Saturday, December 31, 2016

Praise God for 2016!

I did it. I know some of you won't see the significance. I finished my annual reading of the entire Bible last night. This is only a recent phenomenon for me. I started doing it about 12 years ago and as far as I can remember I think I have completed this 10 times. The other two years, I concentrated on ONLY the New Testament. I do not share this to brag about how great I am. I mention this only to say I have learned so much by studying the word of God. I haven't set my personal goal for 2017, but I can promise I will spend time listening to the ancient words of our Creator. 

There is no other God like our God. I don't know a lot about Hindu gods, the muslim's faith, or any other of the world religions. The only thing I can tell you....... My God, the God of Isaac and Jacob, the God that sent his Son into the world to save us from sure death, the God that has prepared a permanent home for me in Heaven, is active and REAL in my life. I am blessed. Yet,  I know that if my life were left to just my own doing, it would have failed miserably. In fact, I have tried to do things on my own and YES I have failed in every way imaginable. When I turn to God, miraculously, my life changes.  I overcome the difficulties in my life, I defeat the challenges, not by my power by HIS. 

In 2016 my prayers have been answered. I long prayed for my daughter and her kids to return to Indiana. That prayer was answered. I prayed their house would sell, that prayer was answered today. I have prayed for my CMA family and there are countless answers to those prayers. Several of my school family have faced challenges, God has helped them overcome. I have seen his miraculous hand. I am convinced more and more every day that he is REAL and he walks with me every day. My life is blessed ONLY THROUGH HIM. 

I can't wait until 2017. To see his powerful hand, to see him work in my life and the lives of his people PRAISE GOD FOR HIS WONDERFUL MERCY AND GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Is that the best you have to give?

“Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me. ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58:2-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We Christians are far from perfect. I know because I might be the furthest. Yet, I see so many followers trying to present the air of perfection. It saddens me that many of the lost see right through the shirad. Who do we think we are fooling? 

What saddens me even more is the thought that we can fool God. We try to follow the rituals of worship without praising God from our hearts. We say we fight for the widows, orphans and homeless, yet only do so out of obligation. We walk through our ministry to fulfill a requirement, to check off a duty, thinking we can please the Lord with our hollow service. 

We need to examine ourselves. Are we giving the best we have to give?  We need to be genuine in our lives. We can't fool God. Our hearts, our souls, and our minds need to be transformed, not out of obligation, but because of love of  God and our genuine concern for humanity? The love our God has shown us, with perfect grace, needs to be on display. We need to do more than just go through the motions. True faith will shine through. God will see it and so will the lost.

Friday, December 16, 2016

One little baby

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on Davidʼs throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬.

Christmas is for all time. How amazing is it that the birth of one little baby would have such an impact on the World? I am more aware of my blessings this time of the year. Being the end of the year I start to reflect on the year but I also look back on my life. Jesus has been my wonderful counselor, mighty God, father, and my prince of peace. He has been my rock, my redeemer, and ultimately the love of my life. I have been blessed through him and by him. I am humbled by the grace and mercy I receive every waking moment of my life. Family, health, jobs, friends, and ministry opportunities are all blessings from God. Praise God for my life. I will strive to serve you more each day. I will strive to share your wonderful love. Thank you Lord!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Singing to the Lord at Christmas

“And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”” Isaiah‬ ‭6:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

The Christmas season is filled with wonderful sounds and songs. I love Christmas music, Noel, Silent Night, O Holy Night, Gloria, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and so many more. I love the radio stations filled with Christmas. I love Christmas Choirs. I love the old fashioned church Christmas Cantata. We sing the songs to celebrate, to praise God for the wonderful gift of his son. Our songs should be sung throughout the entire year. Songs of joy and praise should be a part of our lives in every waking moment. Christmas may be the season of music, but we should just use that joy to propel ourselves into the new year.

God is wonderful. God deserves our praise, he deserves to hear our voices lifted in song to him. Take time now, during this season, but also throughout 2017, to praise God and sing to him through your prayers and your actions! I love you Lord. I am blessed beyond all I can comprehend. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I watch in hope!

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”
‭‭Micah‬ ‭7:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Christmas time is such a wonderful time of hope and joy. They say that's not always true. I say hope occurs not out of plenty, or blessings. Hope comes directly from the Lord. Hope comes when we cry out and he answers as clearly as if we were walking side by side.  The Lord hears and answers. I know this! For those who do not feel the hope and joy of the season, turn to Jesus. For those that are experience the best times of their lives, turn to Jesus. Your joy will not be complete without the Savior of the world.

Our powerful God heard the cry of the world and sent his son, Jesus. He is the God of Christmas. He is the God of hope, peace, and joy. Over my lifetime I have never been abandoned. He hears my cry and rescues me. He will hear you too! Praise God for his love!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Changed the World

““But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.”
‭‭Micah‬ ‭5:2-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Christmas, the most magical time of the year. Praise God for the gift of a baby, his son, sent to save the world. No other single event has impacted our planet as much as his birth. It saddens me that this wonderful time of the year has been twisted to dismiss the birth of Jesus. I heard of a sign in some American city that says, "Make Christmas Great Again, stay home from church!"

May the followers of Jesus, the church, keep the faith and focus on serving the Lord to save others.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Peace on Earth!

“People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the LORD’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The LORD will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!”
‭‭Micah‬ ‭4:2-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As we move closer to Christmas, I always think of Peace on Earth! I know it seems like only a dream, but the Lord promises peace. Praise God for his perfect plan future we have with him in heaven. Praise God we have time to promote peace among all men. May we take this enduring Christmas message and make it our own in 2017. We have control over whether we do our part to create peace. We might not be able to control hate groups, but we can create a community of love within our own sphere of influence. If enough people would do that, the world would truly be at peace.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Evil among us!

“Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.”3 John‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It has been almost a year since I  began carrying a concealed handgun. With all the craziness going on in this world, terrorists, racial discontent, and the political divide, i just felt it necessary to protect my family and community by taking this big step. There are evil people in this world. Everyone would agree with that. Sadly, there are also Christians in this world that are bad example, people claiming to be Christians that do not live their lives worthy of Christ. We should not follow them.


Time will tell. Patience, Gods time, will prove one way or another. What this verse tells me is that it's not my place to worry about if a Christian is really the leader Christ wants me to follow. God will guide me. It will be proven who Gods true followers are. If I try to prematurely judge, by my wisdom, I will be wrong. God has a filter, the life of a sinner is filtered through God's judgment , not mine. If God sees we are innocently being led by a bad example, he will rescue us. We needn't fear. As in all things, our relationship with the Father is key. Our communication with the Lord will be sufficient. Our only fear is when we fall away, turning a deaf ear to the Lord.

Our ears always need to be tuned to the voice of our Savior. We beg for guidance,but forget to listen. We are not aware of his presence because we don't know him. Every sense we have needs to be dedicated to Jesus. When we do that the adventure we call life will be a wonderfully exciting experience and we will be protected from evil. Praise God he cares enough to guide every step.