Hey Jude Part 2

Let’s Not Forget Jude 5-16

As we continue from last time, (see “Jude,Things are Really Bad” post) let’s first recap byt stating that Jude was addressing the morally unrestrained teachings that had found their way into the church and his society. His clarion call was for believers to vigorously contend for the faith that was delivered to them by the Apostles. We found last time, that when believers do so, they can take a sad situation and make it better. Jude’s next vital message to us could be summarized with, “Let’s not forget”.

Forget what? Let’s take a look.

I need to remind you of this.” verses 4-7

  • The Lord saved his people out of Egypt, but destroyed the unbelievers.
  • Even the angels who left their assigned authority were judged & sentenced.
  • Sodom & Gomorrah’s sexually immoral society was consumed in the fires of judgment.

While living in the midst of the kinkiest of perversions known to mankind, Jude reminds us that judgment has and will continue to come upon such practices. Jehovah is a just God who will always deliver the believer in Him but that same justice must judge unrighteousness. No one is exempt, not angels or humans.

I need to remind you about blasphemers.” verses 8-10

  • They are sensual dreamers
  • They corrupt and pollute the natural realm
  • They reject spiritual realms of governmental power
  • They scoff at heavenly things
  • They insult all that they don’t understand
  • They behave like animals, doing whatever they feel like doing
  • They live by animal instincts
  • How terrible it is for them

Again, Jude calls out what he sees in society without backing down. Blunt. Categorical. Plainspoken. The false ideologies and practices of the ungodly mock at, and reject spiritual truths while indulging in sensuality, and all forms of self satisfaction and gratification.

They have followed– verse 11-

  • The steps of Cain
  • Balaam’s error
  • Korah’s rebellion

Three Old Testament rebels who lead many astray are given as examples of what will happen to the blashemers. Each of them and their followers were destroyed by God’s judgment.

In Cain we see the picture of man offering to God the fruit of his own works rather than the faith in God’s blood sacrifice. Balaam shows us a spiritual man who was motivated by money and financial gain. Korah led a rebellion against the leadership of Moses. These three did as they pleased, just like this current generation. They suffered God’s judgment, just like every generation will.

Jude offers one last note regarding the things we should not forget, pertaining to the false teachers and ideologies of the day.

The dangers of false teachers/teachings – verses 12-13

  • They are hidden reefs – their disguised teachings will shipwreck lives, churches and societies
  • They are clouds without rain, swept along by winds– they show the promise of refreshing & growth but are empty and influenced by evil spirits
  • They are fruitless trees in autum– looking good and productive on the ourside, but when fruit is needed, there is none. They are twice dead – on the inside and the outside.
  • They are wild waves, bringing only stormy seas of shame to the people they impact
  • They are wandering stars – all they give is misleading advice

These are brilliantly, vivid metaphors revealing the absolute futility of false teachings. They offer us no hope, are empty, deceitful, and deadly. They were in Jude’s day, they are in ours.

Jude’s admonition is that the false teachings of unbridled sexual fantacies and lifestyles, will, indeed be judged. verses14-16

He repeats the idea of certain judgment coming to:

  • all
  • those who are ungoldly
  • the ungodly, blasphemers
  • grumblers
  • malcontents
  • those who follow sinful, selfish pursuits
  • loudmouthed boasters
  • seductive flatters who manipulate others

In these few verses, Jude warns us all that perverted, sensual ideas and lifestyles are nothing new. They have been around for generations. He reminds us that in the midst of such depravity, God is always looking for the righeous and will reward them for their faith in Him. He reminds us that judgment is coming for all, and he reminds us that the ungodly will, in justice will be judged.

Would you look around you, look for hidden reefs, waterless clouds, fruitless trees, wild waves, and wandering stars. They surround us. The are dangerous and deadly. Don’t be fooled. They are loudmouthed, and seductive, and they will manipulate you, your ideas, and your faith.

Their scoffing at spiritual things and brute beast instincts will lead them the way of Cain, Balaam, and Korah. In the end their unrepentant lifestyles will lead them to be swallowed up by God’s judgment.

In these days, we, each, must distinguish truth from lies.

We may be surrounded by the ungodly, but let’s not forget the truth of God’s Word.

Hey Jude, we’re with you.


