Time To Change

Time To Change

Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV) If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Daylight Savings Time. I will not complain. I will not gripe. I hate it. There I said it. I don’t care which clock you choose just pick one. A CNN poll shows that I am in the minority. Truth be told, I do not mind the results of the time change. I do not like the disruption of my schedule. It creates a few days of discomfort as my body whines for the extra hour of sleep. It’s change. You can say that you don’t mind change but we all are impacted by it. I painted the study in our house yesterday. I had already decided to move the furniture around so my desk faced the window. I like to change things up in the house. After 18 different renderings, I asked him to come look. He said, “I like it the old way better.” My daughter said, “It’s because you don’t like change.”

Transformation always requires change. If you are a creature of habit, it is uncomfortable to have your routine interrupted. However, I believe for the transformation from death to life requires it. We believe in God. We profess Jesus Christ. Yet, the patterns constructed by our habits and experiences are held tightly too. The Lord is offering us the opportunity to live a satisfied life. To live from glory to glory. To prosper as our soul does. To be resurrection and life in the land of the living long before we meet Him face to face. Yet the moment when change begins, most will begin to whine and complain as I do about the time change because change often makes us uncomfortable. It is new. It is inconvenient to those of who maintain order such as habits, schedules and routines that are completely compromised when the Lord steps in. It is a place of trust rather than confidence that our flesh does not want to fall into. We cannot control Christ. Christ must control us in order for our life to change from ordinary to extraordinary.

Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV) “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Resurrection power and life are available to us right here and right now. I have been studying John 11 and the death of Lazarus. I am like Martha. There is comfort in control that I am slowly giving up on. She liked staying busy. She ran a tight ship. She believed in Jesus Christ to a point. But the Lord had so much more for this radical doer. When Lazarus died, she believed that he would be raised…in eternity. Jesus stood right there in front of her offering new life to her dead loved one. She went back to her busyness. She told the Lord that she believed, but did she? Really? When it came time to roll the stone away and call forth her sleeping brother – she protested. His body in the grave for four days – she was concerned about the stink of it. New life could only come if she gave up the body to receive it.

How many times do we believe to the point of return? Our mind limits us. We can only journey to the extent our belief. The moment doubt, fear, anxiety, and worries take over – it is human nature to take control of the situation. How many times has the resurrection and life stood before me and because I was losing control or ran out of faith that my courage waned and I walked away from a miracle? God wants to open the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing on His People. However, human nature loses courage when the impossible happens or unthinkable occurs. The Lord invites us today to set our mind on higher things. To begin Kingdom thinking giving up our earthly cares and concerns. Trust is a fall from fear to faith that lifts us above our circumstances and situations to full satisfaction for those who will go. Do you believe that His Resurrection Power and Life is for you today? In the land of the living…

Psalm 27:13-14 (ESV) I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Daylight Savings Time is really a good thing. By setting our clocks forward one hour, it gives us more daylight in the summer. I will complain for a few days about the loss of sleep but fully embrace the light in the afternoon when I get off work. How many good things do we miss because our flesh doesn’t like the inconvenience? I am afraid quite a bit when it comes to the Lord. Faith is not in the seeing. Hope comes from confidence in the one who is faithful. If we are waiting for the Lord to show us His Hand, it will not happen until we give Him our heart. Fully trusting and believing in His Faithfulness now AND forever. With each new day comes the opportunity to say, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Then comes the not so fun part, I will wait for the Lord. Be strong. Let my heart take courage. And wait some more if necessary.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (ESV) From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Word of God is Jesus Christ. In John 1:4, it says, “In Him was life.” As a believer, Christ lives in you. His Breath is in your body along with the Resurrection Power and life. What is holding you back? What is keeping His Power from overflowing into the natural realm of today? Fear and insecurity keeps the stone over the dead things in our life. We doubt the Jesus of today yet claim to fully embrace our future hope. Jesus wants to breathe new life into those dead dreams today. Something will have to change. It will begin in you. Transformation is not comfortable or convenient. You will not be in control when the Lord reigns and rules in your heart. But you will be blessed beyond measure when Jesus begins to pour out the full satisfaction that He promises in His Word!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

We are transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2) I cannot give my life away without change. Today, I ask the Lord to change my heart and mind from natural excuses to supernatural expectation. To produce new faith and establish firm confidence that allows me to embrace change rather than trying to control it. To surrender my life like a seed put in the ground, He will transform it into exactly who and what He has called and created me to be. Lord, change me. Transform all the brokenness into the beauty you have promised. Bring every dry and dead bone back to life. I trust you Lord! Change is good when it is according to your Word, Will and Way. Teach me to embrace and embody all the changes you have in store for me!

Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


Be Moved


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John 20:21-23 (NLT) Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Yesterday my daughter came to see me at the office. She had just come from a doctor visit to check the progress of our little grandson growing inside her. The doctor declared him perfect and she had ultrasound pictures to prove it. She had an ultrasound about two weeks ago and already there are so many changes in his little appearance as he grows into the little personal with a big personality that the Lord has planned him to be. Each image more fascinating than the next as the image of a baby become clear from within the hidden place of her womb. I am fascinated, enthralled and totally in love. Whenever she has an ultrasound, this little man already shows his complete displeasure. Sonographers laugh at his immediate attempts to escape their probing. He arches his back and kicks his legs. Twisting, turning and flipping over to avoid the unwanted attention. At first, it could have been a fluke but after three attempts with the same reaction I am convinced this guy has a strong will tucked in the fast beating heart. Still a bit riled from the intrusion, my daughter laid my hand on her stomach and he kicked me. I melted. Pressing a little harder, I could feel him moving around with the occasional kick. My heart was moved. It swelled and the capacity to love became even greater in that moment for a person who I cannot even hold yet.

I remember being pregnant with my own children. Feeling flutters give way to movement then resounding kicks. All the potential, possibility and promise of a new little one to love, nurture and care for. This morning as I was thinking about our little grandbaby, I was touched in the heart by the Holy Spirit. The One who lives within me given to me by Jesus as a precious and useful gift to assist in my pursuit of Him in a dark and dying world. When Jesus came to see the disciples after his death and resurrection, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” There is power in the Spirit that Jesus gave us. He is living, breathing and moving within us. What is our response when He moves? Do we respond? Do we pay attention? Does our heart leap inside our chest? I have felt the movement of other children and grandchildren inside of new mothers. But now it is different, because this grandbaby is mine and lives inside my own child. I wonder what would happen if we perceived the Holy Spirit as our own rather than watching Him move in others?

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Repentance and turning to the Lord including baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ according to grace makes one eligible to receive the Holy Spirit. It is a gift. It is given to us as believers whether we want it or not. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman who will not force himself on anyone but eagerly waits for acceptance to activate God’s Power including the resurrection power that brought Jesus from the grave in our ordinary life. He is the guarantor of every promise that God has made to us. Jesus gave us His Word that He would never leave us or forsake us and the Holy Spirit is evidence of the reality of His Promise to us. What is our response? Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Father’s Love. Do we invite His Spirit to accompany us through our day, instruct us in our actions, soften our attitude, give us direction, listen to His Urgings, and move when He nudges us?

