Monthly Archives: May 2012

A Season of Forgiveness

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. -Matthew 5:6

Jesus wants to release peace to you and bring you into a closer intimate season of His love, a season of forgiveness!

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. -Matthew 5:23-34

The cross puts everything into perspective. If God has forgiven us shouldn’t we forgive our brothers and sisters?

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. -James 5:16

To Die is Gain

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18

There’s a popular song that says, “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.” I was listening to this song the other day and thought to myself, “Is that the case for me?” Of course everyone wants to go to heaven but perhaps the more accurate thought by many would be, “If there is a heaven I hope I go there.” I think one of the reasons so many are afraid to die is uncertainty. Death is something every human being faces. It can appear very scary to some. The thought of no longer existing is terrifying and quite absurd to be honest. If we die and become as nothing then our entire life has lost any meaning. Your actions and impact on earth may live on and your life may have meaning to those that still exist, but any meaning that your life holds to you personally will be lost forever if we simply go into a state of inexistence. Isn’t that the most absurd thought? We work our whole lives gaining knowledge, love, experiences, impacting others—some positively and some negatively—and all just to die? Its chaos and makes no sense. No wonder we have a depression epidemic.

Contemplating the lyric to that song has made me think of my own life and my own thoughts towards death. I’ve realized there is some truth to this saying in my life. I don’t want to die, but it’s not because of uncertainty. I am not afraid of death. I can honestly tell you that death has lost its sting. If the Lord chose to take me today then that would be great—for me. It would not however be good for my wife, mother, sister, brothers and friends who would grieve my death. It would also not be good because I hope to be used more by God, and if I were to die today then the only true meaning and purpose that could be accomplished through my life on earth would be over. So for these reasons I do not want to die but I do look forward to the day when I can be with the Lord.

For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. -2 Corinthians 5:4-5

It is not my time yet and I know this because the Lord has given me prophetic dreams and visions of the future. So I excitedly await these times, but patiently remain in the current season diligently seeking the Lord, and trying my best to learn what He is teaching me. I did not post in the last ten days or so because I have just been enjoying His rest. It’s been somewhat of a vacation from my analytical mind the Lord has blessed me with. It’s been nice. I actually felt normal for a week or so… (if there is any such thing as normal?) I have been learning to live in grace. To live in grace does not mean life is a continual mountain top spiritual experience, it means we have Jesus to take up our yoke with us. He offers help and peace in those anxious life moments—including our failures. I feel that I have been finding balance in my spiritual life. I am however aware to be cautious of complacency and so…

I ask again, I seek again, I knock again.

Lord you are so good words cannot describe. I ask today Father, please give us a taste of heaven so we can be revived and rejuvenated to go out and live your will for our lives. I pray for any reading that you would bring them into your peace and rest, that death would lose it’s sting and they might truly put on the heavenly mindset of “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” May your kingdom come and your will be done in Jesus name.

Boasting in Weakness

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Oh the Lord has been teaching me this one… This verse has not left my spirit for the last couple of weeks.  To be honest I do not like what I’m finding out about myself.  I do not like the person that my deceitful heart has guided me in the past to become.  Thank God there is transformational power in the Holy Spirit.  Thank God that He promises to finish the good work that He has begun in me (Phil 1:6).  Am I finished yet?  Not even close.  I am slowly beginning to understand why the Apostle Paul called himself the “chief of sinners.”  We call Paul a saint.  He wrote those words in 1 Timothy towards the end of his ministry.  He must have been far more sanctified than I, but yet he called himself the chief of sinners.  The Holy Spirit had revealed in him the full sinful nature of himself.  We know this from what he wrote in Romans:

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
– Romans 7:15

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”
– Romans 7:24

The closer we get to God the more we realize how truly unworthy we are to even be in the presence of His holiness.  But God through His loving grace invites us there again and again.  I set these high standards for myself and then find myself screwing up left and right but God has told me,

“My love for you is not of your works it’s of who you really are.” 

Who I am? Who I am Lord is a filthy, selfish, prideful, covetous sinner.  Wow, that’s a little humiliating to admit that. But He says,

“I see through that to who you really are, and who you really are is mine. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Lord I am truly unworthy of Your affection.

Such love the Father has for you and I!  John understood this clearly when he wrote:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” -1 John 3:1

Accept God’s grace today. Stop trying to earn it.

The Creator of Creativity

Oh Lord you are so creative!

