Happy New Year’s Eve


It’s the day before a year that will be filled with lots of change. It’s the day before a year when one daughter who has been raised up in the way she should go will be leaving home to pursue God’s purpose, passion, and plan for her life. It’s the day before a year when another daughter will be heading off to college and getting to play collegiate soccer after graduating her senior year. It’s the day before a year when the house will only have one child left and our son will get the experience of being a teen and only child type of experience. So needless to say there will be a lot of changes in how our house is going to be and feel. God help us enjoy every day we have with our kids. God help us to focus on what is important to you as we prepare for and go through these changes throughout the year. God help us to live our lives in ways that will point our kids towards you and will bring you the praise, the honor, and the glory. Lord, help me I pray to Be The Dad you created me to be for Your purpose, Your plan, Your honor, and Your glory. Seasons are changing and we need to be ready. Seasons are changing and we need to get prepared. Seasons are changing as we move from a home of 5 to 4 and after a few months 3 and after a few years down to 2. Seasons change! So let’s enjoy the one we are in and prepare for the one that is coming so that we can make the most of it for the glory of God!


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 31ST


SPRINGTIME FOR THE SOUL


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land.’

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Let’s look for additional context and details by expanding the verses and using the Amplified version:

‘“I am the rose [of the plain] of Sharon, The lily of the valleys [that grows in deep places].” “Like the lily among the thorns, So are you, my darling, among the maidens.” “Like an apple tree [rare and welcome] among the trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the young men! In his shade I took great delight and sat down, And his fruit was sweet and delicious to my palate. He has brought me to his banqueting place, And his banner over me is love [waving overhead to protect and comfort me]. Sustain me with raisin cakes, Refresh me with apples, Because I am sick with love. Let his left hand be under my head And his right hand embrace me.” “I command that you take an oath, O daughters of Jerusalem, By the gazelles or by the does of the field [which run free], That you do not rouse nor awaken my love Until she pleases.” “Listen! My beloved! Behold, he comes, Climbing on the mountains, Leaping and running on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is gazing through the lattice. “My beloved speaks and says to me, ‘Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away. For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth once again; The time for singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree has budded and ripens her figs, And the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, And come away [to climb the rocky steps of the hillside].’ ” “O my dove, [here] in the clefts in the rock, In the sheltered and secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” “Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards [of love], While our vineyards are in blossom.” “My beloved is mine and I am his; He pastures his flock among the lilies. Until the cool of the day when the shadows flee away, Return quickly, my beloved, and be like a gazelle Or a young stag on the mountains of Bether [which separate us].”’

Song of Solomon 2:1-17

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how our relationships go through seasons?
  • Ever noticed it in your romantic relationships?
  • Ever noticed it in your relationship with God?
  • When you think of seasons have you ever felt like your relationship is going through Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?
  • When you went through the season of winter, did you make the conscious decision to press through and keep going even though it seemed like there was very little warmth?
  • Ever considered how the season of Winter when we compare what happens in nature to the plants speaks to the state of our hearts? A season of barrenness.
  • We need to not lose hope because seasons don’t last forever!
  • We need to hold onto the reality that when this cold season passes it will be heading into Spring.
  • Are you looking for signs of spring? Are you looking for the warmth to return? Are you ready for your heart to be filled with hope?
  • Ever watched mature marriages and compared them to a relationship with God?
  • Marriages start with the heat of passion and idealism of pure love.
  • Ever noticed how when the honeymoon ended how reality hit the husband and wife hard?
  • Ever witnessed the reassessment that needed to happen and go through?
  • Ever witnessed how they took on this necessary challenge?
  • Ever seen how they had to rebuild their relationship based on reality?
  • Ever seen how they built their relationship on realistic expectations and good communication?
  • Ever seen it not work out and the marriage turn into an empty shell?
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have richer conversations appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have deeper affection appear.
  • In the midst of the winter season, opportunities to have a marriage that flourishes like never before.
  • So don’t lose hope! Lean in and work to make things better! Be on the lookout for signs of Spring and what needs to happen to be ready.
  • Ever had a similar experience when you started your relationship with God?
  • Did you start the relationship with great joy and high hopes?
  • Did you get incredible experiences with God that built up your faith?
  • Did you eventually get to the point of needing to grow in your faith and find yourself in the point of a change of experience facing trials, troubles, and more difficult situations?
  • We you able to grow and mature through these times like James 1:2-4 speaks of and be able to consider them pure joy?
    • ‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘
      James 1:2-4
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to struggle?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to find disappointments?
  • Did you find that the more challenging paths caused you to have misunderstandings?
  • Did it challenge your young faith but by pressing in and pressing on found you built a more mature and strengthen faith?
  • Did you find it helped you draw closer to God?
  • Did you find it helped you build a deeper relationship with God?
  • Are you facing a Winter season today? Don’t lose hope! Remember that Winter’s season of dormancy is required in preparation for Spring.
  • Be it in nature when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in romantic relationships when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • Be it in our walk with God when we see Winter come before Spring.
  • If we develop greater trust when it is cold and dark, we’ll get to experience more love in the warmth of Spring.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • How have you observed seasons in relationships wtih people and God?
  • In both kinds of relationships, what are some things we can do in winter to prepare for spring?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

― William Jennings Bryan

So are you ready to live your life on purpose? Are you ready to live your life with purpose? Are you ready to live your life for a purpose? God created each of us on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose. So we need to choose to receive it and then start to live it in order to achieve it. Let’s invite God into our lives and ask Him to help lead and guide our thoughts, words, and actions so that we can live out our lives for His glory in Jesus’s name. 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?


As I was considering these a song came to mind and so sharing it here to close today’s post: https://youtu.be/QvHE65nImmM

What is your calling? What is your purpose? What does success or completeness look like?


What is God calling you to do? Who is God calling you to be? Where is God calling you to go? When is God calling you? How did God call you?

We know that God created each of us on purpose. We know that God created each of us with purpose. We know that God created each of us for a purpose. Have you discovered yours or are you still seeking?

