Friday, December 31, 2010

Entering A New Year Refreshed and Ready!

One need not be a Christian to realize that a certain amount of “meditation” is good for the soul. If a state of quiet nothingness is good for the soul, how much greater benefit when the heart and mind are in communication with God Almighty?

But is it really possible?

Have you ever had the feeling that praying to God was like tossing wishes into the air? Maybe you have experienced the “fast food prayer” that simply says, “OH GOD!”

Sad to say, I have been in prayer meetings where the pastor piously gets on his knees, followed by the elders in the church and anyone else wishing to participate, in what too often resembles theatrical blocking. I too have sat in a prayer circle, quietly rehearsing. I have prayed in the King James Version with the words, “Thee and Thou” placed properly within the context of my, “spiritual script” so as to properly impress those with whom I recite. I therefore have a fairly good idea of what prayer - IS NOT.

So what is prayer? Is it real communication? How do you do it effectively? Frankly, if God knows everything ... why does He need to hear about it from me anyway?

Luke 11:1 records the following event:

“And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

Without doubt, these men had previously experienced some form of prayer in their lives, but there was something significantly different in the prayer of Jesus. His prayer was compelling! It was magnetic - alive, and the disciples instinctively knew that prayer was of vital importance to Jesus. They wanted that POWER to also be evident in their prayers.

Perhaps the following story will illustrate the mechanics of prayer. High winds caused a weekly prayer meeting to suffer an electrical outage. An electrician in the congregation, realizing that there was nothing he could do locally, called the station hub for information. They advised him that his immediate area had been affected but crews were already taking care of the situation. The service desk advised the electrician that the problem should be resolved in fifteen to twenty minutes. The gentleman quickly scribbled a note to the minister who, with no overhead lighting, was fast slipping into the shadows of sunset. The note simply said, “After prayer the power will return.” How true it is! After prayer the power always returns.

Let me just share a personal experience. As a youngster I had a difficult time understanding prayer. I was actually concerned that I would never find a time when no one else in the world was praying. How could I ever capture the attention of Almighty God with everyone else praying at the same time? I didn’t understand the personal relationship He had already established in my life.

One day I allowed my over-active imagination to get involved in my prayer. I actually imagined leaving my room and being translated through the atmosphere to the pearly gates of heaven. I imagined those pearly doors slowly opening to allow my humble entrance. I saw a heavenly mist and a brilliant light rolling down the stairway that greeted me. On my knees, I slowly climbed those stairs until I envisioned the nail-scared feet of Him Who sat upon the throne. I humbly removed my backpack in which I concealed my trials and tribulations, my anguish, my fears, my humble requests. I laid each and every article in my backpack before the Lord and sincerely acknowledged my weakness and His strength. Sounds spiritual enough so far - right?

As I ended my prayer, I began to clear the cluttered staircase of my failures, my guilt, my broken promises my fears and my needs. I returned each into my backpack just as I had brought them.


In my imagination He who sat upon the throne quietly and lovingly asked: “Why do you so quickly take back that which you have just entrusted to Me?”

In that moment I experienced God personally! I experienced a refreshing new freedom, knowing He was in control. I experienced a new power in my life that would sustain me through the difficult times. Friend, you need only to leave the challenges of life there - with Him.

The Bible records the following:

“Casting the whole of your care - all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all - on Him; for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.” - 1 Peter 5:7

“Cast your burden upon the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved - made to slip, fall or fail.” - Psalms 55:22

A new year is upon us; a time of reflection and anticipation. What will you choose to bring into the new year? Are their things best left on those heavenly stairs? I’ve got good news; His gates are always open!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Holidays?

I know, I know ... it’s politically correct, “Happy holidays”. I promise; I’ve really tried to say it. I certainly don’t want to be offensive.

“Happy ho; happy hol; MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

I just can’t seem to bring myself to (temporarily) separate myself from my faith, and from the greeting that to me means, “May God richly bless you and yours with peace, joy and a love that only He can give! ” No, really; I've TRIED!

“Happy hol ... Happy holi ...” darn!

Why is, “Merry Christmas” tantamount to yelling, “FIRE” in a crowded building? When was this determined? Who determined it?

Okay, I suppose for a non-believer or different believer it might seem hypocritical to extend a greeting for which there is no true meaning. I can understand that. As a matter of fact, I respect the fact that such an individual is so truthful. But, I am a believer. This IS my greeting. Why would I recoil at the opportunity to extend it? Why would any non-believer or different believer be offended when I too am being truthful? I can accept their well wishes for a season of happiness. As a matter of fact, I appreciate it! Who decided that my greeting is not acceptable? When extended in sincerity, what reasonable person, of any faith, or no faith, would be repulsed?

I don’t know. I suppose I’m just biased. I suppose I am hopelessly locked in the past, unwilling to give up the traditions and beliefs upon which my life has been influenced.

“Happy holid... happy holid...”, nope.

I could easily say, “happy holidays” for those events that don’t particularly hold a deeper personal meaning to me. GROUNDHOG DAY - ‘HAPPY HOLIDAY!” I have no problem with that one...

There is just something about Christmas and Easter that (to me), sets it apart from Groundhog Day.

I am so out of touch that I just recently realized there are, “Season’s Greetings Police” among us. Perhaps you’ve met them too. They are the ones who, if extended, “Merry Christmas”, firmly, sternly retort with, “HAPPY - HOLIDAYS!” Ouch!

Well, going on about it won’t change the situation. Someone, somewhere, who knows a lot more about right and wrong than I do, and has far more influence than my little blog, determined that I must, at the very least, be cautious when extending MY greeting or salutation.

So, forgive me if you must. I truly do wish each and every individual, with whom I have been so blessed to know, and from whom I have gained so much, God’s richest blessings now and for the many seasons to come.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Seeing Christmas in a New Light

“And Jesus said, for judgment I am come into this world, that they who see not, might see; and that they who see, might be made blind.” – John 9:39

Jesus spoke of ‘spiritual sight’ not physical. The religious leaders boasted of spirituality but in reality were spiritually blind. They were the paparazzi of Jesus day, following Jesus only to stand witness against Him at His slightest transgression of their law. In chapter 9 of John and verse 14 they seize opportunity; Jesus had healed a man born blind – on the Sabbath! Some of the Pharisees attempt to press Jesus into further self-incrimination by asking, “are we blind also?”

So Jesus decides to present to them the entire plan and purpose of His coming in a most glorious, and yet subtle manner. Let’s look at that purpose in John 10.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” – John 10:1

“But He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep” – John 10:2

“To Him the Porter openeth, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out.” – John 10:3

“And when He putteth forth His won sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him; for they know His voice.” – John 10:4

“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.” - John 10:5

Notice that at this point, no one understood what Jesus was saying! And so, Jesus begins to, “flesh-out” his analogy - only to create even more confusion; maybe even to us today!

“Then said Jesus unto them again, ‘verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” – John 10:7

“All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them.” – John 10:8

“I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11

Simple enough – right? Look again…

Sit, for a moment, as if you were one of His disciples. What did He just say? He is the door? He is the shepherd?


Didn’t He say (vs.1) “he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber”? What is the sheepfold – heaven? IS THERE ANOTHER WAY BESIDES THE DOOR?

