in and cast into the chest until it was full. 11Whenever the chest was brought by the Levites to the king’s officers and when they saw that it was full of money, the royal scribe and the officer of the kohen gadol would come and empty the box and take it back to its place. Thus they did daily and gathered much money. 12The king and Jehoiada gave it to workmen who carried out the work for the House of Adonai. They hired masons and carpenters to renovate the House of Adonai, as well as craftsmen in iron and bronze to repair the House of Adonai. 13So the workmen labored and the renovation work progressed in their hands. They restored the House of God to its original design, and strengthened it. 14When they had finished, they brought the remainder of the money before the king and Jehoiada and they made it into vessels for the House of Adonai—vessels for avodah and for burnt offering, pans and utensils of gold and silver. Then they offered burnt offerings in the House of Adonai continually all the days of Jehoiada. 15When Jehoiada reached a ripe old age, he died. He was 130 years old when he died. 16So he was buried in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good things in Israel and toward God and His House.

Joash Betrays the Righeous Kohen

17Now after the death of Jehoiada, the chiefs of Judah came and bowed down to the king. Then the king listened to them. 18They forsook the House of Adonai, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherah poles and the idols. Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their guilt. 19Adonai sent prophets to them to bring them back to Him and although they admonished them, they would not listen. 20Then the Ruach Elohim came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the kohen. He stood above the people and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you transgress the mitzvot of Adonai? You will not succeed. Because you have forsaken Adonai, He has also forsaken you.’” 21But they conspired against him, and by order of the king, they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the House of Adonai. 22Thus King Joash disregarded the loyalty which his father Jehoiada had shown to him—and slew Jehoiada’s son. As he was dying, he said: “May Adonai see and avenge!”

Judgment on Joash and His Chieftains

23It came to pass that at the turn of the year, the Aramean army came up against him. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem and massacred all the chieftains of the people, and sent all their plunder to the king of Damascus. 24Although the Aramean army came with only a small number of men, Adonai gave over a much larger army into their hands, because they had forsaken Adonai, God of their fathers. So they executed judgment upon Joash. 25When they withdrew from him—for they left him very sick—his own servants plotted against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the kohen, and assassinated him on his bed. He died and was buried in the city of David—but not in the tombs of the kings. 26These men conspired against him: Zabad son of Shimiath the Ammonitess and Jehozabad son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27Now concerning his sons and the many prophesies against him and the rebuilding of the House of God, behold, they are written in the commentary of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son became king in his place.

–from 2 Chronicles 24

Consider the choices before you! Consider the results of those decisions! Consider the impact on yourself, your loved ones, and those who are looking up to you! Don’t forget the catalyst! Don’t forget what God has taught you! Not sure what to do, turn to God first! Don’t assume! Don’t just go with the flow! Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength! Ask and He will answer, Seek and you will find, Knock and it will be opened!

You don’t want to miss out on what is coming! You won’t want to miss out on what’s new!

A New Heaven and a New Earth

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.” 5And the One seated upon the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Then He said, “Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will freely give from the spring of the water of life. 7The one who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8But for the cowardly and faithless and detestable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars—their lot is in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

9Then came one of the seven angels holding the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues, and he spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10Then he carried me away in the Ruach to a great and high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God—her radiance like a most precious stone, like a jasper, sparkling like crystal. 12She had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and above the gates twelve angels. On the gates were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of Bnei-Yisrael— 13three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb. 15The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city is laid out as a square—its length the same as its width. He measured the city with the rod—12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall—144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. 18The material of the city’s wall was jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every kind of precious stone—the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, carnelian; the seventh, yellow topaz; the eighth; beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls—each of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. 22I saw no temple in her, for its Temple is Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. 25Its gates shall never be shut by day, for there shall be no night there! 26And they shall bring into it the glory and honor of the nations. 27And nothing unholy shall ever enter it, nor anyone doing what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Book of Life.