Ephesians 4:30-32 (NLT) And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Conviction is a power revelation of a positive change. Pride gives it a negative connotation. The things that bring sorrow to God’s Spirit are anything contradictory to His Love. The divine nature of God is love. He demonstrates that with His Mercy, Grace, Compassion, Kindness and Goodness that He lavishes on us. The woman at the well was given insight to the powerful combination of worship that would come – true worshippers would do so in Spirit and in Truth. The Holy Spirit is a facilitator of worship in us. He gives us the words, groanings and utterances when we do not have the words to say. In times of great pain, pressure, or persecution – the Holy Spirit expresses our heart, mind and need to the Father even in something as simple as an “oh” granted in a place of prayer and surrender before the Lord. He has the power to change our vocabulary by sifting through the contents of our heart and applying the Word to it. Filling our heart and mind with the love of God that produces all the valuable produce promised in Galatians 5:22-23. In every way, the Holy Spirit is out to benefit our life. I am not sure why Christians would shun or limit the Spirit of God when His Presence in our life offers such powerful potential and the fulfillment of Christ.

Luke 4:18-19 (NLT) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

When Jesus died on the Cross, he shouted and released His Spirit – the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 27:50) It was the Holy Spirit who tore the veil in the Temple from top to bottom. The earth shook as an earthquake erupted at the Glory and Power of God poured out that day. Immediately – resurrection power began to bring the dead to life. His Spirit now poured out would soon find its way to His People filling them with the grace provided by His Love and empowering them with it. We are those people. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. I can now fully express the love of God because I have experienced it intimately. When I feel the Spirit of God move within me, I recognize Him. I know who He is. I know what comes next is important and to pay attention. If  you have asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and truly repented – you have been given the Holy Spirit. Do you feel Him inside of you? Do you know when He is moving, urging or nudging you to better things?

I encourage you today to acknowledge God’s Spirit. Thank the Lord for investing His Spirit full of life and power in you. The Holy Spirit was sent specifically to help you. Let Him do His Job. He is a wonderful friend, teacher, guide and companion. He wants God’s Best for you and does everything possible to make it come to pass. He is intimacy with Christ. He identifies you as a Child of the Living God with full benefits. Utilize them. God promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) His Spirit is the fulfillment of the promise. Take advantage of God’s Kindness by inviting the Spirit to have His Way in you today!

God’s Spirit is alive in you. His Presence in the life of a believer is non-negotiable. Those who belong to Christ have His Spirit. The two must become one. I wonder what might happen if our expectancy for His Spirit became as elevated as let’s say my enthusiasm and desire to feel my grandchild moving inside his mom. What would happen if we responded to His Move with the same level of attentiveness and excitement? We must be moved by the Spirit of God to reach fulfillment. He gives life and power to the believer. He is a Gift from God!

John 14:26-27 (Message) “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

The Humble Way


I Peter 5:6-7 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

I had the rare pleasure of a telephone conversation with my sister who lives in Missouri. She happened to reach out to me during my commute to work which usually is my extended quiet time, prayer time, and worship session at the beginning of the day. She does not call often so when she popped up on the caller ID, I knew it was important. She had an important prayer request and shared her heart with me. It was serious and intent conversation. As she began to speak, I prayed silently that the Lord would help me hear her heart and offer the encouragement that only His Spirit can give. If you know my sister, she is hilarious. Even in a moment of complete transparency and total relevance, I should have known that she would say something to make me burst out laughing. This would be no exception. She said, “I do not have time to get on someone else’s hamster wheel and let their junk hit me in the head.” Now, you may not think this is funny for a variety of reasons, but I was dissolved into inconsolable laughter and added the immediate disclaimer that I would indeed be using this illustration many times to come. She gave her complete consent. We continued our conversation all the way to my office and as usual my kid sister completely blessed my heart.

“Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares for you.” Are you the hamster on the wheel today? Running fast and hard but getting nowhere day after day? Are you getting hit in the head (and heart) with the same junk over and over again? Are you praying but hearing nothing? Are you petitioning but seeing no change? Are you tired? Are you weary? Do you need rest? Do you need a win? Do you need peace? Though I laughed at the thought, it began to penetrate my heart throughout the day. Are there areas of my life that are lacking because rather than choosing God’s Way, I have chosen my own? Could the very things repeating in my life be evidence of my own doing and not a form of spiritual attack? Is it me, Lord?

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus invites us to bring Him all of our cares and concerns in exchange for peace and rest. He calls to the weak and heavy laden carrying burdens. Is that you? “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart.” Take my yoke. It is an exchange of my weakness for His Power as indicated in 2 Corinthians 12:9. The breaking point when I give up my weakness to accept His Grace and He gives me His Power. The Lord does not take our load so we can go find more baggage. Jesus invites us to learn from Him and do as He did. “For my yoke is easy to bear and my burden is light.”

Micah 6:8 breaks it down quite nicely into bite-size pieces for every believer. Do what is right. To love mercy. To walk humbly with Your God. That is Christian Living in a nutshell, but we act allergic to nuts. Finding excuses along His Way to do it our way. The very thing that is choking the life out of us is pride. It is a problem. It stops us from doing what is right, loving mercy and worst of all walking with our God.

James 4:5-7 (NLT) Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Satan was once the most beautiful angel in all of heaven. He was the model of perfection. Full of wisdom and exquisite beauty. He was ordained and anointed as the mighty angelic guardian giving him full access to God. What happened? “Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor.” (Ezekiel 28) We think about the devil as a beast hard on the eyes and disgustingly evil but consider this. He lived in the Presence of God. He experienced His Glory firsthand. He was right there with a front row seat. He even is permitted to return as seen in the book of Job. Yet his pride told him that he was greater, could do more and be God. How is this possible? I have experienced just a glimpse of the Glory of God in worship, during prayer, and even when studying His Word. It undoes me completely. I melt to my knees totally overwhelmed by His Goodness. Yet the enemy of our souls who lived with God did not feel the same way. I cannot even imagine. What was his problem? Pride. God opposes pride. God is a “yes” or “no” kind of guy. He never says, “Maybe.” He chooses right over wrong and good over evil never entering the gray areas of life or acknowledging the middle of the road. With this in mind, how detrimental pride is even in the smallest portion! It took one sin to require all of the Blood of Jesus Christ. It takes a hint of pride to keep us from moving closer to the Lord.

The enemy decided to exalt self over God. He wanted to be God. This precipitated his great fall to the earth and is the subject of his rage against it. (Isaiah 14) We must be very careful to not assume the position of Satan in our everyday life. We must focus intently on our passion and pursuits in life to determine if pride is a factor. God opposes pride on every level even religiosity which thinks grace is something that can be earned rather than inherited by our Father. To live in the Presence of God we must resist pride. If pride is in us, it will invite the enemy’s pursuit. To live humbly in God’s Presence causes him to flee.