Didn’t He say (2) “He that entereth in by the DOOR is the SHEPHERD of the sheep”? Wait a minute - is He the door or the shepherd? How can He be both? Can He enter HIM?

(3) Who is the Porter – I mean, besides being a door-man? And from where is this shepherd leading the sheep?

We now begin to understand their confusion. Going further verse 9 poses additional problems. If Jesus is the door – why would anyone want to go in and out?

Let’s review the passage once again in the spirit of the Christmas Story.

This world in which we live is a vast sheepfold filled with many sheep. Jesus chose to enter this world in a very miraculous way. As you look at verses 1 – 3 we see a striking parallel to Luke 1: 26 – 35 wherein the angel Gabriel visits Mary and announces the coming birth of Jesus. In Luke 1:34 Mary asks a very logical question:

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

Listen to what the angel says; it is important for us to understand his reply so that we can see more clearly what Jesus is saying in John 10.

“And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

The Holy Spirit is the Porter opening the door of the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus into the sheepfold of the world. Anyone claiming previously to be the shepherd was a thief and a robber. No one had entered the world in this manner before or since. It is a CLOSED DOOR, entered and shut by Jesus.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls His sheep by name. His sheep hear Him and He goes before them and leads them out of the confines of this world and its system to a citizenship eternally with Him. He is the OPEN DOOR of the sheep. He remains open today for any who will spiritually hear His voice.

He is the REVOLVING DOOR (9) of fellowship leading to the throne of God in prayer by which we find pleasant pasture (Psalms 23) before Him and in our daily lives.

In John 10:24 a frustrated crowd demands:

“…How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly!”

Jesus responds with comfort to those whose eyes are open and who hear His voice:

“Jesus answered then, I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believed not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and My Father are ONE! - John 10:30

That is pretty plain talk, isn’t it?

What a wonderful gift Jesus has given! What a wonderful story God has revealed through John. In the hustle and bustle of this Christmas Season, have you heard His voice? Has he touched your spiritual eyes so that you can see Him for Who He really is? Have you received His gift?

Finding balance and living within God’s will begins with becoming part of His family. He calls and offers Himself through His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spiritual Bargain Basement

Tis the season! Shoppers camp out late at night to be first in line to buy products they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people who don’t care. Ah, tis the season indeed!

But, if you get in line early enough, are committed enough, sacrifice enough of your time and comfort and are willing to pay enough - you are usually able to get what you want.

So why isn’t the same way with God? Do you ever find yourself bargaining with Him? If you get to church early enough, often enough, are committed enough, sacrifice enough of your time and comfort and are willing to pay enough, read your Bible enough, memorize verses enough, share with people enough, pray enough, serve enough - you should be able to get what you want - right?

Why isn’t He blessing? I’m doing all the right things. Why isn’t He holding up His side of the bargain?

Bargaining with God - but living in the basement of life; God’s, “Spiritual Bargain Basement”.

Here’s the truth, God doesn’t want these things. WHAT? SACRILEGE! Nope; sorry. God doesn’t want them. Don’t get me wrong. All of these things are wonderful - when they are truly the results of a contrite heart, a humble gratitude and irrepressible love. God doesn’t want our actions; GOD DEMANDS OUR ALL. He wants our heart. He wants our will to be uniquely, specifically, totally yielded to His will. He wants our very being, wholly and completely to be yielded to His control. No, He is not bargaining. The answer is no; NO. Once we realize this, once we realize how aimlessly and hopelessly futile OUR very best spirituality is, we are prepared to relax in HIS very best for us!

The Bible says,

“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS - delight, gladden yourselves in Him; again I say REJOICE! Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness - your considerateness, your forbearing spirit. The Lord is near - He is coming soon. Do not fret or have anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition [definite requests] with thanksgiving continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there be any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things - fix your minds on them.” - Philippians 4: 4-8

Have you ever noticed? Bargain basements are usually left overs, last season’s and damaged goods. You and I really DO get what WE pay for. But never forget, HE has paid the price!

It is He Who has mapped the plan. He directs the path. He provides everything and more. We need only to relax in Him - trust and THEN obey. The attitude of doing what I must, to get what I can, is not God’s Biblical equation for blessings or balance.

Ah, but there is tremendous comfort! We need not bargain with God because we are joint heirs with Jesus! We already own His inheritance. There are no early bird specials, no blue light, red tag, two-for-one or five cent sale. He owns it all and freely gives, over and above, to His children.

“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” - Romans 8:32

“So I say to you, ASK and keep on asking, and it shall be given you; SEEK and keep on seeking, and you shall find; KNOCK and keep on knocking, and the door shall be opened to you. For every one who asks and keeps on asking receives, and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds, and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking the door shall be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion? If you then, evil-minded as you are, know how to give good gifts - gifts that are to advantage - to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!” - Luke 11:9-13

“For the Lord is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed - happy, fortunate [to be envied] - is the man who trusts in You, (leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, and that without fear or misgiving)!” - Psalms 84: 11,12

“Do you not know that your body is the temple - the very sanctuary - of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a gift] from God? You are not your own, you were bought for a price - purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.” - 1 Corinthians 19,20

It’s a new day. Why not take a moment and ask yourself, “have I been bargaining with God or have I faithfully surrendered my all? Have I truly and dependently waited upon Him and served Him - anyway? Am I in a spiritual “bargain basement?”

“I WAITED patiently and expectantly for the Lord, and He inclined to me and heard my cry. HE DREW ME UP out of a horrible pit - a pit of tumult and of destruction - out of the miry clay (froth and slime) and set my feet upon a rock, steadying (BALANCING) my steps and establishing my goings. And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. many will see and fear - revere, and worship - and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.” - Psalms 40:1-3

God bless!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Matter of Perspective

What Is Your Perspective?

Perspective: 1.) a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance; 2.) a mental view or outlook; 3.) the ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.

All three definitions are accurate. One, however, contains within it a vitally important element that sets it apart from the other two. Did you notice it? Take another look.

The first definition can lead to an incorrect conclusion while the second often stubbornly claims those conclusions to be true; “don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up!”

“Perceiving things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance” is quite different. There is a certain responsibility alluded to. It is as if some “achievement” were attained allowing the individual to separate inconsequential influences from reality.
This allows such an individual to proceed through life unobstructed by fear. It renders the, “what if” influences powerless.

You ask what is meant by, “what if” influences?

Imagine a long plywood plank lying flat on the ground. Let’s give it some “facts” to add to our analogy. The plank is thirty-foot long, twelve inches wide and two inches thick. It’s a sizable piece of wood. Now imagine standing at one end of the plank while at the other end rests a $20.00 bill. All you have to do is walk upon the plank from one end to the other to pick it up - and it is yours! Simple enough, right? Now let’s modify the circumstances slightly. Let’s say we place the same plywood plank between two buildings. There are a few additional facts to consider. The buildings are separated by twenty-feet. We have maneuvered the plank to the ledges of two opposing windows, eighty-five feet above the ground. You stand in the window of one building and directly across from you, at the end of the suspended plank, rests a $100.00 bill. Oh, one more fact, there is a slight breeze so we’ve placed a weight on the bill - just in case there is a slight gust. All you have to do is walk upon the plank from one end to the other and pick it up - it’s yours!

Notice how your perspective has changed?

