Category Archives: Surprised

We need to realize we are at an intersection point. We need to turn back to God humbly and pray.


You wake up at your normal time and when you login you see the computer’s clock shows 3 hours earlier. How will you adjust? How will you respond? Are you ready for a new day with an early start? Are you ready for a new adventure? What if you found a surprise last night? What if you gave it up to God rather than worrying in order to get some sleep? How will God take care of it? How will God provide this time? Let’s get ready to go and see what all He will do with today!

Day 10: 2020 Hindsight
— The 49-Week Challenge – Day 10 —

Hindsight is 2020

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 10 link above or want 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:

  • Do you realize that sometime to get you where you need to be requires that you are inconvenienced? Similar to how it took the census of Caesar Augustus to get get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem in time for the birth of Jesus.
  • Do you realize that sometimes God uses the selfishness or plans of man to accomplish His will? Similar to how Caesar Augustus’s desire to be able to tax, control, manipulate, enlist caused him to take a census of the entire Roman world.
  • Do you realize that even when others have plans for evil, God can turn them around and use them for good? Similar to how Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave but how it positioned Joseph to save not only Egypt but also his entire family.
  • Do you realize that God’s plan is for everyone? Similar to how in the midst of the birth of Jesus, He sent out angels to the shepherds so they too can know of the birth of the savior.
  • Do you realize that God can bring encouragement in the midst of your life by sending others to speak God’s truth to you? Similar to how the shepherds went to see Jesus and how it spoke truth and life to Mary and Joseph. Similar to how Simeon spoke praising God as he was to live until he got to see the salvation for both Israel and the gentiles. Similar to how Anna, the daughter of Penuel got to speak about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
  • Do you realize the importance of giving your children to God and having them dedicated to Him? Similar to what they did both for Jesus and in the Old Testament.
  • Do you realize there are reasons and purposes for resisting things and even celebrating things? Like what was being done because the Lord brought the people of Israel out of Egypt with His mighty hand, out the land of slavery.
  • Do you realize no matter the situation or the circumstances, God will lead you and guide if you are willing to listen and follow after Him. Like how He provided fire by night and cloud by day.
  • Do you realize there is a way and time for everything? God reveals these things in His Word like purification, like Solomon spoke.
  • Let’s celebrate all the good God has done for us so that others may see it and also glorify our Heavenly Father in heaven.
  • Do you realize that God will forgive our sins and heal our land? Like He promised in today’s reading when he said:
    • ‘“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ‘ — 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
  • Do you realize God is revealed through everything in life?

As day 10 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

How will you respond to call God has put on your life?


What if there was an unplanned and divine appointment where someone tells you? What if there was a reading that you read? What if there was a message that you heard driving your car? What if there was an encounter while you were walking down the street? If the call is from God, will you answer it? If the call is from God, will you trust it? Do you remember the promises? Do you remember the plan? Do you remember the purpose?

Will you be humble? Will you be surprised? Will you be obedient? Will you question it? Will you doubt it? Will you reject it? Will you resist it?

What will it take to get your attention and to answer the call from God? Will you heard the Word of God and do it? Will you allow God’s light fill you to overflowing so that there will be no dark corners and so that you will overflow with light?


Today’s reading from God’s Word gets kicked off with the story of Saul meeting Samuel in 1 Samuel 9…

‘There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land. One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere. Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!” But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something! There is a man of God who lives here in this town. He is held in high honor by all the people because everything he says comes true. Let’s go find him. Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.” “But we don’t have anything to offer him,” Saul replied. “Even our food is gone, and we don’t have a thing to give him.” “Well,” the servant said, “I have one small silver piece. We can at least offer it to the man of God and see what happens!” (In those days if people wanted a message from God, they would say, “Let’s go and ask the seer,” for prophets used to be called seers.) “All right,” Saul agreed, “let’s try it!” So they started into the town where the man of God lived. As they were climbing the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water. So Saul and his servant asked, “Is the seer here today?” “Yes,” they replied. “Stay right on this road. He is at the town gates. He has just arrived to take part in a public sacrifice up at the place of worship. Hurry and catch him before he goes up there to eat. The guests won’t begin eating until he arrives to bless the food.” So they entered the town, and as they passed through the gates, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the place of worship. Now the Lord had told Samuel the previous day, “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.” When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, “That’s the man I told you about! He will rule my people.” Just then Saul approached Samuel at the gateway and asked, “Can you please tell me where the seer’s house is?” “I am the seer!” Samuel replied. “Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I’ll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.” Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?” Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and placed them at the head of the table, honoring them above the thirty special guests. Samuel then instructed the cook to bring Saul the finest cut of meat, the piece that had been set aside for the guest of honor. So the cook brought in the meat and placed it before Saul. “Go ahead and eat it,” Samuel said. “I was saving it for you even before I invited these others!” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. When they came down from the place of worship and returned to town, Samuel took Saul up to the roof of the house and prepared a bed for him there. At daybreak the next morning, Samuel called to Saul, “Get up! It’s time you were on your way.” So Saul got ready, and he and Samuel left the house together. When they reached the edge of town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead. After the servant was gone, Samuel said, “Stay here, for I have received a special message for you from God.”’

