Have you ever had a friend stand by your side when nobody else does? If so, you can appreciate or relate to what Paul is saying when he tells of the story about being on defense and being deserted by everyone. Yikes! What a lonely feeling that can be and how wonderful it is to have a friend stand with you. That is a true gift in life! I am so thankful for my friends in life! Sometimes, though, we are in places in life like Paul when we must face life alone or in a place of needing to be the one who carries out an individual specific call on our life. In those times, it is such an encouragement to know and experience what Paul understood and saw and that is the reality that Jesus stood beside him and gave him strength to carry out what God was calling him to do. For Paul, it was to be on trial for the defense of the Gospel and to fully proclaim the message to the Gentiles. Paul was in a position of needing to speak out for the Lord in dire circumstances and I so admire him for doing the difficult. Praise be to our Father who gives us strength! Oh, I’m all inspired this morning. Our Father stands with me today and gives me strength through His Word and this song that plays through my mind:
Wherever we are and whatever our Father is calling us to do as an individual, we have our Father with us. We are never all alone. I’m standing with you in heart as together we rest and trust in His strength and in His guidance to have victory individually!
One of the things that I greatly enjoy each morning is a hot cup of coffee. I love drinking in something warm, something that I enjoy the taste of and it gives me a little help to get going each day to produce or have productivity. It is described as a power drink or a drink that boosts energy. There are many different types on the market today and they have became very popular in our fast-paced society that is busy in the pursuit of accomplishment. My Father has laid it upon my heart this morning though, that while I do enjoy my cup of coffee and the boost it gives me to help me produce in life, the most important thing for me to drink in each morning is the spiritual drinking in of Him, His Spirit, His living water that empowers us or gives us strength to produce what is of Him – the most divine of accomplishments! He produces in us the delightful fruit of His Spirit which is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Wow! - such great accomplishments! I definitely want to have that success today! Hence, I’m drinking in of Him this morning and relying on His enabling power in me as I set out to join Him to accomplish divinely. I hope you have a divine day, too! His power to ya ~
I am in route to South Africa to take part of a “young man mentor-ship mission,” hosted by Kevin Grimes (a friend and RHM Board Member). I consider this a huge opportunity to share with my own son Colton.
Please pray for us as we seek to honor our Father by making disciples. In Jesus name.
Your prayers and support mean a lot to us. Thanks!
The Kingdom of Jesus is a mystery. Although we have a scriptural understanding of Jesus and we have thousands of stories that can give insight to His character, we can only “know” Him through the Holy Spirit. When you become a child of God, He puts His Spirit in you, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead! It’s not just a power and a resource, the Spirit is a person. I know this sounds strange, but it is the miracle of salvation. It’s the reason Jesus died – to make us clean and capable of hosting the infinite, eternal, Holy and glorious King. When you are born again, you don’t just get a portion of Him, you get all of Him. It’s an invitation into an eternal life that begins the day you say yes to Him. Now, every moment of your life provides you the opportunity to have a Father who is teaching you how to live in freedom. For the next ten days, we will enjoy a trip that is specifically designed to create opportunities to allow young men the possibility of seeing other men walk in these realities. I pray for you as you read this that you will have an infusion of faith to use this day as an opportunity to enjoy this eternal loving presence in you. Realize this day is a rare opportunity to live in this awesome privilege.
I am so grateful to report that mine and Holden’s time in Tacoma was the same old stuff. In our case, the same old stuff happens to be travel, hotels, people getting saved, fast food, bull riding, travel, people delivered and encouraged, more travel, more hotels. I don’t believe it can ever get old watching our Father reveal himself to people through us. I have had the privilege of attending about 25 PBR events every year for the last 12 years. That’s 300 events that are pretty much the same program each time. Although it’s an exciting event, it still has the potential of becoming monotonous. Yet, I can truly say I am more passionate about what I get to do than ever before. I tell you all this because although I do have a very unique and exciting job, the passion comes from seeing the power of God work in me and through me. People are what make it all worthwhile and the variable that keeps it fresh. I encourage you to take another look at your days. Are they the same old, same old? It’s the people that our Father has trusted to you that need your love. As you pour your heart into others and you see the power, passion will come.
Leslie and I leave today for Fresno, California for the PBR events there.
