THRIVE: What makes a difference? How to move into thriving?


As I start this day, the last day of a long weekend, the day to remember MLK Jr, it is amazing what his hope and desire were for and how much they align with God’s view of things. Ever heard the quote: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world all took hold of that sentiment and decided to live out their lives leading with love. Ever heard the quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world came out of the dark and stepped into the light. Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world lead with love in order to drive out hate. Ever heard the quote: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Take a look around and imagine if the people in this world chose to have character traits like integrity, honesty, loyalty, respectfulness, and responsibility. Ever heard the quote: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Take a look around and imagine in the midst of the challenges and controversy taking place what is being said by the stand people are taking and the words and actions that are being taken. Ever heard the quote: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” So take a look around and ask God what it is He would have you to in order to thrive in accordance with His purpose for you. In 2021, God put the purpose of Being The Dad my kids, my wife, and my world needs me to be. To kick off 2022, I have picked up that mantle and started blogging in hopes of both helping men step up as well as helping kids heal when it comes to dads. To kick off 2022, I am looking to make what I do and how I live my life speak to the importance of Being The Dad for this world. In the midst of everything going on and with the word for 2022 being THRIVE, I believe that it will be related to the ball moving forward as part of the Be The Dads movement. I remember when God spoke it to me and wondered what that could mean or look like. Over time, God has spoken incredible things to me like being the dad for my wife and kids, how the camp I get to be the director for that provides camps for teenage foster kids who in many cases are missing their dad in their life picture, how the future may include small groups for men to come together and encourage one another to be the dads God created us to be, how the future may include speaking to incarcerated men in prisons who shouldn’t and can’t shrug off their responsibilities of being the dads God created them to be, how the future may include speaking to high school boys about their roles and responsibilities as young men to consider before they act if they are ready to be the dads before they act, how the future may even include speaking opportunities at dads’ or men’s events to speak the reality and the importance of being the dads God created, purposed and desires for us to be and become, and how in and through it all pointing everyone to the perfect model, our Heavenly Father.

A different dream from MLK Jr but an important dream God has put on my heart and it relates to being a dad and helping others be the dads God wants them to be.

To close out my message and meditate on what this day is all about, I want to grab hold of the importance of a dream, a dream that goes on as a legacy. Martin Luther King Jr quotes about his dreams:



Today’s Verse of the day comes from 1 Peter 5:10 and says:

‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. ‘

1 Peter 5:10

So today, let’s hold tight to God who will restore us, make us strong, firm, and steadfast! Let’s have an encounter with God that will change us. Let’s be like Abram who became Abraham, Jacob who became Israel, and Saul who became Paul and accomplished mighty things for God. We even see how Martin Luther King Jr. dad had an encounter with God that caused him to rename his son Michael to Martin Luther Jr. at the same time as changing his own name from Michael to Martin Luther. Are you ready for an encounter with God that will transform you? Are you ready for an encounter with God that will make you into someone new?


Today’s post from Be The Dads is Finding Dad – Day 6.


So are you ready for the transforming power of Jesus to enter into your life? Are you needing to allow Jesus into your heart and bring healing and restoration? Are you going to allow today to be the most incredible day of your life through an encounter with Jesus? Are you ready to receive a dream from God? Are you ready to capture God’s purpose in, through, and for your life? 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.

Happy New Year!


As this year comes to a start I am excited to set a focus for the year around being a dad. Last year God spoke to me and this year I am going to be putting more time into gathering and sharing data that will help me and everyone else understand the importance, the value, and the purpose of being a dad and the benefits as well as the detriments to others when we don’t pick up the mantel and be the dads God has created us to be.

Verse of the Day:

‘“Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. ‘

Isaiah 43:18-19

Are you ready for 2022 and how God is about to do something new? Are you ready for today and how God is about to do something new? Are you ready to be a part of something new?


Today’s Post from Be The Dads is: Day 1 – Am I Doing Enough as a Dad?

https://bethedads.com/2022/01/dad-tired-and-loving-it/


Are you ready for a new hope? Are you ready for a new heart? Are you ready for a new vision? Are you ready for new dreams? Are you ready to become a new creation?