–from The Revelation 21

 

Faith+Obedience -> Blessings


Will you be faithful? Will you be obedient? Will you choose wisely and be blessed? This world is filled with things to try and lure you away from God! There are things that will tempt you to go it alone! There are things that will tempt you to worship creation rather than the creator! There are things that will tempt you to walk against the way God planned and asked! There will be things that will try to get you to sway to the left or the right! So what will you do about it? How will you respond? We all have a choice! We all get to choose! So choose wisely! Find ways to remember what God has done! Find ways to put down markets so that you won’t forget! Then walk in faith and obedience to God’s calling on your life! Walk in His blessings! And give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory He deserves! The Spirit will come upon us when we choose to receive Jesus and invite Him into our hearts! We can then allow Him to guide our steps, our thoughts, our words, and our actions! It’s more than a temporary thing! It’s God working in us!

Today’s reading continues in the book of Judges to kick off today…

1Now these are the nations that Adonai left, to test all Israel who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan. 2It was only in order that the generations of Bnei-Yisrael might learn from war, which they had not experienced before. 3These nations included the five Philistine lords, and all the Canaanites, Zidonians and the Hivites living in the hill country of Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4They were for testing Israel, to know whether they would obey the mitzvot of Adonai, which He had commanded their fathers by Moses’ hand. 5But Bnei-Yisrael settled among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, 6and took their daughters for themselves as wives, gave their own daughters to their sons, and worshipped their gods. 7Bnei-Yisrael did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, forgot Adonai their God and worshipped the Baalim and the Asherahs.

Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar

8So Adonai’s anger burned against Israel, and He sold them over into the hand of King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram-naharaim, and Bnei-Yisrael served Cushan-rishathaim for eight years. 9When Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, Adonai raised up a deliverer for Bnei-Yisrael to deliver them—Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger kinsman. 10The Spirit of Adonai came upon him as he judged Israel. When he went out to war, Adonai gave King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram into his hand so that he had the upper hand over Cushan-rishathaim. 11Then the land had peace 40 years. When Othniel son of Kenaz died, 12Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes. So Adonai strengthened King Eglon of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in Adonai’s eyes. 13So he gathered to himself the people of Ammon and Amalek, then went and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms. 14Bnei-Yisrael became subject to King Eglon of Moab for 18 years. 15But when Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, Adonai raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud son of Gera the Benjamite—a left-handed man. Now Bnei-Yisrael sent tribute with him to King Eglon of Moab. 16Ehud made himself a double-edged sword, a cubit in length, which he girded on his right thigh under his cloak. 17Then he presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Eglon was a very fat man. 18Now when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried the tribute, 19but he himself turned back, at the idols that were near Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” “Keep silence!” he replied, so all his attendants left him. 20Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in a roof chamber where it was cool, and said, “I have a message from God for you,” so he arose from his throne. 21Then Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly. 22Even the handle went in after the blade and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not withdraw the sword out of his belly—and the filth came out. 23Then Ehud went out by the porch, shut the doors of the roof chamber on him, and locked them. 24After he had gone out, his courtiers came and looked, but behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked. So they said, “He is only relieving himself in the cool chamber.” 25So they waited till they were embarrassed, but behold, he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber. So they took the key and opened them—and behold, their master was lying dead on the floor. 26But Ehud escaped while they were lingering, passed beyond the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27When he arrived, he blew the shofar in the hill country of Ephraim, so Bnei-Yisrael went down with him from the hill country, and he was in front of them. 28He said to them, “Follow me, for Adonai has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan opposite Moab, and allowed no one to cross over. 29Then they struck down at that time about 10,000 men of Moab—all stout men of valor—not a man escaped. 30So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. Then the land had peace for 80 years. 31After him came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down 600 Philistine men with an ox-goad. So he also delivered Israel.

–from Judges 3

Will you live for today and God’s plans and purposes in your life? Will you do what God asks of you? Will you be a voice to speak truth, hope, love, and life into the dark world around you? Will you be the voice of encouragement that the world around you needs to hear? Will you point people away from yourself and back to God? Will you give them the hope that there is a savior and His name is Jesus? Will you go where God goes? Will you stay where God stays? Will you do what He asks of you out of faith and in obedience?