I remember learning many years back, early in my walk with God that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. There are times when God will call us to do something outside of our comfort zone. There are times when God will call us to His purposes even when we don’t feel qualified to do it. Will you answer the call from God even if you don’t feel qualified? What’s holding you back? Do you think you aren’t qualified? Have you found your purposes? Do you realize what it is you are to do? Do you realize the similarity of response between when God calls and Nike? So are you ready to just do it when God calls?

Do you know what success will look like? Do you realize that what people view as success may differ from what God is looking to accomplish? Have you ever accomplished what God wanted you to do and found yourself thinking it wasn’t what you expected but rather it was so much better than what you expected? When will you know that you are done and it is complete? Are willing to keep going till God says you are done? Do you realize the purpose is connected to what will last? People! Do you realize the purpose is connected to what will last and focusing n the best? Faith, Hope, Love and the greatest of these is LOVE. Are you ready to be amazed at what God is able to do in and through you? Remember how Jesus knew success and completion? Remember His Words on the cross?

‘When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ‘

John 19:30

THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR NOVEMBER 28TH


Ultimate Achievement


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.’

Philippians 4:1

We see how as Paul begins the final part of his letter to the Philippians that they mean the world to him.


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever viewed Paul as a determined adventurer?
  • Ever viewed Paul as someone who perseveres no matter what dangers or obstacles come his way?
  • Ever considered Paul to be dedicated to God’s calling and purpose for his life?
  • Ever considered Paul dedicated to the cause?
  • Ever taken grasp of Paul’s love for the people and how they were his joy and crown?
  • Ever taken grasp of Paul’s love for the people and how much they meant to him?
  • Ever considered how he poured out his heart to the people?
  • Ever grasped the how dear people were to him?
  • Consider how much their faith in Christ brought joy to him.
  • Consider how much their generosity in supporting him doing the work of God brought joy to him.
  • Ever considered how on that day we come before Jesus what we will have to speak for? Paul points to the people as his crown, evidence of his faithfulness in God’s calling.
  • How about you? What message are you giving those who are in your life?
  • How about you? What do you communicate to the people who come into your day?
  • Do you communicate warmth and affection?
  • Do you communicate love and hope?
  • Do you have a problem being able to tell people you love them?
  • You can be tough like Paul and yet be very affectionate to the people too!
  • So today don’t be afraid to show love to others!
  • Today be ready and willing to pour out from the overflow of God love into the lives of those around you.
  • Not fake love but authentic love!
  • Not a going through the motions but a overflow from the heart that causes your mouth to speak in and out of love!
  • Let’s speak with authentic love so that it will build trust.
  • Let’s not make it up or fake it till we make it because then it will build up resentment.
  • So let God fill you to overflowing with His love so that you can then pour into the lives of those around you authentic and unconditional love!
  • Let’s ask God to give us His eyes to see people like He does.
  • Let’s ask God to give us His love to pour into the lives of others.
  • Let’s bring the life changing love of Jesus into this world around us.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • At this point in your life, who is your “joy” and “crown”?
  • If you have difficulty expressing affection for people close to you, how would it help to see them the way God sees them?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.”

John Bunyan

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What is it that you have need of? What are you pursuing? What are you seeking? Are you ready for the call? Are you ready for your purpose? Let’s invite Jesus into our situation so that we can walk it all out with Him. 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?


Refining…


What comes to mind when you think of the word refining? Growing up in a mining town the word refining makes me think of the process used to remove impurities from metals. It brings to mind the metallurgical site my dad worked at. I remember the heat used. I remember the concentrator, the smelter, the refinery, and the zinc plant that had a lot of electrical pieces.

Can you think of times in your life when moments were used to refine you? Experiences that were used to help remove impurities from your life? Experiences that were used to purify your heart? Can you think of the process used to get rid of the old responses and behaviors and replace them with new ones from your clean, refined heart?

Ever considered what the Bible has to say about the refining process? Let’s see what we can find:

  • In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    1 Peter 1:6-7
  • Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
    Isaiah 48:10
  • And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
    Zechariah 13:9
  • The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.
    Proverbs 17:3
  • But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
    Malachi 3:2-4
  • Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?
    Jeremiah 9:7
  • I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.
    Isaiah 1:25
  • The words of the Lord are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
    Psalm 12:6
  • Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.
    Daniel 11:35
  • Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
    Daniel 12:10

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for November 10th


A Consuming Fire


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.’

Hebrews 12:28-29

Let’s take hold of what is being said and dig a bit deeper to get additional context and understanding by using the Amplified version of the bible.

‘See to it that you do not refuse [to listen to] Him who is speaking [to you now]. For if those [sons of Israel] did not escape when they refused [to listen to] him who warned them on earth [revealing God’s will], how much less will we escape if we turn our backs on Him who warns from heaven? His voice shook the earth [at Mount Sinai] then, but now He has given a promise, saying, “Y et once more I will shake not only the earth , but also the [starry] heaven .” Now this [expression], “Yet once more,” indicates the removal and final transformation of all those things which can be shaken—that is, of that which has been created—so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for our God is [indeed] a consuming fire.’