Perspective can be a powerful tool. It can provide a “last moment glimpse” of potential consequence outweighing potential gain. Becoming personally responsible for others, causes our perspective to be all the more panoramic. We recognize the influence our actions have upon their lives. We proceed - or decide not to proceed - based upon what we perceive to be in their best interests.

Perspective can be debilitating. The fear of what might happen can render an individual isolated from their potential. A victim of life and life’s inequities, this individual perceives no destiny and sadly remains locked in time, never to risk, never to enjoy the thrill of success or the grit that comes from a goal attempted - but “not yet” attained.

Do the Scriptures give us any insight about perspective? Indeed they do!

“Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” - Ephesians 1:2-4

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” - 
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows [presently] grace and favor and [in the future] glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” - Psalms 84:11

The pages of the Scriptures are filled with promises from the lips of God to listening ears and open hearts. Each, however, appears to have a condition. That condition is included for our benefit, for our spiritual growth and discernment. The condition? In all our ways acknowledge Him, trust in the Lord and walk uprightly.

King David writes:

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” - Psalms 119:105

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” - Psalm 138:8
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
- Philippians 1:6

“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, ..." - Ephesians 1:18-23

It’s a new day! It’s a new day with new opportunities! It’s a wonderfully significant day in your life!

THIS is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!” - Psalms 118:24

So, why not change the, “what if” influence to the, “SINCE, THEREFORE” influence. SINCE He loves you so and gave Himself for you, THEREFORE now there is no condemnation to to those who are in Christ Jesus and to those who are called according to His purpose.

God bless!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Get ready, get set ... get ready ...

Life can be like a series of races. Its finish lines, the individual goals of each participant. The track however, is not the same for every runner. It’s an awkwardly staggered race for some.

Some runners have been carefully groomed - “racing” is in their DNA. Each of their prior generations have passed along a competitive spirit. These fortunate participates have experienced a life-time of carefully orchestrated training. They are committed to training, but they have had the tools and the support to press on.

There are others, however, who are unaware of the race. They’ve never heard a starting gun. They don’t even realize they too have a participant’s number. They appear to have no one in the crowd to cheer them on.

One group of runners “make things happen” while the other group looks back at their course - and “wonder what happened” ...

Life’s inequities exist. A person might appear to have every right to view their position in life as a victim of it’s circumstances. Their starting starting line might be marred by the scars of a broken family, abusive relationships, poverty and loss. Yet, even for them the testimonies of individuals who have previously run similar races in their shoes, upon their track, facing their obstacles - in some instances, even greater obstacles - TO BECOME OVER-COMERS - EXIST! These are true champions; victorious in their human endeavors!

Nick Vujicic is an interesting participant in the race. Some of you might recognize his name. I’ll let him tell you his story ...

Hebrews 12:1 proclaims:

“Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony of the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside ever encumbrance - unnecessary weight - and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher, [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (also see Psalms 110:1)

The Apostle Paul encouraged the congregation at Philippi follow his example and to also observe those who live after the pattern he had set (Philippians 3:17). He too looked to the the testimony of veteran runners who had run the race before him (please read Hebrews chapter 11 for the Bible’s Hall of Fame).

Life is like a series of races. Its finish lines, the individual goals of each participant. The track however, is not the same for every runner. It’s an awkwardly staggered race for some.


The most encouraging words I read from Hebrews 12:1 are these:

“... and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.

Life isn’t a sprint, it is an endurance run. There are no rest stops, we must continue to pursue with active persistence. Most important, it isn’t an unknown course - it is an appointed course that is set before us by Him Who loved us so!

Today is a great day to clean the spikes, get rid of some of those things that might be hindering your progress. As you run, keep an eye out for a fellow sojourner who who needs encouragement. Someone you meet today might need a servant’s loving hand. Someone might need to hear that the race is worth running and the prize has been personally ordained by the God who loves them!

Ready? Set? ... well, you know the rest!

God bless!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

... And yet, ANOTHER DAY ...

Change can be an unsettling interruption or the threshold of unknown opportunity. When change is the result of a planed sequence of events culminating in a prescribed outcome, each element within the process creates anticipation. However, when change is sudden and unexpected it can shake the very core of one’s being.

Change is constant. There is no lull in the process of change. No moment is repetitive; no sunrise, no circumstance, no thought. All, however similar, are unique. All, though constant, merely resemble the previous. Today is not the same as yesterday nor will it be tomorrow.

Life can seem uncertain, fraught with danger and peril except for an often overlooked constant, the fingerprint of God.

No fingerprint is the same; each is individually unmistakably unique. So too the fingerprint of God. It is unmistakable. While mankind may attempt to lay claim to progress, to “change”, close inspection reveals it’s Author’s True Identity.

The Bible sheds light upon God’s “influence”.

“Your’s O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as head over all.” - 1 Chronicles 29:11

And in the New Testament:

“Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will - of His plan, of His purpose. [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him. [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth. In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will.” - Ephesians 1: 9-11

“For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him (by His service, intervention) and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things and in Him all things consist - cohere, are held together.” - Colossians 1: 16,17

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and dominion, for You created all things; by Your will they were [brought into being] and were created.” - Revelation 4:11

Today, today is going to be different; unlike any other day you or I have experienced. TODAY is a very special day, uniquely predestined with limitless opportunity. TODAY my faith will be enriched and strengthened -

“For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made - His handiworks. So [men] are without excuse - altogether without any defense or justification...” - Romans 1:20

This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” - Psalm 118:24

God bless!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How do YOU measure up?

I like descriptive word pictures. Here's one. There is a magic, no - no - "spiritual" 18-inches that often goes unnoticed. It is the distance between the mind and the heart. 18" - not that great of physical distance - but it sure can impact lives. Inflexible dogma may, to some, provide a form of security; while often leaving a trail of carnage along it's heartless path. Emotional compassion may, to some, also provide a form of security but it alone seldom provides a foundation upon which lasting stability is achieved.

Uniquely extending from between these too [seemingly] opposing points are the hands. Outstretched hands have opportunity to provide unselfish and balanced care and guidance to those in need. No, I suppose I am not much of a politician. I'm a Christian. Outstretched hands paid a price for me - so that I might share That love with others. It is not by declaration or decree that I would have individuals embrace the central figure of Christianity. That is a personal matter of which I have no influence. But if I am tempted to volley knowledge for my own edification I am nothing. The first letter from Paul to the Christians in the church at Corinth states it clearly. In the thirteenth chapter Paul, through inspiration, writes:

“If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not the love [that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as inspired by God’s love for and in us], I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers - that is, the gift of interpreting the Devine will and purpose; and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I gave (sufficient) faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love [God’s love in me] I am nothing, a useless nobody. EVEN if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned [or in order that I may glory], but have not love [God’s love in me], I gain nothing. Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious or boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited - arrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude (unmannerly0, and does not act unbecomingly. Love [God’s love in us] does not insist on on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it - pays no attention to a suffered wrong. It does not rejoice in injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, it hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails - never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end. As for prophecy [that is, the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose], it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [that is, it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and [total] comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away - become antiquated, void and superseded. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part 9imperfectly); but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. And so faith, hope, love abide; [faith, conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and Devine things; hope, joy and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love , true affection of God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three but the greatest of these is love.”

