Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is you life barren and unfruitful???

This morning I struggle as many of you do on a daily basis with being patient through trying times. It seems easy to sit back on days that everything is going fine, and let God lead us along. What about the times when things aren't going the way you want them to? What about when you know what is the best for the situation, but can't make it happen? Do we throw our hands up at God and say "I've got this one handled?"

My reading this morning comes from 2 Peter 1:3-8..."According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

It clearly is stated here that through His divine power, we have been given everything that we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him...But, what about this or that??? Check out verse 4...through His glory and virtue we have been given great and precious promises, and by them we can share in divine nature and escape the corruption in this world. Isn't it the corruption that seeps into our minds, allowing us to think we know what is best? I mean, do we really believe that???

Verse 5 goes on to state that for that very reason, we need to add virtue to our faith (in Holman it states supplement faith with goodness) and knowledge to virtue. Faith isn't the only thing to get us through...we have to be involved in the working of the Lord in our lives! Along with our faith in God, we should be striving to do and show good to those we contact. We also are told to add knowledge to our virtue (goodness). Where do you go for knowledge??? In school, you look for a book on a subject to learn and gain knowledge. The knowledge we are to seek is from the Lord...and there is nowhere to find that but in His Word!!!

Continuing on in verse 6, we are called to add temperance (self-control), patience (endurance) and godliness. Self-control...that's a sticky one for many of us, right? The next one can be such a challenge...patience or endurance. Especially when you are following God's plan in your life, it gets frustrating when things still don't go according to plan. The problem is, we are looking at the plan as being ours...not His, right? And if we are able to stay patient and endure through the struggles, we need to add in godliness. I believe this follows a specific order for a good reason. When you add each of these to your life (truly), you are ready for the next step in growth spiritually. If you try to show godliness without self-control, patience, faith, knowledge, etc..what exactly are you showing???

In verse 7, we continue with brotherly kindness and charity. Brotherly kindness should be an easy one, but many times quite the opposite. When we speak of brotherly kindness, we aren't speaking of human families, but in the family of God. You don't get to pick your family...but you do have to show love to one another. Our preacher has a saying he got from an elder in church years ago that I believe sums this one up, "We can disagree, but let's not be disagreeable". This is so true. We may not like the same songs, college teams, musical styles, activities, carpet and tile combinations, etc but we are in this for the furthering of God's kingdom. If we can't show love to one another, how can we show charity (love) to those who aren't a part of the family?

Finally, in verse 8, we realize that if all these above are in us AND ABOUND (can be seen, not tucked away), we will not be barren and unfruitful in our knowledge of the Lord. I also believe that not only our knowledge will be fruitful, but our works will as well. Strive to follow these today and everyday from now...the Lord will bless you!!!

Let me know if there is a special prayer I can word on your behalf today...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good name or great riches???

Proverbs 22:1-4..."A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (2) The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all. (3) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (4) By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life."

Is this the way we truly live our lives? Notice, I said "we"...I don't pretend to be some "super-Christian" who lives in the "righteous" manner at all times. Do my actions represent leaving a good name behind, or someone looking for the BBD (Bigger Better Deal)??? Regardless of our financial status on earth, we will meet together in heaven, because the Lord is the maker of us all!

In verse 3, it states a prudent man (definition...marked by wisdom or judiciousness) sees evil in his way and hides from it...A simple man (who doesn't see what's to come) just "goes with the flow" and will be punished. Are we aware of what's going on around us, or do we walk aimlessly, being hit on the left and right by snares we should avoid?

Verse 4 wraps this whole thing up..."By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life"...Being humble, fearing the Lord is where we find our riches, honour and life...How profound!!! By decreasing ourselves and letting Him increase (John 3:30), we stand to gain!

May we take a backseat today in our walk with the Lord and let Him guide our walking and talking. Commit to take Him at His word...

Please let me know if I can word a special prayer for you today...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Let your light shine...