Oh what a delightful morning it has been with my Father this morning as I sat in the glow of the soft lights of the Christmas tree and felt His presence of love upon me! I have enjoyed reflecting upon the Christmas stories of the birth of Jesus over the past few weeks and this morning I read about Mary who was called to bear the Son of God and how she felt unqualified to carry out the task the Lord had given to her. “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” were her words to the angel who spoke to her. Reading this, I want to ask you if you as a Christian feel like Mary – unqualified to carry out a task the Lord has set before you? If so, I want to encourage you by the message that was given to her, in that the Holy Spirit would be upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her. “Nothing is impossible with God,” the angel told her. This same message is true for each of us as Christians. When we become believers in Jesus, we are filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Most High that dwells within us is capable of enabling us or “overpowering” us to carry out His will when we might deem it impossible based on our state of circumstances. Woohoo! I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel like “Supercowgirl” and I’m all “spurred” up to leap out in faith in Him to enable me to carry out His will for me this day. If you happen to be feeling inadequate, my prayer for you is “more power to you” – rest in His power to you and have a ”mighty” day in what you have to do! His blessings to ya ~
Luke 1:26-28; Ac 1:1-11, 2; Eph 2:22; 1 Co 1:25; Col 1:9-14; Php 4:13
I’m thankful for another day of opportunity to shine for Jesus today! It is a gift and a privilege to do so. I so desire to be used by My Father to bring blessing to others! As I study my Father’s Word today, I see that same desire in Peter and John. As it was true for them, it is true in the lives of the saints today that people absolutely love it when we do good, but the moment that doing good touches an area of their life that they consider “untouchable,” not something they agree with or they are unwilling to surrender or sacrifice for Jesus, then suddenly they do not want anything to do with you or your Jesus. Some count the cost of following Jesus too high when it costs them something they don’t want to give up. Such was the experience the apostles encountered. I see that Peter and John were being obedient to the call Jesus had placed on their lives, in that they were going out to bring healing to people and the Pharisees and Sadducees saw that they were doing good things, but because they spoke Truth and they didn’t agree with it, they seized and jailed Peter and John to stop them. The next day when they questioned Peter and John, they were astonished by them and recognized the affiliation with Jesus. It left them in quite a dilemma of what to do with them. They decided to spare them, but put stipulations on them not to speak the name of Jesus. One thing that Peter and John did not do is deny the call of God on their life! They said they would obey God rather than man. They then prayed to their Father about the threat upon them and asked for His enabling of them to continue to speak boldly about Him, that His will would be done and recognizing that nothing would happen to them that their Father hadn’t already preplanned to happen. They asked Him to continue to bring healing and do His miracles and wonders through the name of Jesus. I so admire Peter and John because they stood firm in their faith and trusted their Father in the adverse circumstances they were in. After praying, the place where they were was shaken. They were filled with the Holy Spirit – they were provided what was needed to continue to speak boldly. Woohoo! How faithful is our Father! When presented with the “untouchable” problem, God showed His untouchable power! Given this story, I ask you and I ask myself today, are you in the midst of circumstances that threaten the sharing of your faith? If so, decide to continue in your faith and give the threats against you to our Father. All things are possible with Him! He is the worker of miracles and wonders and has a good and perfect plan for each of our lives. He plans to prosper us and not harm us, desiring to give us hope and a future. I’m trusting Him with ya today! Our Father is so good, let nobody tell you otherwise! Keep going for Him!
Ac 4:1-31; Ps 18:25, 31:23, 37:28; Mk 10:27; Jer 29:11
I’m off to a great start this morning as I look to my Father for His insight and wisdom. He calls us all to step out into this world and share Him with others and when I think about how magnificent and marvelous He is, I can feel pretty inadequate in being able to put into words how to describe or explain Him and His love, especially to folks of high education and intellect. In fact, if it were a job that I was applying for and it was advertised as the position needing someone who would be an Ambassador to the King of the Universe, going into the world to explain to others who He is and the plan that He has for their life, I would possibly say Yikes!!! I could never do that very well! But that mindset is not of our Father and the Apostle Paul sets a great example to me. He says that He could relate, in that when he was just getting started, he was not eloquent nor did He have great wisdom as he proclaimed testimony about Him. In fact, he said he knew nothing except Jesus and Him crucified. But Paul’s view of himself changed as he realized that it was through his weakness, fear and trembling that the demonstration of God’s power could be seen by others! When they saw his weakness, they would not end up resting upon Paul’s wisdom, but rather upon the power and wisdom of the Father to do the work. Our Father, who is after all, the God of the Universe, is capable of doing all things including putting on display His indescribable power through us. Whoohoo! That thought just gets me off to a great start this morning. It makes me feel like Super Woman! Hmmmm. I just know with my Father in me, we together can do amazing things today! Paul ended up changing the world just by being willing to step out despite his weakness and letting our Father display His power in him. It’s going to be so exciting to watch Him work! Do you ever feel weak sometimes? If so, His power to you! Have fun and don’t forget to write about all your adventures, as your stories, just like Paul’s may very well change the world!