Jude, Things Are Really Bad

It was 1968. John Lennon was facing divorce, the upsetting of his family, (lil’ Julian was 5), and a turbulant time within the Beatles, when his song-writing partner, Paul McCartney penned the song, “Hey Jude”. In an attempt to help Julian deal with this terrible situation of divorce, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy for him, Paul wrote, “don’t make it bad.” In like manner, Jude, the author of the short New Testament book that bears his name wrote, addressing a terrible situation, knowing it wasn’t going to be easy, his words resounded, things are really bad.

What was it that so alarmed Jude to write his 25 verse book? What was it that caused him to change his plans from writing about one topic to a totally unplanned one? What caused this basically unknown, half-brother of Jesus, and once unbeliever in his brother’s claims, to have drastically changed his song? Why was he now blasting that things are really bad?

His chorus could have echoed that of the Beatles. His song’s emphasis was, take this sad situation and make it better. Don’t be afraid. Go out and get it. Both Jude & McCartney’s writings carry very similiar messages, in but very different situations.

Jude’s alarm was at the libertine (morally unrestrained) teachers in the society and in the church. These false teachers believed that God’s grace gave them the freedom to do whatever they pleased – especially pertaining to money and sex. Their sensual ideas had crept into the church’s thinking and the societal structure and had not only perverted the grace of Jesus but denied Him altogether. Their ideas, Jude knew, have consequences.

This was a really bad situation for the first century folks. False teachings that promoted outrageous, sexually perverted lifestyles was being mainlined as part of the doctrine of grace, taught by Jesus and the apostles. Folks were falling for these ideas of unbridled sex and lust to the point of disavowing the truth of what they had been taught about “the faith that was delivered to them”. Jude knew these ideas had consequences.

So Jude wrote, take this bad situation and make it better. (better, better, better … :-))

He reminded those in the faith to fight for it, not let it slip away or be stripped down to powerless and shallow human urges.

Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed…, ungodly people…, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality, and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Jude 3-4 ESV

By Jude using the term “the faith”, he was referring to the already established body of truth, set down by the Apostles and widely taught by and circulating through the early church. Ideas and teachings not in alignment with THAT body of truth were considered false teaching and the teachers, false teachers.

Those who parted from that body of truth, were considered “apostates” – fallen away from the truth. Apostasy is defined as “a defiance of an established system of authority; a rebellion; a breach of faith.” (Greek word, “apostasia”) Apostates twist the truth.

The worst forms of wickedness consist in perversions of the truth”

RC Lensky

What Jude saw as really bad, was the apostasy, (the falling away from the truth of the faith) that was caused by these false ideas, that were influencing the church. Jude isn’t alone in his view. Every New Testament book (except Philemon) has warnings about false teachings. Why? Because ideas have consequences.

Satan came to Adam and Eve with an idea. The idea isn’t the problem, it is the action that is taken in response to that idea that can be. Ideas have consequences.

Notice that Jude didn’t have much to say about what these false teachers were actually teaching. What he was concerned about was how they were living. What we hear is not the issue until it becomes part of our lifestyle, ingrained in our action, then the fruit shows.

What Jude was compelled to do was call the people of faith to rise up, to remember what they had been taught and committed their lives to, and fight to see those truths stand. Fight against opposition that would seek to destroy those truths. Stand for truth in the face of outrageous, sexual practices seeking to influence the church and society. Speak up for truth when false ideas are spewed. Get in the ring, be involved with, and take a stand for truth and against false teachings of the faith.

Jude was telling people of faith, things are really bad. Let’s take this sad situation and make it better. (better, better, better…)

I can think of no more revelant message for today than this.

People of faith, we must contend for the faith once delivered to us. We must stand for truth, and that is the truth of God’s Word. In our churches, temples, and synagogues and out of them, we must contend for the faith, and not be sidetracked by false ideas. We must no longer give ground to the libertines denouncing Jesus and the faith.

Things may be really bad, but as we contend for the faith we can make this sad song better.

Na, na, na na-na-na-na….. Hey Jude! We’re with you.

NOTE- because this book (of Jude) has burned into my bones and spirit, and I believe there is no more relevant book for us today, I will be spending more time in it. So, for the next ?# blogs, we will be in Jude. It’s only 25 verses, you might want to read it again, soon.