Today's reading is in Matthew 5:14-16..."Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

This comes from the Sermon on the Mount and is proclaiming that we are to be a light to the world, and that a light set upon a hill can't be hidden. In Acts 13:47, it describes the spiritual light we are to be as a "light of the Gentiles" and that we should be a light for salvation unto the ends of the world...brings to mind our memory verse for PowerUP this week, Acts 1:8..."But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Jud├Ža, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

In verse 15, it speaks to those who have their light hidden, trying to live a secret Christian life. We shouldn't be hiding our Christianity, but rather sharing it...putting it on a stick that it may show light to those around us (in and out of our house, so to speak).

Finally, in verse 17 it says we should let our light shine to ALL men, that they will see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven...Once again, not glorify us for what we have done! We're not the ones who have done great and mighty things. We are sometimes used as a vessel that is used to produce good deeds. As the first part of James 1:17 states..."Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights"...

Let's not cover our candle, but let it shine brightly to those around us today. Like the children's song states..."Hide it under a bush, oh no, I'm gonna let it shine"...and..."let it shine till Jesus comes"...

Please let me know if there is a special prayer I can word on your behalf today!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's be loud!!!

This morning, we had a group of adults and students gather for breakfast, followed by the "See You at the Pole" prayer time. As the students went to their respective schools, the adults met at the City Park for a time of prayer for school administration, teachers, and students. It was during our prayer time that one of the adults prayed (not verbatim)..."may we be loud mouths when it comes to telling others about you, Lord!"

Wow! That hit me hard. Too often we try to sound PC (politically correct) about everything and don't want to be considered a loud mouth, but here this person was praying that we would be. Did you ever think that's what we're supposed to do?

So, I came back to the office and started looking up references in the Bible to loud voices being used. These verses stood out: Psalms 98:4, Luke 17:15, and Luke 19:37. Let's look at what they have to say...

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise." - Psalms 98:4

This verse puts it rather simply...make a loud noise...rejoice...sing praise. Maybe we will get some looks, but I see nothing that even remotely asks us to be quiet!

"And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God," - Luke 17:15

We who know Jesus have been healed, like the leper in this verse...we, too, should praise and glorify with a loud voice to be heard.

"And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;" - Luke 19:37

Let me see a show of hands...how many of us have seen mighty works done through the Lord? Shouldn't we be praising Him for what's been done? Shouldn't we want to tell everybody we run into about what He's done for us?

The prayer this morning just opened my eyes and heart that we can't afford to sit back and be PC anymore. We have been silent too long, and have lost many of our rights that our nation was founded on. May we stand up and let our voices be heard!!! Will you be loud with me???

If there is a special prayer I can word on your behalf, please let me know today...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Declare what He has done...

The text for today is Psalm 66:16-20..."Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. (17) I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. (18) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me : (19) But verily God hath heard me ; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. (20) Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me."

First off, we see David excited to share what God is doing in his life. Hmm, sounds like something we should all be doing, right? Anyway, he talks about how he cried to the Lord with his mouth (aloud, not silent) and He was extolled with his tongue. I don;t know about you, but I had to pull out the dictionary for that one, just to make sure I was grasping it correctly. Extol means to praise highly or glorify. So, simply stated, the Lord was glorified by David's prayer...When we pray do we glorify God with our cries? If others heard our petitions, would they see God glorified, or just see a Christian asking for more? I am not saying we can't and shouldn't ask God for things, but our prayer should bring Him praise!!!

Verse 18 gives us a bit of a wake-up call..."If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me". To me, this speaks of our secret or hidden sins...is there really such a thing? (NO) If we are holding on to sin in our lives, the Lord won't hear our prayers. This makes it that much more important to cry out to God when we sin, rather than waiting...

Obviously, David confessed regularly because the Lord heard him, listened to his prayers, and was merciful upon him.

Do you feel like your prayers are not getting above the ceiling? not getting answered? Does it feel like His mercy is turned from you? Glorify God in your prayers, confess and let go of sin in your life, and turn from them...God will attend to the voice of your prayers...and will not turn His mercy from you.