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 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 help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me. In Jesus' name. 
Amen

And let’s take one more step and pray for God to help us through today:

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us . And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

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?


What comes to mind when you see, hear, read, or speak the words “I have a dream”?


Does it cause you to consider your dreams? Does it cause you to think of whoever was saying the words? Does it cause you to think about Martin Luther King Jr.?

So do you have a dream? What would you say about your dream if you started the statement with “I have a dream…”? When did you first have that dream? What was the catalyst for your dream? Are you living in pursuit of your dream? Are you living to accomplish your dream? When did or will you start pursuing your dream? How big is your dream? Do you believe that dreams can come true?

Ever considered the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr? What are your thoughts about his dream? Can you understand such a dream with the goal to obtain equality and equal rights for all people? Can you understand a dream to achieve something so logical, so monumental and through non-violence happening in order to achieve a better future? Do you realize the benefits of sharing your dream and the impact it can have on others?

God’s given me dreams over the years and some of them I grabbed a hold of and others I put on the shelf. Some I have dusted off and taken off of the shelf and seen God make it happen. Others I have grabbed a hold of and started to move forward in them, trusting God knows what He is doing even when I didn’t think I was qualified. What if the dream were to pursue a cause, a God sized cause? Recently God put the idea of a cause into my head and my heart as I was reading a book by Matthew Barnett, The Cause within You: Finding the One Great Thing God Created You to Do in This World. It was a process as I considered what God had given and was calling me to do. It started with being a dad to my kids, being the dad in my family, being a dad in the community, and how the kids in foster care that I serve through Teen Reach and Hope Alliance for Kids need a dad. As I started pondering and wondering I started to search and found a name that felt and feels right, Be The Dads. Still trying to map out what this will be and how it will work but I know God can make dreams come true! God’s plans for us give us hope and a future! God’s plans are for good and not for evil! God’s plans for us are filled to overflowing with love! God’s plans for us are to prosper us and not to harm us!

So what’s your dream? What would your story sound like or speech sound like as you begin with “I have a dream…”? Are you ready to write it down? Are you ready to trust God? Are you ready to start preparing, planning, and understanding what it is, what it means, and how to get started in order for your dream to come true?

I still remember that day when I said to God “God, if you put the idea of getting a horse in the head of an 8 year old boy, can you help me find a place within 20 minutes of the church?”. What came to mind after that question was a sermon that I had heard preached where the message was how it is easier to steer a car that is moving, which told me to start looking and get moving. 21 houses later, we found a place.

So let’s not lose hope! Let’s not grow weary! Let’s trust God!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for September 28th


Dreams Can Come True


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”’

Isaiah 40:4-5

Ever found how comforting God’s Word can be? Ever found how comforting God’s dream can be? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to give you that peace that surpasses all understanding? Let’s take a look and get more context around today’s verses.

‘“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, And call out to her, that her time of compulsory service in warfare is finished, That her wickedness has been taken away [since her punishment is sufficient], That she has received from the Lord’s hand Double [punishment] for all her sins.” A voice of one is calling out, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness [remove the obstacles]; Make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged places a broad valley. And the glory and majesty and splendor of the Lord will be revealed, And all humanity shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” A voice says, “Call out [prophesy].” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” [The voice answered:] All humanity is [as frail as] grass, and all that makes it attractive [its charm, its loveliness] is [momentary] like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Most certainly [all] the people are [like] grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. O Zion, herald of good news, Get up on a high mountain. O Jerusalem, herald of good news, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, do not fear; Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” Listen carefully, the Lord God will come with might, And His arm will rule for Him. Most certainly His reward is with Him, And His restitution accompanies Him. He will protect His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom; He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens with a span [of the hand], And calculated the dust of the earth with a measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or has taught Him as His counselor? With whom did He consult and who enlightened Him? Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? In fact, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Now look, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. And [the forests of] Lebanon cannot supply sufficient fuel to start a fire, Nor are its wild beasts enough for a burnt offering [worthy of the Lord]. All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. To whom then will you liken God? Or with what likeness will you compare Him? As for the cast image (idol), a metalworker casts it, A goldsmith overlays it with gold And a silversmith casts its silver chains. He who is too impoverished for such an offering [to give to his god] Chooses a tree that will not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To [carve and] set up an idol that will not totter. Do you [who worship idols] not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth [the omnipotence of God and the stupidity of bowing to idols]? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; [It is He] who stretches out the heavens like a veil And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. It is He who reduces dignitaries to nothing, Who makes the judges (rulers) of the earth meaningless (useless). Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And a strong wind carries them away like stubble. “To whom then will you compare Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these heavenly bodies, The One who brings out their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one is missing. Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become tired or grow weary; There is no searching of His understanding. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power. Even youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.’