So, how do YOU choose to measure up - today?

God Bless

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Would YOU Sign?

I’ve finally wrapped my arms around why I dislike government. Make no mistake about it; my distain is equal for every branch of government and every party. Oh, I know to be governed is a necessary evil. I understand that there would be absolute anarchy without some governing power. The notion that out of “man’s goodness” there will be issued fair measure to all is [to me] laughable.

I was reading the Declaration of Independence when it struck me. The Declaration; the DECLARATION. Those fellas chose their words pretty carefully in 1775 and 1776. It really DID make a difference what the meaning of the word “is” is.

But I digress ...

Our forefathers were openly declaring something that to them was already self-evident. They were not creating “it” but they realized “it” needed proclaiming. So, where did “it“ come from?

Our founding father’s had numerous political differences. They differed in status and social standing. Some declared themselves to be Christian, some Deists. Some made no outward claim of religious belief at all - but in unity they pledged their lives to the Declaration of Independence. Why? Because the rights for which they were willing to forsake all they had ever worked for, and for which they would steadfastly face the penalty of death, were determined to be “UNALIENABLE”.

Think about that for a moment. UNALIENABLE. What does that mean to you? I must be honest. Until recently, to me it was simply a fancy tongue-twister means of saying these were “undeniable” rights. But the body of the Declaration goes on to explain it far more precisely.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

(Did you notice the progression of servitude? A. Powers of the earth subservient to: B. Laws of Nature which are subservient to: C. Nature’s God.)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

(These are truths, not opinions, not politically correct analogies or soundbites, the Declaration was and is TRUTH! And to any observer, living or yet to be born, they should be self-evident, without question, undeniably obvious! First and foremost ALL MEN [and women] are subservient to Nature’s God because they are CREATED equal. And the greater measures of what matter the Creator infused within mankind are UNALIENABLE! This is to say that they are not to be taken away and not to be given away! They are the intrinsic essence of mankind because they are not earthly and subservient to earth or nature; they are forever endowed by their Creator.)

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The Declaration continues with a list of grievances and a recall of numerous attempts to resolve those grievances within the guidelines of British Parliament. The Declaration ends with the following words:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Friends, this is a Declaration, not an observation. These men considered these truths to be self-evident, obvious and without question. These truths are truths because they have been infused into mankind by God, Nature’s God, the Creator, the Supreme Judge of the world and Who, when given His rightful place within the hearts of mankind and the affairs of mankind, provides Divine Providence.

It is to me, self-evident, that as a nation we have all but eliminated the very core strength of our Declaration, ALMIGHTY GOD! Furthermore, I believe that as a nation we have allowed destructive forces to infuse the notion that any reference to “god” is and must be subservient to Nature and the Laws of Nature BY THE POWERS OF THE EARTH. This is to me, frightening beyond words and dangerous beyond comprehension.

So that there is no mistaking, I distain any government, any political party and any individuals or individual who would at any time take from me and my family my unalienable rights. I believe that it is time, no, perhaps past time, to stand up and DECLARE OUR INDEPENDENCE AND WHERE OUR INDEPENDENCE COMES FROM - IT SHOULD STILL BE SELF EVIDENT. And I would gladly sign my name to it’s truths. How about you? Pass it along - there might be others looking for the opportunity to make this declaration.

God bless you and God bless America!
Laurie De Seguirant

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hear, Learn, Keep, DO

Success principles; motivational speakers preach them, PMA books outline them, individuals - urning to achieve their full potential - invest enumerable dollars in seminars and programs promising to deliver them.

Have you ever noticed the similarities between the marketing of “Success Principles” and the marketing of “Diet and Exercise” principles? Each claim to possess precisely the “yet to have been discovered secrets” for achieving desired results. Each claim to offer their own exclusive patented formula. Each attract repeat hopefuls; maybe THIS TIME!

There comes a point when a wary public realizes they have been purchasing the “feel-good” marketing not the message, the sizzle not the steak, the flash not the enlightenment. Why does it continue to be profitable? Because people continue to search for happiness, fulfillment and purpose.

The opportunistic entrepreneur recognizes people’s desire to “feel good” about themselves. They address this universal human need by supplying self-improvement cd’s videos, seminars and books that temporarily satisfy. Once “hooked”, the public returns for their next “fix”. It is the drug of, “potential perfection”. We are told, “you think you feel better now? JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU PURCHASE MY NEXT VIDEO!

So is there anything wrong with self-improvement? Not at all. In the book of 2 Timothy 2:15 we read:

“Study (make it your ambition - be eager) and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing (cutting it straight - rightly handling and skillfully teaching) the Word of Truth.”

Moses set the standard for self improvement when he addressed Israel in his second discourse to a new generation saying:

“...HEAR, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may LEARN them, and KEEP, and DO them.” - Deuteronomy 5:1

HEAR, LEARN, KEEP DO; not bad advice for continual improvement. Moses continues in his discourse to explain that results do not happen immediately:

“For the land which you go in to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you came out, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot laboriously, as a garden of vegetables. But the land, which you enter to possess, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinks of water of the rain of heavens. A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And if you diligently heed My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your mind and heart and with your entire being, I will give the rain for your land in it’s season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full.” - Deuteronomy 11:10-15

“If you diligently heed ... I WILL give the rain IN IT’S SEASON and I WILL GIVE grass in your fields for your cattle.”

Success begins when we come face to face with Truth. It manifests Itself when we make it our ambition to learn from, and internalize It’s power, being daily equipped to outwardly express It’s reality in us.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way the TRUTH and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) me.’” - John 14:6

Balance, success, fulfillment, purpose; HEAR, LEARN, KEEP, DO.

God bless!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Why Laurie? Why would you write something so openly "political" in what we regard as a "devotional" blog? What about the separation of church and state?

I'm so glad you asked ...

First, there is nothing in the Constitution of the United States of America, pertaining to the separation of church and state. Second, when Thomas Jefferson wrote of it, it was to protect the church from the state - not the state from the church. Having given that brief introduction:

John Hancock penned the cover letter accompanying the Declaration of Independence.

"Gentlemen, Altho it is not possible to foresee the consequences of human actions, yet it is nevertheless a duty we owe ourselves and posterity in all our public councils to decide in the best manner we are able and to trust the event to That Being who governs both causes and events, so as to bring about his own determinations."

Impressed with this sentiment, and at the same time fully convinced that our affairs will take a more favorable turn, The Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve all connection between Great Britain and the American Colonies, and to declare them free and independent States as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you."

Fifty-six men pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the citizens who empowered them to sign this Declaration of Independence on their behalf. The majority, indeed, paid a horrific price.

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary War, another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War. The list of hardship that awaited each signer goes on and on.

Of the signers twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners, men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

As we celebrate the 234th anniversary of their Declaration; I ask, IS IT STILL OURS? Is it a document by which each of us stands as free and independent citizens, of all nationalities, of all race and color, of all religious, political and personal preference? Or is this a relic of a time gone by? We can only judge by the actions of those who sit in that body of Congress today.

Two-hundred and thirty four years later, does OUR CONGRESS, consist of representatives with the same honor and commitment?

Lawyers and jurists, merchants, farmers, business owners, people of all walks of life continue to sit in those seats of honor. However, I am fearful that as they sign their names to the affairs of state it is we the people, and our posterity, who pay a horrific price.