When you do these things, you will be sharing with others what God has done for you with excitement!!!

Please let me know if there is a prayer I can word on your behalf today...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Continue in what you have learned...

My reading this morning took me to 2 Timothy 3:14-17..."But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ; (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

This is a call to continue in what we have been taught. We are to also be mindful of Whom it was that taught us. We haven't been taught by humanity's teachings, but rather those of the God we serve. Since we grew up, those of us who were raised in churches have known what the Bible tells us.

The truths we have learned have led us to salvation through our faith in Jesus Christ. That is the same way we all have been saved, regardless of upbringing, lifestyle, or skin color...through faith in Jesus Christ!

The next verse is key to faith in God's written Word..."All scripture is given by inspiration of God"...it doesn't say some, most, or a little, but rather ALL!!! If you can't believe all scripture is given by doctrine, how can you decide which is and which isn't? Is it based upon our ideas? our likes? our dislikes? God have mercy if we have the final say-so of what is from God and what is not...

The verse doesn't end there, either...it continues that the Word is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness"...What does that mean to you and me? That the Word can be the guide to our living this life on earth...for EVERYTHING!!! In our daily walk, keeping ourselves in subjection, correcting our errors, and learning how to live righteously.

In the final verse, it states "that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished to all good works". None of us will ever be perfect, because of our fallen Adamic nature. But, when we follow the precepts laid out in the Bible, we can become closer to perfection everyday. The last statement really jumps out at me...that we be throughly furnished...not thoroughly, but throughly! That means completely, not partially, not mostly. We hinder God's work in our lives by only allowing Him to have a part in our lives, rather than giving Him our lives and asking what He would have us to do...

Be mindful of what you have learned in your studies of the Word. Let your life be led by the examples it has set before you...

Please let me know if there is a special prayer I can say for you today...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Confess to each other...

James 5:16-18..."Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (17) Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. (18) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."

Do you carry around baggage that weighs you down emotionally? Do you wish you could drop some or have someone help carry it? Maybe you've prayed and asked forgiveness, but have you ever shared your inner secrets with another?

Sometimes, what you need is a chance to open up and let it pour out, right? A counselor isn't the only person you can talk to, either. Do you have someone you can open up to? The Bible is teaching here to open up to a brother or sister in Christ. We all have our faults and part of growing together corporately is sharing our faults with one another that we may pray for one another. Not just praying for the back pain, the arthritis, or the in-law situations, but also the "inner demons" they face. It says for us to pray like that so we might be healed. Did you realize you needed healing? Listen up...you do!!!

Continuing in verse 17, it mentions that Elias was a man with passions like we have. He prayed earnestly...not grudgingly, not because he had to. He prayed for it to not rain, and you know what? It didn't...for three years and six months. For those of us in the Great Plains of the U.S. it sometimes seems like it's been that long, but not even close.

The amazing thing comes in verse 18...he prayed again, and it rained, and the earth brought forth her fruit. Here is a man like us, who prayed and asked God to stop the rain first, then asked to rain again and it happened. The key to having a prayer life that gets heard by God is??? At the end of verse 16..."The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Pray with boldness, confess to one another, pray for one another (deeply), and have faith. The God who halted the rain for Elias, can calm any storm in your life today. Please let me know how I can word a prayer for you today...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Have you suffered???

1 Peter 4:1 & 2..."Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."

I was just talking with someone about this topic a few minutes ago...more along the lines of the "Prodigal Son", though (see Luke 15:11-32). You know, when we go through the hard times, often it brings us closer to a relationship to God. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes our lowest times to fall flat on our faces for us to lift our eyes to the One that is above ourselves.

As we were talking, we spoke about when the Prodigal Son decided to go home that he probably passed countless pig farms. Was he ever enticed to go work there, or were his eyes upon the prize (his father's house)? Did he ever look at corn the same way? When we go through life, are we drawn back into the same miry pits we have dwelt in, or are our eyes even more fixed upon our Father's house?