Hebrews 12:25-29

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize that Jesus by humbling Himself and sacrificing Himself has been exalted to be more exalted than angels and more renowned than Moses?
  • Are you comfortable? Don’t become complacent in your faith! Remain true to God!
  • One day we will all come before God and the earth will be shaken.
  • Let’s decide today to live out our lives with God’s grace while we are serving Him in a way that will demonstrate His amazingness and our awe of Him.
  • We know there will be a final destination for everyone and that based on our decision to receive or reject Jesus will confirm that place.
  • Will we come before a throne to determine what type of a steward we have been in and through our lives?
  • Will we come before a thone of judgment to give an account before ending up in the pit?
  • The answer depends on if we choose to receive or reject Jesus.
  • Are you considering how amazingly powerful God is and remembering the punishment and demonstration of power He has shown us through the Bible?
  • Are you considering how gracious God is and how He doesn’t want anyone to perish but would rather they repent and turn back to Him?
  • Fear when described by the Bible is more that we shouldn’t be casual in our relationship with God but rather we should be living in reverance awe of Him.
  • Fear of the Lord isn’t about terror but more about how we live our faith in awe and amazement of who He is and what He has done.
  • Let’s allow our faith, our hope, and our love to grow because of His amazing power!
  • Let’s allow our faith, our hope, and our love to grow because of His incredible grace!
  • Let’s decide to walk out every moment of every day with God!
  • Let’s invite Him into every situation and every circumstance so that we can have the wisdom, discernment, and direction we need to move forward for His praise, honor, and glory!
  • Let’s come humbly before God, like those in the Bible who recognized His greatness and fell on the ground in abject awe.
  • Let’s take hold of the reality that God is the author and perfector of our faith!
  • Let’s take hold of the reality that God is the creator of the universe and everything in it!
  • Let’s take hold of the reality that God is the beginning and the end!
  • Let’s take hold of the reality of God’s greatness as we read about even John a friend of Jesus, fainting at the vision of Him in Revelation 1:17.
  • Let’s take hold of the reality that God is merciful and kind.
  • Let’s take hold of the reality that God is a consuming fire and when we come to Him, it will burn up all the impurities and purify us heart, mind, and soul.
  • So let’s decide today to invite Him in and to help us walk through everything that will be required to remove the sin (the impurities) and make us more like Jesus (purifying us heart, mind, and soul).

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What happens to our faith when we lose sight of the awesome nature of God?
  • In your conception of God, is He both gracious and amazingly powerful? Explain your anser.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The truth is, fear and immorality are two of the greatest inhibitors of performance.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you today? Are you in the heat of the furnace? Are you in process of having the impurities float off the surface? Is your focus on God and His awesomeness? Are you in the process of having your heart house cleaned up? Are you having to let some of the past go in order to grab hold of the future God has planned for you? Are you unsure where you are or what to do? Why not invite Jesus into your life and allow Him to walk through the rest of your life with you so that you will never have to go through any of it alone? 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?


Time is precious: With 24hrs/day and 365(6) days a year and a limited number of years in a life time…


How are you choosing to spend your time? Are you cautious with your time? Are you careful with your time? Are you guarded with your time? Are you watchful of your time? Are you alert of how fast time is going? Are you attentive to your time? With but a short number of hours in a day, how do you choose to use them? How do you choose to prioritize what you will spend your time on? You may have heard that time is money, showing the value of your time? You may have a job and are working for some of that time and getting paid. You may be married and should be spending time with your spouse. You may have kids and so you need to make time for them because as much as some think quality time is enough, quantity time is just as important. How do you spend your day and time with God? Are you walking through life with Him so that He is a priority and gets a lot of your time or do you schedule out some time for Him and so need to figure and balance out His time too? Rest, you need to make sure you have time for rest! Be it your evening of sleep of 6-12 hours, your body needs rest to rejuvenate and restore. So how will you spend your time?

There are similarities between time and money in that you need to be a good steward of both. There are differences between time and money too though as you can’t make more time. One is finite and limited and the other is able to be generated and produced. Both require good stewardship though. Both require prioritization too. So you need to make a plan for both your time and your money. Time may have a value comparable to money or demonstrated by the amount of money you make over time but it is limited as we only get so many trips around the sun before our time on earth is up. So we need to consider how to make the biggest impact with that time in order to glorify God by accomplishing the cause He has created us to accomplish.

How will you use your time today? this coming week? this coming month? this coming year? and those yet to come?

How will you use your time to show the value of others in your life? God? Spouse? Kids? Family? Friends? Neighbors? Coworkers? Strangers? Workers at the stores and restaurants? etc.?

What will it take for you to make the most of your time today?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 14th

I missed 2 days and when I went to post on the 15th, I just realized I grabbed the devotional for the 14th and so updated the date above. I am going to have to catch up on 13th and 15th at some point. 

Keeping Track of Time


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’

Ephesians 5:15-16

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you making the most of your time or are you wasting it?
  • Does your time have purpose or is it being wasted?
  • Are you using your time to the full or are you procrastinating?
  • Are you using your time to the full or are you putting off your chores or responsibilities?
  • Are you using your time to accomplish God’s purpose and cause for you and your life?
  • Are you using your time to accomplish something else? Are you using your time on the wrong pursuits?
  • Are you using your time to accomplish God’s purpose and cause or are you using your time to achieve selfish goals?
  • Are you using your time to accomplish your calling or are you using your time to get to the top and steamrolling over everything and anyone who gets in your way?
  • Are you using your time doing or worrying?
  • Are you using your time doing or worrying about what others are thinking?
  • Are you using your time doing or worrying about what might happen?
  • Are you using your time doing or worrying about things that were said in the past?
  • Are you using your time doing or allowing fears of what could happen to hold you back?
  • Are you using your time doing or just measuring your time by how full your calendar is?
  • Are you using your time building and strengthening relationships?
  • So will you use the time you have, in this battle of good vs evil, to accomplish God’s will rather than wasting it away?
  • Will you use your time for good in this battle through time?
  • Will you use your time to learn and know God’s will so that you can get it done for His glory?
  • How are you using your time?
  • Are you able to discern or analyze how well you are using your time?
  • Let’s use our time wisely! That doesn’t mean to use it all up so you can say you are busy!
  • Let’s use our time wisely! That does mean to accomplish God’s will in God’s timing!
  • Let’s use our time wisely! That does mean redeeming every moment we have as a gift from God!
  • Let’s use our time wisely! That does mean redeeming every moment in order to honor and glorify God!
  • Let’s use our time wisely! That does mean redeeming every moment with an eternal focus and purpose in mind!
  • Let’s use our time wisely! That does mean redeeming every moment to have a positive impact on those we love and He loves! That’s right let’s love everybody!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Wat are the most common ways you see people wasting time?
  • How would it change your life to realize that every moment is a gift from God to be redeemed and use to honor Him?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“I find the doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”

George MacDonald

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? How are you using time time? Are you using it for good or are you wasting it? Are you using it to do God’s will or your’s? Are you ready to invite God into your life to walk it out with you and help you to live it to the full like His purpose and plan for you are? Remember the plans from Jeremiah 29:11 to give us a hope and a future? Remember the plans from John 10:10 comparing the devil’s plans vs Jesus’s plans? (“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”) So how will you choose to live your life? Will you invite Jesus in so that you can enjoy the time you have left? 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?