Party affiliation is not the question. The original congress was comprised of men of HONOR AND DISSENT. However, they strove for, and many died for, a cause greater than their individual or party bias! It was a Declaration of INDEPENDENCE not DEPENDENCE! It was a life and death fight for the freedom of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness - NOT FOT THOSE IN POWER - BUT FOR THE CITIZENS THEY REPRESENTED!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

I believe that there has been a, “long train of abuses” spanning several administrations and BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES. As unpopular as it may be, WE THE PEOPLE have the right, AND A SACRED RESPONSIBILITY to one another and our posterity, to secure these rights as originally intended. We do so by our vote and the time to administer change is NOW. Not because of the current administration - it is all too unfortunate that a self-indulgence of power has long been the established protocol in each administration. No, it is rather because of the insufferable burden OUR CONGRESS continues to habitually saddled upon the backs of, “we the people” who placed them in positions of what was intended to be representative authority.


God Bless America!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's only one man's opinion...

It’s curious. It crosses all political lines. Conservative, moderate, liberal - it doesn’t seem to matter. Somehow, for some reason, few seem to be at peace. It is as if we are in the process of losing something - and we can’t quite put our finger on what that “something” is. There is a gut-wrenching fear that whatever it is, if we lose it we do so at our own peril.

Political pundants temporarily ease our minds by placing blame on the various political parties and organizations in power - or wanting to be in power. For a time, we are lulled into the hollow security of at least “thinking” we know what is going on. We would tell ourselves, “if we can identify the problem, we can solve it!” And so the endless cycle of finger pointing continues. Not that anyone expects it to address real issues and solve problems; it just feels good to think we know the reason for them.

There is a Bible verse in the Old Testament, written specifically to the Jewish people of that time - but with a principle not exclusive to any peoples or nations.

“If My people, who are called by My name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14

This isn’t a political sound-bite. It is not a campaign slogan. It is not exclusive to the conservative, moderate or liberal. It is universal, written to anyone willing to claim the promise. It is not social, it is spiritual.

Yes, yes it is only one man’s opinion but, for anyone interested, I’ll share it. The future of America depends upon the spiritual condition of God’s people. Who are they? They are truck drivers, engineers, students and clergy. They are actors, carpenters and computer technicians. They are bikers, scientists, housewives, attorneys and musicians. They are young and gregarious. They are old, often feeble and alone.

There are no statues to commemorate their deeds, no oil paintings of them to decorate the great halls of government. They may not be remembered by historians but they, YOU AND I, are essential to the revival of our nation.

The time for a personal revival is now. The time for commitment is now but commitment is no easy task; you have to stick with it!

Commitment is the consistent pursuit of a specific goal. Commitment is pouring one’s self into a specific task, emptying one’s self of all other objectives and focusing, with singleness of purpose, upon one specific endeavor. Commitment is the underlying focal point of every moment until its objective has been squarely met, its opposition challenged and overcome. Commitment separates common endeavor from driven pursuit. No excuse can attach itself to commitment; commitment is never found “under the circumstances.”

Commitment is separated from success only by time and effort. There is no uncertainty in commitment. Once committed to, the task is as good as completed. Commitment is relentless.

Commitment is deaf to the cajoling of the jealous, the prayers of the pious and the doubts of the defeated. It is blind to danger; there can be no failure! It scorns adversity and embraces risk. There can be no obstacle, no natural disaster that can derail true commitment. Commitment faces the seemingly impossible and proclaims, “I WILL NOT BE DENIED!” Don’t give me statistics; don’t give me political polls; don’t give me odds; don’t give me history; don’t give me facts as determined by consensus; give me commitment! No other endeavor of mankind can yield eternal value.

I personally believe that right now, at this precise time, in this precise moment, the heart of our nation, its core values, stand at a unique juncture in history. If God’s people [based upon His standards - not our bias], from every walk of life, will humble themselves and pray, turning from anything that might distract their singular focus upon Him and His will, He will hear, He will forgive, and He will heal our land.

But, that’s just one man’s opinion ...

God bless!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hold The Tow!

Have you ever knowingly put yourself in a compromised situation figuring that well, if things got “a bit out of control” God was obligated to work it all out?

Have you ever rationalized something to the point of determining your own, “Code Of Conduct” for God?

Okay, okay, maybe it’s just me. Sometimes I CREATE my challenges and adopt the attitude that I have no responsibility in the matter. It’s simply fate! Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t appear to support that philosophy.

I recall the first time I water-skied. It was on a river in northern California. I held tight to the tow-rope, allowed the boat to pull my body out of the water and, for a time, enjoyed a relatively calm ride safely nestled in the wake of the boat. However, once I ventured outside of that wake, choppy waters and debris created an obstacle course that captured my attention, threatened my safety, and for a time interrupted my enjoyment. It was, however, my choice to venture outside of the boat wake. Oh, I was still behind the boat, still holding onto the tow, still within eye-shot of the captain, but just not enjoying the ride I was ill prepared for.

When we allow God to take control, when we allow Him to map the course and determine the speed, we can have absolute confidence that we are safe within His care. We feel His gentle tug. We know He is with us, leading us. There is no danger that can befall us that is not under His control.

Yes, yes indeed, there are still challenges in life. But God’s children never face the challenges of life alone! He controls the storms of life and strengthens His children as He guides His children through those storms. God grows us to become more dependent upon Him. As we face the challenges of life we do so dependent upon His promises to guide us, to keep us in His will and to make us vessels He can use to share His love to others.

“Ah” you might respond, “what about the Prodigal Son? He partied-hardy, fell on hard times, and still had a home to return to!”

The word, “Prodigal” means wasteful. This young man enjoyed the safety and benefits of his father’s love and care. He CHOSE, however, to take the portion of his father’s estate (which his father had set aside for him), and squander it in wild living (Luke 15:13). The temptations, no doubt, were subtle. They chipped away at the young man’s values methodically, persistently until the young man turned his back on his father and went his own way (Isaiah 53:6)

The result? The young man was ill prepared for the severe famine always awaiting those who turn from the Father. He began to be in need (Luke 15:14). He was starving; a self imposed outcast. The very best he could do with his life was to wallow in the muck and mire, eating with pigs. THINK OF IT; IT WAS THE BEST HE COULD DO!! (Luke 15:15-16). He was not destined to live with pigs. He was not destined to live a wasted life. He was not destined to be alone and lonely. It was a matter of CHOICE!

The story does not end there. Indeed he does return to his father. Indeed, we see the only occurrence of the “Father” running back to the son! But make no mistake, while the son’s position was restored - I would venture to guess that this son would never forget the lost opportunities of life, the lost time, and the scars of shame.

Today is a new day! There is so much to rejoice in. We have another opportunity to focus upon Christ who loves us so.

“This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” - Psalm 118:24

Today is an opportunity to make an important choice.

“...Choose you this day whom you will serve...” - Joshua 24:15

“And a furious storm of wind (of hurricane proportions) arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled. But He [Jesus, Himself] was in the stern [of the boat] asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, “Master, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “HUSH NOW! BE STILL! And the wind ceased, [that is, sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating] and there was (immediately) a great calm - a perfect peacefulness. And He said to them, “Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith - no firmly relying trust?” And they were filled with great awe and feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey Him?” - Mark 4:37-41

While we hold tight to the tow-rope, our Captain not only controls the ship, He holds the winds and the waves in the palm of His hands!

