Words to Live By…Promises

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

How comforting is that?  I mean how often do we feel alone? Sometimes we feel like no one can understand our situation, we feel like we’re just existing, not thriving.  But when was the last time that we stopped and listened to some of the promises that God has given us?

We all have our moments of uncertainty but in those times we need to remember who is on our side. Just take a moment to stop and think about all that God has done for you.  Remember the times that He has shown himself to you. God is faithful. He loves us so much and he cares for us always.

Take sometime today to just sit with him and thank him for all that he is.

Think about it…

New Friends

So I had a good trip, we accomplished allot in our meetings and after two long days I am ready to get home.

Have you ever taken a trip and after all was said and done you just couldn’t wait to get home?  You know what I’m talking about?  You’re tired and all you want to do is get home without incident.  Well that’s how I felt. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or meet anyone, I just wanted to relax. I had a rough night with a bad stomach so I really wasn’t feeling well and I just wanted to rest.

So I get to the airport and my flight is delayed, oh boy…here we go, there’s no way that this is going to be a good trip home…Boy was I wrong.

I get on the plane and I am seated next to a gentleman.  In a very polite voice he says hello. I introduced myself and we began a conversation. You never know who you will meet or how that meeting will impact your life.

The bible says that we are to encourage one another and uplift one another, it says that we are to be ready in season and out of season. You see you never know when God needs to use your hands and your feet. You never know when God wants to use your voice. We are Gods instrument of choice to show the world that he is real and alive.

I wasn’t feeling well at all, I was tired, ill and weak. So what did God do about that? He sent me Gordan. Yes Gordan was his name. Gordan began to tell me about his life, he shared with me the fact that he got saved when he was in his early thirties. He was an alcoholic and drug user, he checked himself into a rehab program and God met him there. He said the Lord spoke to him and his life was forever changed. Before that meeting with God, Gordan’s plan for his life was to retire on disability and social security.

Man..did God ever have a different plan for Gordan!

Today Gordan is married for 29 years, he has 3 great children that he has sent through college and he is the president of his company.

You see God sent Gordan to me today to remind me of his Grace, mercy and restoring power. I was tired and weak and God lifted me up and gave me strength through a new friend.  I don’t know if I will ever see Gordan again, but I do know that I will never forget him.

I thank God for Gordan and his powerful testimony and the grace that I have seen through his story.

Words To Live By… Applying Life

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

Joshua 1:8(NLT)

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2(NLT)

Do we really want to live a really successful life?  Do we really want to see our lives changed for the better?  Well in order for us to change we must be willing to do our part.  God will always do his part, but if we do nothing, then he can never fix us.

These two scriptures have the ability to change lives if we do what they say.

Live the Word of God and watch your life change.

Think About It…

Sometimes We Fly

With all your heart

you must trust the LORD

and not your own judgment.

Proverbs 3:5

I was on my way to the airport today and I began to think about life. You see, our life is one big trip. We all have a destination but we all have different ways of getting there. Today my first destination was the airport, now I live about 45 minutes from the airport so I had to drive there. I’ve been to the airport many times so I know how to get there and about how long it takes with traffic. The trip was pretty uneventful and I made it on time for my flight. Once I got to the airport I had to find my gate, board my plane and wait. This is the part I really don’t like.

Waiting… Seriously, who likes to wait?

You see in life we take many trips and we have many destinations. Everyday we’re traveling somewhere, the store, school, work a friend’s house, and each trip is different. Now most of our travels are made by car, bike, foot, but sometimes we fly. We are a people who like to be in control of most things that we do but some things we have no control over.

You see God has given us several assignments in life and he has given us a map to navigate them all. Some are short and sweet and some are long and enduring. In our everyday life we tend to get comfortable and kind of cruise through our daily routine. Every now and then we have to take a trip to the airport where we have no control. Our entire trip is in the hands of the pilot.

You see some trips in life can’t be made without God carrying us. I mean, I know that in everything we are supposed to rely on God but do we really? Do we really trust in him for every journey we take?  Most of us think that we can get to most of our destinations on our own, I mean we may pray and seek God’s council but let’s keep it real. Some journeys require us to fly and without a pilot we aint going no-where. The trick is to allow God to be our pilot through life, Flying is so much easier than driving or walking all we do is get on the plane and trust the pilot to take us where we are going. Our final destination in life is to be joined in paradise forever with Jesus Christ, but while we are here on earth we really need to learn how to let God be our pilot.

When’s the last time you flew?

Is Hell Real?

So what if you’re wrong?

I recall a conversation I had several years ago with my cousin.  She was very passionate about life, everything she did was all out.  When she set her mind on something it was very difficult to convince her otherwise.  So one day she called me up and we began to talk…you see my cousin had her  own beliefs about heaven and hell.  She believed in heaven but she believed that hell was a metaphor.  She didn’t think that hell was a real place, therefore she believed that when she died the worse thing that could happen to her is that she would return to the ground…and the best thing that could happen is that she would live forever on the new earth.