Do you know your purpose or cause? Is it the way you live?


None of us are accidents! We’ve all been created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose! We all have a cause to live for and to make a difference for in this world! Are you living out your purpose and your cause? Are you seeking your purpose and your cause? Don’t lose hope if you haven’t found it yet, just know that you have been created on purpose by God, no matter what others may say, He wasn’t surprised by your entering of the world! Let’s pursue our cause with purpose for the glory of God!

Let’s check out some scripture on this subject:

‘The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked [according to their role] for the day of evil. ‘

Proverbs 16:4 (AMP)

‘For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. ‘

Ephesians 2:8-10 (AMP)

‘When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. ‘

Ecclesiastes 12:13

‘Trust in and rely confidently on the L ord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. ‘

Proverbs 3:5-6

‘And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ ‘

Matthew 22:37-39

‘ Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]. ‘

Proverbs 16:3

‘Commit your way to the Lord ; Trust in Him also and He will do it. ‘

Psalms 37:5

As we consider the following verses, let’s let them sink in…


Genesis 1:27 (NLT) 27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Proverbs 20:5 (ESV) 5 The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

Proverbs 20:5 (NIV) 5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Psalm 139:13 (NIV) 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb

Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT) 5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart

Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) 21 You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.


Looking for a way to get started on the journey? Check out Created on Purpose for Purpose – You were created for Purpose; God’s Purpose! Uniquely gifted and designed to fulfill His purposes in your life. Everyone has a sense that they were born for a purpose. But there is something more than just a purpose. The God purpose was specifically designed for you. And it’s your responsibility to live out God’s plan for you, becoming His masterpiece. (bible.com) (https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/2042-created-on-purpose-for-purpose/day/1)


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for July 25th


A Friend of Sinners


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ ‘

Luke 7:34

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Jesus knew His purpose and His cause for coming to the earth.
  • Jesus knew His purpose wasn’t about building up a group and living comfortably.
  • Jesus knew His purpose was to keep reaching out to the outcast and the troubled, the sinners, those who needed Him and to be reconnected with God.
  • The religious folks ridiculed Him, but He knew that the sick, the “unclean”, and the the people who were living questionable lives needed a savior and needed to know and hear the truth and love of God!
  • The religious folks questions His methods and practices but He didn’t because Jesus know and never forgot the reason why He came. (check out John 3:17)
  • God’s love is unconditional! He doesn’t wait for us to get things right and all cleaned up to start loving us!
  • Remember why God sent Jesus? He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to make the way! (check out John 3:16)
  • Unlike the religious leaders who thought if people were unclean, sick, or living questionable lives that they were off-limits, those were the people that Jesus pursued because they knew they needed help and He knew He was the one who could give it to them.
  • So are you ready to be someone like Jesus who is open armed, open minded, and open hearted enough to receive and accept people who come into your life or through the doors of the church being addicts, adulterers, agnostics, and homeless?
  • How do they feel when they encounter you? at the store? in the church?
  • How do they feel when they walk through the doors of your church?
  • How do they feel when they walk through the doors of our churches?
  • Are we living more like Jesus or the religious elite?
  • Are we living more like a hospital or a country club?
  • Are we seeing them and treating them with the love and respect God desires?
  • Are we acknowledging them and loving them like God desires?
  • Are we looking down our noses at them?
  • Can we live like Jesus so that they don’t and never feel rejected?
  • Can we live like Jesus so that they feel embraced and loved?
  • Can we choose to live our lives with love so that they are touched and ready to receive God into their hearts and lives?
  • Who are the people that are outcast that you see and pass by?
  • Who are the people that need you to stop and pour into their lives?
  • Who are the people in your neighborhood? your workplace? your family?
  • Will you decide to follow Jesus’ example and be a friend to sinners?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Who are the “tax collectors and sinners” in your world?
  • How do they feel around you? How do you want them to feel?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“While dining with sinners, Jesus was dreaming of their becoming saints.”

Ike Reighard

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to start your journey of purpose? Are you ready to start to live for a cause? Let’s start with connecting with God and 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?


So why are you doing it? What are your motives?


Do you remember what it was that got you started? What the motivation was for stepping up or stepping into it? Why do you care about kids? Why do you care about abused, abandoned, and neglected kids? Why do you care to go to camp? Why do you care to run camps? What is your motivation behind it? Has it changed over the years? Don’t fool yourself! Check your heart!

Do you remember what it was that got you interested in being a manager? Do you remember the resistance when you first got called to step into that leadership position as president of the homeowners association? Do you remember what God taught you through the experience of how God doesn’t call the qualified but rather qualifies the called? So what is your motivation for stepping up or stepping into it? Was it to serve others and teach others to serve? Was it for a title and position? Was it to expand your impact through others who also wanted to serve? Was it to raise up the next generation? What is your motivation behind it? Has it changed over the years? Don’t fool yourself! Check your heart!

Do you remember what it was that got you interested in being a husband and a father? Do you remember the desire to find a wife that you would be able to spend the rest of your life with? Do you remember the desire to have a family and raise your kids? Do you remember the encounter with God that transformed your destiny and that of your kids? Do you remember how that transformation changed your motives and the way you raise your kids and bless your marriage? What is your motivation? Has it changed over the years? Don’t fool yourself! Check your heart!

Are you involved or are you committed? Are you interested or are you called? Are you qualified or being qualified? Don’t try to go it alone! Invite God in and be committed to answer His call and become qualified!


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


Don’t Fool Yourself


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.’

