Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Friday to you all! I pray that your day is going well! As we begin this time together…my prayer is that our hearts would become more preoccupied with Jesus, rather than the problems that seem to be surrounding us at this present time…Amen!!
You know…while living in the midst of these troubled times; there is one thing we need to remember…and that is how important it is to remain connected with Jesus. If we have a heart that’s truly filled with His presence; then we can rest assured that nothing will be able to invade our hearts but Him.
As I was thinking on this a few days ago…I was truly awakened to the fact that we do experience much more needless suffering within our lives because we tend to allow negative thoughts and feelings to fill up the heart, which only creates a clutter within the heart; that prevents Jesus from doing what we long for Him to do.
As I was thinking more and more on this today; God took me to a Bible verse in Psalm 51:10, which reads… “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Each day we need to keep our hearts free from the clutter that can attempt to suffocate the heart. Now days, it’s so easy for our minds and hearts to drift into what is taking place around us. Moments like these can attempt to overwhelm us…in a way that only causes these thoughts and feelings to become stored up within the heart. Once this takes place; that is when hope begins to dwindle, as Jesus becomes more distant in our lives.
As we walk through these darkened moments of life, we need to allow Jesus to create a new heart within us…one that is free from clutter; so the light of His presence can illuminate the heart and keep hope burning brightly within us.
As I have been thinking on all the changes that have been happening in this world lately, I have also come to see how easily we can find ourselves walking down these broken paths. Let’s face it…life here on earth has become something much different, than what it once was. Even though this world has a way of changing into something we never thought could ever be; that doesn’t mean that Jesus has changed in power…or in strength. I think the thing we need to come to grips with today…that will help us to keep these cluttered thoughts and feelings outside of the heart; is to walk beyond the storms that surround us…to seek something better and brighter, even if it’s only discovering a closer connection with Jesus; then what we once had before the storms began to rain down upon us.
No matter what we may be facing…and no matter where these moments have taken us; we need to remember one thing…and that is to keep the heart open to Jesus; because let’s face it…we need Him to be in the heart…to guard, guide and protect us, from the evil that seems to be surrounding us now days. When the heart can remain free from thoughts and feelings that stem from worry, doubt and fear; that is when Jesus will remain within the heart…to fill our hearts with only Him…and if we have a heart like this; then like I said before…nothing will be able to invade the heart and keep us from the help and hope we so desperately need right now…Amen!
Have a very blessed day…and remember to always make Jesus first and foremost within the heart. God bless!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Thursday to you all! I truly hope and pray that your day is going well…and even more, I pray that you will ALWAYS know that God has control over whatever may come your way…AMEN!!
First of all…as we begin, I would like to say that it’s good to be back with you today! Over the past 24 hours or so, we were experiencing a bad wind storm…and you won’t believe this; but the wind gusts got up to 60 mph, which I have never experienced before.
As Keith and I were visiting in the living room…preparing to begin another new day, the lights began to flash on and off, until they went off for good…so here I was with no power or internet service.
After getting around and making a phone call, I actually didn’t know what to do with myself; because I was so used to my daily ministry schedule…so after getting around, I decided to try and prep something for dinner, just in case the power was to come back on.
First, I started out by making some no-bake granola bars. Even though I didn’t need my oven, I still needed a stovetop to melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips…so I’m saying to God… “How can we do this?” Before I knew it, an idea began to spring up in my thoughts, which led me to Iight a 4 wick candle and safely place it in the kitchen sink. From there, I took a large cooling rack and placed it from the center part of the sink, to the other edge of the sink. Once I got it all set up, I took a small saucepan…and you won’t believe it; but the peanut butter and chocolate actually melted…and before I knew it, the granola bars were finished. After finishing the granola bars, I began to braid some bread dough with ham and cheese stuffed in the middle…and from there; I put everything in the fridge and cleaned up the kitchen.
Once I was finished with everything in the kitchen, I decided to go outside and fix a few of my bird feeders and just relax…so out the door I went. As I was listening to the wind whip through the pine trees; I began to focus on the power of God…and I was quickly reminded, as to how this wind was only an ounce of the power that must be contained within this powerful God.
Now as I sit here with you today, I am not only reminiscing back to what I experienced yesterday; but I am also seeing the calm after the storm. In other words…a day with no wind or rain…only sunshine and beautiful birds surrounding me at the feeders.