So many different people all with their own unique thoughts,

With their own spirit, with their own free will,

You didn’t have to make so many different types of trees but you did,

You didn’t have to make the stars so limitless but you did,

You didn’t have to make all the different animal and fish species but you did,

Thank you Lord for all the beauty in this life and on this planet,

It seems as if your creativity is infinite!

How perfect to reflect the glory of an infinite God!

How wonderful you are Lord,

I’m amazed!


Thank you Father for making us in your image so that your creativity is reflected by our own creative minds.  Without You I am nothing.

Thank You Abba!

Thank you Abba, Father God for my mom,

Thank you for blessing me with such a caring, compassionate,

And loving woman of faith in my life,

Without her I don’t know where I would be Lord,

Without seeing the Son’s love reflect from her eyes where would I be?

Without her countless prayers and words of wisdom where would I be?

You have blessed me so!

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

For my mom whom You and I both love beyond measure,

And this I pray that she knows.

What Will You Feed Your Mind Today?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. –Proverbs 9:10 

Our minds—much like our physical bodies—need to be fed. If we don’t feed them they get hungry and start growling for something new. If we constantly feed them junk food they will become unhealthy and eventually sick. Sometimes we don’t realize how bad we’ve been eating. There are “fast food for thoughts” on every corner. The information age puts everything at our finger tips. It can become hard to distinguish the healthy food from the unhealthy food and there is much debate about this. Thankfully God has given us the Holy Spirit which can help us discern the good from the bad. The Holy Spirit is kind of like God’s free nutritionist or personal trainer—but much like an actual nutritionist, if you don’t make the choice to follow their advice you will not see any results.  Is it a coincidence that sin entered the world through the bite of an apple?  I think not.

 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ –Matthew 4:4

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. –John 6:27

Accept God’s Grace Today

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. –Romans 14:19

I’m realizing one of the beautiful fruits of the Spirit is the edification of one another in the body of Christ.  Life of course has it’s ups and downs, but God has given us grace and a way to help balance this through human connection—where if one is weak, another is strong.  These roles constantly shift.  One might be strong this week but find themselves in a terrible dark place the next.  This is why it’s so important to love one another as ourselves. 

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. –Romans 15:1-2

Today I feel strong.  I am encouraged in the Spirit of Truth today but this was not the case last week, and it may not be the case for next week. 

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. –1 Corinthians 10:12

However, I thank the Lord for these trials knowing that it produces patience (James 1:3). Today the Lord has blessed me with strength so I wish to pass this on to you:

God loves you and never leaves you!  When you feel alone and trapped in the dark pits of your own negative thoughts just stop and whisper His name.  Glance around at this majestic planet and take a deep breath.  The presence of God is all around us and unmistakable.  Take a deep breath and let the Spirit of Truth renew you.  Do not be conformed to this world but allow yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Submit your intellect and thoughts to God’s peace.  Welcome His rest.  Stop beating yourself up and accept the grace of Christ.  Accept that the cross was enough and the blood of Jesus covers all your sins. 

Say this prayer out loud and proclaim it in the name of Christ Jesus:

Your grace is sufficient for me Lord,
The blood of Jesus covers all my sins,
I accept your grace today Father,
I accept your love,
I accept you Jesus as my Lord and Savior,
You are the God of my life who has forgiven all my iniquities,
Who heals my diseases,
Who redeems my life from destruction,
Who crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Therefore I look to you Lord,
I will be still and patient with you,
I will wait on the God of my salvation,
Thank you for the gift of life,
I love you

(2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 4:7, Psalm 103:3-4, Psalm 46:10, Micah 7:7)


Digging Trenches (Finding Hope In Depression)

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”
-Psalm 29:11

Two weeks ago I started a new part time seasonal job with a termite and pest control company.  The bug season hit early this year and they needed extra help because of the amount of business that was coming in.  After the first day on the job I realized I was basically hired to be a trench digger.  To treat a house for termites a trench is dug around the perimeter, we fill the trench with a chemical and then fill the trench back up with dirt.   Now this is some hard work and the weather we’ve been having in GA does not make it any easier.  Before I get off track, my point of writing this is not to complain to you about how physically exhausting my job is, my point is to relate what the Lord taught me through the process.