James 4:8-10 (NLT) Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

True repentance is characterized by complete humility. It is to be loyal to the Kingdom of God and by grace gaining access to the Father. To share a yoke with Jesus Christ means sacrificing pride completely. What is pride? Pride is self-esteem. It is the idea that I have a level of power and control over my life and ability to change my circumstance or condition. I do, but only in a natural sense. If I desire the resurrection power of God to transform me from death to life, I must give up my life now to gain it. Pride divides our interest between Heaven and earth. How do I know if I am prideful? Do you feel entitled? Do you withhold forgiveness from those who hurt, betray and abuse you? Do you submit to God’s Authority by obeying the Word of God completely? Do you find deep satisfaction in your personal accomplishments or give God all the Glory? Do you believe that pursuing the Lord will promote you in His Kingdom? Do you seek the approval and affirmation of other people? Do you worry? Do you stress? Are you anxious? Do you want to give up? Do you have peace? God has invited us to do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly beside Him. We must be willing to give up our right to be right, choose mercy over judgment and surrender our Way completely to walk His Way. To choose closeness with God is to be humble.

John 5:19-20 (NLT) o Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing.”

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” Jesus humbled His Life to the mighty power of His Father when He came into this world. He only did what God instructed Him to do and never strayed from His Father’s Word, Will or Way. He is our example of humility. True humility is evidenced in our ability to trust the Lord fully. It is confidence in God’s Mighty Power that allowed Jesus to endure the Cross and visit the grave knowing that “at the right time” God would “lift him up” which is resurrection life. To humble myself to God and walk in His Way will give me resurrection power in my everyday life. Humility allows us to radically pursue God because there is no longer anything to lose. Once pride gives way to humility, our life is no longer our own but given to the Power of God in us. He is passionate that the Spirit in us faithful to Him. Our passion is worthless enthusiasm and misdirected zeal until pride is eradicated. Humility gives us access to God in full measure. Humility makes faith in God fruitful because our confidence is in hope and not what is visible by the naked eye.

What does this mean? The humble way chooses to step off the hamster wheel and let the junk fall were it may knowing that God promises to make every detail of our life work out for His Glory which is our good. It means that I don’t have to run the rat race to get ahead but to just follow God’s Word, do His Will and choose His Way. Yoked to Christ I have grace that allows me to utilize God’s Power rather than wallowing in human weakness. It gives my life new purpose. It fills my life with promises. It gives me peace. Allows me to rest. My life will prosper because I chose to humble myself before the Lord. To wait until He resurrects my mind, soul and body. God is good. Today I choose to do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.

Psalm 25:8-10 (NLT) The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Activate Faith

Activate Faith

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

So much for the leisurely stroll around the Scriptures this morning, it is clear that the Lord has something to say to us today. This really should be titled, “The Fast and the Furious.” Most mornings, my time with Jesus is peaceful and quiet. We talk. We walk through the Word. I pick up nuggets here and there to share with others. It is a wonderful way to begin each day and I highly recommend it. Some days, like today, it is a different story. As if something is being poured and I am running to catch it in a small glass, I don’t want to spill a drop. The Windows of Heaven are open today which means our prayers are being heard, mandates given, and the power of God pouring out on His People. Thank you, Lord.

It all began innocently. I was creating a spreadsheet for our pastor of the guests from our recent Grand Opening Celebration. He will be contacting these families. It is important for us to connect with one another. Haphazardly glancing through the pile in sheer exhaustion, I clearly underestimated how many new people and families who joined us that day. The growing list overwhelmed my heart as it raced with excitement. But it didn’t stop there, as I pressed send on the email – we were off. I went straight to the story in 2 Kings about the widow whose husband had died and now was in a desperate situation…until the Lord came for a visit.

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NLT) One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.” “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied. And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing. When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

The widow was in a desperate situation. Her husband gone. No source of income. Her sons about to be taken into slavery. She felt like her life was slipping through her fingers. Elisha asked her, “What can I do to help you?” He asked her, “What do you have in your house?” Nothing. She had nothing but a flask of oil. Do you feel like the widow today? When you look around there is only desperation. Examining your life to find a hopeless situation. There is nothing to work with or draw from. What do you do? You turn to the Lord. We all do it. When things are good, we take over control of our life until we run dry, run out, or are used up. Then turning back to the Lord in desperation. He does the miraculous.

Elisha told her to gather as many empty jars as she could from friends and neighbors. NOTE: He did not tell her to go find jars full of any earthly sustenance which is human nature. To grab a handout if you can. He told her to go muster her faith. How big is your faith in God today? Is it possible to trust the Lord beyond your own understanding? Can you plunge into the depths of His Ways and Thinking that is so much higher than our own? Are you willing to wait for Jesus to do more than you can ask or think? Oh it’s coming. He is only waiting on you to activate your faith the moment you are filled with desperation.

I wonder what this woman was thinking at that moment. The beginning of desperation is called despair. This is usually when we are worrying, fretting, stressing, crying, complaining, moaning, groaning and miserable over the situation or circumstance we are in. Desperation comes after that. When we are desperate, we become reckless in our behavior. We have nothing to lose. The urgency of our need or desire take over good common sense. Our hope is dangerously low and the indicator light is on. What is it telling us? A miracle is about to happen. When our despair leads to desperation, it is the moment that our living condition becomes intolerable so something has to change. For those who believe filled with faith will become willing to walk by faith not by sight in that moment, they will risk anything just to be saved.

The outpouring of God in this woman’s life was limited only by her faith. When the vessels were full, the oil stopped pouring. What is the capacity of your willingness to trust the Lord? What is your level of faith? Have you cried out to the Lord and things only went from bad to worse? Good. God provides the impossible so that faith can make all things possible.

Romans 5:1-5 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Faith allows us to be in right standing with God. By His Grace, we are saved by what? Faith. Faith that is lip service yields nothing but hot air. It is when faith moves from an attitude to an action that it is activated. You will not step out of comfort into faith but you will grab hold of it to pull yourself out of a fiery trial or two. We live in a place of undeserved privilege by faith. We are changed from glory to glory by faith. We must have faith to please God and remain in good standing with Him. (Hebrews 11:6) What produces faith? We run into problems and trials and get a little discouraged. Trotting along the road gets a little longer, so we must be patient and endure. Oh now we get a little disheartened. I hate to wait. God knows my heart so I find myself waiting all the time. I must endure to the end to be saved. This will require patient endurance that God is giving me in those wait times. I get it even though I don’t like it. Gotta keep moving. Endurance develops our character. Why is that so important? Character is important. It is our identity. Who we are? We are to be sons and daughters of God. We should look like it, talk like it and act like it. When our appearance and identity according to the world begins changing into who God created us to be, the fearfully and wonderfully made man or woman designed by God and masterpiece drawn by His Mighty Hand something begins to change in us. See when we cannot save ourselves – we turn to the Lord in complete desperation. The attainment of faith can be a difficult process. It is always worthwhile.

What do we find at the end? Hope that will never ever lead to disappointment. We thought that is exactly where we were headed down letdown lane, but really God was emptying our vessel to fill us up again with something more valuable than what worry, fear and doubt produced. You would have never let go of lesser things if God asked you for them. It would have been a fight to the finish. He just led you to something better that you are more than willing to take hold of and embrace.