When we have suffered in our humanity and ask for help, it tends to make it that much more important to never go there again. We see what we have done not only to ourselves, but those around us.

What is it in your life? Is it the movie you shouldn't watch, the drink you know should pass on, the words you should avoid, the crowd, or what? Whatever it is that brings you down, AVOID!!! You have so much to gain by doing God's will and so much to lose by giving in!

Like the passage says: "he that suffereth in the flesh hath ceased from sin"...If you've suffered, don't dwell on it, but also don't forget it! It may be what inspires you to stay on the straight and narrow!!!

If there is a prayer that I can word on your behalf today, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hold fast...

This morning's passage is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22..."Rejoice evermore. (17) Pray without ceasing. (18) In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (19) Quench not the Spirit. (20) Despise not prophesyings. (21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (22) Abstain from all appearance of evil."

These verses are straight to the point at all of us, and I include myself. Through our daily trials and tribulations, we are to follow these guidelines. I didn't see any of these being suggestions. No nudges saying you oughta do this or that...like the Nike ads state "Just do It". The same here.

Rejoice evermore...whether good or bad, richer or poorer, sickness and health...I know it sounds like vows, but not to a bride - to our Lord.

Pray without ceasing...have you ever really tried that? Throughout a day actually talking to God? I can hear you doubting, "what about interruptions, kids, phone calls?" those come with the territory, but you truly can talk to God all day.

In everything give thanks...that's a tough one. When things are good, it's easy. But what about when your kid gets detention, storms damage your property, loved one gets ill? Those times our humanity can keep us from seeing that God is in control. His perfect will is above our understanding. But, we are called to rejoice, regardless.

Quench not the Spirit...do you even know what that means? My interpretation has to do with dealing with others. You know, when someone is on fire for the Lord? You can see the Spirit working in them and through them. My feeling is that when we are working alongside one another, be careful as to not "quench" the fire God has placed in their hearts.

Despise not prophesyings...don't take lightly what is going on around you. Be ready for what God has promised to come. Don't rest and don't wait to do the work set before you. We know the time is short, but the work to be done is great!

Prove all things...be careful of your deeds and thoughts. Prove them based on the Word of God. Lay everything down at the feet of Jesus with prayer. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful what you get invoved with!

And, finally, Abstain from even the appearance of evil. Be careful what your walk looks like. It's not only about what you do, but how others perceive. I know you can't be perfect, but we need to be aware of how things appear to others. Once again, I go back to the saying..."you're the only Jesus some will ever see"...

I pray that you will be touched by the words in this passage today. Be joyful, give thanks, pray, don't quench the Spirit, prove all things, and be careful how you're seen.

Let me know if there is a concern in your life I can pray for today...be blessed!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A prayer for grace...

This morning, as every Monday morning, I pray that my eyes will be fixed upon the things of God and not on this world. When I was reading, I stopped at Psalm 19 and came across a prayer that each of us should raise to the Lord. It begins in verse 12...

"Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. (13) Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."

As we go through each day, we do sin. Whether you want to admit it or not, we are sinful beings. Sometimes, even though we have what we would think a great Christ-like day, we have sinned in our actions, words, or by omission.

I believe that is what David is referring to here. We as finite beings don't understand the infinite wisdom of God and can't grasp fully the sin we are indwelt with. Therefore, we need to pray for our secret faults as they are mentioned in the KJV.

In verse 13 he asks for power against what he calls presumptuous sins...Webster defines presumptuous like this: overstepping due bounds (as of propriety or courtesy) : taking liberties. So, David is asking to be kept from sinning willfully or boldly. He also states that if the sin doesn't overtake him he shall be upright and innocent.

Finally, in verse 14 may we be ever cognizant that our thoughts, meditation, and words be acceptable to the Lord, who is our strength and redeemer. If we keep our eyes on our redeemer and lean to His strength and not our own, the wiles of this world will have no allure to us.