First day on the job about 2 hours in the first scripture comes to mind:

 “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.”
-Genesis 3:19

The Holy Spirit couldn’t help but rub this one in as I sat there drenched in sweat…  I got a chuckle out of this and it gave me some joy to keep diggin.  Soon after the next scripture popped in my head:

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Ok, I can be thankful here” I said.  I really was thankful that the Lord had provided a new employment opportunity for me.  This job works perfect with my schedule and brings in some much needed extra money with just recently moving to GA a few months ago.   So I kept digging with a thankful attitude praising God for the work He had provided.

Day two on the job comes and we are on our second termite job of the day.  This is by far the hottest it’s been yet and the hardest house to trench.  I’m underneath a crawl space surrounded by cob webs and dust trying to trench around the foundation pillars.  On top of that the ground at this house is not soft at all.  The third scripture pops in my head:

“Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”
-Colossians 3:23

“Really Lord?  I’m digging trenches.  I’m supposed to have the attitude that I’m doing this for You?”  “Yes” He replies and so, I keep digging.

Now I thought about writing this post over a week ago and just leaving it at that, but I sensed—though these verses do give a good message together—that the Lord had not finished speaking.  So I waited…

I waited a week and in that next week rather than hearing the Lord I stopped hearing Him.  Rather than feeling His presence I started feeling alone.  Rather than hearing His voice I started hearing a different voice—the voice of one who says, “You are all alone.”  “You do not know what you’re doing.”  “You are lost and there is no hope because God does not exist.”  Oh my heart sank.  What was happening to me?  I was past this I thought.  How did I ever get so uncontrollably tossed back in to the pit?  The voice told me “You have dug your own trench and now you will lie in it in misery alone.”

I was around other believers but never asked for help.  That’s the scary thing about depression is that the loneliness makes you think that there is no help.  It makes you think that it’s your fault you are depressed and that no one can help.

Lies, lies, LIES!

I mustered up the last ounce of spiritual strength I had and cried out:

“AWAY FROM ME SATAN!  Come Lord and rescue me from the pit!  Help me Father please!”

I got enough strength to pull out my phone and pulled up my Bible app.  I was led to Psalm 29 which I read and the last passage was so simple but really stood out to me:

“The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

Reading this scripture I cried out, “Lord I am not feeling your peace right now.  Please hear me and bless me with this peace your word promises!”

I didn’t feel better.  The voice came in again saying “these are lies, there is no peace” but I held on to the scripture and kept going back to it.  That evening I did find some strength.  It was not total healing strength but it was strength to talk.  I told my wife how I had been feeling.  Now my wife is no scholar with a doctorate of theology, she is a woman of simple faith which I admire so much.  I’m always caught up in my intellectual thoughts as if I’m actually going to come up with any answers to life’s big questions in my own finite brain.  She doesn’t over analyze things.  She believes because Jesus has touched her heart and that is it.  She told me the simple words, “We live by faith.”   Simple words, but powerful words! 

 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
-Romans 1:17

I was not completely out of the pit yet but I was feeling much better.  Just being open and honest with my feelings took a huge burden off my chest.  I wasn’t alone anymore.  And so I went to bed still confused but starting to look on the bright side of things.

The next morning (yesterday) I felt so much better—almost normal.  I then had strength to reach out for prayer and help from another woman of faith in my life—my mother.  Now my mom is what you might call a “prayer warrior.”  She would never boast in herself but I will boast about my mom.  She is a woman of God!  If there is anyone I know that is close to God’s heart it is my mother.  I am very grateful for her and she prayed for me on the phone with the Spirit of God providing the exact words I needed to hear.  I was encouraged again! Faith was rising and the peace that surpasses understanding was settling back in to my heart.  I wept and prayed and felt Psalm 29:11 coming to life. 

To top it off I go in to church this morning and our Pastor informs us we are going to do things a little different.  He tells us the Lord has put it on his heart to do a different service and that the family of our church needed to be strengthened in the Lord.  “Yes!” I thought, “God is so faithful!” The service was amazing.  Instead of two services we did one long continuous service intermixing prayer, scripture, people sharing testimony, teaching, and worship.  The presence of God was among us!  He strengthened His people today!  He blessed His people with peace!  Amen and thank you Lord Jesus for you are so good to us!  I love you Lord, I love you Veronica, I love you Mom, I love you Pastor Josh and Calvary Chapel Northwest.

The moral of the story: ask for help!  When you’re feeling down go to God’s word and ask for help from other believers.  Through the power of God light will always prevail over darkness!  To whomever the Lord is speaking to now know that Christ is with you and He loves you.  The Lord will give strength to His people.  The Lord will bless His people with peace!  Hallelujah!