O Give Thanks!

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 107:1).

Looking around at the negative, tragic events that occur almost daily, one might think there is no reason to give thanks to God. But there is! In spite of all the devastation of property, loss of lives, and emotional despair, God is still good and if it was not for His mercy, I would not be writing this morning and no one would be reading this! Glory to God–Give Him praise!

I haven’t lost my mind, but I do realize there are some things we cannot control and rather than be resentful and bitter, I’ve decided to allow everything that happens to make me a better person and certainly a more studious, scholar of God’s Word and intent for our lives.

We all have a choice. We can allow the events of life to control us or we can control our reactions and responses to the events of life. It is our choice! I choose Jesus–through Him and His love, I can do all things well–even with my responses to life’s events.

While we pray for those who have been displaced because of the storms, heart-broken because of the loss of lives in a number of situations, let us pray they will allow God to comfort hearts and allow Him to give them insight to peace and forward movement. Let’s pray for more people using the events to get closer to God and come into a right relationship with Him instead of being bitter towards God. O give Thanks to the Lord!

O God, help us to be better and not bitter about those things we cannot control. Help us to see good in everything that happens because there is something good that can be found–to Your glory. Give us a heart of compassion to help those in need and to encourage them to keep going. This we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen!



Enjoy The Moment!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).

We know how to recognize the enemy–it’s been told repeatedly, but know let’s take a look at the other side of the coin-having life to the full or as the KJV states, “abundant life.”

Unfortunately, so many Christians feel they have to be “somber and sour” (their version of holiness) and never enjoy life because if they did, they wouldn’t be “saved.” I have news for those who think that way. Once we are saved, born again, born anew–having become new creations in Christ, we should enjoy every moment we live–because we have access to eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He intended for us to enjoy life!

We have been told to laugh–for laughter is like medicine and good for the soul. How can we laugh if we think we are too holy to laugh and enjoy life? Well, what we are waiting for today? Get up and out and find a reason to smile, laugh and enjoy life because we are expected to enjoy the abundant life He has given us.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to enjoy every moment of life on this side of heaven, no matter what the enemy does or attempts to do. I will not allow him to steal my joy and trust me, he tries, daily!

This is the day and this is the moment that I shall enjoy the joy of the Lord in everything I do and I will ignite the joy of the Lord in others so they will want to be in my presence! My proclamation for the day! Enjoy the moment--if we can’t find any other reason to laugh, laugh at the devil and remind him that he has no power over our lives because we have victory in Jesus!

Life’s Milestones!

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”(I Chronicles 16:34)

O give thanks unto the Lord for all He has done and is doing and will do in our lives!

Celebrating another milestone today–and in the lives of everyone–that milestone could be different for a variety of reasons.

Celebrations of life milestones: (Birthdays)

1st        5th      7th     10th   12th   13th   16th  21st   25th  30th  40th   50th   60th   70th   80th   90th   100th and beyond


Jobs, graduations, careers, publications, honors, awards, recognitions, births of children, losses of loved ones, etc.

Beginning to live  (beyond birthdays) is another milestone for most Believers–the day we began to understand how much God loves us and what it meant to live for Him! That’s a milestone most never forget.

Thinking back to the life of Jesus–we have no idea how He celebrated milestones in His life, but we do know that receiving Him as Savior in our lives is a milestone for us. We know what happened about the time He was twelve and then when He was thirty. We know He lived and had to do something in between those times, but we do not know what it was. Is it even important to know? He accomplished more during His short tenure of ministry than many of us will ever accomplish if we live to be 100.

That does not mean we should not try to do those things that are right in the sight of God; it simply means that we should be thankful for each milestone–whatever that might be.

It took the death of my youngest brother to bring me to a place where I realized that I did not know how to live because I did not have the direction of the One who loved me the most guiding me in all I did. With his death, Satan almost succeeded in taking me out as well, but God had a plan and it began to unfold almost 30 years ago and is yet unfolding, daily.

So, today, I’m celebrating living–He has given me one more year and I pray that I have made Him proud of me during the past year. And while I celebrate–I’m giving thanks for the next 35 years–and praying for His direction in all that I do so I can hear Him say, “Well done” when the time comes.

What milestones are you celebrating? Whatever they are–O give thanks unto The Lord!

To Whom Shall We Go?

“Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (John 6:68 NASB).

Sometimes when people hear truth and truth pricks their conscience, they would rather leave the person who spoke truth so they will not have to face themselves. This is the case with many of those who followed Jesus. When He spoke truth about His origins and His relationship with The Father, they could not handle it. They could not comprehend what He was said about a “spiritual” truth and misunderstood what He said based on their “literal” or “concrete” knowledge. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (6:63 NASB).