My prayer today is that we may ask God to take away our presumptuous sins...What sin have you been taking liberty with? Will you turn it back over to Him and let yourself be upright and innocent? Please let me know if I can word a prayer of comfort for you today...

Friday, September 12, 2008

He calls me friend...

One of my favorite songs is "Friend of God" and it just amazes me that the God I serve would call me a friend. In the last part of James 2:23, speaking of Abraham, it states..."and he was called the Friend of God."

Looking before and after in the chapter, it is speaking about faith accompanied by works. This is talking about when he took Isaac up Mount Moriah in Genesis 22. That will always be a favorite passage of mine. Abraham not only had faith in his Lord, but he put his faith into action.

In verse 24 of James 2, it states..."Ye see then how that by works man is justified, and not by faith only." This is most definitely a call to work. Not sit and let someone else do the work. We have all been called to go out a preach the word to others. Not all of us are called to lead a Sunday School class, direct the choir, sing specials, speak to large congregations, but we are all called to tell others. That is where our works match up with our faith.

The final verse of James 2 reads..."For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." So, don't sit idly by and wait for someone else to carry the Word for you. Look around, who are you neglecting to share with??? If they see your faith put into action, they will want some of what you've got...Don't hide it under a bush, let it shine!!! You're a friend of God and others are looking for a true friend...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you???

I know this a bit of a change from the norm, but worth discussing. Normally, feedback is limited, but today I ask...what were you doing when you heard about the 9/11 attacks?

I remember driving up Hanging Rock Hill in Madison, Indiana. After dropping our pup off to check his broken leg, I was driving home listening to Garth Brooks "The Dance" when they broke in on the radio, "there has been a plane crash into a tower of the World Trade Center in NYC...no word on whether it was an accident or purposeful...stay tuned and we'll keep you updated"...

The rest of the day, my grandma and I spent following the news channel coverage. It was such a feeling of..."how can this be happening to us?(as a nation)" all day long. I remember the total shock when the first tower began to fall, then before long the second.

Now, seven years later, I still get choked up about what happened that affected so many people on that tragic day. So, once again, comment back and let me know where you were and your lasting memories of that day.

If you suffered a personal loss in the 9/11 attacks, my thoughts and prayers are with you this day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Show His marvellous works...

Psalms 9:1 & 2..."I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works. (2) I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High."

This passage made me stop and think...do I show forth His marvellous works??? When I am carrying burdens of my own, what shows? The cares of this world? The weariness of my body? My human emotions? Or, do I show the majesty of the Mighty God I serve?

The past week has been a struggle physically. There have been sleepless nights, worries, and pet issues...goes with the territory, right? My prayer is that my walk with God allows those burdens to be unseen. We are to cast all our cares upon Him and keep going.

This scripture reminds us we are to be glad, singing our praises to His name. It doesn't qualify itself by saying when we feel like it. It doesn't say only on Sunday mornings, evenings, or even Wednesday nights. It says show His works...sing...rejoice...be glad.

We always have the assurance of knowing the outcome of all this...HE WINS!!! So, be of good cheer, and let it show...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stuck in the mud...

Psalm 69:1-3..."Save me, O God; for the waters are come into my soul. (2) I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. (3) I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God."

I know this seems like a down message to be sending out, but to the contrary, we see that when we are down in the dumps God hears us. He wants to hear our cries in earnest. He wants to be in a close relationship with us. If you are close to someone you share the good and bad with them.

Take this illustration...if you're walking down a creek bed and get stuck deep into the mud, how can you get out? The harder and harder you try to get out, the deeper and deeper you get. You need something to hold on to and pull you to the dry ground. God's hand is there waiting for you to reach out.

It may seem like you are all alone at times, but not by His will. If we seclude ourselves in our pity, all we do is withhold His hand from helping. Open up to God and let Him help in good and bad times.

Too many times, the bad times are when we reach out. You know, we need to share our victories as well as our defeats with our Father in heaven. He would love to hear from you when things are good. Let Him be a part of everyday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My eyes are to Thee...