Romans 5:6 (NLT) When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Are you utterly helpless today? Do you feel wrung out like a dishrag lying on the sink? The dishes are done but so are you! God sees you right where you are and is rejoicing over you today. Great things are about to happen in your life because He has just about got you moved out of the way. Grace is pouring over you. It is feeling every void with the same resurrection power that brought Jesus Christ out of the grave.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT) Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The widow woman was discouraged. She felt hopeless. She became desperate. Her miracle came to pass that day. What about you? Is there a miracle in your midst today? I absolutely believe that there is. It is my experience that when our situation is labeled “impossible” or we are told that it is “hopeless” or maybe given the impression that it will be this way “forever”, that this is the moment His Grace becomes enough. This is the only time in the Word of God that Paul refers to the “thorn in his flesh”. He asked the Lord to remove it three time different times. Been there, done that. When our son was diagnosed the third time with cancer, the Lord brought this verse to mind. I read it. I got mad. I felt it was so cliché. God said, “No, really.” I thought “I wish that He would mind His Own Business.” I felt was a callous response to his brokenhearted daughter. Little did I know that my life was far from undone. It was only the beginning.

Each diagnose took a little more and a little more of my faith. I remember the day it ran out. Sitting at my desk in my office at work. All the lights in the building had been turned off except a desk lamp softly glowing. We were out of options. The final denial had come in and if God didn’t do something soon – our son would die. I have never felt so dry and desperate. The Lord has been good to me. God loves me. But I couldn’t understand why He would promise me that our son would live but it didn’t look like anymore. Staring at blank computer monitors, I felt like I was looking at a mirror to my soul. Dark, oh so dark. All I could whisper, “but I trust you God.” Dissolving into tears, I just poured out what was left of me to the Lord. I was weak, but it was in that moment of totally trusting Jesus that I found strength. He became my strength because I couldn’t do it anymore. I was done so He could step in and fill every facet of my life with His Power to finish the race of faith and claim the prize.

Matthew 14:28-32 (NLT) Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.

Jesus is doing exactly what He promised to do, but are we willing to get out of the boat. Not until our comfort zone is compromised, Peter didn’t even consider leaving the safety of the vessel until it was taking on water in danger of sinking in the storm. He was all too ready to jump in the water with Jesus when he became desperate. The moment Peter’s feet hit the water, his faith was evident. The moment his faith ran out was just as clear when he began to go under. Our faith is proportioned to our ability to trust Jesus, keep our eyes on Him and walk with Him. It is clear when it runs out.

The process of life for a believer is to attain faith in Jesus Christ and to trust God. This is the system of exchange that connects us to Heaven, blessings, prosperity and success according to the Word, Will and Way of God. We will not pursue God outside of desperation at the level necessary to secure heavenly things but just enough to remain comfortable. Comfort leads to compromise. Compromise invites complacency to live in us. This is a dream crusher, faith killer, and hope destroyer that the enemy uses every single day to cause Christians to go under. His Grace is enough. You will not know or understand its potential until His Grace is all that you have.

Matthew 17:19-20 (NLT) Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

If faith came in large quantities, it would not be compared to a mustard seed but mighty timber or giant mountain. No it is tiny and small. Hard to come by but with the greatest potential. We are impossible people. No really. In Genesis 11:5-6, God said that united people can do the impossible even apart from Him. Good luck with that huh? We cannot come together to save our souls in many instances so thankfully that is not a requirement but definitely a blessing when we get it right. We have impossible potential in us. Partnered with the Lord this becomes our purpose. It is in our desperation that we cry out to God. (Zechariah 8:6) I am not ashamed to admit that I have never ever cried out to God like I did on behalf of our son. It changed how I pray. It took my relationship with Jesus to a whole new level independent of our son and his situation. I will never be the same because of it. When we cry out to the Lord, He usually asks just one thing of us – to trust Him more. Do you trust the Lord today? The powerless become powerful just because they have the tiniest of faith.

Mark 9:23-24 (NLT) “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

This father was desperate to see his son released, delivered and set free. Jesus told him that anything is possible if a person believes. Do you believe? The words of your mouth reveal the contents of your heart. Actions speak louder than words. Those who believe are at peace even in the mightiest storm. Though stricken, they do not fall but regain composure thanks to the Hand of God that holds them. They do not lack, complain or die in famine but thrive nevertheless. God has all this instore for us. He is just waiting for us to trust Him a little more. We must turn our “if you can” to “yes you can” today and be willing to wait until God works it all out.

Hebrews 11:6-10 (NLT) And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

It is impossible to please God without faith. He is not asking for much just a willing, empty vessel to fill and refill over and over again. Are you that vessel today? It is easy to proclaim a faith you do not have. People do it every day. But when the entire world comes crashing down around you, will it be enough to keep our hope secure. That really is what it all comes down to – how strong is our anchor of hope? (Hebrews 6:19) God told Noah to build the ark. Noah did it even though he didn’t know what “rain” was. He just did it by faith because he believed God completely. Abraham was told to leave his home for an unknown destination. God knew where Abraham was going and what He would find there. Yet Abraham had to pack up his family and move to find it. Peter would be the rock upon which Jesus built the church. Peter had to get out of the boat first. Our faith must be activated. God uses desperation to facilitate faith in our life. Rather than looking at what you do have, get out there and find opportunities to invest your faith into impossible situations. Over and over again, God will provide the grace that promotes power, the faith that moves mountains, and hope that never leads to disappointment. The next step is up to you!

Psalm 37:3-4 (NLT) Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Fragrance of Life

Fragrance of Life

Philippians 4:6-7(NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


With thanksgiving. I think sometimes we miss those two little words that mean so much. Be anxious for nothing is a bold endeavor. Raise your hand if you never worry, stress, fear, or experience anxiety. Yeah, I didn’t think so. We are to give everything (care, worry and burden) to God in Jesus Christ. Now hang on, everything has to mean more than that and it does except that is not the problem. We praise God when we win, overcome and triumph. When things are good, great and better than expected, we give Him praise and say, “Thanks”, right? Or at least, we should. No, it is before victory comes that our thanksgiving is most powerful and effective. We are to bring everything by prayer and that thing called supplication before our God which means to pray, seek or ask humbly. We petition God not for our haves but have nots. To be anxious for nothing means surrendering our wants, needs and desires before the Lord for fulfillment. People have never really had a problem making their requests known to God. In fact, they offer very little else in their approach. However, we must learn what it means to be thankful to experience the triumph associated with faith in God and living in the realm of confident hope.


Philippians 4:10-13 (NKJV)

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Paul indicates in this passage that the “givers had stopped giving” for a while. “At last your care for has flourished again…” Paul goes on to say that his words are not in “regard to need” for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I touched on the subject of contentment yesterday. I should not be surprised that the Lord was leading me to this place. Thankfulness is the thread that secures contentment to our heart and mind. It is a shift from our current circumstances to look beyond today, tomorrow and the natural world in which we reside to the Kingdom of God. To be content in all things comes at the cost of sacrificial thanksgiving. To give thanks in all things is our primary goal to move from merely surviving to thriving in the Presence of God. It has absolutely nothing to do with our haves and have nots but the faith and confident hope found in trusting the Lord. He is our Provider. He is our Strength. It is the radical shift in our attitude that frees us to follow Jesus. It is a surrender of self and forfeiture of comfort that allows us to move from tragedy to triumph in life.