Galatians 6:2-5

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How can you make a difference today
  • Do you remember the motivation that got you started?
  • Do you still have the same motives or have you gotten lost or off track?
  • Is it more of a serving or a power thing to be leading or controlling people?
  • Are you finding yourself being sucked into the need for power or the feeling of being indispensable?
  • Do you think you are the only one who can do it or who can do it as well?
  • Are you being sucked into the belief or idea that what would they do without you?
  • Don’t be fooled or fool yourself as we are warned along with the Galatian church.
  • To be good leaders we need humility!
  • To be good helpers we need humility!
  • We need to be humble servants!
  • Don’t allow power to get/go to your head?
  • Stop being focused on what abilities and positions have!
  • Get focused on what God has created you to be and do!
  • Get focused on what God is calling you and has gifted you to do!
  • Let’s be focused on our work and our heart!
  • Jesus is our measuring stick and who we want to compare ourselves to and become more and more like
  • Jesus emptied Himself of the power of God in order to humbly serve the world!
    • ‘but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. ‘ — Philippians 2:7
  • Let’s be more focused on the spiritual than the natural!
  • Instead of focusing on the natural tendency to compare ourselves to others, let’s be focused on Jesus so that we don’t get robbed or misdirected into feelings of insecurity or pride instead of humility and trust in God!
  • We will need to give an account for our lives and so we need to be more focused on God than playing the comparison or blame games.
  • God isn’t going to be interested in how much power and influence we built up but rather will be interested in if we did all we could do to help, to serve, and to give!
  • God is going to want us to take responsibility for our choices and to have lived our lives in fulfillment of the law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens!
  • So let’s be looking for ways to help, to serve, and to give rather than being focused on having power and control for our own sake!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What roles do you have that can foster comparison with others?
  • Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Camp Director
  • Media operator
  • Husband
  • Dad
  • Brother
  • Son
What would it look like to humbly “fulfill the law of Christ” in each of these roles?
  • make time daily to turn back to God
  • make time daily to invite God into each situation
  • make time to talk with God about the “Why?” do I have these roles
  • make time to talk with God about the purposes and plans

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Success is not measured by what you do compared to what others do, it is measured by what you do with the ability God gave you.”

~Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what is your motivation? What is your measure? What is your purpose? What are your abilities?

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?


Top of mind and Top priority…


You wake up in the morning and what is top of mind? For me I start to pray and talk to God thanking Him for a new day and then I thank Him for my wife and pray over her for the day and then I pray over each of my kids individually and for their day, and then I ask for wisdom and direction for my day. How about you?

Have you ever done the prioritization exercise to ensure you are putting first things first? If you wrote out your life priority list and then compared it to how you are living your life, would they line up? If you used things like time and money as measuring tools to help you determine if you are living your life in alignment with what you think or say your priorities are, would they line up? How would you respond if you found out they didn’t? Would you be willing to make a change to get back on track? Would you re-evaluate what you thought your priorities were to match your findings? I know when I had that happen to me back in 2003-2004 timeframe, it caused me to need to adjust a bunch of things. It took a medical report to get my attention and realize a change was required and then I did the priorities mapping and had to adjust my life to line up with what I said my priorities would be. I had to adjust the way I was working and spending my time to get back on track and also to get healthy too. I had to adjust things to get back into alignment with my priorities: (1) God, (2) Wife and our marriage, (3) Kids and our family. Everything else had to line up behind these. Everything else had to enhance these. Everything else had to support these.

How about you? Ever taken inventory of what you think your priorities are and how you are living them out? Top of mind and Top priorities…


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 7th


Thinking about me?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.’

Psalms 139:17-18

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you realize how much someone cares for you when you know they are thinking about you or they tell you they have been thinking about you?
  • Do you realize that you are so important that God is thinking about you?
  • Do you realize that God is thinking about you more often that you can count?
  • Do you realize that God is always thinking about you?
  • God knows everything about you and loves you.
  • God loves you so much that He sees where you are at but doesn’t want to leave you there.
  • Can you imagine what such love and such consideration says about what He is thinking about you?
  • Remember how His plans for you are good and to give you a hope and a future?
  • Remember how God is light and there is no darkness in Him?
  • Remember how God is love?
  • God knows every thought, word, and deed we have or do.
  • God sees us at our best and at our worst!
  • So let’s not worry or fear, but instead with boldness and courage trust God!
  • Let’s be like David where in today’s Psalm finds God’s thoughts precious to him.
  • Knowing that God is always thinking about you, how much do you think about God?
  • Knowing that God’s grace and forgiveness shine through it all, does it make you want to celebrate?
  • God’s purposes for you are good, imagine if we walked out our lives in constant communication with Him.
  • We are to pray without ceasing, we are to be in relationship, we are to be intimate in sharing with God, so let’s finish strong and invite Him in and live out the rest of our time in this life with Him!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Does the fact that God constantly thinks about you encourage you or terrify you? Explain your answer.
  • Encourages me because I know that even in my weaknesses or when I don’t know that He is strong in my weakness and He knows everything and that through Him all things are possible.
What do you imagine that He’s thinking about you today?
  • Hope he is ready for those interactions with those people today
  • Hope he is ready to be my arms and feet to step into the lives of others and show them value today
  • Hope he is ready to shine my light into this dark world
  • Hope he is ready to be salt and to spice things up

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“Too often we attempt to work for God to the limit of our competency, rather than to the limit of God’s omnipotency.”

– Hudson Taylor

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So what are you thinking about? How are you deciding to live? What are your priorities? How are they aligning to God’s plans for you and your life? How are they aligning to God’s purposes for you and your life? How are they aligning to God’s will for you and your life? In order to finish strong are you ready and willing to take an inventory to ensure that you are putting first things first ?

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?


Will you answer the call from God even if you don’t feel qualified?