Deborah, Barak and Yael

1But Bnei-Yisrael again did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes after Ehud had died. 2So Adonai sold them over into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. His army commander was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goyim. 3So Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai, for he had 900 iron chariots, and had harshly oppressed Bnei-Yisrael for 20 years. 4Now Deborah, a woman who was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and Bnei-Yisrael came up to her for judgment. 6Now she sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Hasn’t Adonai, God of Israel, commanded, ‘Go, march to Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun? 7Then at the Kishon torrent, I will draw out to you Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army with his chariots and his multitude, and I will give him into your hand.’” 8But Barak said to her, “If you are going with me, then I will go. But if you aren’t going with me, I won’t go.” 9“Surely I will go with you,” she said. “However, no honor will be yours on the way that you are about to go—for Adonai will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” So Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10Then Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and 10,000 men marched up after him, and Deborah went up with him. 11Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh. 12They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13So Sisera ordered all his chariots—900 iron chariots—and all the troops that were with him, from Harosheth-ha-goyim to the Kishon. 14Then Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which Adonai will deliver Sisera into your hand. Has Adonai not gone out before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15Adonai threw Sisera and all his chariots and all his army into confusion before Barak with the edge of the sword. Then Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-ha-goyim. The whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not one was left. 17Meanwhile Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Yael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between King Jabin of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18So Yael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me! Don’t be afraid!” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and made him drink some, and covered him. 20Then he said to her, “Stand at the entrance of the tent, and if anyone comes and asks you saying, ‘Is there a man here?’ then you will say, ‘There’s no one.’” 21Then Yael, Heber’s wife, took a tent pin and got a hammer in her hand, approached him stealthily and drove the pin into his temple until it pierced through into the ground—for he was exhausted and in a deep sleep. So he died. 22Now behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Yael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he entered with her, and behold, Sisera was lying dead, with a tent-pin in his temple! 23So on that day God subdued King Jabin of Canaan before Bnei-Yisrael. 24The hand of Bnei-Yisrael pressed hard on King Jabin of Canaan until they had cut off King Jabin of Canaan.

–from Judges 4

Out of your obedience to God, God can work miracles! Out of your faith in God, God can do miracles! So how do you want to go about this? Will you go His way? How will you respond to those who doubt? How will you respond to those who deny? How will you respond to those who don’t believe? Will you stand firm? Will you stand strong? Will you anchor yourself to the truth of God?

There Is No God?

1For the music director, of David. The fool said in his heart: “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. 2Adonai looked down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3They all turned aside, became corrupt. There is no one who does good —not even one. 4“Will evildoers never understand— those who consume My people as they eat bread— and never call on Adonai?” 5There they are, in great dread. For God is with the righteous generation. 6You would frustrate the plan of the lowly. Surely Adonai is his refuge! 7O may He give Israel’s salvation out of Zion! When Adonai restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad!

–from Psalms 14

Will you be one who speaks up? Will you be one who speaks out? Do you see what is going on around you? Do you see the direction that the world is heading? What will they accept? What will they reject? What will they believe? What will they doubt? What will they fear? Why? Do they not see that there is a difference? Do they not see that it matters? What can you do today? What will you do today? Let’s live out what today’s reading concludes with from the book of Colossians…

Put Off the Old, Put On the New

1Therefore, if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above—where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. 4When Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him, in glory! 5Therefore, put to death what is earthly in you—sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed—for that is idolatry. 6Because of such things God’s wrath is coming upon the sons of disobedience. 7At one time you also walked in these ways, when you used to live in these ways. 8But now, set them all aside—anger, rage, malice, slander, and foul language out of your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another. After all, you have taken off the old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self that is being renewed in knowledge, according to the image of the One who created him. 11Here there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, savage, slave and free; but Messiah is all, and in all. 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience— 13bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord pardoned you, so also you must pardon others. 14But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfect harmony. 15Let the shalom of Messiah rule in your hearts—to this shalom you were surely called in one body. Also be thankful. 16Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Orderly, Mutual Relationships

18Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and do not become harsh toward them. 20Children, obey your parents in every respect, for this is pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they will not become discouraged. 22Slaves, obey your human masters in every respect—not just within your master’s sight as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it from the soul, as for the Lord and not for people. 24For you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as a reward. It is to the Lord Messiah you are giving service. 25For the one doing wrong will be paid back for what he did wrong, and there is no favoritism.