I read an article yesterday that is all too common in this perverse world today. A father ruthlessly murdered his daughter. If possible to be more heinous is the fact that the child was turning the corner in her cancer treatment for retinoblastoma. She was a living, breathing miracle. When the two did not show up to pick up mom after work, she called the authorities. The man was soon found childless. Upon questioning, he described the horrific act of killing the toddler. When asked for a motive, he told authorities that he committed the act of murder because his child’s illness had consumed the attention of his wife. I am appalled. This little girl was finally able to live her life again. She was stepping over the finish line into victory lane.


I came across this story while flying home from Cancun, Mexico after a much needed break with my sweet husband. This was our first getaway alone after a more than three-year cancer battle with our son. After a year of remission, it is apparent that our life is turning the corner as he has triumphed over the disease. As I was laying in the middle of paradise with my husband in the soft ocean breeze resting and relaxing under a tiki hut, I thanked the Lord that we made it. We finally could breathe again. Most couples do not make it through the ordeal, it is just so hard. I don’t know how anyone survives life’s tragedies without faith and hope in the impossible thanks to God through Jesus Christ. She was almost there. Her tiny foot poised for victory and evil took them out. I think of all the time and attention fixed on our son at the price of others. I was not able to be home all the time off waging a war. My husband did a wonderful job. He took excellent care of our children and supported me wholeheartedly.


What made the difference? Why did we make it to victory while others have not? It is simple. Too simple, in fact, for some to accept. You probably do not want to hear it. Jesus. Pure truth. If we had not had faith in the Lord, we would have never made it to triumph. It was a complete sacrifice of self in total abandonment to our faith that kept us all going when the medical team seemed to be losing. Thankfulness is a sacrifice that leads us to triumph because in the midst of the ultimate opposition in life it forces the attention off of us (who can do nothing) to our Lord (who can do anything). It was never about us. Jesus is the only one who can lead us from victory to victory and glory to glory. Tragedy strikes when we take our eyes, hearts, and minds off of Him. In the middle of the fight, when the doctors opened the conversation to hope because modern medicine was no longer working a decision had to be made. Would I respond to the hope we have in Christ or allow their words to have a worldly meaning because they were telling us that he may die? We chose faith and trust in God no matter what. Live here or live with Him – we would be thankful. See thankfulness as a response to faith and confident hope has eternal impact on our life.


Romans 1:20-23 (NKJV)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.


From Creation, God has been revealing Himself and His Intentions to all mankind. He has clearly handwritten His Instructions and sent His Spirit to many men to construct the Gospel for our use. We have it all presented in the Word of God. It is clear the Lord’s Great Care and Concern wrapped in Unconditional Love and Overwhelming Grace claimed by faith alone. We can do nothing for God. Our only hope is to accept His Grace by Faith. Thanksgiving in all things, all circumstances and living in contentment all point to a made up mind, steadfast and immovable in the Lord. There are people who know “of” God and then there are those who strive to know God. I am know of many people. I am acquainted with some of them. I am friends with fewer of them. This is the movement and progression our relationship with God. We knew of Him. We decided to meet Him. Finally, we choose to become intimate with the Lord allowing Him access to our life.


Romans 1:17 tells us that God reveals Himself to us faith to faith. Faith is trusting, leaning, relying on God. How do we know if we are successful? We become thankful in all things as His Faith and Confident Hope begin to resonate from our life as thanksgiving. Not for what He is doing, but because of who He is. To know God really is to love Him. To trust Him leads us to triumph. If we hold on to our faith and remain anchored in confident hope no matter how rough things get.


I Corinthians 15:56-58 (NKJV)

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.


God has given us victory through His Son, Jesus Christ. If you knew you would win the lottery, you would buy a ticket. If you knew that you would win the drawing, you would fill out the form. If you knew you had victory in all things, you would be thankful. I’m sorry. Did I trick you? People buy lottery tickets with crazy odds just at the thought of winning. You endure endless calls and inquiries from salespeople just for a chance to win a car or vacation. Why is it so hard for us to walk in triumph so freely given? It cost God everything yet seems too good to be true. There are no guarantees in this life, but forever is secure. If you want the same security today, one must invest their life in Jesus.


We labor for things freely given by the Lord when all along the key is to be steadfast and immovable in faith alone. So confident in our hope that we are consumed with sharing the Gospel with others so they can win, too. Any fraction, portion or part of our life surrendered to the Lord is never wasted. We do not labor in vain when it is an act of faith and confident hope in God. Yet, we decide our efforts well-placed in working for things hoping for natural comfort rather than choosing a life of thanksgiving that leads to constant triumph. We have victory in Jesus, how do we secure it?


Thankfulness is a sign or symptom of faith in God. It keeps us going from victory to victory in the Lord. Thankfulness is subject to the hope we have in Him, not our natural circumstances. This is how it guards our heart and mind when God’s Way is a little longer than anticipated or takes a little more staying power called endurance. It is that our hope is secure, we are able to remain steadfast and immovable until victory is evident and the win secured.


2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NKJV)

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.


Whatever grows in our heart, will release a fragrance in our life. If we allow bitterness to grow into discontentment and dissatisfaction because God does not move quickly enough or do it our way, it gives us a certain stink in our life. Others are driven away by it. The Lord cannot come close to us in such a state. We must yank bitterness, discontentment and dissatisfaction out by the root, planting faith that blossoms into confident hope which releases thanksgiving from our mouth. It is the aroma given off by a heart filled with faith and confidence in the Lord. It is the very thing that guards our heart and mind until fulfillment arrives. Our thankfulness is the fragrance of faith and confident hope that draws the Lord closer in our wait times. It is the comfort and peace that we need to make it across the finish line of faith to claim victory forever. Thanksgiving before He comes is like a burning incense on the altar that draws the Lord closer as it is written in the smoke – “I trust you Lord!” Thanking God in triumph is not a sacrifice. Thanking God in the trenches is.


2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (NKJV)

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.


I believed and therefore I spoke. What is your confession over your life today? Are you thankful for Jesus today? Do you believe Him at His Word? When Lazarus died, Martha met Jesus on the road. She told Him, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give it to you.” Good one, Martha. But she was not telling the truth, she didn’t believe it. When Jesus told her, “your brother will rise again”, Martha quickly brushed it off to the day at the last day. See we all do that. When the Lord has a way other than our own, or decides a little more time is needed, we chalk it up to Heaven and decide to do our own thing. Later, when Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus fully intending to keep His Word that day, Martha protested that his body would stink too much. Our words hold power. They can facilitate God’s Power in our life or keep it stopped up dead in the tomb, what is your choice today? Will the dead dreams and buried expectations be brought to life by faith in God and confidence in His Word and Power? Or will you leave them scattered around like dry bones crying out for life again? We must learn to wrap our thoughts, fill our heart and release from our mouths confidence in God beginning with thanksgiving to keep ourselves open to the impossible and supernatural intervention of Jesus and His Spirit on our behalf. Do not react to God based on the temporary but respond to the Lord based on Who He is. (16-18) Thankfulness in Jesus Name has the same power that brought Jesus from the grave.


2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (NKJV)

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.