Make the choice to rejoice!

God bless!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


In December of 1965 folk-rock group, “The Byrds” released their second album, “Turn, Turn, Turn”. Pete Seeger, Jim McGuinn and Judy Collins combined their talents to create the lead single and title track. Seeger’s adaptation of the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes became a haunting reminder of the passing of - time.

To everything,
Turn, turn, turn;
There is a season,
Turn, turn turn
And a time for every purpose
Under heaven.

Timing is everything.

A photographer might wait years for the perfect shot, of the perfect scene, in the perfect season, on the perfect day, with the perfect lighting, at the perfect moment.


The book of Isaiah brings to us a familiar verse about “waiting upon the Lord” but the verses preceeding give us insight to the conditions of His promise.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, THE CREATOR OF THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength - causing it to multiply and making it abound. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and the selected young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; BUT those who wait for the Lord - who expect, look for and hope in Him - shall CHANGE AND RENEW their strength and power. They shall lift up their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint or be tired.” - Isaiah 40: 28-31

And once again in the New Testament the writer of the book of Hebrews echos these truths as he completes his “Biblical Hall of Fame” of past faithful followers.

“THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony of the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance - unnecessariy weight - and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] TO JESUS, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher, [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:1-2

Where are you today, right this very “moment” in God’s timeline? TODAY, have you awakened with the hope of His guidance and the contentment of being in His care, or is there a haunting uncertainty about the purpose of yesterday, passion for today and promise of tomorrow? Are you weak and weary from the challenges of life?

I HAVE WONDERFUL NEWS! NOW IS YOUR MOMENT! He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him or she who has no might He increases strength - causing it to multiply and making it abound!

Have you just been “waiting” or have you been “waiting upon the Lord”? There is a difference. “Waiting” is a lotto ticket; nothing but uncertainty. The odds are against you and if you are dependant upon fulfillment in its winnings your life is destined for frustration and loss.

“Waiting upon the Lord” is the condition of having already won! It is allowing Him to show you where He would have you share His blessings - thus, fulfilling your every desire (as He places them within your heart) and touching the lives of others with all that He has given you. Waiting upon the Lord is not patiently passive. Waiting upon the Lord is PATIENT ENDURANCE AND STEADY (balanced) ACTIVE PERSISTENCE, RUNNING THE APPOINTED COURSE! To know the course we must know the Creator. To see it clearly, we must take our eyes off of “self” and look to Him who has set the course, JESUS.

And yet, we feebly cry, “I have waited so long. I am so weary. I do not know if I even have the strength to have hope.” And our loving Savior says:

“My grace - My favor and loving-kindness and mercy-are enough for you, [that is, sufficient against any danger and to enable you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect-fulfilled and completed and show themselves most effective-in [your] weakness.” - 2 Corinthians 12:8a

Paul then goes on to conclude the verse with his decision:

“...Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ, the Messiah, may rest - YES, MAY PITCH A TENT [over] and dwell upon me!” - 2 Corinthians 12:8b

GST? Oh, yes. I amost forgot. God’s Standard Time! His time and timeline for you.

To everything,
Turn, turn, turn;
There is a season,
Turn, turn turn
And a time for every purpose
Under heaven.

God bless!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Making IT Happen

God saved Noah ... but Noah built the ark;
God gave Samson strength but Samson brought down the pillars;
God saved Joshua but Joshua circled Jericho and the walls came tumbling down;
God Saved David but David used his sling against the mighty Goliath;
God saved Daniel but Daniel had to enter the lion’s den;
God saved an inadequate Moses but Moses had to become the leader of his people.

God’s plan - man’s action - God’s accomplishment through man’s faithfulness.
God’s vision - man’s action - God’s miraculous fulfilment of His vision.

Experiencing the awesome power of God comes through faithfuness.

Let’s look at Hebrews chapter eleven. This has often been called the “faith chapter” of the Bible.

“Now FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality - FAITH perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.” - Hebrews 11:1

As I read verse after verse the faithfulness of God’s servants, one verse becomes a focal point; verse 33:

“Who by [the help of] FAITH subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions (Dan.6). Extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devourings of the sword, OUT OF THE FRAILTY AND WEAKNESS WON STRENGTH AND BECAME STALWART EVEN MIGHTHY and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts!” - Hebrews 11:33,34

OUT OF FRAILTY AND WEAKNESS”... God does not call upon the mighty to accomplish His will. God calls upon His chosen people. We see example after example in the Bible not the least of which was a young girl and her fiance, Mary and Joseph. In each and every case, God used His chosen man’s or woman’s greatest weakness to fulfill His will. But it is import to recognize that God’s chosen man and women had to be faithful to God’s leading. Sometimes it meant stepping out of their comfort zone. Sometimes it was against all odds. Sometimes it took tremendous physical effort. Sometimes it took years but it always took FAITHFULNESS AND EFFORT!

How often do we pray that God will accomplish some task in our life and yet never consider the possibility that He wants us to be the vehicle He uses to accomplish it?

Are you willing to step out in FAITH, totally yielded to His will, totally dependent upon His strength, completely committed to His leading in humble awareness of your own weakness? Then allow me to congratulate you in advance; His mighty power is about to be seen in YOU!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good Intentions

“As soon as I get caught up, by-golly, I am going to give to that organization!”
“I’m almost at the point whereby I can really give to those in need!”
“I wonder why the rich people don’t give more? If I had what he or she has I would certainly would be willing to give!”

We tend to judge others by there actions and ourselves by our intentions. And yet, it is not the amount that is most important - it is the attitude of giving.

I was struck by the Apostle Paul’s writing in his second letter to the church of Corinth. Much of his letter was focused upon - promises that the people within the church were making - their good intensions - and the need for the members of the church at Corinth to follow through - WITH ACTION! Paul was admonishing the people, “TALK IS CHEAP!”

Paul sent emissaries to the church to encourage the people to follow through with their good intentions. His focus was not so much upon those who were in need and required the gifts of the church. Paul focused upon those who “intended” to do something - but did not follow through.

“Now, about the offering that is [to be made] for the saints - God’s people [in Jerusalem] - it is quite superfluous that I should write you. For I am well acquainted with your willingness - your readiness and your eagerness to promote it. And I have proudly told about you to the people of macedonia, saying that Achaia [most of Greece] has been prepared since last year for this contribution; and [consequentially] your enthusiasm has stimulated the majority of them.... Still, I am sending the brethren [on you], lest our pride in you should be made an empty boast in this particular case, and so that you may be ready, as I told them you would be. Lest, if [any] Macedonians should come with me and find you unprepared [for this generosity], we , to say nothing of yourselves, be humiliated for our being so confident.” - 2 Corinthians 9:1-4

In the next verses Paul focuses his attention upon the blessings awaiting those who follow through and give; not until it “hurts” but until it feels good! The spiritual and physical fulfillment is immeasurable!


Paul also paints a word picture of the dire consequences of promises not kept. Unlike heart rendering television commercials showing men women and children suffering from malnutrition, disease and exposure, Paul focuses upon the the consequences of “well-intending givers” should they boast of their intentions and then recline in their Lazy-boys never to accomplish a thing.