–from Colossians 3

It’s new!


A time to start! A time to reflect! A time to plan! A time to do!

Happy New Year everyone! I pray that you will have an incredibly blessed 2016!

May we start the year off planning how God can use us to accomplish His will. May we start the year reflecting on His goodness and faithfulness! May we start to do what He has called us to.

As I consider this year I think of the following priorities…(with it all starting with God)

  1. To be the best husband my wife could ever have
  2. To be the best father my kids could ever have
  3. To be the best friend I can be to my friends
After 3 it becomes a list of important things to do all the time.
  • To be the best employee I can be to my company
  • To be the best coworkers I can be to my coworkers
  • To be the leader God called me to be for the youth in foster care and to those who will serve with me this year
  • To be the leader God called me to be for the church God has planted me in
  • To be the servant God has called me to be to everyone in my life

Heavenly Father,
I lift this year up into your hands. I ask Lord for your help and wisdom through each day that I may complete the work you have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. I ask Lord for your instruction and direction with each task that I have before me. I ask Lord for your heart and compassion for each of the people I will get to serve, lead, and support. And Lord, most of all I ask that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s remember it so that we don’t repeat it!


Ever heard the saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” by George Santayana? It’s important to not forget! It’s important to refresh the who, the what, there where, the why, the when, and the how! Take a look around and see what is taking place in the world. Do you realize the cycle that is taking place? Solomon who was so wise put it this way “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Do you notice the repetition? Do you notice the rise and the fall? Do you notice the pendulum swaying to and fro? Are you seeing anything taking place that seems familiar that has happened but people aren’t stopping to remember and charging right back in to repeat the past? What would it take for someone to stop? What if we stopped trying to go our own way and turned back to God? What if we shared the good things God has done with our children to teach them, train them, correct them, and direct them? Consider how things swung bad every time people forgot about what God had done in the past to get them where they are today! Consider how the pendulum would swing every time they would remember and turn back to God? Take a look at the world around you! What will you do to share the good news of God with those around you? What will you do to make a difference in the lives of those God has brought into your sphere of influence? Will you testify to the good things God has done in and through your life? Will you speak words of encouragement to your children? Will you speak the truth and the hope that is within you to those you work with? What’s it going to take? What’s it going to be? Will you sit there and do nothing? Ever heard the quote by Edmund Burke? … “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So let’s not do nothing! Let’s be doers of the Word!

Let’s remember it so that we don’t repeat it!


As I do on Sundays, I go through the old testament readings from the week. This week that will cover Isaiah 40-46.

Isaiah 40: Words of Hope

  • Speaks to the coming of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus
  • We have a limited time on this earth, so we need to make sure we use it wisely
  • God’s Word lasts forever
  • Speaks to the coming of Jesus, the shepherd
  • There is nobody like God! There is nobody better than God!
  • Nothing compares to who He is and all that He is
  • Everything is the Lord’s
  • God sees all things. God knows all things.
  • God renews the strength of those who put their trust in Him!

Isaiah 41: God’s Assurance to Israel

  • God is trustworthy
  • We do not have to be afraid when God is with us.
  • God is our protector and saves
  • In our weakness, God’s strength is revealed
  • God is our provider
  • There is only one God and God challenges the false gods
  • God knows the plans and can swart them