To my amazement, night has passed and a new day is here and our Father has not only done amazing things in the creation all around us as we slept and as we rise, but He has done and desires to do more amazing things through each one of us as we go through this day! How is that for an exciting adventure to look forward to? He is a God of wonder and Paul spoke to the Ephesians that he desired that they would know His incomparably great power for us who believe. It is the same power exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms. It is the same power that turned Paul from a persecutor of Christians to a servant of the Gospel of Christ. It is the same power that enables Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith and enables us to grasp and know His love that surpasses knowledge. It is the same power that enables us to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of the God of wonder – to reach full maturity in Christ! From our day one, He says we were wonder-full - fearfully and wonderfully made! He, through this same power that created us, is still at work in us and is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or can imagine. Isn’t that wonderful? Our Father is full of surprises and I can’t wait to see what adventures He has in store. My mind is full of wonder at the possibilities! Woohoo! It’s gonna be fun! I hope you have an amazing and wonder-full day in whatever He has for you, too!
Eph 1:17-20, 3:7-9,14-21; Ps 139:14,145:1–7; Ac 1:8, 9, 13:9; 2 Ti 1:7; Php 1:6
I’m always amazed each morning as the darkness of night is turned into the light of day. It is always fascinating to me to observe being unable to see what is about me and then as dawn comes about, so comes being able to see my surroundings clearly. Light is a treasure when you really need to see something important and therefore, darkness can be frustrating unless you are content with sleeping all the time. In sleeping, though, one misses out on the life that could be. My Father’s Word today lets me know just how blessed we are as His kids because at one time we had hearts that were darkened to the knowledge of Him, but He made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Paul calls this phenomenon as us being “treasure” in jars of clay. As I think about what my life was like before His light was shined into my heart, my heart becomes heavy burdened for those who do not yet have this and I realize indeed what a treasure it truly is. It is laid upon my heart that this treasure in us should not be buried in our hearts unseen, but opened up and shared freely with those around us who do not have it. Did you know that you are a treasure of His light to the world? I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking by having His light shined upon our hearts, we as His kids have the greatest riches we could ever hope for! Now how cool is that? Let’s not get to the end of our lives and be found as hoarders of the all-surpassing power and treasure our Father gives to us when it could have blessed others. Into all those dark places, I say let’s light up the world around us! Even in a fast-paced life on the run, we can be “flash” lights by flashing a smile of His joy! Ya never know, it just might light up someone’s day! Here’s smiling at you, kid! Gotta run!
Good morning! Hey, I’ve been doin’ some ponderin’ and I’ve decided it’s a good thing for a cowgirl to do some target shootin’ in life. Now I wouldn’t want ya to get all nervous and start duckin’ ‘cuz yer wonderin’ if I’m gun smart, so I want to share with ya these safety practices I’ve picked up from my Father’s instruction. 1) First of all, He has taught me to be careful where I point my gun or make my aim in life - to always know my target. He says I should set my aim (my heart) on Heaven - to set my site on eternity. By not aiming properly and to aim towards the ground around me (the world) could cause me to shoot myself in the foot if I don’t watch out. Ouch! That could really hurt! I’ve also been taught that I should never make my aim in life another person or object instead of the appropriate target (the Heavenly target) as it could have serious consequences as well. 2) Second, once I know my target, I need to commit to the shoot (my calling in life) and get prepared to make the shot. It’s important to making a successful shot in life to have the right gun (the Holy Spirit that projects forth the power) the right bullets for the gun (my gifting, talent, skill, finances and resources), eye protection (keep my eyes shielded from harm to stay focused on the target of Heaven) and ear plugs (God’s Word of Truth to silence the loud noises that can spiritually harm). 3) Thirdly, with my mind prepared with my Father’s instructions, having my spiritual gun and bullets, eyes protected and focused and ear plugs in place, I must then stand firm and steadfast (in the Lord), not shaken, so I can be a straight shooter, lest I make a wild shot and miss my reward - my “YES” at the end of the shoot. Now after sharin’ all of this with ya, I’m shootin’ through life today with my gun firing towards that Heavenly target! Yeehaw! It’s gonna be a “bang up” Monday!