Hmm…

Actually that’s not so bad.  I mean if the worst thing that can happen to us after we die is either nothing, or eternal life on the new earth.  That sounds like a pretty good deal.  Live life how-ever you choose and end up either dead without life or knowledge of anything, or live forever on a perfect earth.

You see, she and I would go round and round with this discussion.

Here’s the problem with her belief system–it has no foundation. She claimed to believe the bible but she didn’t want to accept hell. Jesus Christ said;

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.                                                                                               Luke 12:4-5

Jesus describes hell as the place “where the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43) and hell is also described this way;

“In hell, where he was in torment” (Luke 16:23).

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”                                                                   Matthew 25:46

Okay…I believe that hell is a real place that people who don’t accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior are sent to for eternal punishment. I believe that scripture is clear regarding hell and we have all been made aware of it.

So…what if I’m wrong and my cousin was right?  Well the worst thing that can happen to me after I die if I don’t accept Jesus is, I go back to nothing, no feeling, no knowledge, no nothing.

But what if I’m right and she was wrong?  Then the worst thing that can happen to me after I die if I don’t accept Jesus is,  I live forever in eternal punishment, separated from God forever.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to take that chance.  I would rather live believing that when I die there’s a hope of a better life after this life.

Sometimes this earth feels like hell, but the cool thing is, it’s the only hell that I will ever know.

You see… my cousin has found out the truth already, she was murdered at the age of 31.  I often wonder where she is today and my hope is that while she was still alive she found the truth.

We are all created in the image of God, and God is eternal.

We will live forever… somewhere.

Where will you spend eternity?

Think about it…

In memory of Shani Renee Holloway

Childhood Dreams

Remember when you were a kid?  Remember your dreams?  As a kid the sky’s the limit, you can be what ever you want to be.  I remember as a kid I wanted to be a police officer, then I wanted to be a Mariachi musician.  As I got older I wanted to be a rock star…yea, a rock star..lol  All the typical childhood dreams.

What happened?!  As adults do we still dream?  Do we still believe that we can do those things?  I understand that as we get older our dreams and goals become more sensible.  And we begin to discover ourselves and identify our strengths and weaknesses.  But I really feel that at some point we give up and we begin to settle.  I mean think about it, are you doing what your passion is?

There’s this verse that I love;

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.                                     Psalm 37:4

That is so beautiful, if we delight ourselves in God then he is true to give us our hearts desires. WOW!

But let’s break it down:

Delight– to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly:

Okay our first step is to give joy to God, find our joy in him and bring him pleasure.  That’s pretty simple right? I mean all it’s saying is to spend time with God, get to know him and do what he says.  We bring pleasure and joy to God when we are obedient.

So if we do these things that means God will give us the desires of our heart. Right?  But what desires?  Here’s the key;

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

You see God has created us with a unique plan for our lives, and he places that desire in our heart.  Now as we grow, we begin to place our own desires and plans in our heart.  This can cause a lot of confusion and uncertainty.  The key is to recognize which plans are ours and which plans are from God.  It’s not that simple is it?  Or is it?

If we do what this verse says to do, “delight ourselves in the Lord” then we will be able to know God’s will for our lives opposed to our own will.  At birth God places in our heart a purpose, desires, dreams, plans and hope.  In order for theses things to be clearly revealed to us, we must delight ourselves in Him. Then God can give us the desires of our heart.

So delight yourself in the Lord, hang out with him, talk to him, listen to him and he will release his perfect plan for your life. It’s not too late!  As long as you can breathe, you can live. We are never to old to live for the Lord.

Dream big, because your God is big and he wants you to have the desires of your heart.

Think about it…

TRUTH

In times of despair we have opportunity for greatness.  I just watched the news and I saw houses burning and flames over 300 feet tall. It seems that a gas line exploded and a whole neighborhood in San Bruno California went up in flames.  Sometimes life gets serious very quickly.  I don’t know what you believe but I’m sure the families of that disaster would appreciate your thoughts and prayers right now.

One minute we’re planning  our future and the next second we are faced with disaster. What would you do in this situation? When disaster strikes will you be ready?  I don’t know if any of us could seriously answer yes to this question.  We all would love to think that we are prepared for hard times. But are we? This reminds me of a story.

There was this man named Noah who began to build an ark. He built and built for over 100 years. All the people thought that he was crazy because he told them that a great flood was coming and that water would fall from the sky.  The people ignored him and they kept living their lives as usual.  You see in the days of Noah it had never rained before, so when he warned them that water would fall from the sky they scoffed at him.  I mean, what would you do?  I probably would think that he was crazy too.  Well the day came when the ark was finished and the rain began.  It rained for forty days and forty nights. The entire earth was covered with water.  Only Noah and his family survived.

Here’s the point, we can go our entire lives hearing the truth but never believing it.  So if we don’t believe it, does it change? Does truth change?  One thing is certain,  time can’t change truth. Truth is truth.

For those families in San Bruno the truth is their lives will never be the same.  Some have lost everything that they own. Others have lost loved ones. You see in life there are no guarantees for tomorrow.  We have never been promised that we will live to see another day.