Thanksgiving is like a seed sown in faith. When the farmer plants it, he hopes it will grow. He invests his resources, time and energy into cultivating it not knowing if it will become a harvest, yet he plants it just the same. I believe that God gives seed to the sower. Whatever you decide to plant and cultivate to the Glory of God has the potential to deliver in your life. When we make thanksgiving that seed, God gives us more because He gives seed to the sower. What produces more thankfulness? Results. When we plant thanksgiving by faith and hope in God it cannot and will not lead to disappointment. We wake up with even more to be thankful for. We begin to see our life through God’s Eyes and not our own. Suddenly all those “things” we took for granted, begin to add up. This process of cultivation will produce a harvest of victory and triumph in our life. It will require seasons. It will activate some rain and maybe a storm or two. It may get a little rough on the climb and dark in the valley but those who choose to continue will produce a harvest of blessing uncontainable that will pour out of your heart, mouth and life giving Glory to God. What is planted in thankfulness grows into triumph – of this I am convinced. When we give our thanks to God as a sacrifice, He moves a little closer and draws us in deeper. Our faith grows. Our confidence digs in and we become immovable and unshakeable in Him. Be on guard today. The only possible way to be anxious for nothing and have peace with God is to surrender your life in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. This is the sacrifice that will produce fulfillment in our life. I think I will try it today. Rather than complaining, I will give Him thanks. Instead of grumbling, I will be gracious before my God. Rather than giving up, I will press in. I will monitor the words of my mouth exchanging those reeking of bitterness covering them with fragrant thanksgiving. I am thankful and ready to triumph today. I will fan the flame of His Spirit today. Lord, may every word be covered in thanksgiving as I place it on the altar with my life. I want the fragrance of my life to bring You all honor and glory today and every day.


Psalm 100:3-5 (NKJV)

Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His Mercy is everlasting, and His Truth endures to all generations.

To Live Again – A Devotion

To Live Again

Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.


Our family went to lunch yesterday to celebrate Father’s Day. As we finished our lunch, some old friends who we only see occasionally happened to come in and stopped by to say, “Hello!” These are the kind of people who even though you only see each other once in a while it is always a joyous moment. This particular woman has given me wisdom and insight that has molded my life. Her deep connection to Jesus Christ allows her to speak life to others and it take effect. Not always in that moment, as when our relationship first began I did not always appreciate the things she felt led to share but now as the Holy Spirit has written them on my heart confirmed by God’s Word and woven this wisdom in my life – I have seen the dramatic results and blessing come forth from them. Sometimes true wisdom and understanding takes time, we hear the words expecting immediate results not knowing it will take time for our heart and soul to agree on the matter convincing our mind to follow suit.

Gracious words or grace filled ones are like a honeycomb. They are sweet. They bring healing. But sometimes they can sting at first and seem to be unworthy of the sacrifice we make to say them. The Grace of God seems simple and it is but the sheer vastness of it is overwhelming and I am still discovering its parameters after more than a decade of pursuit. I need God’s Grace. Every single day I need it more and more. The more I know Him the more I need Him and the more grace and mercy I need to get there.

Proverbs 18:20-21 (NIV)

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

We are created by God speaking. He breathed life into the entire human race. Every single person is the same from the inside out even though we are uniquely diverse. When Jesus died on the Cross, He released His Spirit. The Living Essence of God now available to you and I. So I why should we be surprised that the tongue has the power of life and death. We will possess the fruit of our tongue. When we speak the words with our own breath, we will reap the harvest produced by our own ability and human nature. But when we begin to speak God’s Word over our life, His Spirit makes it a reality as we now agree that we are Children of God. It is a choice. Our words empower us or debilitate us in each moment by each breath.

Ezekiel 37:1-10 (NIV)

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’”  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.


As I look at my life right now as I see it, there are many “dry bones”. I want them to come to life. I want to see God moving in all areas again. The Lord has been closing and opening many doors recently leaving me not sure if I am coming or going. Everything feels different. As I spoke with my sweet friend yesterday, she immediately tuned in to this and encouraged me. It does feel strange moving from season to season. Even when it is good and it definitely is God, we are challenged to remain joyful and peaceful during such times especially when life seemed so good before. There are things in my life feel all dried up. Things that I believe God wants alive in my life.

As I prayed this morning, God’s Hand carried me to the valley of dry bones. He reminded me of a few tidbits of wisdom. There is power in our words as we live our life with God’s Spirit. When we speak we have the power to bind and loose heavenly things. (Matthew 16:19) This begins the moment that we believe. I wish belief was like a light switch that could easily be turned on and left on but it’s not. It is a fight to believe some days even for those who are deeply devoted and in love with Jesus Christ. We simply cannot see him. We cannot sit down and have a conversation like a good friend over a good meal at least physically speaking. We must believe that God is real, His Word is true, and that He loves us. (Proverbs 8:6-11) Without an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ, new life is just not possible. Dead things will remain dead. The past will not be productive. We must believe in Jesus. (I Corinthians 2:12-14)

We must know what to say to the dead things in our life. We must know the words that will bring dry bones back to life. Not everything is meant to live again, God’s Wisdom allows us to know what to say and when to say it. This is not an overnight process. I have been in the Word of God daily for about six years now. I read it before that but did not commit much time to it. But for years now, I have had a daily encounter with the Lord every single day and sometimes multiple times in that day. It was when I decided I wanted Him more. I wanted it all. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I have to know what God says about my situation to know what to pray and seek for revival and restoration in my life. (Proverbs 2:6-8) We want God but don’t know Him very well. We want His Plan and Purpose in our life but have no idea where it starts. We want to pick and choose the good parts and easy stuff but avoid the rest of it. God shows us the way to success. We get there from where we are. His Wisdom is vital to our success in having all that He planned and purposed for our life.

The resurrection power of God is still available today when we combine our breath with the Holy Spirit in our life and speak to the dry and dead areas of our life. We have the power of change in us if we believe. It does not come easy. Not many people are willing to put themselves out there, but then desperate times call for desperate measures.

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I know that I believe. My belief in the Lord has been tried and found to be true. Yet, I still need more of Him today. I need Him to continue to fill my heart with His Goodness, Mercy and Love until every single word that I speak is filled with life and spoken in total agreement with His Word. I still complain sometimes. I still say negative things. I still lash out. I still get mad. I still get upset. I still gossip. Who doesn’t? But I don’t want to! I want the words that I speak to bring life to others but also every dead and dry thing in my own life today. Because the more I see His Power, the more I can share with others the Greatness of My God. Until my heart is so full that it ONLY overflows in living words, I will continue to press for more of Him.

I Peter 3:10-11 (NIV)

For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”


We must seek peace with God in all areas of our life until our words always agree with His Word. We must evaluate every word we speak as if our life depends on it because it does. If we want all that God has for us – we must live in complete agreement with Him. Our mouth reveals our true belief and trust in Him. We decide the context and content of every word that we utter. Blessing and cursing cannot come out of the same mouth just as fresh and saltwater do not flow together. For those who seek to live to the Glory of God experiencing the blessing of His Children, we must evaluate our speech and work to refine it. (James 3:7-12) You decide the level of blessing you live in with the words of your mouth each day. I believe that this may be the number one deterrent in most people’s lives and until we convince ourselves otherwise we will always be limited.