Isaiah 40:1-31

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Feeling like you are going through a dark time in your life?
  • Feeling like things are in such a bad, tough, or rough place?
  • In the time of Isaiah, the children of Israel sure felt that way.
  • Is it like this because we are having to deal with the consequences of being rebellious?
  • Is it like this because we are having to deal with the consequences of our own behaviors?
  • Do you realize that even in the midst of the trials and the troubles, God’s intentions are good and pure?
  • Just because things look tough now, don’t lose hope, trust in God!
  • Just like what we learned through today’s reading from Isaiah, God can still make our dreams come true!
  • Just like what we learned in through today’s reading from Isaiah, the reality of freedom, peace, and joy are available to and for us!
  • Let’s grasp the meanings from today’s verses:
    • Assurance that God will rescue us just as He did the Israelites
    • Assurance that when Jesus returns on the clouds with angels blowing trumpets as all the world will watch and see.
    • Assurance that we will experience miraculous transformation!
    • Assurance that injustice will be replaced by God’s justice and righteous rules!
  • Trust in God to help make the wrongs you have experienced right!
  • Trust in God to help replace the injustices we have experienced or are experiencing in our lives with God’s justice and righteousness!
  • Trust that God will one day make everything right!
  • Take hold of God’s promise to do so!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What injustices would you like to see God make right?
  • What will it look like when God does it?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. “

Martin Luther King Jr.

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What dream has God planted in your heart and your mind? Are you still looking and seeking? Are you wanting to connect with God in order to get a dream for yourself? 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?


Ever gotten to the point of “why so downcast oh my soul”?


Ever been through a lot of time or a long time where hope was fleeting? Ever been through a hard time or discouraging time where hope was lacking? Ever been through a challenging and uncertain time where hope was fading?

How did you go through it? Did it bring unhappiness? Did it bring depression? Did it bring physical illness? Did it bring sadness? Did it bring sorrow? Did it come with a feeling or sense of disappointment? Did it comes with a sense of rejection? Did it feel like it was zapping your spirit and your joy?

How did you respond? Where did you turn? How did it impact you physically, emotionally, and spiritually?

Did you turn to God? Did you turn to God’s Word?

Let’s consider what we can find in the Word of God…

‘Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my [sad] countenance and my God.’

Psalms 43:5

What started the problem? What triggered the feelings? How will you respond?

‘Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. ‘

Proverbs 3:5

Put your hope and trust in God! Cast your cares on Him!

‘May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. ‘

Psalms 119:74

‘My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. ‘

Psalms 119:81

‘I wait for the Lord , my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. ‘

Psalms 130:5

‘Israel, put your hope in the Lord , for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. ‘

Psalms 130:7

‘Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. ‘

Psalms 119:49

‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ‘

1 Peter 5:7

So are you ready to do it? What do you care about? What is making you worried? What is causing you to be anxious? Speak them and give them to God! Let’s exchange our cares and anxiety for God’s care for us! Let’s exchange our cares and anxiety for God’s love for us! Let’s exchange our cares and anxiety for God’s mercy on us!

We need to get rid of and replace these thoughts that are triggering or causing fear, worry, doubt, and anxiety with God’s Word, God’s love, and God’s presence with us. We need to pick up the antidote for fear which is our faith in God!

Remember how in the Bible it tells us to fear not? Remember how there are enough that we can read one or take hold of one per day? He provides us with a way to go from fearful to fearless! There are references that speak to there not being 365 fear nots, there are many references that give you enough Bible verses to make it through the year.