So what do you believe and are you willing to die for it? The truth is that there is a God that created you. He loved you so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for your sins and for mine. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior then you will one day be joined with him in paradise forever.

That’s the truth. Now what are you going to do with it?

Ever Thought Of…Telling Someone?

Have you ever read something or heard something that got you real excited?  Or something that you just couldn’t wait to go tell someone about? Have you ever tasted something that was so good that you had to call a friend and let them know about it? Learning something new is so cool. Or experiencing something  for the first time always seems to bring excitement.

It reminds me of my youngest son who is four years old.  He is in his first year in school, kindergarten.  He comes home everyday so excited because he has learned something new.  He can’t wait to share it with us.

What if I told you that you could learn something new everyday of your life and you would be so excited about it that you would have to tell someone.  It’s true, we have the capacity to never stop learning. Human beings are built with an endless ability to learn. Now that’s all good, but what are we learning? Are we investing our time in things that make us want to shout it from the roof tops?  Or are we learning things that are only useful to us?

I remember when I first learned that Jesus called himself God. For me that was awesome, I couldn’t wait to tell someone.

I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.  John 8:58-59

Isn’t that exciting?! You see you have to understand some of the background of the story. Why did I get so excited about that?

Well, I had a cousin that didn’t believe that Jesus and God were one.  I was new in my faith and I would study for hours.  One day my cousin called and we began to discuss the bible and she said that Jesus never claimed to be God.  It was one of those “okay God I’m counting on you” moments.  I remember turning to John and reading that verse, it was like God himself explained it to me…actually it was God himself, the Holy Spirit. I read it to her and she said I was misinterpreting it. So my response was, I guess the pharisees misinterpreted Jesus too because they tried to stone him.

You see the bible is alive, it is like living water and it brings life, hope and excitement, to those who read it. If we spend time with God everyday and we are willing to learn, then God is willing to teach.  In this lifetime we could never learn everything, so let’s just learn the stuff that God wants to teach us.

If we do that, we will always be growing closer to him and we will become more like him.

Now isn’t that something to be excited about? Read the bible and tell the world. It’s that simple.

Just a thought…

The Impossible

It was early in the year 2003 and I remember this overwhelming desire to pray for my city.  You need to understand something, I’m not just talking about… Oh Lord bless my city kind of prayer.  I’m talking about something that I could never imagine doing.  Have you ever been asked to do something that you knew was impossible?  Something that you knew was just too big to tackle.

You see when I accepted Jesus as my savior, I told him that I would do anything he asked me to do.  I told him to send me to do the work that the others refused to do.  I told him that I was one of “the few” that he had referred to in the book of Luke .

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.                                       Luke 10:2-3

You see, “like lambs among wolves”, this was serious stuff. Let me give you a little history about me and my wife. In 2001 we founded a ministry and we felt that God wanted us to trust in him for everything. Now I know that sounds simple, but it was harder than we thought. In September of 2001 I lost my job and we felt that I was supposed to work the ministry full-time without pay and just watch God provide. That’s another blog in its self.

So here we are feeling like God wanted us to pray for our city, but what we heard was pray through the entire city, down every street.  What!!  Every street?  That could take days , even weeks! How could we do that?  The answer is, we can’t, but…”Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

You see sometimes God asks us to do the impossible so he can show himself to us.  My wife and I prayed and prayed and God was faithful to give us the plan.  We assembled a team and we fasted and prayed together.  We chopped up the city into sections and on a Saturday morning we met at the park and all 14 of us took our section and off we went.

I remember my wife and I and 3 of our sons driving down each street praying.  It brings a smile to my face as I write this because it took us 10 hours to complete all the sections that we had, but God’s grace was so good, our boys never cried or complained.  That in it self was a miracle!

Next time you feel a passion or a stirring for something to big to be you, or to big to do.  It might just be God calling you to do his work, calling you to do the impossible.  Are you willing to be the answer to prayer?

Think about it.

Ever Thought Of…Weakness and Strength?

Do you know anyone who always has a bad attitude?  Or someone who always has something negative to say?  No matter what’s going on they just aren’t happy.  I know some people like that and no matter what, the conversation always turns south.

Or how about someone who is always tired or weak.  I mean they aren’t sick or anything they just always seem to be overwhelmed with life.

I was wondering about that and suddenly it came to me, there’s this verse that  says;

The joy of the Lord is your strength.       Nehemiah 8:10

Wow!!  How sweet is that?

Have you ever thought about that?  When you are pressed into God and you begin to delight yourself in him, then you begin to experience his joy!  I know for myself, when I’m not focused on God and my focus is on all my stuff, I feel worn out.  I mean literally tired, without energy or strength.  But when my focus is on Jesus, I have a pep in my step, a real strength, I notice that I’m happier and full of life, full of joy.  Wow imagine that!

You see the strength that you need to get through this life comes directly from the joy of the Lord.  Next time you feel sluggish or weak ask yourself this question;

Have I spent time with God lately?  And if the answer is no, then you may want to press into him, because he is faithful to release the joy that gives you strength to thrive in life.

Enjoy life, it’s too short to not to.

Think about it…