Before beginning my time with you today, I began to search God’s word for a Bible verse or two that would inspire us even more…and God led me to a few Bible verses in Matthew 8:23-27, which reads… “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24) Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25) The disciples went and woke him, saying, "LORD, save us! We're going to drown!" 26) He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27) The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" Here these disciples had journeyed with Jesus; but yet, they still stood amazed at how He was able to calm the storm. Don’t we realize that with every storm, there has to come a time of calm…a time, when a powerful God walks us out of the darkness of the storm…and into the sunshine of a new day?
Just as the sun sets and rises again; so too, does God work…with not only the storms that surround us; but also the storms that enter our lives…and no matter what comes our way, we can rest assured…knowing that with this powerful God…a time will come, when we will once more be able to experience the calm after the storm…Amen!
Have a very blessed day…and I will hope to see you soon! God bless!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Tuesday to you all! I hope that your day is off to a good start! As we begin our time together today, my prayer is that we will no longer fear weakness; but rather, know in our hearts that the grace of God is greater than anything that may attempt to take us down…Amen!!
During times such as these, we can find it so easy to get caught up in weakness and the difficult moments that stand before us. Isn’t it amazing how Satan can try to convince us that nothing will ever be great enough to save us from these difficult times?
As I was searching God’s word for a Bible verse that would help and encourage us all; God led me to a few Bible verses in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, which reads… “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9) And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Many of our circumstances may not be exactly like Paul experienced; but one thing we can truly have confidence in; is that God’s grace is more than sufficient, for whatever we may be facing at the time.
When I first discovered these Bible verses; it was at a time in my life, when I truly had felt that all hope was gone. As I look back to these moments in my life…I see times, when I did as Paul…begging God continually to save me; but even though God didn’t respond at the time I wanted Him to…and even though God didn’t answer my prayer in the way I wanted Him to; He did show me that His grace was sufficient…through the way He sustained me.
You know…there can be times, when we feel as if we are about to go down with the evil that seems to be controlling our lives at the time; but I’m here to encourage you and say that just as God spared Paul’s life…and my life too; He will be there for all of us…and until that time, we just need to rest in His loving arms and know that His grace is more than sufficient to save us from these trying times that surround us.
I remember a time in my youth, when I was sitting in a Sunday school class…and our teacher was speaking on the word “Grace”…and the one thing that truly stuck with me throughout my life; is what she shared with all of us that day…and this is what she said… “Grace means “God’s Riches At Christ Expense.”
We must come to one realization today and that is this…Christ didn’t give up His entire life to free us; so that He could stand by and watch this world or even our circumstances place us back in bondage. I believe that when we truly come to the realization of all that Jesus did for us on the cross; that is when we will truly believe in His saving grace.
Maybe this world is slowly falling apart; but I know a God who is ready to catch us and draw us even closer to Him. Remember…those who truly accept Jesus into their hearts are now His children…and I don’t know about you; but I don’t believe that Jesus is ever going to allow any harm or destruction to fall upon His children…the ones He loves…and the ones He died for.
When we can truly see the grace of God as a shield to protect us; that is when we will truly come to see God as something greater than what surrounds us…and that is when we will also know in our hearts that nothing can ever be greater than God’s grace…Amen!!
Have a very blessed day…and ALWAYS know that you are surrounded by the loving presence…of a God who loves you so very much! God bless!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Monday to you all! I truly hope that your day…and this brand new week are off to a great start! As we begin another new week together, I pray that we will always remember…that no matter what we face…God is always close by…Amen!
You know…as I’ve been sitting here in the office this morning…enjoying some good music and a peaceful view outside my window; I was reminded, as to how we can easily lose track of God, while facing troubled times…such as we are right now. Sometimes I think we just need a good reminder; that no matter how real the presence of evil may be…God’s presence still shines brighter during these darkened moments of life.