The point has been made. Perhaps there is a cause you have been considering but have yet to take appropriate action. Now is a wonderful time to enjoy the blessings of giving. Perhaps you have heard yourself repeatedly saying, “if I only had - then I would certainly give...”. Is there any reason why today is not the day you begin to faithfully give whatever it is you can give?

In Luke, chapter 21 verses 1 through 4 Luke records how Jesus looked up and noticed the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. We might assume that they did so in a manner intended to be noticed by those passing by. Looking closely, however, Jesus also noticed a particular poor widow who [we might suppose] humbly slipped in her two small copper coins.

“And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. For they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.” - Luke 21:3-4

Consider the blessings we have today and willingly, readily and eagerly give. It is impossible to out-give God.

Enjoy the blessing!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In The Midst

“Then one of them named Cleopas answered Him, do you alone dwell as a stranger in Jerusalem and not know the things that have occurred there in these days?”
- Luke 24:18

Perhaps in today’s lingo the verse might be interpreted, “HELLO? Did you JUST get off the boat? Do you have ANY IDEA what is going on here? Is ANYBODY home?”

Sometimes God just doesn’t seem to get it. He just seems out of touch with my particular situation. Have you ever felt that way? “Knock, knock, knock; hello God? Are you there? Are you listening? HELLO?”

Circumstances surrounding the resurrection often go unnoticed but therein is a wonderful microcosm of life.

The tomb was empty. The word spread like wildfire. Already the religious leaders were spinning the event to say that somehow the eleven remaining followers of Jesus (a few fishermen, a doctor and a tax collector) armed with fish hooks, stethoscope and calculator, overtook the fully armed guards at the tomb, rolled back the stone and removed the body of Jesus.

This was not just another execution. This man was known. He was front-page news! Whether or not the public saw him as a kook, a cook or the coming Messiah, the masses were aware of his death and burial. Now, He was missing!

We see that in the midst of sadness, Jesus was there. He didn’t come just in time; He was there!

“ And behold that very day two [of the disciples] were to a village called Emmaus, [which is] about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things that had occurred. And while they were conversing and discussing together Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them. But their eyes were held, so they did not recognize Him. And He said to them, ‘What is the discussion that you are exchanging between you as you walk along?’ And they stood still , looking sad and downcast. Then one of them named Cleopas answered Him, ‘do you alone dwell as a stranger in Jerusalem and not know the things that have occurred there in these days?’ And He said to them, ‘What kind of things?’” - Luke 24:13-19

The disciples went into detail how this One they had hoped to be the Messiah was crucified at the behest of the chief priests and rulers, how He was buried and how a couple of crazed, hysterical women were driving them crazy with the notion that Jesus had arisen from the dead! This might be one of the reasons they were heading out of town! There’s a limit to what a person can take!

And then Jesus does something interesting. After He listens intently and lovingly to their hearts, He begins to speak to them from the Scripture revealing the many Old Testament prophesies pertaining to His death and resurrection.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘O sluggish in the mind, dull of perception and slow of heart to believe - to adhere to and trust in and rely on - everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary and essentially fitting that the Christ, the Messiah, should suffer all these things before entering into His glory, His majesty and splendor?” - Luke 24:25,26

After easing their hearts, breaking bread with them and reclining with them their eyes were instantly opened! This causes me to reflect upon my own slowness of mind and heart to trust Him; to know without doubt that He is here with me, already accompanying me as I walk through life’s trials.

The story goes on. Evidently, that very same hour, these men ran back to Jerusalem, CHANGED! Somehow the women did not seem quite so hysterical! When these two found the eleven followers of Christ they could hardly contain themselves!


Masters of the obvious were they not? But I find that I sometimes do the same thing. I know that Jesus has promised to be with me and never leave me and yet, when He makes Himself unmistakably evident in my life, I say, “WOW!

Even with all that had happened, as these men shared their story, Jesus stood right there in the midst of them and they were startled as if they had seen a ghost. But Jesus, patiently and lovingly revealed Himself, His hands, His feet - and they marveled.

This little passage in the book of Luke means a great deal to me. It tells me that when I focus upon life’s circumstances, indeed, I can feel disheartened. But Jesus is always in the midst! Jesus is always accompanying His children along the way. If I stop, and truly be honest about my challenge and weakness to understand and overcome through my own strength, He is there to reveal His presence, to calm my heart and to break bread (fellowship) with me.

Where are you along the road? In which direction are you headed? Out of your Jerusalem heaped with sadness and remorse? Or are you headed back, rejoicing, victorious, accompanied by the risen Messiah?

Ya know something? THE LORD REALLY IS RISEN - WOW!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Reporting Live!

We watch the news on every channel. We hear the testimonies of numerous eyewitnesses and see video footage from every imaginable angle. The evidence seems to be overwhelming - but the reports appear to be diametretically opposed. One event; a variety of conclusions.

These stories make for interesting conversation - but they seldom impact our lives.

There is one “news” event, however, whose impact upon every individual ever to have lived or ever to be born, is unavoidable. It is the, “Good News” event we celebrate as Easter.

You need not be religious to clearly see the, “on the scene as it happens” reporting recorded in the Bible - and the two diametrically opposed conclusions to the event.

Jesus was dead. There was no mistaking. The Roman guards witnessed his bloodied and beaten corpse removed from the cross. They, no doubt, observed the hasty preparation of the body for burial and armed themselves to guard the tomb, taking no chance that the body be removed in secret. Jesus was dead and buried. The tomb was sealed and guarded. End of story.

Except for ...

First Report:

"Reporting live, here at the tomb originally intended for Joseph of Arimathea, this is the disciple, Matthew. Earlier this morning this area experienced an earthquake, the magnitude of which is yet to be reported (Matthew 28:2). We do know that the epicenter appears to have been exactly where we are now standing.

Early reports indicate that the the heavily armed Roman guards, ordered to protect the sealed entrance of the tomb which [then] held the body of Jesus, were, in fact, terrified beyond their ability to respond to what can only be reported as extraordinary events.

We take you now to two eyewitnesses. This is Mary of Magdala and, the other Mary. Tell us, in your own words, just what you experienced.”

Mary of Magdala: “Well sir, this is all so overwheming! Mary and I arrived here early this morning; the sun was just coming up (Matthew 28:1). We brought spices with the intention of finishing the preparation of Jesus’ body (Luke 23:56; Luke 24:1). It all happened so fast! The earthquake; the stone, the guards fleeing for their lives; I don’t know where to begin.”

Matthew: “Just tell us what you witnessed, with your own eyes”

Mary of Magdala: “There was a man;”

The other Mary: “Yes! Yes!”

Mary of Magdala: “He was dressed in white; a luminous bright light!”

The other Mary: “I think THAT is what finally caused the guards to flee!” (Matthew 28:4)

Mary of Magdala: “We were frightened too. But this man, an angel, said to us, ‘Do not be alarmed and frightened, for I know that you are looking for Jesus Who was crucfied. He is not here; He has risen,as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay.’” (Matthew 28:5-6)

Matthew: “And what did you see?”

The other Mary: “WE DID NOT SEE HIS BODY!” (Luke 24:3)

Mary of Magdala: “The angel told us to go tell His disciples that He was risen from the dead and would meet with them in Galilee!”