Check out these reference sites that point to God’s Word to help you find the fear not for today:

So the key to facing the disappointments and the challenges, the trials and the troubles, the anxiety and the fear is hope. Without hope everything else can makes its way in and try to shake up our lives. So we need to turn to God! We need to cry out and call on God! We need to lean on God harder! And in so doing we will be able to use our faith as the antidote to fear. We will be able to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. We will be able to take heart when we face troubles. We will be able to lean not on our own understanding but trust God rather than being anxious.

So where are you at today? Is all the crazy going on in this world getting to you? Is all the crazy going on in this world shaking you? Step on and stand on the rock of our salvation which is unshakable. Let’s build our lives on Jesus! It doesn’t mean we won’t face problems but it does mean we won’t have to face them alone.

Don’t let your heart be troubled! Let’s take hold of the words of Jesus!

‘ “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” ‘

John 14:1-4

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


Heartsick


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.’

Proverbs 13:12

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you think you are invulnerable?
  • Do you think you are bullet proof?
  • How do you handle disappointment?
  • We are just humans after all, as Solomon reminds us.
  • Ever noticed how disappointment hurts?
  • Ever noticed how disappointment can cause physical pain?
  • Ever considered the distance between your hopes and your disappointments?
  • Ever considered the impact of this difference?
  • Ever noticed how this difference between hopes and disappointment tends to have that amount of impact on us?
  • Be it a minor setback or a devastation, it is painful.
  • Pain hurts and is normal.
  • In this world we will have troubles remember and as such that means we will have to face unfulfilled hopes.
  • Check out Psalms and you will get to see glorious praise as well as sobering lows too.
  • The key we learn through Psalms is that when we face the painful, trying times we don’t turn away from God but we need to draw even closer to Him.
  • Let’s pour out our thoughts and pains to God with honesty and allow God to pour back into us the reality of His love, His truth, and His promises.
  • Let’s trust God!
  • Let’s not allow ourselves to be troubled without taking our cause to God and trusting in Him.
  • Let’s allow our hopes to be fulfilled through our trust and prayers to God!
  • Let’s not turn from God in times of troubles but instead lean into Him even more.
  • When things are great, let’s not wander off either to find ourselves alone and in the middle of who knows where.
  • Let’s share our emotions with God! The good, the bad, and the ugly!
  • Let’s be genuine and honest with Him in the midst of whatever we are going through.
  • Let’s seek the Lord with all of our hearts!
  • Let’s dig deeper into His grace!
  • Let’s seek Him for wisdom and discernment to help us know how to navigate the situation!
  • Let’s never forget to give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory He is worthy of!
  • God answers prayer!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Describe a time when shattered hopes made your heart sick.
  • Do you feel permission to be truly honest with God about your disappointments? How would it help you to be honest with Him?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.”

― George Bernard Shaw

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What are you going through? What are you in need of? Do you know where to go? Do you know where to turn? Where does your help come from? Where does your hope come from? Are you ready to turn to God? Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart today? Could today be your new beginning?

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?


How have dreams from God impacted your life?


Ever had dreams that were so clear you knew exactly what they were saying and what you needed to do? Ever had dreams that were so abstract you didn’t have a clue what they meant or not what you needed to do? Ever had dreams while you were awake that helped you consider them and wonder how they could be possible? Ever had dreams that caused you to start strategizing, start planning, and start working towards it? Ever had dreams that seemed so big that they caused fear? Ever had dreams that seemed so amazing you wondered how it could be possible or how you were supposed to respond? How did you respond? Where did you turn for wisdom and guidance? What happened?

I have a many stories but will only share one that started when I was young before we jump into today’s devotional:

As an 8 year old boy I had a dream to get a horse. I considered getting a paper route to be able to save up and get a horse and continued the math (fortunately for both our sakes) and realized the paper route could get me a horse but it wouldn’t be able to sustain the horse’s boarding, food, and general care. Time shift over twenty years and as I was driving my I thought about those younger days and asked God, “God, if it was your will or your dream of me having a horse, could you find me a place within 20 minutes of the church?” I felt this memory come back from a sermon I had heard about it being easier to steer a car that is moving and figured that meant I needed to start looking. So when I got home, I hopped onto the internet and started looking for property within 20 minutes of the church and unfortunately for me they were way out of my price range being millions of dollars each. I didn’t give up though, because God told me I was to get moving. We have a friend who was working in real estate and so we asked for his help. We saw 20 places where they said horses welcomed but we had 2 requirements: (1) my wife liked the house and (2) the property was horse ready. Unfortunately none of them met our requirements. Then we saw house 21, it was a bit higher than the price range we had been looking at but when we saw it we both agreed this was it. The house had so many of our dream home features. The yard included a beautiful pasture that someone had been keeping their horses in. They asked if they could stay and I said of course, wouldn’t the field be a waste if there weren’t moving lawn ornaments. Over time friends brought their horses to our field and offered my daughter a pony. I told them they could as long as they taught her to take care of it. Then I stated to ask God about the reality that my daughter got a pony but what about my horse. He reminded me how I had been taking care of one horse for years, the owner had stopped coming out to care for the horse and the only part I didn’t do was buy him. I did get the full experience of owning a horse. God is so good and so faithful!

There was the dream of becoming president of the home owners association. There was the dream to lead a camp for foster kids. There was a dream to become a manager. There are so many and how God brought them to be was and continues to be so incredible. God created you on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose! God has created you with and given you gifts and talents to enable you to fulfill your purpose!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 6th


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.’

Psalms 139:14

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you living your life in humility?
  • Are you living your life with confidence?
  • Do you realize it is possible to live with both?
  • Do you realize they aren’t in opposition to one another?
  • Do you realize that you can have both when you take hold of the truth of today’s verse?
    • fearfully and wonderfully made by God!
  • Do you realize that when God created you, when He made you in your mother’s womb, that He created you with abilities, intellect, talents, skills, and capabilities?
  • Do you realize that God hardwired them all into your DNA?
  • Do you realize that God shaped them through life experiences?
  • Do you realize that God is going ahead of preparing in advance the good works He has for you to accomplish?
  • Do you realize that you are God’s masterpiece? Do you realize you are an amazing product of God’s handiwork?
  • Do you realize how He has crafted you? Are you able to use it for His glory in accordance with His plans and purposes?
  • So let’s remember we are His design!
  • So let’s remember that we can’t take credit because it was He who created us!
  • So let’s remember it is God working in and through us that is why we are able to be disciplined and have desires to excel.
  • Let’s be focusing on putting our lives into His hands and to accomplish His will!
  • Will you be humble enough to submit your life to God to accomplish His will and His purpose and His plan?
  • Will you be confident enough to submit your life to God to accomplish His will and His purpose and His plan?
  • Don’t fall into pride! Pride comes before the fall! Don’t allow the devil to fool you into thinking it is all about you!
  • Beware of prideful people and look into finding what it is they are trying to hide, what insecurities are causing this behavior.
  • Let’s live with humility and confidence in God so that we are able to appreciate the strengths God has given us as well as to use them for His glory with excellence, giving Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory!
  • So let’s live out our today as Happy Today because this is the day that the Lord has made, so we can rejoice and be glad in it! Are you ready to live it out praising God for the gifts and talents He has given you, being fearfully and wonderfully made?
  • Let’s make our focus on glorifying God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are the strengths God has hardwired into you or developed in you through experiences?
  • Relating to people
  • Being able to relate to both guys and girls
  • Being able to look at things from an optimistic/positive way
What difference does it make to realize that God created you with your abilities and that they are gifts from Him to you?
  • It is transformational.
  • Before God it was hard and laborious to try to live that way and I kept looking for ways to fill that emptiness/hole with other relationship
  • Since God, I have a relationship with Him and it is from the overflow of my relationship with Him that I am able to pour into the lives of others!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Man, made in the image of God, has a purpose–to be in relationship to God, who is there. Man forgets his purpose and thus he forgets who he is and what life means.”

Francis Schaeffer

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So has God given you a dream? Are you meditating on it? Are you thinking about it? Are you planning how you might accomplish it? Don’t try to do it alone! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength! Trust God! Invite Him in! Ask Him for wisdom and discernment! Ask Him for favor and friendships! Ask Him for helpers! Ask Him for provision and direction! Allow Him to get you to where you need to be!

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?