Let’s make this place better,


Alarming Similiarities Between Esther’s Day and Ours

As you know, if you’re a regular reader/follower, I have mad respect for the Bible. For in it, we find truths for our life. Some are obvious, (like “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”), and others are in less familiar stories and characters. Esther is one of those characters of the Old Testament that is moderately familiar. She’s no match for Moses or Abraham, but can run neck and neck with Deborah and Miriam. You will be amazed at the alarming similiarities between her day and our day.

The Book of Esther is hidden away in the Old Testament, in the mix with Ezra, Nehemiah, and Job – books not easily or often found. It is a history book and covers the Persian Empire 460 BC – 350 BC. It is included as part of the Jewish collection known as the Five Megilloth, which were books read publically at their feasts. Esther was read at the Feast of Purim.

Through the years, some scholars have argued that Esther should not be included in the Canon of scripture because no where in the book is God even mentioned; which seems like a perfect place to start when comparing today with Esther’s day, doesn’t it?

In a day and hour when the mention of God is ridiculed, and often violently protested, we see God’s soverign plan over a nation take preeminence over the best laid plans of evil men -just as it was in Esther’s day with evil Haman. You can see it too today. The main emphasis in Esther is God’s soverign plan and His care for His people. The exact same thing can be said for today in America. God may be unseen, but His providence is not.

Let’s look closely at the similiarities I see. (You can follow these in the book of Esther, the chapter numbers listed.)

1. Men/women – man/wife rules, war on the patriarchy.

The Persian King, Ahasuerus or Xerxes demonstrated a prideful display of his prosperity by throwing a banquet that lasted 180 days. During this feast each man was allowed to do as he desired. Drunk Xerxes called for his queen, and she refused his drunken order. This was a threat to the patriarchy for if she dishonored her husband, then all the women of the kingdom would follow suit. Xerxes orderd that, every man be master of his own household. The queen was removed.

This war with the patriarchy is going on now and the truth of God’s Word where a man and woman shall live together as one has been twisted and perverted.

2. Eunuchs grooming women.

The King had in his leadership cabinet, seven eunuch’s, who are named by name in Esther chapter 2. These were men who were actually casterated. Even the word used in the Hebrew means, “to casterate, a valet, a minister of the state.” (H5631) These seven were charged with grooming women to be the next queen. Esther was one of many, and she did become queen.

Do you see the similiarities? Do you see men attempting to groom women, fashion them, change them. Change the way we see women, define women, treat women. Physically altered men, “mansplaining” what a women is?

3. The spirit of Haman is released.

Haman, the evil guy we mentioned earlier, wanted to destroy all of God’s people. Literally. His authority was established and everyone had to submit to it. Esther’s uncle, Mordecai did not, however and this ticked off Haman. Learning Mordecai was a Jew, Haman’s plot was set. He told the King there was “no profit in tolerating them” and they should be ” destroyed, killed and annhilated.” This was publicized (the bible’s words, not mine), and the territory was in confusion.

In a speech a few weeks ago, I heard our President say some very disparaging things about “white, Christian, nationalists”. I turned to my husband and said, “I am white, a Christian and I love America, I guess that’s me.” I beleive the spirit of Haman has been released upon our nation (and world) with the same claim, there is not profit in tolerating them. Hasn’t it even been publicized? Will there be an order to destroy, kill and annhiliate folks like me?

4. The call to arise.

In this confusion the Jews mourn, Mordecai mourns and Esther, who is now the Queen is notified. She is asked to approach the King on behalf of her people, and beg for a stay of execution. Her uncle told her that just maybe that is why she has become Queen, for this very reason. She was fearful, and called for a three-day fast. Men, women, children and animals were to fast and pray and beseech God for His mercy.

Under a similiar edict of death and destruction of the values of our nation, we have been called to arise, to seek in prayer and fasting God’s help for our nation and it’s evil unraveling. To see the bedrock values of faith and freedom restored, and for righteousness to again lift up this nation. Not evil, violence, lies, darkness, and hatred. Let’s pray more than ever.

5. The stage is set.

Esther uses a brilliant, God-given strategy to expose Haman’s evil plot.

God is setting the stage right now by putting people in the right places with the right strategies to expose the evil plots intended to harm, destroy and kill God’s purposes.