As we spend this time together today, I would like to share some Bible verses with you; that will remind us all that God’s presence is truly with us…and the first one is found in Psalm 23:4, which reads… “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”
You know…these moments we are walking through right now, can make us feel as if we are walking down a darkened path…one where we can’t even see a glimpse of light at times. Moments such as these can make us fear what is happening around us; but that is only because our thoughts and hearts have become tightly fixed on these difficult times we’re facing. Now, if we were to focus on something or someone greater than the darkness of evil; then those thoughts alone would remind us that there is One who is greater than evil…one who is walking with us all the way; despite what evil may be attempting to make us believe at the time.
Today, I just wonder how many times have we felt as if God has left us alone in the dark, without even realizing that we could have been the one who let go of Him…to hold tightly to what is happening around us? We must remember that if we are going to truly know and feel God’s presence, while walking down these darkened paths; then first, we must look for Him in that darkness, rather than allowing ourselves to get caught up in these darkened moments.
Another Bible verse that I would like to share with you today is found in Jeremiah 29:13, which reads… “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Today, we need to remember that we will only find God in the midst of all this chaos, when we choose to seek Him with a complete heart. We might as well realize that good and evil cannot reside together within the heart; so God gives us a choice…will we continue to get caught up in the darkness and these unknown moments…or will we turn away from darkness, to seek a light that can guide us through that darkness?
A few of my very favorite Bible verses are found in Isaiah 43: 2-3a…and we read… “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3) For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;”
Today, we may be feeling as if the troubled waters are about to overtake us…or maybe we’re feeling that an overwhelming circumstance is about to bring us to destruction; but the thing that God longs for us to see the most today; is that as long as we truly know in our hearts that He is walking right beside us; that this is when we will experience a peace that will help us to see that these troubled waters can never overtake us…and the flames of an overwhelming circumstance will never be able to set us ablaze.
You know…sometimes we just need a little reminder…a time when we allow our thoughts to regroup and get back on track with God…and my prayer today; is that we will never allow the darkness to lead us down further paths of darkness; but that we will turn to the One, who can truly be the light we need, while walking through the dark and chaotic moments of life…Amen!!
Have a very blessed day…and ALWAYS know that God is there for you…no matter what!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Friday to you all! It’s so good to be back with you today…and my prayer as we begin; is that we will always remain faithful to God…no matter what comes our way…Amen!
As we begin this time together, there is one thing that I would like to talk on…something that I have truly seen over these past few days…and that is how easily we can get caught up in the evil that surrounds us. It’s as though the minute our minds turn in its direction, we become ensnared in its web…where we can no longer see anything good…only the worst of what it’s attempting to relay to us at the moment…and this is one thing that we must be very careful of.
I don’t know about you…but more and more, I am seeing an evil that is attempting to defeat and destroy whatever enters its path…as Satan must know that the sand in the hour glass is running low. As these moments intensify, we can find it very difficult to believe that there is a power greater than what is attempting to overtake our lives. In fact…these deceptive moments can even become so overwhelming at times; that we begin to convince ourselves that there is no longer any hope to hold onto.
A Bible verse that has truly helped me through some very difficult times in my life is found in Isaiah 41:10, which reads… “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
As I have read this verse many times…one thing that has truly stood out for me; is where it says… “…do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” In other words…don’t allow what is going on around you to take you down…because even though God may be allowing something to happen…that we never expected to happen; that doesn’t mean that the power of evil has won. In fact…I have come to see through many difficult times in my life; that even though God allowed…what I once saw to be the very worst; it was only so He could bring about the very best, which I eventually did come to see.
Every day of our lives, we need to become more and more in tune with this powerful God we serve. In this way, we will never see anything greater, than the power of a God who never fails. We must also realize that fearing evil will only open the door for Satan to enter and intensify these moments that are already weighing us down.
I don’t know about you…but these past few days have been very difficult for me to view, as we are viewing a divided nation; but even though we grieve the loss of what we once had; that doesn’t mean that our God has failed us. In fact, it only means that we are drawing closer and closer to a day, when evil will once and for all be destroyed. Just think…for the one who truly knows Christ; a day is coming when we will live in peace forever. The bible says that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Even though evil is attempting to convince us each day of defeat and destruction; there is One who is bringing hope to us…a hope that evil will never be able to take from us…and that hope says that these times we are facing will soon be no more…and why…because God is God…Amen!
As we close…my prayer for all of us; is that we will shun evil and focus on the One whose hope, love and compassion will soon draw us even closer to Him, for all of eternity…Amen!