Dreams and Visions…


As I started my day the thought of dreams and visions came to me. My reading from the power of a half hour spoke to how God gives us dreams and visions because they are His dreams and visions for us and how He will help us achieve them if we will pursue Him and believe Him! Imagine the idea of being president of a homeowners association of over ten thousand people. Imagine getting that vision and feeling unprepared and unqualified but directed by God. I know it took some convincing from God for me to take hold of it and then believe it and then pursue it and then achieve it. God called me to it and He got me through it. He qualified the unqualified! How about now? What is the next dream? What is the next vision? What is God calling you to do now? Consider your roles and responsibilities. Consider if one of those might happen to be a calling from God. Consider the dreams God has for you. Consider the visions God has, is, and will give you. Will you respond quickly in faith? Will you do what He calls you to? Will you resist out of doubt or fear? What will it take for you to step up to be everything God created you to be and do everything God created you to do?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 15th


Turning a career into a calling


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Colossians 3:23-24

‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why do you go to work?
  • Why do you get out of bed?
  • Is it to provide for your family?
  • Is it to use what God’s given you in the forms of gifts and talents?
  • Is it to interact with others?
  • Is it to be creative?
  • Is it to be successful?
  • What is your motivation though?
  • When things get tough (like they did for m in 2020), how do you or are you able to keep going?
  • In this world we will have troubles but we are to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.
  • So what about if your boss becomes unreasonable, how do you stay motivated?
  • So what about if there is a downturn in the economy, how do you stay motivated?
  • So what about if your workload gets heavy, how do you stay motivated?
  • So what about if you have a failure, how do you stay motivated?
  • Today’s reading comes from Paul in a message to slaves.
  • He knows of anyone they would have the biggest reason to complain and become discouraged.
  • Imagine being asked to do the most and getting the least. That is what happened to them.
  • His message of hope and encouragement was to work “heartily”, with real enthusiasm, not because of their earthly masters but rather because they are working first for God!
  • His message of hope and encouragement was that God will eventually reward their honest work.
  • His message of hope and encouragement was that one day, maybe not today but in the future the results will be thrilling.
  • So what about you and me? This message speaks hope and encouragement to us too that we are working for God and that our good attitude and hard work will be richly rewarded!
  • This message speaks hope and encouragement to us because even if it doesn’t come from our employers, one day God will!
  • So as we are about to start today, doesn’t this help us to be motivated to get up and get out there and do our best?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What difference would it make for you to realize that you are working primarily for Christ, not for your boss or your company?
  • It helps us remember that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.
  • It helps us remember that every good and perfect gift comes from God.
  • It helps us remember that no matter what happens today that by working hard and having a good attitude, God will reward us one day.
  • As I typed the “no matter what happens”, I saw my window back in the office (that I haven’t seen in over a year now) where I had the question for Happy Today! – you can see the equation at 😀 Happy Today Calendars 😀 – Will you choose to make today happy? (happycalendars.com)
What needs to happen in your thoughts, attitudes, and actions to reflect this perspective?
  • Not get distracted by the negativity of others
  • Not get distracted by the treatment you receive when it isn’t good
  • Focus on God and His promises and His Word
  • Take hold of James 1:2-4
  • Take hold of John 16:33
  • And choose to live out your Happy Today!
  • Choose to live out your Happy Today “NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS”!

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“May he who is highest serve best.”

Robert Thibodeau

“We fear not because, when we put on the whole armor of truth and hide behind Jesus Christ, we know in Whom we’ve believed and we are secure in that belief. We then will serve without fear, and our effectiveness and productivity increase greatly.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what are your dreams and visions? Are they God’s dreams and visions? What are you going to do about them?

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?


How big are your dreams and goals?


As 2020 is coming and to a close and 2021 is but a few days away, are you setting goals and capturing your dreams in preparation? Are they small goals and dreams that you can achieve on your own without any help? Are they larger goals and dreams that will require you work with others? Are they big goals and dreams that will require God for them to be accomplished? In 2020 I read the book Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson that challenged me to dream bigger and set goals higher than ever before because God has created each of us for greatness. It challenged me that if my dream doesn’t scare me it isn’t big enough. So as I head into 2021, just taking on a new job to lead a team doing localization operations with an incredible set of skills from a writer who works on the international blogs, to a program manager who handles the translations and working with the localization vendors, to a product manager who is helping ensure the systems needed and necessary are in place for it all to come together smoothly I am looking to big dreams and goals for the year. I am taking time to gather the inputs in order to hear from God and look to put into motion God’s dreams and goals for the team. I’m looking to see how I can live out my today so that it will impact generations and people around the world meet their dreams and goals online. How about you?