Matthew: “We go now to the disciple, John for further information:

John: “Thanks Matt. I am still a bit out of breath having outrun my fellow disciple, Peter, here to the empty tomb. When we heard the news, we had to see for ourselves! And it was just as Mary said. The linen cloths were precisely as they where when they covered Jesus. Oh, and the burial napkin (or kerchief) which had been around Jesus head was separated from the other linens, but [remarkably] was still rolled up! (John 20:5,6) Matthew, as remarkable as it may seem, JESUS IS RISEN; HE IS RISEN INDEED! And I want to go on the record to everyone who reads this report:

“These are written (recorded) in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of God, and that through believing and cleaving to and trusting in and relying upon Him you may have life through (in) His name [that is, through what He is!]” - John 20:31; Psalms 2:7,12

Second Report:

Matthew: “Good evening. We have breaking news for you. The armed Roman guards who fled the scene of the tomb, therefore breaching their assignment, face severe penalties, even death, for being AWOL. This reporter is hereby documenting that while Mary of Magdala and the other Mary made their way to the disciples, some of the Roman guards made their way back into the city.”

“While they were on their way, behold some of the guard went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had occurred. And when they had gathered with the elders and had consulted together, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers, and said, ‘Tell people, His disciples came at night and stole Himaway while we were sleeping. And if the governor hears of it, wewill appease him and make you safe and free from trouble and care. So they took the money and did as they were instructed, and THIS STORY HAS BEEN CURRENT AMONG THE JEWS TO THE PRESENT DAY.” - Matthew 28:11-15 [AD 33-36; AD 2010...]

Two stories. Two reports - as they happened. Observe all of the testimony. Observe all of the evidence. What is your conclusion? According to the Scripture, each of us must come to a conclusion. Each one of us must choose to believe and live by one story or the other. The choice is unavoidable. Which report do you choose to believe today?

May the glory, power, mercy, love, peace that surpasses all understanding and saving grace of our risen Savior richly bless you!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Christian Militias?"

You’ve seen it on the local news, in news papers and in the internet, “Secret Christian Militia Arrested!”

The premiss defies logic...

If, indeed, it was Jesus’ will and purpose to form private militias, then He must be considered a failure. He recruited only twelve and one of those betrayed Him. Poor choice.

If, indeed, Jesus gave credibility to the raising of arms against those who would oppose His Gospel, why is Peter rebuked for having done so at the moment of Jesus’ arrest?

“Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Therefore, Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword [back] into the sheath! The cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’” - John 18:9-10

Luke, being a physician, takes the event a bit further and records not only did Peter cut off Malchus’ ear, but Jesus, in love and only as He could do, healed Malchus on the spot! (Luke 22:51)

No; no the lost, misguided, self-absorbed individuals who would adopt for themselves the banner of “Christian” while taking up arms rather than Bibles are anathema to the cause of Christ! Furthermore, it angers me with a righteous anger that such would make headlines and become, by their very claim to be “Christians”, thought to be typical of true Christians.

So that there is no misunderstanding, please allow me to refer to the Biblical description of a Christian:

”Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise - sensible, intelligent people; making the very most of the time - buying up each opportunity - because the days are evil.” - Ephesians 5:15-16

And the weapons of the true Christian?

“Stand therefore - hold your ground - having tightened the belt of TRUTH around your loins, and having put on the breastplate of INTEGRITY AND MORAL RECTITUDE AND RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD; having shod your feet in preparation to face the enemy with firm-footed STABILITY, the promptness and readiness produced by the good news of the GOSPEL OF PEACE. Lift up over all the covering shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword the Spirit wields, which is THE WORD OF GOD.” - Ephesians 6:14-17

The true Christian does not hide in the shadows and plot evil. The true Christian stands exposed as simply a sinner saved by the grace of God, ready to serve his fellow men and women, of all faiths, of all persuasions, of all opinions, so that by so doing, some might come to know Jesus and His love, and the true meaning of His great sacrifice on a lonely hill from a lonely cross.

May His love touch each of you. May the truth of His sacrifice on Calvary touch the very depths of your heart, and may Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection bring a newness of life to your soul this Easter!

God bless!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Census

The United States of America is still [statistically] considered a Christian nation. Approximately 159 million people, 76.5% of the United States’ population, consider themselves “Christian.”

Where are they? It just seems to me I’d be bumping into a few here and there. I guess they (“we”) tend to keep our “Christianity” private. But, should we?

“As you have therefore received the Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk - regulate your lives and conduct yourselves - in union and conformity to Him.” - Colossians 2:6 Amplified Bible

This verse presents a clear standard to live by. I need to conduct myself in “union and conformity” to Jesus. So, let’s broaden our “census”. Let’s find out from the religious leaders of Jesus’ day their opinion of Jesus’ lifestyle.

“And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and especially wicked sinners came and sat reclined with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those pre-eminently sinful?” - Matthew 9:10-11 Amplified Bible

“And when the scribes (belonging to the party) of the Pharisees,when they saw that He was eating with (those definitely known to be especially wicked) sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, “why does He eat and drink with tax collectors and notorious) sinners?" - Mark 2:17

Jesus confronted the religious leaders with their own words of condemnation:

“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking,and you say, “behold, a Man Who is a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and notorious sinners.” - Luke 7:34 Amplified Bible

The finger pointing continued long after Jesus ascended back into heaven. The Christian faith was new and growing. This rapid growth, with so many people of varying backgrounds and former beliefs, resulted in divisions. The Apostle Paul wanted to encourage members of the church at Corinth to stay focused upon TRUTH not opinion. He wanted to make certain they followed God’s law not the traditions of men and man- made laws.

Paul explained:

“For although I am free in every way from any one’s control, I have made myself a bond servant to everyone, so that I might gain the more [for Christ]. To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to men under the Law, [I became] as one under the Law, though not myself being under the Law, that I might win those under the Law. To those without law I became as one without law, not that I am without the law of God and lawless toward Him, but that I am [especially keeping] within and committed to the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without (outside) law. To the weak (wanting in discernment) I have become weak (wanting in discernment) that I might win the weak and over scrupulous. I have [in short] become all things to all men, that I might by all means-at all costs and in any and every way-save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ].” - 1 Corinthians 9:19-22

The “union and conformity to Christ” spoken of in Colossians 2:6 reveals Jesus’ open arms of love to those considered undesirable by the religious leaders of His day. Likewise, Paul’s primary objective was to share this “union and conformity to Christ” with everyone, wherever they may be.

How can a Christian do this and not compromise? Paul goes on to explain:

“Have the roots [for your life] firmly and deeply planted [in Him] - fixed and founded in Him - being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism, and vain deceit idle fancies and plain nonsense, following human tradition - men’s ideas of the material [rather than the spiritual] world - just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe, and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ, the Messiah. For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead), continues to dwell in bodily form - giving complete expression of the divine nature. And you are in Him, made full and have come to fulness of life - in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and reach full spiritual stature. And he is the Head of all rule and authority - of every angelic principality and power.” - Colossians 2:7-10

And so, while the nation counts lives, the Bible challenges us to make our lives count! Not in the pews, not in the safety of the church building only, but out and about - on the highways and byways. Loving and serving those whom Christ loves!

God bless!