As today begins and reflecting on a conversation I had yesterday about what God can do and will do if we will just answer His call. Be it the time when I was at a men’s retreat and felt God calling me to step up and get involved in my community by joining the homeowners’ association board or when in the third year He called me to step up and be president, it is interesting how responsive I was based on how qualified I felt. When the call came to join the HOA board, I felt I could do that and was quick to respond to God’s call. When the call came to step up and be president of the HOA board, I didn’t feel qualified and kept negotiating with the Spirit as that still quiet voice kept negotiating with me about it. Just thinking about the difference of perspective and how in both cases God was equally capable to use me for His purposes, my perspective was what changed how quick I was to agree and respond. Even when the interview with the board before joining gave me an out to join a committee in order to get a quarter of my dues back, I respond that I was supposed to join the board. It was interesting to consider the confidence in that first call. When some turmoil was taking place and God kept telling me to step up to be president of the board, I had more reason based on my current position in my day job/career that I could come up with so many reasons and excuses why I couldn’t or shouldn’t or wouldn’t. Until that one day when God knew the time was now or never, He had a reason, He had a purpose, and if it wasn’t going to be me, He would have to use someone else. That day at the gym when I heard the booming voice of God compared to the earlier still quiet voice of the Spirit that gave me the ultimatum “You can be president or you can be nothing, you choose!”. Wow, that got my attention and nothing sounded really bad. So I submitted to His will even with my doubts and concerns. For some reason when He called me to join the board, I trusted Him enough but when He kept prompting me to step up as president it was as if I was thinking He wasn’t enough to work in and through me to accomplish His will. Looking back, it was incredible to see Him work in and through me. Looking back, it was incredible how when I was at the end of my abilities how God showed up and instructed me, guided me, and helped me to lead not only the board but also the community into all that was ahead of us. Be it hiring an executive director (which in my day job was probably 2 or 3 levels higher in position than me). Be it finding an accounting company to help will payments and billing in support of the finance committee. Be it dealing with security concerns and the impact on the insurance costs. In each case, God was there and He helped me to make the right decisions. In each case, God was there and He provided me the confidence and the instruction and the courage to step into the situation and get it done. In each case, the outcome was confirmed to be right and produced an incredible testimony of God’s power and promises, God’s faithfulness and truth, God’s ability to call the unqualified and qualify them as He did in and through me. It was this experience that taught me that God doesn’t call the qualified but He qualifies the called!

So what about you? Will you answer the call the next time God calls you? Will you answer the call even if you don’t know or understand the purpose behind it? Will you answer the call the next time God calls, even if you don’t feel qualified? What if you you received the ultimatum of accepting the call or being nothing? What would it take for you to accept the call the next time God calls you?


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


Called with a Purpose


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Romans 8:28

‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you understand what happened?
  • Do you understand the why?
  • Do you need to understand the why?
  • Is understanding who is in control good enough?
  • Is understanding that there is a plan underway good enough?
  • Do you keep track the the experiences in life? The good? The bad? The ugly? The ones somewhere in between?
  • Do you ever consider them being weaved together into your tapestry of life?
  • Do you ever look back at what has taken place in your past and viewed it as a portrait?
  • Do you trust God to weave your life together out of love, wisdom, and strength?
  • Do you trust God to be bigger than your circumstances?
  • Do you trust God to be bigger than your problems?
  • Do you trust God when He calls you to something you don’t understand?
  • Do you trust God during the joy and the pain, the trials and troubles and the celebrations and parties?
  • Ever seen the back of something being stitched together and thought it wasn’t that nice, but when it gets flipped over it is amazingly beautify?
  • Do you trust God enough that even if it isn’t going like you thought or expected that You will trust Him?
  • Consider your life like a loom on which the weaver (God) is creating the masterpiece!
  • God’s ways are not always our ways! His ways are better and higher than our ways!
  • His ways may be different from what we hoped or imagined.
  • His ways may be different from what we dreamed or contemplated.
  • Will you answer the call and trust His handiwork?
  • Will you answer His call and direction in order to find life and peace?
  • Will you reject or resist His call and direction and find yourself angry and in despair?
  • Choose to trust God! Choose to have faith in His plans and design!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some difficult things you’ve been facing?
  • 2020 and the changes and challenges
  • Change of direction that seemed to happen before I could feel settled or capable or ready
What difference would it make for you to believe that God can weave those painful experiences into the fabric of your life and create something beautiful?
  • All of 2020, I was leaning in and trusting God for that
  • All of 2020, I was living with the theme of hindsight being 2020
  • As 2020 was drawing to a close in December, and I thought things were settled (6 roles and 3 bosses) – with my math braining joking that they both divided into 12, God had 1 more change which required all the earlier part of the process/year to get me ready for such a change and disconnect me in the way required for me to be willing to take on such a calling.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Mankind is all too often inclined to take credit for his accomplishments, but when things go wrong, he blames god.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


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?


4 days…


Timing… Perspective… Position… Placement… Action… Response… Questions… Answers… Retrospective… Control… Preparation… Faith… Peace… Joy… Hope… Trust… Love… Sow… Reap… Invest… Return… Steward… Selfless… Serve… Heart… Lead… Follow… Obey… Humility… Turn… Patience… Kindness… Goodness… Self-Control… Faithful… Gentleness… Endurance… Restraint…

What will be next? What will end? What will begin? What will continue? What will change? What will stay the same?

Where will you turn? Who will you talk to? When will you notice? When will you realize? Why will it take so long? Why not sooner? Why not now? How will it impact you? How will it make a difference? How will you respond? How will you react? How will you know?

The countdown continues…


Today’s reading comes from Nehemiah 7-8, and 1 John 1. Let’s take hold of all God has to say today and let’s share His hope and His love with the world around us so that they may hear the Good News of Jesus and respond before their time runs out.

What happens to people when they accomplish something? What happens to people when they meet their goals? What happens when it is finished? What’s next? New plan? New purpose? New schedule? New direction? What things will stay the same? What things will change? Will we need to take a count or audit of what is left? Will we need to consider the skills and talents of the remnant? Will we need to press on to the next milestone? Will there be new goals? Will there be new work?

1And now the wall had been rebuilt, the gates had all been put in place, and the Temple guards, the members of the sacred choir, and the other Levites had been assigned their work. 2I put two men in charge of governing the city of Jerusalem: my brother Hanani and Hananiah, commanding officer of the fortress. Hananiah was a reliable and God-fearing man without equal. 3I told them not to have the gates of Jerusalem opened in the morning until well after sunrise and to have them closed and barred before the guards went off duty at sunset. I also told them to appoint guards from among the people who lived in Jerusalem and to assign some of them to specific posts and others to patrol the area around their own houses.