6. Delayed Honor

In the face of death threats, Mordecai’s good deed done years before, was honored and rewarded by the King.

No good deed will go unnoticed or unrewarded by God when the time is right. It may look like evil, but God is turning it for good.

7. Reversal

The very gallows that Haman had built to hang Mordecai on were where he was hanged by the King’s men, when Esther revealed his evil plot of destruction for God’s people. Mordecai was promoted.

The evil plans to destroy Christians and their weak faith, will backfire on those espousing it. They will find themselves destroyed because God will turn their evil plans back on their own heads. Sorry. (not sorry)

8. The decree to defend selves.

Although the law publicized to annhiliate the Jews could not be changed, the King gave his signet ring to Mordecai and allowed he and Esther to write a new law that would allow the Jews to defend themselves on their day of destruction. The king allowed them to “write as you please.”

The day will come, when the government leaders will rewrite the perverted, evil laws, and all believers will have the freedom to freely defend themselves against all evil plans, words, charges, and accusations.

9. Victory achieved.

The very day set for the Jewish annhiliation was the day that the Jews “gained mastery over those who hated them.” Mordecai became more powerful and Purim was instituted.

That day is coming, my friend. Not for the Jews again, but for believers and others who have had the government trying to master them, retrain them, strip them of their values, and our country of it’s freedoms. Those who seek to master us “white, Christian, nationalists”, will themselves be Mastered by The Master. Victory will come only through Jesus, we will always remember and celebrate that.

10. Recorded for posterity.

Chapter 10 of Esther is only 3 verses long. What more can be said? Basically, Mordecai is the hero, and there are many other books that tell his accomplishments, his love for his people, his country, and the peace that came upon all.

Those who cling to the Word and plan of God are heros. Those who walk in faith, prayer and fasting are heros. Those who plead God’s case before the King of Kings are heros. Those who trust God in the midst of dark, confusing times are heros.

I understand that this is a different blog and format, but it is so important for our day. These truths so resonated in my heart that I felt compelled to share them with whoever will read and listen. These days are dark, but as you can see, they are not without God’s light shining through. He may not be mentioned but His plan of reversal is rolling ahead. Even if we cannot see Him, He is working.

Our focus must remain on Him and not the confusing, evil tactics of the dark. We are in a spiritual warfare. An evil Haman spirit has been unleashed, but “greater is He in you than he who’s in the world.” Remember that, we win, reversal is on it’s way.

We’ve seen the similiarities between our day and Esther’s.


Easter Seals Your Deal

The celebration of Easter is more than a marketing gimmick for eggs, candy, baskets and new spring clothing. And it is infinately more than a cultural mix of pagan and Christian practices passed on through the ages. In fact, whether or not you even celebrate Easter, or believe in the empty tomb, for us all, Easter seals our deal.

There are many reasons why, in my view, Easter matters. My favorites are:

  • The life and death of Jesus Christ split time in two. BC/before Christ, now called BCE/before the commom era and AD now called CE/the common era.
  • Jesus lived a life that has demonstrated Him to be the world’s greatest influencer because
  • He has had the greatest influence on literature. More literature, through every age, has featured Him than any other historical figure
  • He has had the greatest influence on music and the arts. Through all cultures, genres, and periods no one has been the focus of or influenced more innovation in music or its lyrics and the arts than Jesus Christ.
  • There would be no higher education without Christ’s influence. Jesus followers formed the schools and libraries of history that have spread and become some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
  • Science is dominated by Christians who have pursued discovery, exploration, and investigation. Nearly every field of science has been affected by Christian thinkers.
  • Other spiritual leaders have used and modified Jesus’ teachings. Hinduism, Krisna, Buddhism, etc.

Such things as these indicate to us that what happened on that Sunday morning, over 2,000 years ago matters, and is still making a difference today. I would like to submit to you that in fact, not only does Easter matter, but Easter literally seals your deal.

History has documented the accounts of Jesus Christ’s life, His brutal murder, and yes, His empty tomb. Actually, there are so many documents and accounts of Jesus’ life and death, that an accurate picture can be reconstructed without using the New Testament accounts.