As I was searching links for the book to include above, I found this great picture of the Lion Chaser’s Manifesto:

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
Run to the roar
Set God-sized goals.
Pursue God-ordained passions.
Go after a dream that's destined to fail unless God intervenes.
Start pointing out problems, become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Face your fears.
Fight for your dreams.
Grab opportunity by the mane and don't let it go.
Live like today is the first day and the last day of your life.
Burn sinful bridges
Blaze new trails.
Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.
Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God.
Don't try to be who you aren't.
Be yourself.
Laugh at yourself.
Dare to fail.
Dare to dream.
Dare to be different.
Chase the lion!
THE LION CHASER’S MANIFESTO

This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Yesterday is gone! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so don’t worry about it! Let’s make today count! Happy Today!

So let’s live it by loving others! Everyone is our neighbor and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. That means the good ones and the ones who challenge us. That means the friendly ones and those who attack and persecute us.


Today’s Verse of the Day:

‘ But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, [Prov. 25:21, 22.]’

— Matthew 5:44

‘ If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; [Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:20.] For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.’

— Proverbs 25:21-22

Where are you at today? Are you feeling weary? Are you looking for support and encouragement? Are you ready to dream big? Are you reach to chase the lion? Are you wanting to get your journey with God started? 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

Do you hear the knocking at the door of your heart? What will you choose?


I remember the resurrection scene because of getting to play the angel on resurrection Sunday so many years ago. Being a part of the earthquake, watching the stone roll away, and talking to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. The shock, the wonder, the joy, the celebration of that time, that day, and that event was incredible. Jesus gave up His life, nobody took it. Jesus was resurrected, defeating the power of death. He had trained up and spent so much time with His disciples and by revealing Himself through the resurrection to them, solidified their faith and provided them with the encouragement and direction they would need to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the point where people are still taking about Him, putting their faith in Him, putting their hope and trust in Him, giving their lives for Him, thousands of years later. Have You heard the TRUTH? Have You taken the step to ask Jesus into Your heart? Read on and I pray that Your life will be transformed by the love and power of Jesus Christ who intersected my life and called to me, then help to get rid of the distractions, that I may be able to focus on Him and hear the truth, the truth that I believe and the patterns of life, I try to live, that I may be more like Him every day.

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."


There are a lot of people who desire to keep you from knowing the truth. The devil come to lie, rob, and destroy, and will do everything he can to try to stop us. But Fear Not, Just Believe, for Jesus has already won. Keep your eyes on Him, that He may help you through any storms or trials you may be facing.

Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, "Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure." So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.


Jesus asked the Father to send us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and our guide. He reveals to us through God’s Word and our circumstances the truth. If we will listen and be obedient to His still quiet voice, we will know what to do and what is right. We need to stop and listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so as much as we talk or ask, we need to stop and listen twice as much. This isn’t only true with our prayers, but also in our lives with others who we spend time with and relate to.

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?"

Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, "Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?"

And He said to them, "What things?"
So they said to Him, "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see."

Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." And He went in to stay with them.

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.


Jesus knows where to find you. He is knocking at the door to your heart and asking to come in. He desires to meet with you and to fill that void you feel in your heart, the void that was created when the gap between God and man occurred in the garden of Eden. He is knocking at the door, what will you choose to do? Thomas didn’t believe the others, but humbled himself when Jesus showed up again. He realized the truth and wasn’t as interested as getting proof as when the others had spoken to him. He didn’t need to see the holes in His hands or the one in His side. Believe and Live. Fear Not, Just Believe.

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord."

So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."

And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."


WORSHIP

Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
Psalm 112:1-4

WISDOM

The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The LORD has made them both.
Proverbs 20:12


Today’s Reading:

Matthew 28:1-15 ; Luke 24:13-35; John 20:19-29;
Psalm 112:1-4; Proverbs 20:12