I have noticed that when I write truth, many who would follow cease to do so. I can only imagine that the truths that I write, prick their consciences and they would rather live under the assumptions of lies than deal with truth. What truth? The truth about living right before God. The truth about not re-defining or refuting what God has said. The truth about understanding the all of the Bible and not selectively determining that only certain passages of the Bible matter. I could go, but enough has been said for now.

I can only imagine how Jesus must have felt, but then He said He knew from the beginning who would follow and who would betray Him. I have often wondered why some choose to follow me; especially since my stance about God’s Word has not been cloaked with innuendo and falsehood, but clearly revealed. I clearly understand what Peter meant when He said, “but where can we go and retain eternal life” (my paraphrase). The answer is quite simply–we can not have eternal life apart from a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

If we are afraid of hearing truth or seeing truth–it can only mean that we are not living according to God’s truth–but man’s. People get angry and incensed when truth strikes a nerve and they are forced to deal with their lies or behavior they know is not condoned by God. Sin–when exposed–tends to ignite hatred in those who are committing the sin and they attempt to make everyone else the villain, not willing to confess or admit their wrongdoing.

It really does not matter whether they confess their sin or admit it to others–God knows and it is He who determines their final outcome. God does not send anyone to hell–hell, like behavior, is a choice we make when we choose to disobey or deceive others about God’s Word.

I choose to follow Truth and I would hope that those who follow me or friend me are on the same page of Truth as I am. But if people decide to “unfollow” me, I’ll continue to pray that Truth will prick their consciences so badly that they’ll have no other place to go, than to follow Jesus!

Favor and Life!

“For he who finds me finds life,  And obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 8:35 NASB).

Have you found Him?

Have you found The One who gives Life?

Have you found He who gives you favor all your life?

Have you discovered that with Him, you are never alone?

Have you lived the abundant Life He promises to all who receive Him into their lives?

Have you seen Him operating in the lives of others on a regular basis?

Have you felt His love towards like no other love?

Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior?

Have has your name been written in the Book of Life?

Have you acknowledged that favor on your life with others because of Him?

Well, have you?

The questions could go on and on, but there is only one response that He is seeking. “Yes, I have…” The promises of The Lord are always, Yes and Amen, but there are some who are not even aware of His promises; the promises of Life Abundantly for those who believe and receive and the promise of death for those who don’t.

We must always remember all of His promises are true–and the death that occurs, occurs spiritually, before it results in a natural death. Look around you and then look into His Word. From beginning to end–we have a choice to make–choosing life or death. I choose life and His Favor with others.

The very next verse advises us as to what happens to those who sin against God and it is their choice–not His.

Seek Him, while you yet have opportunity to do so. Repent and receive His unmerited favor–with Him and with others. Love as He loves and enjoy the abundant life He has waiting–just for you.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us gain greater insight into Your Word so we never do anything that will displease You. Help us to understand that we do not have to cave to the dictates of flesh, but can have the abundant life You promise when we obey You. Bring us into a closer relationship with You so we will understand “relationship trumps religion.”


The Path of Life!

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)monticello 2012 018

If we know there is a path that leads to life, there must be a path that leads to death. When we are at a crossroad in our lives–standing at the intersection–trying to determine which way to go–God makes it known to us which path we should take–if we hear Him. Sometimes, because of our haste to get where we “want to be” we take the wrong path and miss the joy that was waiting for us on the path where God wanted us to be.

There is a way that “seems” right to man, but the end thereof is death. The paths we take don’t always lead to a “physical death” but they do manage to kill the soul, deprive us of joy, and deter our spirits with sadness. Those roads we choose when we allow the flesh to dictate our every move instead of waiting and listening to hear God. Most of us have made wrong turns and it took us a while to find our way back to the path were God wanted us to be–where we now know joy, peace, and love.

Was there any joy on the path of destruction we took when we did not know better?

Was there peace on the paths of confusion and chaos that we followed when we thought people were more important to us than God?

Did we ever find true love–unconditional love–along the way we chose, looking for love in all the wrong places?

Thank God for Jesus! Because of His love for us, we are now on the right path--the path of life–understanding and experiencing the abundant life that we are promised when we follow Jesus. The joy of The Lord is our strength and we know on this path, we are never alone and when we get tired or weary, He is always there–the pillar on which we can lean, without fear of it crumbling. We have access to the peace of God that surpasses all understanding–on the path of life. No matter what is going on around us, no matter how much chaos or confusion ensues from those who are influenced by the enemy, we can know and have peace in our spirits and joy overflowing.

Make sure you are on the right path–the path of life–so you can experience the joy and love of God and share it with others.

Lord Jesus, thank You for speaking to our hearts and turning us around from the paths of destruction on which we once travelled. Thank You for loving us enough to make a way for us to have access to heaven and eternal life.

Choices And Consequences!

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…”(Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).

To be blessed or be cursed--is a choice we make–based upon our decisions.

We either choose life–being obedient in all that God says, or we choose death, being cursed–when we disobey.