Isaiah 42: The Lord’s Servant

  • God speaks of the coming of Jesus.
    • “Here is my servant, whom I strengthen—the one I have chosen, with whom I am pleased. I have filled him with my Spirit, and he will bring justice to every nation. 2He will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the streets. 3He will not break off a bent reed nor put out a flickering lamp. He will bring lasting justice to all. 4He will not lose hope or courage; he will establish justice on the earth. Distant lands eagerly wait for his teaching.”
  • God created the heavens and stretched them out; he fashioned the earth and all that lives there; he gave life and breath to all its people.
  • God speaks to Jesus’ calling
    • 6“I, the Lord, have called you and given you power to see that justice is done on earth. Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples; through you I will bring light to the nations. 7You will open the eyes of the blind and set free those who sit in dark prisons.”
  • Let’s worship God for there is but one! Let’s give Him the position in our hearts He deserves. Let’s praise Him!
    • 10Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praise, all the world! Praise him, you that sail the sea; praise him, all creatures of the sea! Sing, distant lands and all who live there! 11Let the desert and its towns praise God; let the people of Kedar praise him! Let those who live in the city of Sela shout for joy from the tops of the mountains! 12Let those who live in distant lands give praise and glory to the Lord! 13The Lord goes out to fight like a warrior; he is ready and eager for battle. He gives a war cry, a battle shout; he shows his power against his enemies.
  • God promises to help His people
  • Will you not listen? Will you not learn?
  • God’s plan is for good. God’s laws are to guide and protect. Will you align?

Isaiah 43: God Promises to Rescue His People

  • Don’t be afraid!
  • He will stick by you as you walk through deep waters so that you won’t be overwhelmed
  • Hard trials that come by won’t hurt you
  • He wants to set us free
  • He wants to save our lives because we are precious to Him
  • Israel is the Lord’s witness
    • “Summon my people to court. They have eyes, but they are blind; they have ears, but they are deaf! 9Summon the nations to come to the trial. Which of their gods can predict the future? Which of them foretold what is happening now? Let these gods bring in their witnesses to prove that they are right, to testify to the truth of their words. 10“People of Israel, you are my witnesses; I chose you to be my servant, so that you would know me and believe in me and understand that I am the only God. Besides me there is no other god; there never was and never will be. 11“I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you. 12I predicted what would happen, and then I came to your aid. No foreign god has ever done this; you are my witnesses. 13I am God and always will be. No one can escape from my power; no one can change what I do.”
  • Don’t get tired of doing what is right and what is good
    • “But you were tired of me, Israel; you did not worship me. 23You did not bring me your burnt offerings of sheep; you did not honor me with your sacrifices. I did not burden you by demanding offerings or wear you out by asking for incense. 24You didn’t buy incense for me or satisfy me with the fat of your animals. Instead you burdened me with your sins; you wore me out with the wrongs you have committed. 25And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you. 26“Let us go to court; bring your accusation! Present your case to prove you are in the right! 27Your earliest ancestor sinned; your leaders sinned against me, 28and your rulers profaned my sanctuary. So I brought destruction on Israel; I let my own people be insulted.”

Isaiah 44: The Lord Is the Only God

  • He is the first, the last, the only
  • Don’t chase after idolatry for it will be ridiculed
  • God is the Creator and the Savior
  • God doesn’t need our help, He wants to be in relationship with us

Isaiah 45: God is in control

  • Raises up/appoints kings
  • God created … God knows the future
  • God created the heaven and the earth
  • God is the Lord of all

Isaiah 46: God cares for you

  • Remember the past
  • Turn to God
  • Keep your focus on God and His ways and His will
  • God’s plans never fail

Is it the end or just the beginning?


Today is the 31st of December of 2014. Today is New Year’s Eve of 2015. Is today the end or just the beginning?

Did you finish 2014 strong? Do you know what you want to change or improve upon? Do you know where you missed the mark? Do you realize the impact you have made on the world around you? Do you know what things you should keep doing? Do you achieve your goals for the year?

Are you preparing? Are you getting prepared for a new beginning with 2015 just around the corner? Do you have a list of things to consider? Do you have a list of things you want to accomplish? Are you setting new goals for the coming year? Are they realistic? What will 2015 have in store for you?

So what is today for you? Is it the end? Is it a new beginning?