Many of you know that a group from our church went to the "Returning to God" conference this past weekend in Moore, OK. One of the things that stuck out to me for the time was our personal prayer time in our lives. God spoke to my heart about being sincere in my life, both in speech and action.

This morning, my reading comes from Psalms 141:8-10..."But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. (9) Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. (10) Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape."

If we keep our eyes upon the Lord in all we do and ask for His guidance, we can escape the sin that the world tries to indwell us with. Too many times, we as Christians try to make it by how WE live and OUR actions. True, good actions aren't a bad thing, but when led by human efforts, have the ability to fall. God's way is not our way. His thought are above our thoughts and are above reproach.

To be triumphant in your walk, lay down your burdens upon Him. In our prayers, we need to be open and sincere. Not only our prayers, but also our walk. Read verses 1-4 of this chapter when you get the chance...it's all about turning over to God and being steadfast.

May we every day be willing to put our lives in God's hands to lead us. May our eyes be on His will. Alow God to be your escape from the nets of the wicked.

If you ever have a need or prayer request, feel free to drop a line that I can know how to pray for you. Your feedback is also appreciated!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The potter's hands...

This morning, I have been doing some reading in Jeremiah. In chapter 18, I found the subject for today. Let's start reading in verse 1...

" The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
(2) Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
(3) Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold he wrought a work on the wheels.
(4) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
(5) Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
(6) O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."

This is another message of hope for every believer. No matter what you do, if you are willing to be used, the potter can mould you into a vessel for His best use.

It can be painful, as when a potter remakes a marred creation. He literally must break it in pieces then restart the process. That is what God does when need be. It does take a broken, contrite spirit to be used of God. Unfortunately, sometimes it's God that has to do the breaking.

The upside is that no matter where you are, God can use you. This is evident in my life. Long ago, I heard the call of God on my life, but was unwilling to give my all. After over 8 years of running, I came back to find Him standing there waiting with arms wide open. Since then, the road hasn't always been easy, but God has promised not to leave me or forsake me.

He gives the same promise to you! If God can use someone like me, He can use anyone. I am amazed and humbled everyday that the Maker of all has a plan which includes me. He has a plan for you, too. Open your heart to Him and heed His calling.

If I can say a prayer for you today, please let me know. I will keep any requests private and confidential. May you be blessed today.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who directs your path???

I was reading through several chapters in Psalms and Proverbs this morning, when this passage jumped out at me. It's in Proverbs 3:5-10...

(5) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
(6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
(7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
(8) It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
(9) Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase:
(10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."

This is a call to put all our trust in the Lord and wait for His will to be made evident. This is difficult, especially since we have been taught to do what we feel like doing. It is hard to give up and let God take the reigns of our lives.

There is plenty of reward for those that follow the will of God. When we give the best we have (our first-fruits) to the Lord, we shall be blessed likewise. In my adult years this has been a work in progress. It was always...I have to do this, this, and this with my money, time, talents and what's left over will have to be good enough. God sent His best to sacrifice on the cross so that we could be free of the consequences of sin if we confess. Doesn't that deserve more than our table scraps or left overs?

If we fear the Lord and flee from evil, it also states that it will be health to your body, and marrow to the bones, which is where our life's blood comes from. Seems pretty cut-and-dry when put that way.

It is a daily struggle for me to give my best, turn over authority in my life, and walk in God's will. Everyday, Satan works his hardest to trip us up, but if we've given God the reigns we have nothing to fear. Like the song from Steven Curtis Chapman states..."His strength is perfect when our strength is gone"...

May you let go today and let God lead your feet, mouth, hands, ears and eyes. You'll be amazed at what He can do with a willing soul. Have a great day and let me know how I can pray for you today...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Like a tree planted by the water...

This morning, we had a great time of sharing and Bible reading at our Men's Breakfast. This is a weekly occasion, with the first Wednesday of the month being a chance to go out to eat. We read from Job 38:1-5 and discussed becoming a man. It's not about being bold, strong and mighty like we get taught growing up in school, but rather about discerning the teachings of God. It's about knowing He's in control and letting Him lead our every move.