In the life of a true believer–the choice is simple. We understand the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. When we know God through our relationship with Him–nothing that happens in life is a surprise. We know we are either blessed or cursed and we know we are the ones who choose whether we are blessed or cursed.

Today, a decision has to be made that will affect the rest of our lives and the lives of our children. We must exercise wisdom in all things and know that God has established a credible witness (Holy Spirit) who will testify to what He sees and hears. We cannot fool God–we can only fool people and that for only a short period of time. The truth will always be revealed–when we least expect it–the lies shall be uncovered for all the world to see. Shed the cloak of deception and drape the garment of righteousness around you and those you love–choose life and be blessed!

Leave no room–in your heart or mind–for the enemy to continue to influence your thoughts and what you do. Time is not manipulated by us, but controlled by God. We have been given another chance to get it right–let’s do it, today!

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to understand that we must obey Your Word, even when it goes against the grain of popular opinion or political correctness. It is Your Word that gives us life and puts us into position to be blessed by You. Give us the strength to stand against the winds of adversity–fully focused on doing Your Will and not our own. We declare all works of the enemy void and powerless in our lives and it is done! Amen!

Can You Hear The Crying?

Can you hear the crying

From those who were not born

Their bodies sucked out and torn

Flesh disposed of, never to be worn?

Can you hear the crying

From war bombed countries in Pakistan

Iraq, Syria, and in Afghanistan, or the shores of Africa

Now here, now there—bombs falling everywhere,

Blowing apart countries and hearts of those left behind?

Can you hear the crying

Of those who are starving, poor, and homeless

Wandering the streets, being used and abused

To get a crumb of food to survive, just to do it again?

Can you hear the crying,

Of those whose bodies are shredded by gunfire

From illegal weapons on the streets in every city,

Where the NRA has imposed its goals—weapons for sale

To all—mentally unstable, criminal and more, but don’t check

Their backgrounds, you infringe upon their constitutional rights,

And politicians are blinded by green and don’t see the right of those

Who choose to live without fear of bullets flying with no name attached?

Can you hear the crying

Of mothers and fathers lost and depressed

Unemployment and poverty has no redress

Republicans who have forgotten The Word

They profess to live by, but don’t,

“Defend the rights of the poor and the needy”

Their creed, just legislate laws that are meant for the greedy?

Can you hear the crying

Of children ignored, but not ignorant

Education denied them when poverty reigns

And Republican politicians have often disdained

By cutting funding that could cure the ills

Of society, crime galore for which all complain?

Can you hear the crying

Of seniors who have paid their dues

And worked all their lives and now

Have to choose medication over food,

Just to survive another day of humiliation?

Can you hear the crying,

Of those who have died

And the families who cried

Because healthcare was not available, nor affordable

And politicians, Republicans mostly, denied

Them the right to medical care?

Can YOU hear the crying?

Can you HEAR the crying?

Can you hear the CRYING?

Then do something about it

Or you may be next, crying in vain!

What A Mirror Reflects of God

A loving God with a sense of humor, constantly reminds us of our fragile, human flaws.

As I was getting dressed this morning, I took a good look at the aging body reflected in the mirror. The sags, the bags, the crinkles and wrinkles, the lumps and bumps and thought, “Oh my God! My body is rebelling!  You see, like many of us, I see what I want to see. My mind’s eyes see a youthful, shake-it-up baby body.   A body that always attracted the attention of the men, but the most attention it gets now is, “I can imagine how she used to look.” You can see the pity in their eyes as they turn away, not wanting to stare, but you caught it.  But in your mind’s eyes, you don’t have a clue.

Looking in the mirror at the reflection of a body that some how, I wish were younger–not!

If I was younger, I’d have to start all over to get where I am and trust me, that was not a pretty journey.  So, I’ll live with the realityof God’s humor in allowing us to have–just for a moment–a glorious time in life when we knew we had it going on.

We still have it going on, and on, and on–we just don’t know where it might end!

When you look down at your feet and can’t see them–don’t sweat it, get moving!

When you realize you don’t see as well as you used to see–get glasses and keep stepping.

When you can’t move as fast as you used to move–take a praise break, as often as you need and keep on trucking!

When you feel like life has gotten the best of you–look in the mirror and remember that you have gotten the best out of life and you are what God intended you to be.

I can look at the spots and wrinkles, the sags and bags and I can see my feet when I look down, but I know on this side of 60, I must have a sense of humor to appreciate where I am and where I have yet to go!  God has a plan and I’m living it with joy in my heart and a smile on my face, just the way He planned it.

Live Life Loved and Loving

Life is worth living when we know we are loved and appreciated. Know today, that you are loved (by God and many others) and appreciated by those who know your true value and worth. Extend the love today and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, everywhere you go–especially at the restaurants many will visit after church :-). God is good all the time and all the time He is God!