Have a very blessed day and remember…your God’s got you!
Many blessings on your day!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Tuesday to you all! Praise God for another new day…one that begins anew…with new possibilities! No matter what may have entered your yesterday…just know that God is now giving you a brand new today…praise Him!!
As I was sitting here this morning…looking out to a new day, while listening to some powerful music; God began to lead me to four awesome Bible verses in Psalm 34:17-20…and we read… “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19) The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20) he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
As I look back on my life, I remember many times when I was truly crushed in spirit. In fact…I don’t think that I could have been brought any lower, than what I had been brought to at that time. I was not only going through knee problems and surgeries; but I was also walking down a deep dark pathway of the past…and you know what…when we experience moments such as these; then we can easily feel as if we will never see the light of day again…as I once felt.
Even though my plate was full and overwhelming at that time, I did eventually come to see that my Lord was listening to what was left of my broken heart…and actually; that became the time when He drew Himself even closer to me…and why…because I had humbled myself and cried out to Him and He heard that cry and came running.
You know…the Lord never said that we would have a perfect life here on earth. In fact, He is reminding us in these Bible verses that the righteous person may have many troubles…but the good news that follows; is that He will be there to deliver us from them all. You see…even though these many troubles that surround us, have a way of convincing us that nothing will get better; there is a God who doesn’t see it that way…for He’s already on the other side of these storms, with the answers that can resolve what’s troubling us.
Many times, I think that we want to give up because we become more drawn into the symptoms of each problem; that before we realize it, we find ourselves overwhelmingly convinced that there is no hope; but I’m here to tell you today, from my own life experiences…that there is hope and it’s found in a God who will always be greater than what’s troubling us.
As we continue this time together, let’s just stop and think…do we know of any other one who can produce more than what this God has done over time? He not only created us; but He also suspends this world…our home, in mid-air, while placing boundary lines around the lakes and oceans…that they may not flood this earth. He is the One that takes a tiny bud and produces a large leaf or flower…and He is the One who knows when the darkness should be brought to light, while painting artistic sunsets in the sky…and just think; these are only the outer fringe of what this powerful God has truly done over time (Job 26:14).
If we would look back on the times, when our Lord had at one time been there for us, rather than focusing on every detail of these problems that stand before us; then I think that we would be reminded, as to how our Lord had brought His power into the past moments of weakness…and you know what…if He did it once…He will definitely do it again; for He is a God that never fails us.
Maybe it’s time for us to look away from the stack of problems that may be standing before us…and reflect on a God, whose power is great enough to remove each problem from us…one by one. One thing I know without a doubt; is that when we choose to stop focusing on the overwhelming troubles that are standing before us…to humbly focus on an overwhelming power that surrounds us; that is when I truly believe that we will experience a closeness to this God that we have never experienced before…a closeness that will bring a ray of light into the darkest moment, while removing each troubling moment from within us…Amen!!
Have a very blessed day…and ALWAYS know that the Lord is closest to the one with a broken heart! God bless!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
PS...I won't be on the blog tomorrow (Wednesday); but I will hope to be with you on Thursday!
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed Monday to you all! I truly hope and pray that your day and this brand new week are off to a great start! Just know that no matter what we face in life…and no matter how grim the situation may seem; we truly can find a reason to press on…knowing that Jesus is ALWAYS there for us…Amen!
Yesterday, as I was spending time with God, I was reminded as to how easily we can find ourselves giving more time to a circumstance, rather than the faith we once held so tightly to, when everything was going perfectly fine. Seems like we go to God and pray for help…only to find ourselves returning back to the wallowing hole, from where we first came.
As I was looking through some Bible verses this morning, God led me to a couple verses that have truly been an eye opening experience for me…and they are found in Isaiah 26:3-4…and we read… “He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! 4) Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.”
Let me ask you a question this morning… “Do you think that a wallowing hole is the perfect place to wait for God’s response to our prayer need?” I would say not…because the only way we are going to experience a sustaining peace, while waiting for God’s response to the problem; is when we choose to keep our thoughts on Him and remain close to Him, rather than the problem. In fact…I would say that when we pray for God’s help and return back to the wallowing hole of worry…doubt and fear; that this is only going to disconnect ourselves from the One we need the most, while reconnecting ourselves…not only to the problem; but to Satan himself.