As I came back to do some reading and came across Psalms 1:1-3, which I would like to share with you..."Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

This passage speaks of a man who walks uprightly in the will of God. We are to shield ourselves from being in the wrong places, wrong company and wrong circumstances. When we separate ourselves from the wrong influences, we keep ourselves from unneedful temptation and allow God's voice to be heard. It's like I mentioned last week...if we are so indwelt by the noise of the world around us, is it any wonder we can't hear God speaking???

When we walk in the Lord and let His will guide us, it says we will be like a tree planted by the water. Not only will a tree by the water bring forth fruit, but it will also have a root system that is strong. If our root is strong in the Word of God, we will not be easily swayed by the sins the earth has to offer. It takes commitment to have an upright walk with the Lord.

I pray that you will make a commitment to see God's will for your life. It may be simply reaching out in kindness to a lost and hurting person at work today. Maybe you can make a meal for a family who's been battling illness and are weary. Or, maybe God is speaking to you about full-time ministry. To find what God wants in your life, you must first ask. It's easy to tell God what we want to do, but that's not necessarily what He has in mind. Take the time to draw closer and pray that His will in your life is seen.

If there is a need in your life, feel free to comment back to me about how I can pray for you...if you want it kept private, I will not post it at your request. If you are searching for answers and don't know where to turn, let me share with you how to find the answers...Have a blessed day!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Alltop site inclusion

Alltop, all the top storiesI know many of you saw that I had put a praise on the site through my Twitter feed about being included in Alltop. It is an all-inclusive blog and news site featuring blogs of all types, from entertainment, music, movies, and politics to support groups,etc. Only a few are selected in each genre and I feel honored to have been chosen.

The guys at Alltop just constructed a new site dedicated to christian blogs at christian.alltop.com. My blog is included with blogs from other religious denominations. This has been an opportunity to share the Bible with several new visitors to the site who have been directed via Alltop.

Pray that the Word will reach out to someone in time of need. Also, pray that I will be open to sharing what God would have me share daily in my writings and not rely on self. Thanks for your support and may we continue in the work we've been called to, regardless of where that may lead us...

Please feel free to leave any comments verbally or by clicking the thumbs up and down icons below the posts on the site. I look forward to hearing from you!!!

A shield for you...

This morning, I was reminded of a song that I was taught when singing with the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma. The song is based upon Psalms 3:3-4. I will begin today in verse 1...

"Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. (2) Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. (3) But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (4) I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah."

How many times do we look around and wonder why others who are serving the gods of this world are getting increase of fortunes, things, etc. and we are made to struggle? Does it seem like everyone in your workplace or neighborhood points you out as the Bible thumper or crazy Christ-follower? Do they not include you in their fun?

That is a blessing...verse 3 states it plainly that the Lord is our shield. He is our glory and the lifter of our souls. When in turmoils personal or public, He is there to lift your chin and help you face your enemies.

The biggest key comes in verse 4, when he cried out with a loud voice...and was heard!!! Our God does something the idols and gods of this world can never do...He hears and answers. When you feel like hope is lost and everyone's against you...lift up your head and cry with a loud voice...and He will hear...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Renew your strength...

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 40:31. This evening, I would like to lead up to it starting with verse 29..."He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

This is a passage of great comfort to me. When down and out, burdened, burned out, or just plain lacking spiritually, I know that God will give me strength in time of need.

Many of you have used an energy drink when you need an extra "boost". The problem is that after the initial boost, you end up feeling worse than before you had it. I know from experience...

The strength the Lord provides doesn't wear off and won't leave you wanting for something more. God provides strength for the faint, the youth, young men, and you where you need it.

If you are struggling in your life, simply lift a prayer and ask God for His help. He is there waiting...all you have to do is humble yourself and ask...and "wait upon the Lord"...