–1 Samuel 9

‘Lord , you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your name is on their lips, but you are far from their hearts. But as for me, Lord , you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered! How long must this land mourn? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. For the people have said, “The Lord doesn’t see what’s ahead for us!” “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? Even your brothers, members of your own family, have turned against you. They plot and raise complaints against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak. “I have abandoned my people, my special possession. I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies. My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest, so I have treated them with contempt. My chosen people act like speckled vultures, but they themselves are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean! “Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard, trampling down the vines and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness. They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares. On all the bare hilltops, destroying armies can be seen. The sword of the Lord devours people from one end of the nation to the other. No one will escape! My people have planted wheat but are harvesting thorns. They have worn themselves out, but it has done them no good. They will harvest a crop of shame because of the fierce anger of the Lord .” Now this is what the Lord says: “I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the Lord , have spoken!”’

– Jeremiah 12

‘One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed, but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority. He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart. You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive? And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings. “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.” As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah. What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God. “The queen of Sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen. The people of Nineveh will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent. “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”’

– Luke 11:14-36

‘And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen. I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace be with all of you who are in Christ.’

— 1 Peter 5

‘God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude Come, see the glorious works of the Lord : See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude’

— Psalms 46

Do you realize what time it is?

Signs of the times…


Do you see what is going on all around you? Are you able to tell what is coming? Are you seeing the signs going on all around? Do you see what is going on around the world? Do you see what is going on with the politics of the world? Do you see what is going on with the financial world? Do you see what is going on nationally and across the nations? Do you see where there is agreement? Do you see where there are disagreements?

What does that mean for you? What does it mean for your family? What does it mean for your neighborhood? What does it mean to your region? What does it mean to the world?

Are you noticing the signs of the times?


This morning we hear about some times that were being discussed by Jesus…

Jesus Speaks of the Destruction of Jerusalem

(Matthew 24.15-21; Mark 13.14-19)
20“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that it will soon be destroyed. 21Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills; those who are in the city must leave, and those who are out in the country must not go into the city. 22 For those will be ‘The Days of Punishment,’ to make come true all that the Scriptures say. 23How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! Terrible distress will come upon this land, and God’s punishment will fall on this people. 24Some will be killed by the sword, and others will be taken as prisoners to all countries; and the heathen will trample over Jerusalem until their time is up.

The Coming of the Son of Man

(Matthew 24.29-31; Mark 13.24-27)
25  “There will be strange things happening to the sun, the moon, and the stars. On earth whole countries will be in despair, afraid of the roar of the sea and the raging tides. 26People will faint from fear as they wait for what is coming over the whole earth, for the powers in space will be driven from their courses. 27 Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28When these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your salvation is near.” –from Luke 21

I remember when I started to blog back in 2005 and how it spoke to me how the time is getting closer as it started in the book or Revelation. Every year when I read through the Bible and get to the book of Revelation, it seems to continue to feel even closer than it did that first year. The signs of the time. Take a look around so that you won’t be surprised. Be prepared!

It may not be easy, but it will be worth it! In this world we will face trials and challenges, but that’s not a bad thing. Jesus told us in James 1 to consider it all joy when we face trials. Jesus also tells us in John 33 that in this world we will face challenges, but to not lose hope for He has overcome the world!

Today’s reading speaks to this in Hebrews 2

10It was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things, should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many children to share his glory. For Jesus is the one who leads them to salvation. 11He purifies people from their sins, and both he and those who are made pure all have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family. 12 He says to God, “I will tell my people what you have done; I will praise you in their meeting.” 13  He also says, “I will put my trust in God.” And he also says, “Here I am with the children that God has given me.” 14Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death, 15and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. 16 For it is clear that it is not the angels that he helps. Instead, he helps the descendants of Abraham. 17This means that he had to become like his people in every way, in order to be their faithful and merciful High Priest in his service to God, so that the people’s sins would be forgiven. 18And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself was tempted and suffered. –from Hebrews 2

What will you do when you don’t know what to do? Do what you know to do! Where will you turn when you don’t know where to turn? Turn to God! Need wisdom? Seek it with all you are! Turn to God’s Word! Today’s reading continues into Proverbs…

1Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It’s stupid to get drunk. 2Fear an angry king as you would a growling lion; making him angry is suicide. 3Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them. 4A farmer too lazy to plow his fields at the right time will have nothing to harvest. 5A person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out. 6Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is! 7Children are fortunate if they have a father who is honest and does what is right. 8The king sits in judgment and knows evil when he sees it. 9Can anyone really say that his conscience is clear, that he has gotten rid of his sin? 10The Lord hates people who use dishonest weights and measures. 11Even children show what they are by what they do; you can tell if they are honest and good. 12The Lord has given us eyes to see with and ears to listen with. 13If you spend your time sleeping, you will be poor. Keep busy and you will have plenty to eat. 14The customer always complains that the price is too high, but then he goes off and brags about the bargain he got. 15If you know what you are talking about, you have something more valuable than gold or jewels. –from Proverbs 20