One thing I have truly come to see over time; is that whatever we go after…that is what we will receive from in the end. In other words…if we are pursuing God, with a faith that keeps us steady on our feet…despite what we may be going through at the time; then in the end, we will be led to God’s very best; but on the other hand, if we pray for help and return back to the wallowing hole…only to focus on what is still taking place in our lives; then we are not only revealing a lack of faith; but we are also conveying a message to Satan that we are back for another dose, of what has already been given to us.
Let me ask you one more question as we close our time together… “If you were in an emergent need of help physically, would you go to the ER…tell your problem to the nurse at the front desk and then return home, while focusing on what could possibly be wrong?” No…I would think that you would stay there at the hospital, until you were able to talk with the doctor and find out what is wrong. In a similar way…when we run to God…only to go back to where we once were; then we are only going to find ourselves stuck with an unresolved problem. Every day, we need to depend on God and keep at it; because God is the only One who has the remedy and cure to what may be wrong within our lives.
Maybe today, you are struggling with a problem…and maybe you have gone to God with this need…only to discover no cure, to what may be wrong? Ask yourself this question… “Am I giving my need to God…only to let go of Him and reconnect with what is happening in my life?” If so; then the hope that God longs to give you today is this…start anew and return to Him and while you are waiting for His response…focus completely on what He is about to do. One thing I can say…that has truly helped me in this way; is to always talk everything out with God; that way, you are more in touch with Him rather than what may be wrong at the time.
As we close…my prayer is that we will not only give our needs over to God; but that we will remain in His waiting room, until He surrounds us with His presence and the cure that can make everything well once more…Amen!
Have a very blessed day…and I will see ya soon!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Hello everyone…and a very happy and blessed New Year to you all! Well…here we go…time to begin another new year…and as we do, I pray that we will know in our hearts that God is ALWAYS there for us…to rescue, save and sustain us through the trying times that may come our way…Amen!
The other night, as I was preparing to go to bed, I began to pour my heart out before God…and in the late hour of that evening, His thoughts began to strike a chord within my heart…and these are the words He shared from His heart to mine…“It’s not always easy to believe in a better tomorrow, when what stands before us seems to tell a different story; but just as one minute goes into another moment; so does the way we perceive life. Knowing that times do change…just as the clock changes from one moment to another; can help us to live with the hope that these present moments will eventually pass away, as new moments bring about something new.”
One thing I have come to see within my own life; is how a bad moment can attempt to convince me that there will never be a good moment again. It seems as though we get so caught up in the worst; that we begin to believe that the worst will never allow us to experience something better.
This morning, as I was thumbing through God’s word; He led me to a Bible verse that truly caught my eye…and it’s found in James 4:14…and we read… “How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone.” What a verse of hope! After reading this Bible verse this morning, I thought to myself…why do we allow the bad moments in a day, to ruin what God may have for us in another new tomorrow, when we don’t even have a clue as to what is going to happen next. Don’t we realize that God is the only One who can see down the path and know what He has in store for us? One thing that God is reminding me of right now; is how Satan uses these tempting thoughts to steal our joy and ruin what God truly has for us in a new tomorrow…and we should never allow this to continue on in our lives.
I remember a time in my life, when I would take hold of the moments that I was struggling with…only to foresee another tomorrow, as something similar to what was taking place at the time…that is, until God began to reveal something new to me…and the one thing He began to open my heart up to was this…when we attempt to predict our tomorrows, we are actually being led down a darkened path, with no knowledge or insight, as to what will be next in life, which only allows Satan to step in and deceive us into thinking that nothing will ever change for the better.
If we could only remember that the length of our lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now we see it…and soon it is gone; then we will always have a piece of hope to hold to, while facing these difficult times in our lives. Just think… as the dense and dark moments of fog attempt to blind us from our day…soon they do become a vapor that disappears…to make way for the sunshine of God’s presence…a presence that can once more bring about newness and a brighter tomorrow…so never give up on what is taking place in your life today.
As we begin our walk together into this brand new year; I pray that our eyes will always be open to God’s truth, rather than Satan’s deceptive lies…Amen!
Have a very blessed day and weekend…and God bless ALWAYS!
It’s Always & Only Because of Him…
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.