Proverbs 30:5 (NIV) Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

God doesn’t need my assistance today. He just needs my agreement. God’s Plan for my life is flawless. It is perfect. I just need to believe it. I need to believe Him. I will trust the One I believe. I will depend on Him. He will make a way where there is no way if only I will work with His Plan and not try to make up my own. Today, I will evaluate my words before I speak them. I want all that God has for me. As I look at those dry things today, I see the sunrise in the distance and know that I just might be on to something and it feels really good!

Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,

Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


To Live Free

To Live Free

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!


Today is Memorial Day. The day that we remember those men and women who gave their all their life their entire being and summation of time so that we can live in a free country. It is the freedom that allows us to worship God freely and openly without restriction. Now before we get into a debate about religious freedom in America, stay with me for a moment. What better way to honor those who gave their life so that we could be free than to walk in that freedom. I believe that when Jesus gave us our life back and called it new life it was because that rather than in bondage to the Law – people were free to love and serve Him despite our inability not to sin. My father was in the military during the Vietnam War. My son has engaged in the war on terror in the Middle East. Both returned safely to me, thanks be to God. But there are many other men and women who did not make it back and gave their all. This is not a guilt trip but a call to live your life according to the sacrifice made for it.

Jesus Christ gave His All so that we would have a new life. Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone. A new life has begun. It will be what you make of it. What does this mean? How do I change the condition of my life? Well, there are few essentials to the resurrection of your being. We should probably start there.

Luke 7:11-15 (NLT)

Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.


It would seem all was lost that day. The widow with one son, her only child, walked behind the coffin carrying her entire life. How could she go on without him? He was her everything. I cannot imagine how this mother must have felt. When our son was diagnosed with cancer, the Lord told me the very first night that he would live and not die. I believed it. I couldn’t wrap my head around anything else. The loss of a child is incomprehensible to me. I don’t even think those who have endured it fully understand the ramifications of such a loss as they fight to live with a fractured heart. When Jesus saw the woman, “his heart overflowed with compassion.” Your new life has nothing to do with who you are, where you have been, or how far gone you think you might be. The Love of God is unfailing and unconditional. When He meets you in that place of complete brokenness, He has to move. He has to right the wrong and fix the injustice. That day Jesus gave the boy back to his mother. Now I know this doesn’t happen every day, I have lived the last few years in the Oncology Unit. But I can tell you one thing…when you walk that close to death and eternity it will change you. I have seen it turn entire families around in a heartbeat. Suffering through one of the most heinous and ugly diseases, there is more laughter on the Pediatric Oncology unit than any other place I know. Why? We view the time we have differently when it might be taken from us. The thought of losing a lifetime that we thought we had changes everything. One encounter with Jesus Christ can make the rest of our life count differently. The Lord gives us a new life simply because He loves us. What we do with that life is really up to us?

Mark 5:35-43 (NLT)

While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James). When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing. He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!”  And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, and then he told them to give her something to eat.


The unfailing and unconditional love of Jesus is how we are given new life, but it by faith that we receive it. The people at the house had already gone into mourning. They had decided that she was dead. Jesus told Jarius that she was only sleeping. Now who do you believe? That’s a tough call. There is no back and forth. You have to pick a side. There are no half living and half dead zombies walking around. You have new life or you don’t. Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” This could apply to just about every single situation in our life. Faith is the very thing that changes everything. Don’t believe me – try it. When our son had his third relapse of cancer, it was very bad. Cancer was evident from his neck to his abdomen. The optimism previously noted in his medical team was now more of conscious quiet as not to get our hopes up in this grave situation. His cancer was resurfacing more quickly and aggressively. The doctor told me, “We are in the realm of hope now!” That statement was life changing for me! I knew in that moment that God was telling me I have taken over now. Things are about to change just keep your faith solely in me. Boy oh boy was that tested by every fire imaginable and unimaginable. To get to his little girl, Jarius and Jesus had to walk home, go through a crowd of people wailing and crying reminding him that his baby was gone, and walk through a house full of memories to her dead lifeless body. How far will you have to walk by faith to receive new life? Friend, I don’t know. But it’s worth it…oh so worth it. Our son is approaching a year of remission. They told us that with the bone marrow transplant his odds were still only 2% that he would survive. That’s what faith can do.

John 11:32-39 (NLT)

When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”


When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha rushed to meet her dear friend, Jesus along the way. Their conversation indicative of other conversations at funerals and wakes amongst believers. Everything was past tense, but when Jesus came that would all change. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this Martha?” Of course she agreed in the past tense but not in the present. We live with Jesus in the past tense rather than bringing Him into our present. Of course, those who believe will live forever in Eternity. The Word of God doesn’t say that we have to wait for it, but we choose to. We cannot believe that the Lord can take this tired, broken, and ruined life and make something better because we know our self. But that is not the case. When Jesus went to Lazarus, Martha grew quite concerned about opening the tomb of a man dead and buried for four days. The stink would be terrible.

This is what stops us from reclaiming time and allowing the Lord to work out every detail for our good. We are so concerned with the condition of our life that we are afraid to let Jesus in to do His Good Work. Jesus answered her disbelief, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s Glory if you believe?” Our belief is not an act for the future but holds hope for today. We honor those who died to give us freedom by taking back the time stolen from us by bad choices or moments of indecision wrapping in the grace given to us called time.

Matthew 27:51-53 (NLT)

At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.


When Jesus died on the Cross, He gave His All so that I could live again. I believe it. I have seen the Resurrection Power of God work for His Glory in my son’s battle against cancer. When we sing about the fact that Jesus is alive, I can goosebumps every time because I have seen resurrection power in action. No one will ever change my mind regarding its validity. I still do not understand why children die or even adults for that matter before their time. I do not understand the deep depraved evil that permeates the earth. I cannot identify with life takers only the life giver. God loves me. His Intentions for my life are always good. I just need faith to live a new life and make the most of my time in transition. I have to believe and trust the Lord with my life to have the new life that grace wraps me up in. I honor the Lord by living that new life rather than returning to the comfort of my old one. When He died, His Spirit was set free to live in each of us which fills us with resurrection power that doesn’t just empower us physically, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally too. We honor men and women of service today. If they could come for one day and spend it with you, would they feel they died for a good cause or was it all in vain? What about Jesus? Would He feel you are making the most of the life you have been given? Today I live free to love the Lord and honor God with my life because men and women have defended my freedom as an American. This time I have been given and secured with great potential because Jesus gave me my life back – I intend to honor them both by living my life to the fullest and making the most of each moment in faith, hope and love – the things that are eternal!

I Corinthians 13:12-13(NLT)

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Rolling Stone – A Devotion

Rolling Stone

Mark 16:3-4 (NLT)

On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.


This may seem like an odd scripture for a devotion. Jesus was dead or so these ladies thought as they went to the tomb to properly burial the One who they had called Lord. Falling back into the confines of religion, they waited dutifully for the Sabbath to end and gathered the usual items to carry out their task. Walking to the tomb asking each other, who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb? Just another day in the life of these ordinary people who had no idea they were about to witness the extraordinary. When they arrived, they were surprised to find that the stone (which was very large) had been rolled aside. When they dared enter, they were greeted by an angel who gave them the best news of their life – Jesus was alive. He was resurrected from the dead and He was alive. Jesus is alive.