The List of Those Who Returned from Exile

(Ezra 2.1-70)
4Jerusalem was a large city, but not many people were living in it, and not many houses had been built yet. 5God inspired me to assemble the people and their leaders and officials and to check their family records. I located the records of those who had first returned from captivity, and this is the information I found:
6Many of the exiles left the province of Babylon and returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own hometown. Their families had been living in exile in Babylonia ever since King Nebuchadnezzar had taken them there as prisoners. 7Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah.
8-25This is the list of the clans of Israel, with the number of those from each clan who returned from exile:
Parosh – 2,172
Shephatiah – 372
Arah – 652
Pahath Moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab) – 2,818
Elam – 1,254
Zattu – 845
Zaccai – 760
Binnui – 648
Bebai – 628
Azgad – 2,322
Adonikam – 667
Bigvai – 2,067
Adin – 655
Ater (also called Hezekiah) – 98
Hashum – 328
Bezai – 324
Hariph – 112
Gibeon – 95
26-38People whose ancestors had lived in the following towns also returned:
Bethlehem and Netophah – 188
Anathoth – 128
Beth Azmaveth – 42
Kiriath Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth – 743
Ramah and Geba – 621
Michmash – 122
Bethel and Ai – 123
The other Nebo – 52
The other Elam – 1,254
Harim – 320
Jericho – 345
Lod, Hadid, and Ono – 721
Senaah – 3,930
39-42This is the list of the priestly clans that returned from exile:
Jedaiah (descendants of Jeshua) – 973
Immer – 1,052
Pashhur – 1,247
Harim – 1,017
43-45Clans of Levites who returned from exile:
Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah) – 74
Temple musicians (descendants of Asaph) – 148
Temple guards (descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai) – 138
46-56Clans of Temple workers who returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
Keros, Sia, Padon,
Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,
Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
Besai, Meunim, Nephushesim,
Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
Bazlith, Mehida, Harsha,
Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
Neziah, and Hatipha.
57-59Clans of Solomon’s servants who returned from exile:
Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,
Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel,
Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Amon.
60The total number of descendants of the Temple workers and of Solomon’s servants who returned from exile was 392.
61-62There were 642 belonging to the clans of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda who returned from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not prove that they were descendants of Israelites.
63-64The following priestly clans could find no record to prove their ancestry: Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai. (The ancestor of the priestly clan of Barzillai had married a woman from the clan of Barzillai of Gilead and taken the name of his father-in-law’s clan.) Since they were unable to prove who their ancestors were, they were not accepted as priests. 65 The Jewish governor told them that they could not eat the food offered to God until there was a priest who could use the Urim and Thummim.
66-69Total number of exiles who returned – 42,360.
Their male and female servants – 7,337
Male and female musicians – 245
Horses – 736
Mules – 245
Camels – 435
Donkeys – 6,720
70-72Many of the people contributed to help pay the cost of restoring the Temple:
The governor 270 ounces of gold
50 ceremonial bowls
530 robes for priests
Heads of clans 337 pounds of gold
3,215 pounds of silver
The rest of the people 337 pounds of gold
2,923 pounds of silver
67 robes for priests
73  The priests, the Levites, the Temple guards, the musicians, many of the ordinary people, the Temple workers—all the people of Israel—settled in the towns and cities of Judah.
–Nehemiah 7

How about setting a common ground? How about setting up a firm foundation on which to build everything else? How about aligning things with a cornerstone so that as things start to get built up they are in line? How about using good resources to ensure it lasts?

Consider the solid foundation which is Jesus Christ! Consider the cornerstone to align with to be Jesus Christ! Consider the common ground to be rules of higher standards Jesus has called us to! Let’s first love God with all of our hearts, mind, soul, and strength! Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves! Let’s lead with love! Let’s put Jesus in the middle of all our relationships so that we can come together with common purposes! A chord of three strands is not easily broken! Let’s point people back to God! Let’s turn our lives back to God! Let’s walk with Him and in His ways! Let’s start a revival where God is glorified and lives are transformed for eternity! None of the “stuff” will last forever, only people! So we need to have God’s eyes and God’s ears and God’s heart for the people around us! God sent Jesus to save the world! His hope was that nobody would perish but that everyone would come to faith in Jesus! So let’s ask God how He would have us kick things off! Let’s ask God for clarity and vision, purpose and passion for His plan! Let’s ask God to make us sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit so that in every situation we will be able to step up and step in and help people be restored to God!

Ezra Reads the Law to the People

1By the seventh month the people of Israel were all settled in their towns. On the first day of that month they all assembled in Jerusalem, in the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law which the Lord had given Israel through Moses, to get the book of the Law. 2So Ezra brought it to the place where the people had gathered—men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively.
4Ezra was standing on a wooden platform that had been built for the occasion. The following men stood at his right: Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and the following stood at his left: Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
5As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. 6Ezra said, “Praise the Lord, the great God!”
All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen! Amen!” They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground.
7Then they rose and stood in their places, and the following Levites explained the Law to them: Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah. 8They gave an oral translation of God’s Law and explained it so that the people could understand it.
9When the people heard what the Law required, they were so moved that they began to cry. So Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law, and the Levites who were explaining the Law told all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God, so you are not to mourn or cry. 10Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don’t have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong.”
11The Levites went around calming the people and telling them not to be sad on such a holy day. 12So all the people went home and ate and drank joyfully and shared what they had with others, because they understood what had been read to them.

The Festival of Shelters

13The next day the heads of the clans, together with the priests and the Levites, went to Ezra to study the teachings of the Law. 14 They discovered that the Law, which the Lord gave through Moses, ordered the people of Israel to live in temporary shelters during the Festival of Shelters. 15So they gave the following instructions and sent them all through Jerusalem and the other cities and towns: “Go out to the hills and get branches from pines, olives, myrtles, palms, and other trees to make shelters according to the instructions written in the Law.”
16So the people got branches and built shelters on the flat roofs of their houses, in their yards, in the Temple courtyard, and in the public squares by the Water Gate and by the Ephraim Gate. 17All the people who had come back from captivity built shelters and lived in them. This was the first time it had been done since the days of Joshua son of Nun, and everybody was excited and happy. 18From the first day of the festival to the last they read a part of God’s Law every day. They celebrated for seven days, and on the eighth day there was a closing ceremony, as required in the Law.
–Nehemiah 8

Time is short! Life is like a mist! This world in its present form is passing away! We should live like stewards rather than owners as the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! We should live like servants as we serve the Lord! Be God’s hands and arms of love extended! See the world like He does! Hear the cries like He does! Ask Him for wisdom so that you know what to do! Ask Him for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in every situation because there may be more to it than what is on the surface! Let’s meditate on the Word of the Lord always! Let’s hope and trust Jesus in everything! Let’s live for eternity so that not only will we get to spend eternity with God but also that we can help others come into this same relationship!