This morning’s reading starts at an interesting crossroads too. Is it the end of Jesus’ ministry or is it just the beginning of what is yet to come? We see people trying to make things happen but unable to do so. We see Jesus make a statement which opens the door for them to move forward in their plans to find Him guilty and put to death. We know the rest of the story, but today’s reading from Mark finishes here…

Jesus before the Council

(Matthew 26.57-68; Luke 22.54, 55, 63-71; John 18.13, 14, 19-24)

53Then Jesus was taken to the High Priest’s house, where all the chief priests, the elders, and the teachers of the Law were gathering. 54Peter followed from a distance and went into the courtyard of the High Priest’s house. There he sat down with the guards, keeping himself warm by the fire. 55The chief priests and the whole Council tried to find some evidence against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they could not find any. 56Many witnesses told lies against Jesus, but their stories did not agree. 57Then some men stood up and told this lie against Jesus: 58“We heard him say, ‘I will tear down this Temple which men have made, and after three days I will build one that is not made by men.’”
59Not even they, however, could make their stories agree. 60The High Priest stood up in front of them all and questioned Jesus, “Have you no answer to the accusation they bring against you?” 61But Jesus kept quiet and would not say a word. Again the High Priest questioned him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God?” 62“I am,” answered Jesus, “and you will all see the Son of Man seated at the right side of the Almighty and coming with the clouds of heaven!” 63The High Priest tore his robes and said, “We don’t need any more witnesses! 64You heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?”
They all voted against him: he was guilty and should be put to death. 65Some of them began to spit on Jesus, and they blindfolded him and hit him. “Guess who hit you!” they said. And the guards took him and slapped him. — from Mark 14

Perspective is what let’s us know if it is the end or just a new beginning. Perspective is a point of view, so where are you seeing this from? They thought it was His end. He knew it was a new beginning! As we look at today, what is today for you? Are you wrapping things up? Are you getting ready for what is yet to come?

This past year was incredible for  me. It’s been a year of change, not only with it being my first full year at the new company, but also in the things that my children have chosen to do. It’s also a year of preparation as God has positioned me for 2015 to step in and step up not only at work, but also with church and with Hope Alliance for Kids. God’s plans are better than my plans! God’s plans are bigger than my plans! His plans are for good! His plans are to give me a hope and a future! So as 2014 comes to an end, I am preparing for what God has for me in 2015! Greater things are yet to come here! Let’s not try to do it all in our own power, but let’s do it with the power of the Spirit that is within us! The Spirit given to us by God! Let’s walk in faith believing and trusting God at His word!

Today’s reading continues into Galatians…

Law or Faith

1You foolish Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Before your very eyes you had a clear description of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross! 2Tell me this one thing: did you receive God’s Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the gospel and believing it? 3How can you be so foolish! You began by God’s Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power? 4Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something! 5Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the gospel and believe it? 6Consider the experience of Abraham; as the scripture says, “He believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.”
7You should realize, then, that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have faith. 8The scripture predicted that God would put the Gentiles right with himself through faith. And so the scripture announced the Good News to Abraham: “Through you God will bless all people.” 9Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believe are blessed as he was. 10Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, “Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God’s curse!” 11Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live.” 12But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, “Whoever does everything the Law requires will live.” 13But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God’s curse.”
14Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God. — from Galatians 3

So let’s build our faith this coming year! Let’s become righteous oaks that will stand the tests of time! Let’s become pillars of righteousness for God! Let’s allow our faith to grow and the Spirit received from God to shine in and through us! Are you still breathing? Then He’s not done with you yet either! So let’s learn from the past and prepare for what is yet to come! Lean not on your own understanding, but put your trust in God! Don’t try to go it alone, God’s plan is that we will depend on one another! Lean on Him if you aren’t sure what to do! Ask Him for wisdom and He will give it to you without finding fault.

If today is an ending or today is a beginning, let’s allow the joy of the Lord be our strength! Let’s finish strong! Let’s prepare for a new beginning! And let’s trust and see all that God will do in and through us!

The Happiness of a Good Person

1Praise the Lord! Happy is the person who honors the Lord, who takes pleasure in obeying his commands. 2The good man’s children will be powerful in the land; is descendants will be blessed. 3His family will be wealthy and rich, and he will be prosperous forever. 4Light shines in the darkness for good people, for those who are merciful, kind, and just. 5Happy is the person who is generous with his loans, who runs his business honestly. 6A good person will never fail; he will always be remembered. 7He is not afraid of receiving bad news; his faith is strong, and he trusts in the Lord. 8He is not worried or afraid; he is certain to see his enemies defeated. 9He gives generously to the needy, and his kindness never fails; he will be powerful and respected. 10The wicked see this and are angry; they glare in hate and disappear; their hopes are gone forever.