Mt 10:22; 1 Pe 2:15, 5:8; Col 3:2; Pr 4:25-26, 19:2-3; 1 Co 3:10-16; Ex 20:3; He 12:2; Jn 8:44; 2 Ti 4:1-8; Eph 4:11-12; 6:10-15; Ro 12:6-8; Ac 1:8; Ro 12::2
Hi, there. I’m lovin’ doin’ Thursday with ya’s! In my world today, I am worshipping my Father for all He is. What this world needs is more of Him and His love. He IS love! As His kids, His Word encourages us to be imitators or models of Him. The power that we need to do that is from His presence (Holy Spirit) that lives in us as believers. To love in accordance with His will, we are called to love our Father first with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and then we are to love our neighbors, especially fellow believers, as our self. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians with the prayer that our Father would enable them to have “increased” love that would overflow to each other and to all people as well. He also let them know they were loved by himself and his team. It is God’s Spirit in us that enables us to love God, ourselves and others as we ought to, including giving us strength to not grieve His Spirit in us by giving in to willful sin. Walking in obedience to our Father’s ways that are His best for us, is our best way to be filled to overflowing with His Spirit’s loving power. Have you ever had the experience of putting soap in a bucket and seen how the soap suds can increase and bubble up and over the top? Well, this is how I see it with our Father’s Spirit producing the power in us to be love. We are the vessel (bucket) and with added soap (cleanliness of walking in obedience to His ways) and His living water (Holy Spirit) filling us up, we’ll have plentiful suds(power) to overflow with love. I have to say this just gets me all bubbly! I definitely wanna be a suds in the bucket kind of gal with His living water filling me to overflowing. May there be bubbles of Godly love oozing from each one of us so none of us are a luv suds dud. Much love to ya’s! If I say that, is that a bubble of love?
1 Th 3:12; Mt 22:34-40. Jn 14:15-31; Eph 1:13, 4:30, 5:1-2,15-18; Gal 6:10, Ac 2:1-4, 4:23-31, 1 Jn 1:8-10, 4:7-21, Ps 19:13, Is 41:10, 2 Ch 16:9
Good morning, family! It’s a fresh new day this Wednesday and I am filled with great joy, excitement and enthusiasm for our Father’s Kingdom and the work that He invites us to join Him in. I can imagine that if I was a horse right now, I’d just take off running and kicking up my heels with zeal to just “go, go, go!” It’s kind of like a fire that gets started and just takes off. That’s the kind of enthusiasm and joy the Holy Spirit’s presence gives to us to use for His Kingdom work. Paul understood what I am talking about. He told the Thessalonians “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire (the Holy Spirit’s burning presence) in you.” He told Timothy “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline! In other words, lack of courage and self-confidence and being fearful is not of our Father. Through His power, He desires to makes us supermen and superwomen, able to love with His same spirit of love and to be self-disciplined to “go, go, go” in sharing the giftedness we have been given to carry out His call on our lives. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! I have found that spending time with our Father definitely rubs off on ya and just flat out fills ya with His joy! Away from all to Him steal where He’ll share His appeal, giving us joy and zeal that I feel is such a deal, in fact, a very fine breakfast meal (just some food for thought). I’ll talk more tomorrow, but right now, I gotta “go, go, go!” Take care! Whoohoo! Love to ya’s~
1 Th 5:19, 2 Ti 1:6-7; Gal 4:18, 5:16-26; Jn 2:17, 15:1-17; Ro 10:2, 14:23, He 12:1; Php 4:13
I’m thanking my Father that it’s Friday – a new gift of opportunity to us all! One opportunity that I rejoice in is that I have the privilege of hearing my Father’s voice as He speaks through His Word to me. There is nothing like the power of His voice to do amazing things within my heart. What a delight He is in my life! This morning’s message I heard during my time with Him is based upon what Paul said “Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Have you ever found yourself headed in one direction in life and the next thing you know you are going the opposite or a different direction? You are going along full speed ahead and all of a sudden you hear our Father’s voice that changes your mind about the direction you are going and you immediately flip a “U” turn and go full speed ahead the opposite direction. I’ve been chuckling as a cartoon image fills my mind of someone running on a horse as fast as they can in a direction on a road, running past people who are scattered along the side when all of a sudden lo and behold, here they come running full speed back the other way. I imagine these folks along the road saying “What’s up with that?” Well, the Apostle Paul had this experience on the road of his life. He was full speed ahead in killing Christians – he was extremely zealous in doing that and then all of a sudden, he’s in chains in prison for his zeal in telling people how wonderful Jesus was! It could confuse an onlooker! One thing Paul was real good about doing and he loved to do was to explain to people what happened in his world that caused the change. In his own way, he basically told people like “Well, ya see, I was headed this direction and Christ told me this, so I turned around and now I’m going the other direction! The same thing can happen to us in a few different ways. 1) Our Father can will one thing for us in life for a time and then we can find out His will for what He wants us to do down the road has changed to something different. 