As I have shared before I have found solace in my workout routine when stress keeps my mind from being firmly wrapped around Jesus Christ and my faith is threatened by fear. Sunday morning I woke up foul. There are probably many natural reasons that I was just not happy but none of them held much credibility when compared to the life that I am afforded by faith and confident hope in Christ. So I threw on some gym clothes and headed to out for a quick 30 minutes of cardio before heading to the House of God. It is my privilege to worship the Lord. On Sunday morning, the day chosen for corporate worship it is my job to come prepared to focus on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My pastor may be mandated with the task of preaching but I must be prepared to honor Jesus Christ in that place mind, soul and body. It is not enough to show up but I must be ready. Jamming earplugs in my ears, and climbing on the steps of an elliptical machine, I embarked on a journey to clear my head, free my mind and unlock my soul now laden with unnecessary burdens. It took a couple very anointed songs to break through the hardness of my heart. That is until the song, “Forever” came on by Kari Jobe. As she painted a very vivid picture of the Cross making it a personal place where Jesus died for me, she then carried me to the tomb. “The ground began to shake. The stone was rolled away. His Perfect Love could not be overcome.” I broke right there in a sweaty workout room with innocent bystanders all around as tears mixed with sweat. The Love of God can be a powerful force in our life if we let it. It’s true. I realized in that moment that there are times when the “ground begins to shake” and the “stone is ready to roll away” as God’s Love begins to resurrect, restore and renew things in my life that I stop it. My hands hold the stone firmly in place preventing His Resurrection Power from overtaking my life.

Matthew 27:50-54 (NLT)

Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

Do you remember the day, hour or moment that God’s Love for you became real? Not the day that you realized that He loves you but the moment that it went from a notion to complete knowledge. I wish that I could be so holy as to admit that it was the day that I was saved at eleven years old when I walked down a church aisle, shook the hand of a waiting pastor, and prayed the sinner’s prayer. But I left that place wondering why something that promised to be so life-changing felt so ordinary. I fervently chased the Lord but never seemed to get that close all through adolescence and high school despite a fabulous youth group. Spent an entire summer in Africa looking for God’s Call and Purpose for my life – yet His Love still was not real. Rededicated my life after many years of wandering and countless mistakes, finally getting a glimpse of His Wonderful and Magnificent Grace. Still, knowing but not really comprehending the Cross or power released when the ground began to shake. But that small glimpse and taste of His Goodness was preparing me for the rough road ahead. I discovered the Power of God’s Love for my life when life as I knew it completely changed. When I came to the end of human strength, worldly knowledge and my heart broke into a million pieces, in my utter devastation I found the Power of His Love.

When Jesus died on the Cross, the disciples were devastated. They could not understand what when wrong. This is not how they thought things would be. Giving up their lives and livelihood to follow Christ led them to their worst nightmare. The religious rite of the day would not demand their blood as well. When Jesus shouted and released His Spirit, everything began to change as life was released once again. The curtain in the Temple separated mankind from their God was ripped from top to bottom. Access to the Throne of God was now made possible to all who believed once more. Graves were unlocked and the dead began to come to life walking around Jerusalem. Earthquakes rippled as the war on death was waged and Jesus emerged victoriously. It was in that moment that the soldiers who facilitated the death of an innocent man finally understood that this was the Son of God.

Matthew 15:16-19 (NLT)

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

“But who do you say that I am?” The disciples had already shared with Jesus who everyone else thought He was but Jesus didn’t care about all that at the moment. “Who do YOU say that I am?” Well Peter, of course, piped right up and declared that “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Peter was told that he would be the “rock” on which Jesus would build His Church. I am sure that Peter was quite pleased with himself in that moment as the disciples commonly debated who was the greatest among them. Yep, it’s me! (He must of thought with his chest puffed out in pride.) That is until he sat by the fire trying to blend in with the crowd avoiding the same fate as Jesus Christ. He looked into his eyes as his third and final denial fell from his lips. All was slipping away what now. The next day at Calvary, Peter watched with the other followers of the Lord as His Beaten, Bloody Body was nailed to the Cross and lifted up as a spectacle and warning to all the other radical Christians. Can you imagine how Peter must have felt in that moment? Everything was falling apart, nothing was going as planned, and the Son of God was about to die. God help us. The Power of God’s Love will never fully being unlocked and unleashed in our life until we come to a working knowledge of Who He is. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, Son of the Living God who is alive and well in you! So if this is true, where is the wonder working power that is promised in the Blood of the Lamb?

Philippians 3:7-11 (NLT)

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!


Everything else is worthless compared to the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus as my Savior and Lord. This is a bold statement made lightly day after day by believers who do not understand that Power of the Blood or the Potential of His Resurrection and its impact on our life. When the ground begins to shake – we try to hold on to our Will and keep everything in place when God is trying to unsettle us and dissatisfy us so we will let go of the past and grab hold of confident hope as our future. When everything seems to be falling apart, we grab all the pieces and slap it together because we fear that this is nothing more to life than what we see despite constantly professing to believe. We see Jesus on the Cross but cannot comprehend the Resurrection because we have not ever seen it up close and for real. The stones that cover all the dead promises, dreams and endeavors in your life is shaking and moving but we hold it firmly in place because we do not really know the Son of the Living God enough to fully trust His Amazing Love. It is the very thing that changes every detail of our life for His Good. It is that which perfects all that concerns me. Rather than blaming God for ignoring us which is evident in our complaining, complacency and dissatisfaction, and Jesus for abandoning us when He died on the Cross leaving a trail of Blood filled with Grace that we trample in and out of – perhaps if we would just let go and let God (not to sound too cliché) maybe things would be different if we released the Power that raised Jesus from the dead in our own life. It is a choice to have the Will of God by releasing our own ideals and objectives. It is a decision to follow Jesus Christ all the days of our life whether we feel like it or not. The day that I made this decision was the day that I lost all confidence in anything else and He became my only hope. It was the day that I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ because I could do nothing with it. When I turned to worship rather than worry and decided to praise rather than push, everything began to change. Some days I am better at this thing called faith than others. Hope is the one thing I rely on because everything else let me down. I must be one with Christ. Everything else is garbage. I can trust no one like my Lord. Now when the ground begins to shake, I immediately wonder what God is about to do. I rest on the Peace that passes understanding because I have witnessed signs, wonders and miracles in my life by simply letting go of the stone so it can roll away. I am no longer afraid of death or the grave. Open the doors of my life wide, because I want more of Him. I want to know Christ and the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I have seen it bring our son back to life five times. I am hooked. Our life has been turned upside down, nothing will ever be the same, but I would not change the faith that I have found and hope discovered when the stone was rolled away and I became fully aware of God’s Love for me! Does it seem as though everything is changing? Is your heart broken? Can’t hold it together anymore? Life is not turning out as you expected? Lift up your tired hands and fall on those weak knees, let the stone roll away and get lost in His Love today. When we give up our will to fully accept God’s Will everything changes … for the better but it is through death of self that we find new life. God’s Love and Power will always overtake us. It is overwhelming and endless. It belongs to you – hidden behind the rolling stone.

Ephesians 3:17-20 (NLT)
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.