— from Psalm 112

What if everything about you was known.


This morning’s reading brought up this question by the title “God Takes the Witness Stand“. What’s in your past? What’s going on in your life today? What thoughts have you had? What actions have you taken? What things have you said? What was the real intention behind it? Everything

Have you come clean with God on it? Have you turned from the bad things? Have you added things into your life to to make it better? Have you forgiven others? Have you asked for forgiveness? Have you put yourself under the covering of Jesus? Under His sacrificial blood? Are there things that are going on now that are hidden, dark, secrets?

22For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. – Mark 4:22

God’s Word provides us with hope and promises. We know that:

5This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.

6-7If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.

8-10If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. – 1 John 1:5-10

So hiding in the shadows won’t help. So hiding in the dark places won’t help. For eventually all the darkness will be gone and everyone who is hiding will be exposed.

So as always, we are faced with choices.
We get to choose.
So choose wisely!

There is so much more to life than just trying to get, get, get. Get more … get my … get their … Getting isn’t the point.

24-25“Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” – Mark 4:24-25

What you reap what you sow. What you harvest is based on what you planted. What are you planting in your life, from your life? What are you planting into the lives of others?

7-8Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.

9-10So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. – Galatians 6:7-10

Some preach of God like a genie, but that isn’t what he is. Some talk about God like an ATM where you make withdrawals, but that isn’t what he is. Do you want someone who will try to gloss over the truth or someone who will speak the truth? This morning’s reading makes this statement:

…If someone showed up with a good smile and glib tongue and told lies from morning to night—‘I’ll preach sermons that will tell you how you can get anything you want from God: More money, the best wines . . . you name it’—you’d hire him on the spot as your preacher! – Micah 2:8-11

Are you for good or for bad? Are you for good or for evil? What is your motivation? What is your intention? What is your plan? What is driving your speech? What is driving your actions? What is at the root of what you are doing? Are you twisting the truth? Are you distorting reality? Do you know where to turn for restoration, reconciliation, rejuvenation, justice, peace? God is the answer. As my son continues to tell me when I get home from work:

Jesus said, “I am the truth, the way, and the life. No one can come to the Father, except through me.” – John 14:6

There is an answer. There is a way. There is hope. Jesus was the answer, the completion. He didn’t come to overturn or tear up the law

17-18“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.

19-20“Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom. – Matthew 5:17-20

God wants to remake and transform you. He loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to have to live where you were. Today’s reading:

13On your feet, Daughter of Zion! Be threshed of chaff, be refined of dross. I’m remaking you into a people invincible, into God’s juggernaut to crush the godless peoples. You’ll bring their plunder as holy offerings to God, their wealth to the Master of the earth. – Micah 4:13

puts it this way, and the New Testament puts it this way:

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. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

That’s right… New! We are to be reconcilers. We are to be ambassadors.

Micah starts with talking about the coming of Jesus. Looking into my thoughts on what I was reading, I found these two commentaries (1), (2).

Before it is too late, let’s turn back to God. Let’s allow His ways to be our ways. Let’s allow His plans and purposes to be ours. Let’s be reconcilers. Let’s be ambassadors. Let’s speak love, life, and wisdom to those around us. For we know the rest of the story. We know what the alternative is. So let’s not grow weary in doing good, let’s use every opportunity we have to do good and bring benefit to others to do so.

8But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. – Micah 6:8

There are a lot of crazy things taking place in this world. Between people who are far off and even worse those who are close. But I’m not going to give up as long as God gives me another day to post and to live and to love and to share. As Micah says today:

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

God is on my side. He will instruct and correct me. He will never leave me nor forsaken me. He will turn on the lights so I can’t hide in the darkness and am exposed. He will clean me up and help me to get on my way. He rebuilds and restores. Be it a mountain top or valley low point, He will guide and instruct me. I am glad God doesn’t stay angry for long and that your mercies are new every day. I am glad that LOVE is His specialty. He is good to His Word.

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