2) We can be wrong in our interpretation of how God is leading us and when He reveals that to us, we change our direction. This happened in Paul’s life. 3) We can be running down the road of life, self-centered and aimed our own way for our own perceived profit somehow. Jesus then speaks to us about it and the next moment we become Christ centered and find ourselves turned around. In any of these ways, once the sake of Christ becomes the greater issue, we will find ourselves turned around. What we once saw as for our profit or gain becomes of little or not of value. I’m looking at this in my mind and asking my Father to show me if there is an area in my life where I’m heading in a direction that I need to turn around in and head the other direction. I am also asking is there something greater in my life that I see as more profitable or gain over Him? Yikes!! If so, I need to ask our Father to help me to view it as loss compared to Him and change my direction. Depending on the circumstances, it could be embarrassing as ya have to run past all those along the road that have observed ya before. It isn’t necessarily embarrassing that we are heading in a Godly direction now into the future, but that we were heading in the wrong direction before. I find encouragement in that our Father who is the greater observer is an understanding and forgiving observer and the great rewarder for new found obedience. To go the direction He desires is worth riding past all other onlookers. Who knows, seeing you run by them going the different direction just may cause them to follow along! Yeehaw! I’m seeking to ride His way through this day ‘cuz it’s the right way to run and it will get me to where I’m suppose to be going!
Php 2:3, 3:7; Acts 3:19, 9:1-30, 11:21; Jer 29:11; Pr 16:9; Eph 6:19-20; 1 Jn 1:9; 1 Co 3:10-15; Ro 10:2; Gal 4:18; Heb 4:15-16; Ro 12:2
It’s a powerful Monday! Mentally this morning, I’m facing this week with my tights on, a cape tied around my neck and I have a giant “S” upon my chest that stands for the strength of my Father’s Spirit in me that makes me “super.” I don’t say this out of arrogance or based upon my own efforts and I have to say that I see you clothed the same way. Have you ever wondered how you might look clothed in tights and such? Perhaps this will help you visualize what I mean. For us who believe in Him, we are tapped into or clothed in His incomparable great power. This power is like the working of His mighty strength which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the Heavenly realms. It is the same power that created all we see when we look to the Heavens. It is the power of He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing! He does not grow tired or weary and increases the power of the weaklings. Whoohoo! Even youth grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like eagles or I say like “Superman” or “Superwoman!” We will run and not grow weary. We will walk through this week and not be faint. Why it just makes me think that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength! In light of this, I’m jumping out into the air of this day in His strength. Hmmmm. The fleeting thought of a giant chicken dressed in tights passes through my mind. Yikes!!! I don’t want to rest there so I’m remembering that His safety net is below me and keeping me safe. See yaaaaaaa………!
Good Tuesday morning, family! I’m thankful to have you all as my family in Christ and today, family (marriage) is the question at hand as a group of Saducees are now taking their turn at discrediting Jesus. It’s an interesting title, Saducees, because their mindset is sad you see! If you recall from yesterday’s study, the last effort to discredit Jesus by the Pharisees and the Herodians backfired. So, now they are sending in the Saducees who were a group who only studied the book of Moses (the Pentateuch – first five books of the Old Testament). They didn’t believe in angels nor spirits nor in the resurrection of the dead. Hence, these dudes presented to Jesus their question about marriage after death with an arrogant, ridiculing attitude. Jesus took it all in and then He pointed out to them their error in thinking in that they didn’t know Scripture nor the power of God who could raise the dead and give life. As Dad’s kids looking to the Bible for answers, it is important to look at all the books as a whole and not look at just a small portion for the full picture. To do so, is to end up like the Saducees, badly mistaken! Yikes!!! Jesus seized the opportunity with this group for a teachable moment and He enlightened them with the whole Truth that there would be no marriage in Heaven, but that we will all be as angels – immortal beings in the presence of God. Jesus went further to meet the Saducees where they were at in regards to the dead rising and pointed out to them from their own book of Moses that God referred to Himself to Moses at the bush as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the existing patriarchs). Hence, Jesus concluded by answering their question by stating God is the God of the living, not the dead. Whoohoo! Oh, happy day is what I say! Today, we have even more Scripture (history) that testifies of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead which lends even more credit to Jesus’ answer in this passage. So, the moral of this story is that as Dad’s kids, if we want to know God’s will concerning life and death issues, it is important to know the Scriptures so we are not in error. Otherwise, we might find ourselves like the Saducees did – real chumps in the end and sad you see. How sad indeed it would be to think this life on earth is the end of life. Yikes!!! I’m glad there is more to the story than their version. Dad’s complete Truth story promises through the Good News of Jesus, that eternal life with Him after this life is for real. So many don’t know that or they are confused. This is why as Dad’s kids, it’s good for us to know Dad’s Word and I’m practicing my PhD (Praising holy Dad) that He is so smart and has the plan of all plans. Let’s keep going and sharing the Truth with others so instead of people being sad you sees, they’ll be glad you sees! Have a glad day!