The Word of Life

1 We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it. 2 When this life became visible, we saw it; so we speak of it and tell you about the eternal life which was with the Father and was made known to us. 3What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We write this in order that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

5Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him. 6If, then, we say that we have fellowship with him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions. 7But if we live in the light—just as he is in the light—then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make a liar out of God, and his word is not in us.

–1 John 1

Make time with God! Make time to hear from Him! Make time to do what He is calling you to do! Make time to speak life into the people He sends to you!

Do you want real freedom, real peace and real hope? FORGIVE.


Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Jesus gives a startling warning about forgiveness: If we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. Why? Because when we don’t forgive others, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. It is easy to ask God for forgiveness, but difficult to grant it to others. Whenever we ask God to forgive us for sin, we should ask ourselves, “Have I forgiven the people who have wronged me?”


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this Word today and for the incredible day you have planned. I thank You Lord that You spoke this to me after I forgave realizing that I needed to forgive before I could be forgiven. Lord, through forgiveness I found true peace and freedom. Through bitterness I found sickness and despair. Lord, as the quote goes, bitterness is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. But Lord, I realized that by forgiving, I was able to find peace, the anxiety and bitterness melted away. Lord, I realized that by truly forgiving, the pain and betrayal faded away to the point of only remembering what I learned through the experience, but not the experience itself. Lord, after forgiving, opportunities for You to bless me opened up, opportunities to teach and lift me up started, and later this week I will start my new job on my new team thanks to You opening the door so wide I couldn’t miss it. Lord, I praise You for the key that was forgiveness. I praise You for the love and prayers that came from Your church. I praise You for the testimony that I have in my heart and life now to encourage others if they are facing struggles and challenges. Today is the day that You have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lord, I also praise You for my wife as we celebrate our anniversary today. She was a rock that gave me a place of refuge throughout the pain and suffering. She was my comforter when I got home. I praise You Lord for the incredible blessing that You brought into my life so many years ago in the form of a beautiful girl at university, and for the incredible woman of God who I have the honor and pleasure of calling my wife. May You be glorified today as I give you the praise and the honor, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Verse of the Day

2 Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious), sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience [of Christ].

Titus 2:2


Psalm 144

1 BLESSED BE the Lord, my Rock and my keen and firm Strength, Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight–2 My Steadfast Love and my Fortress, my High Tower and my Deliverer, my Shield and He in Whom I trust and take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.3 Lord, what is man that You take notice of him? Or [the] son of man that You take account of him? 4 Man is like vanity and a breath; his days are as a shadow that passes away.5 Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.6 Cast forth lightning and scatter [my enemies]; send out Your arrows and embarrass and frustrate them.7 Stretch forth Your hand from above; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, from the hands of hostile aliens (tribes around us)8 Whose mouths speak deceit and whose right hands are right hands [raised in taking] fraudulent oaths.9 I will sing a new song to You, O God; upon a harp, an instrument of ten strings, will I offer praises to You.10 You are He Who gives salvation to kings, Who rescues David His servant from the hurtful sword [of evil].11 Rescue me and deliver me out of the power of [hostile] alien [tribes] whose mouths speak deceit and whose right hands are right hands [raised in taking] fraudulent oaths.12 When our sons shall be as plants grown large in their youth and our daughters as sculptured corner pillars hewn like those of a palace;13 When our garners are full, affording all manner of store, and our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our pastures;14 When our oxen are well loaded; when there is no invasion [of hostile armies] and no going forth [against besiegers–when there is no murder or manslaughter] and no outcry in our streets;15 Happy and blessed are the people who are in such a case; yes, happy (blessed, fortunate, prosperous, to be envied) are the people whose God is the Lord!

 

Proverbs 20

1 WINE IS a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler; and whoever errs or reels because of it is not wise. 2 The terror of a king is as the roaring of a lion; whoever provokes him to anger or angers himself against him sins against his own life.3 It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel.4 The sluggard does not plow when winter sets in; therefore he begs in harvest and has nothing.5 Counsel in the heart of man is like water in a deep well, but a man of understanding draws it out. 6 Many a man proclaims his own loving-kindness and goodness, but a faithful man who can find?7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; blessed (happy, fortunate, enviable) are his children after him.8 A king who sits on the throne of judgment winnows out all evil [like chaff] with his eyes.9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? 10 Diverse weights [one for buying and another for selling] and diverse measures–both of them are exceedingly offensive and abhorrent to the Lord. 11 Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right.12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye–the Lord has made both of them.13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes and you will be satisfied with bread.14 It is worthless, it is worthless! says the buyer; but when he goes his way, then he boasts [about his bargain].15 There is gold, and a multitude of pearls, but the lips of knowledge are a vase of preciousness [the most precious of all]. 16 [The judge tells the creditor] Take the garment of one who is security for a stranger; and hold him in pledge when he is security for foreigners.17 Food gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.18 Purposes and plans are established by counsel; and [only] with good advice make or carry on war.19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely. 20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in complete darkness.21 An inheritance hastily gotten [by greedy, unjust means] at the beginning, in the end it will not be blessed. 22 Do not say, I will repay evil; wait [expectantly] for the Lord, and He will rescue you. 23 Diverse and deceitful weights are shamefully vile and abhorrent to the Lord, and false scales are not good.24 Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?25 It is a snare to a man to utter a vow [of consecration] rashly and [not until] afterward inquire [whether he can fulfill it].26 A wise king winnows out the wicked [from among the good] and brings the threshing wheel over them [to separate the chaff from the grain].27 The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. 28 Loving-kindness and mercy, truth and faithfulness, preserve the king, and his throne is upheld by [the people’s] loyalty.29 The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is their gray head [suggesting wisdom and experience].30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil, and strokes [for correction] reach to the innermost parts.