Mk 12:18-27; Ac 23:8; Ro 12:2, 2 Ti 3:15-17; Ex 3:6; Dt 25:5-6; 1 Co 15; Lk 10:25-28, 20:39; Pr 3:5-6; Jer 29:11; Jn 3:16
It’s a great Saturday with opportunities galore and I’m chomping at the bit to experience what this day holds! What a gift to me to walk through this day with our Father and those He has brought into my life! Taking a peek into Dad’s Word today and after hearing James and John asking Jesus if they could sit on either side of Him, we find that the other ten disciples were just a little bit upset with the two brothers for asking such a question of Jesus. It seemed that they all wanted to sit next to Jesus! They may have just wanted to sit close to Jesus as they greatly cared about Him or it may be that the disciples may have been struggling in heart for personal power and position. In the anger of the ten disciples towards the two brothers, Jesus encouraged them that if they really wanted to be great, to not be like those who ruled over the Gentiles by lording it over them, but rather to be servants to others. In the eyes of eternity, the latter is of greater value. I so relate to what Jesus is saying: What a privilege and an honor to serve our God and those in my life! Jesus sets us a great example, in that it says that He came to serve and not be served and to give His life as a ransom for many. When you love someone, it is hard not to want to be with them, doing kind things to serve them. An example of this is the woman who was so grateful for the gift of Jesus and His forgiving grace in her life, that she took an alabaster jar of perfume and standing behind Jesus at His feet weeping, she began to wet the feet of Jesus and then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume upon them. Other examples can be found in the New Testament where out of their love for him, many served the Apostle Paul as he sought to serve others with the Gospel of Christ – an expression of his love for and desire to serve Jesus. An interesting thought says “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” You do not have to have expensive perfume or resources to serve someone. It may be sharing the gift of you! I smile as I am reminded of a sweet little boy in my life that recently gifted me with the love of his heart-felt words. He is the same little boy who on another recent occasion picked a little flower and gave it to me. I have looked upon it for several days now as a reminder of his serving of love to me as I set out to serve him. It was one of the richest gifts I have received. In service to our King – Sheila
Mk 10:41-45; Lk 7:36-38; 2 Cor 8:7;
Idaho Greetings to where you are this Tuesday morning. No matter where you are today, Jesus is with you! There is no where that we can go that He is not there for His kids (that’s us)! We are never alone and without His help. Often times, as Dad’s kids, we attempt to do things in our own strength, only to find that our efforts are not fruitful. This is what has happened in today’s story in Mark 9:14-32. Jesus is absent and a man has sought the disciples to heal his boy from an evil spirit that has possessed him from childhood and is seeking to destroy him. The disciples efforts to drive the demon out of the boy have failed causing disbelief and arguing amongst the people. When Jesus arrives, the people ran to Jesus seeking His help. The father of the boy says to Jesus “If you can do anything, please take pity on us and help us.” At this Jesus says “If you can?” “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Jesus then commands the evil spirit out of the boy and lifted him to his feet. When indoors, the disciples ask Jesus why they couldn’t drive the demon from the boy and Jesus told them that this kind could only come out by their prayer. After they left that place, Jesus sought time alone with the disciples to teach them. He told them again that “the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill Him and after three days He will rise.” The disciples still did not understand what this meant, but they were afraid to ask Him about it. Wow! Where do I begin as this passage has so much meat (spiritual food)! Okay, I’m rolling up my sleeves and digging in. Dad’s food is so yummy to me! The first bite I’m taking is focusing on the point that Jesus was absent at the beginning of this story and His disciples were attempting to do a work on their own. As Dad’s kids wanting to make a difference in this world in the lives of people, it is important that we not try to do it in our own strength as we are weak without our Father. Yet we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Sometimes, efforts without our Father can end up doing more harm than good as seen in this situation where the people ended up in disbelief and arguing about the situation. I so admire the fact that the desperate father in this story upon seeing Jesus as a possible rescuer RAN to Jesus. This speaks to me that he put forth great effort and eagerly sought out Jesus. Dad’s Word says that “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you and bring you back from captivity.” How bad do you want it is the question I’m asking myself. Am I willing to put forth the effort to seek Him? When the father reached Jesus, he said “If you can, help me.” This man had a question about Jesus’ ability to solve his problem. Talk about a faith destroyer! This is a lie straight from the mouth of Satan! This is what caused the fall of mankind to sin is when Satan created doubt in Eve’s mind about God and if he was really trustworthy. The world is full of people who say God will not deliver. Yikes!!! If we don’t believe without a doubt Jesus is capable, there is no hope and no faith to be found. This statement was very upsetting to Jesus who responded immediately “If you can?” He promptly spoke truth at the lie when He said “Everything is possible for him who believes!” Dad’s Word tells us we must believe and not doubt and if we doubt, we should not think we will receive anything from the Lord. I guess Dad takes doubt as a real slap to His Face. He says “without faith, it is impossible to please Him and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” I admire the honesty of the father of the boy when he said “I do believe, please help my unbelief.” It is good to be honest with our Dad and ask Him to help us where we are weak. Hebrews 11 is full of examples of the difference that faith can make in a person’s life. Jesus honored the man’s faith and healed the boy and it speaks strongly to me that the boy was practically lifeless from the evil that had plagued him for so long. Jesus was able to change that. He lifted the boy to his feet and helped him to stand. It is good to remember that as Dad’s kids, in troubled times, Jesus is the lifter of our heads and He brings restoration and makes us strong to stand for Him. What a blessing! Well, amazed at the power of Jesus, the disciples privately ask Jesus something like “so like, Jesus, why couldn’t we help this boy?” and Jesus told them it is because they needed prayer. In other words, Jesus was saying “boys, you need your Dad to help.” Ok, I have to ask myself here, how are my ministry efforts missing out because I do not pray about it? Ouch! Jesus then taught his disciples more, again focusing on what was to come. They did not understand, but they were afraid to ask about it. Dad says we should ask Him when we lack wisdom and He will give it to us generously without finding fault. I so want the people in my life to be comfortable enough with me that they can ask me anything that is on their heart. I would feel loved and honored if they feel they can trust me enough to ask me and I would admire them and not fault them for it. This makes for healthy relationships and effective Kingdom work. It is something I need to practice doing as well. Oh Dad, there’s lots to digest here and my belly is stuffed full and I know it is possible and I ask for you to help us all get the nourishment out of this we each need to learn and be freed! Bless ya’s. Mk 9:14-32; Ps 3:1-3, 23:3, 139:7-10; Jn 15:1-8; 1 Pe 5:10; Jer 29:13; Mt 7:7-11; He 11:6; Ja 1:5-7; Php 4:13; 2 Ch 16:9
Good Monday mornin’, dear family. I hope you all had a great weekend. I managed to transform my mountain of laundry into clean clothes to hang in the closet and as I begin this day, I join Jesus and His disciples as they are on top of the mountain, having just experienced the power of God as it changed Jesus’ appearance, leaving them not sure what to say and frightened. The next thing that happens is they find themselves within a cloud which is actually known as the symbol of the glory of God, the very presence of God. God personally spoke to them within the cloud and said “This is my Son and I love Him. Listen to Him!” All at once, they looked around and saw no one with them except Jesus. As they were coming off the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man rose from the dead which the disciples seized upon and discussed with one another what that meant. They had lots of questions for Jesus. They asked Him “Why is it the scribes say Elijah must come first?” Jesus said to them, “Elijah does come first and makes all things new again and yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer much and not be accepted?” He stated “I tell you, Elijah has come. They have done to him everything they wanted to do. They did it just as it is written about him.” Elijah is referring to John the Baptist who had came as a forerunner to Jesus, preaching repentance. He was put to death by King Herod. As I reflect on this story, these thoughts fill my mind. 1) First of all, what an honor for the disciples and for us as Dad’s kids to be able to see and hear the things of God. My heart so desires this for those who do not see and hear Him presently. It makes me want to keep going for Dad! 2) How would it be to have the God of the Universe personally recommend you as He did Jesus? Talk about a statement of accreditation! Guess what? Ok, I’ll tell ya – as Dad’s kids, He also gives us His vote of confidence when He says to “Go into all the World and make disciples.” We are His ambassadors or representatives entrusted to speak to others for Him. Are you like me, in that this encourages my heart to know my Dad desires “me” to be part of His team. Dad gives us this advice in so doing “Listen to His Son!” In stepping out for Dad, to successfully lead others, we must follow His voice and seek Him when we have questions. 3) After receiving the vision and hearing the voice of the Father, they saw no one except Jesus alone. I ask myself, do I see only Jesus in my life? He needs to be the focal point of my life whom I listen to and who leads me and and not anyone else. He tells us to seek the counsel of others at times, but everyone’s counsel should always be filtered through our Father for His guidance and final say. 4) When I think of one’s head in a cloud, I think of the importance to have our minds positioned in the presence of our Father and His voice and not be lofty or high up in the clouds of pride and self-talk. Apart from God, we can do nothing on our own. There are times when I can also find myself too low to the ground and frightened due to cloudiness of mind. I know others sometimes struggle with allergies, affects of medications, lack of knowledge, too many things on the brain and lack of sleep that affect our thinking and can leave us feeling inadequate, too lowly. It is always encouraging to me to know that others struggle with this as well not that I desire others to struggle, but it makes me feel I’m not the only imperfect in the world. In this state, we need to also “Listen to God’s Word (Jesus) which says to seek His healing, trust Him to help us, to give us wisdom, work good through us and to think of ourselves with sober judgment. Because of this struggle in my life, it helps me to lend grace to others who are struggling. Well, dear ones – it has been a great mountaintop experience with ya this morning. May the presence of our Father linger with you today and be a great reminder to you that He is ever present, He loves you and desires for you and me to join Him in His work. Bless you!
Mk 9:7-13; Mt 11:13-14, 28:16-20; Ex 24:15-16; 2 Co 5:20-21; Ro 8:28-29; Ps 103:1-3, 121, 139:7-12; Ro 12:1-8; Jn 3:16
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Super Saturday to ya today! Jesus, the author of today’s story has a large following after He leaves Tyre and goes through Sidon down to the sea of Galilee and into the city of Decapolis. There some people brought to Him a man that was deaf and could hardly talk and they begged Him to place His hand on the man. After He took Him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit (We’re talking holy living water here!) and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to Heaven and with a deep sigh said to Him “Ephphatha!” which means “be opened”. At this point, the man’s ears were opened, His tongue was loosened and He began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more He did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” It is a good thing that the people in this story had the faith it took to step out to help their friend by taking Him to Jesus. They must have greatly cared for him. Jesus looked to His Father when He looked up to Heaven, knowing that apart from His Father, He could do nothing and it would take the power of His Father to do the work needed in this man’s life. His Father honored His prayer in faith and healed the deaf and mute man. Jesus told the people not to talk about it as He wanted to control His fame. This was important to eternity as Satan would have loved to have Jesus become an earthly king and give up on the work on the cross that saved us all from death and sin. The people ignored His request and sinned by talking about it much. Jesus knew the work done in the deaf and mute man’s life was the work of His Father, but I can see how it could have been easy for the people that took the man to Jesus to be tempted to become prideful and take the credit for their friend’s healing and walk about boasting of how God used them in the life of their friend. The truth is, they could do nothing without Jesus. Our Father wants us to be vessels of obedience in stepping out as He asks us to and use what He gives to us to help others, but the glory must always go back to Him. He is the author and finisher of everyone’s faith and the writer of each person’s story. Amazed at the work of Jesus, the people said “He does everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!” A great response to seeing His work is worship – tell Him how wonderful we think He is. As Christians, if Jesus tells us to be quiet, we do not want to cross over the line into gossip in talking about God’s work in someone’s life and yet sometimes Jesus has told people to go and tell others what He has done. We must be led by His voice that also says keep partnering with Him – that’s an honor and sweet amazing work to me! Well, bye and hugs to ya! Mk 7:31-37; 2 Co 12:20; He 12:2; Jn 10: 1-5; Ps 66
Good mornin’, Sonshines! Today I’d like to share kind of a sad story with you about a man who was torn between the influence of women, public image and God. It is the story of King Herod who had heard about Jesus and all that He was doing and wasn’t sure what to think about Him. There were rumors going around that He was Elijah or that He was a prophet like the ones from long before, but Herod was concerned and fearful that He might be John the Baptist raised from the dead. He was concerned about this because Herod had a haunted conscience. It was a result of multiple undealt with sins. Continue reading →