As a review, here’s what we know about His death:

  • He was beated by Roman soldiers
  • He was flogged
  • He was spit on, slapped, and whipped
  • A silver, plated crown was stuck into His head
  • A makeshift robe was placed on His bloddied back and shoulders
  • A staff was given Him as a pretend scepter
  • He was mocked, harassed, and laughed at
  • The robe, crown and staff were taken away
  • His blood loss was great
  • He carried the cross bar of His cross until he fell under it’s weight
  • His outstretched hands were nailed to the beam
  • His feet were nailed
  • A sign was placed over His head, “The King of the Jews”
  • The cross was erected and Jesus struggled to breathe
  • Asphyxiation ensued
  • He breathed His last breath
  • There was an earthquake
  • The was darkness for 3 hours
  • The 4 inch tapestry/veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom
  • His side was pierced, releasing blood and water – a sign of death
  • His dead body was taken off the cross
  • It was wrapped in grave clothes and laid in a tomb
  • A stone was rolled to cover the entrance
  • The stone was sealed with the Roman seal
  • Guards were placed in front of it to guard it
  • On Sunday morning, the tomb was empty

Jesus was crucified and He died, but after three days in the tomb, He was alive. He was seen by the disciples, and over 500 other people are documented as having seen Jesus. This was not a mass hallucination. The Roman soldiers had only three days earlier validated His death.

The Roman seal on the tomb is not what sealed your deal, this next part is though.

You’ll remember, that in Jerusalem at this time they were celebrating the Feast of Passover. It was a week long festival that featured the retelling and remembering of the Great Passover in Egypt, which led to Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Because the lamb’s blood was applied to the door frames of homes, the death angel passed over during the 10th plague – the death of the forstborn.

On Passover, it was the blood of a lamb that was celebrated as the Jews remembered their bitter slavery and hardship. That blood, their ticket to life and release from Pharaoh. That lamb, they were to eat, along with unleavened bread as they prepared to travel towards their freedom.

It is that blood, my friend, that seals our deal.

For the Old Testament law was clear that only though the blood would there be atonement. The animal sacrifices of the temples, as cruel or gory as they may seem to us, were the way for man to find forgiveness and redemption. It was through the blood that man was put right with God. Those that participated in such offerings were forgiven.

The principle of atonement through the blood was God’s idea from before the beginning of time. Scripture tells us that Jesus was the Lamb slain, before the foundation of the world. Rev. 13:8 All along, God had Jesus, the Lamb in mind. Jesus’ blood, the atonement for all mankind to be brought back into relationship with God, fully forgiven, accepted and wonderfully loved.

THAT my friend, is what sealed your deal.

When Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on that cross and spilt His blood, it was to pay the price for our redemption. There could be no remission of sins without the blood of the Lamd, and so Jesus willingly gave it. He gave His life, His blood to pay for our deal – our relationship with God. What a deal!!

Not only did He, by His death seal our deal for forgiveness, but by His resurrection, He sealed our deal for victory over death and hell. Because He came out of that grave, He triumphed over death, thus providing for us every key that we need for victory in this life.

Like I said, what a deal??!!!

There may be one who says, I don’t believe that, I won’t accept those claims. That is your prerogative. But that in no way negates it’s truth. Truth does not need your validation to be true. Theses things are true, no matter who or what wrestles with it.

Just like the one in Jesus’ circle of disciples who chose not to believe in Him, there will be those. But for those that do believe, there is eternal life, daily hope, peace, forgiveness, passion, purpose, and overcoming power. There is a whole book full of truth to devour, guide you, and stand upon. There are centuries of other believers who have gone before you and many more who will come after you.

Jesus the Lamb, sealed your deal. Easter sealed your deal.The best deal you could ever have.

Happy, happy, Easter, my friend.


3 Strands Won’t Snap

Join me for a moment here, and come up with some famous three-somes. C’mon, give it a go….Your age will determine who you think of, but perhaps you considered:

  • the 3 Stooges
  • 3 Musketeers
  • 3 Amigos
  • 3 bears
  • 3 little pigs
  • the BeeGees??? 🙂

The Three Stooges

Or how about things that come in 3’s:

  • 3 goals – a hat trick
  • 3 R’s (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic)
  • 3 ring circus
  • 3 strikes – in baseball
  • 3 trimesters of pregancy
  • 3 parts of an atom – proton, neutron, electron
  • 3 personality parts – id, ego and super-ego
  • 3 parts of the earth – core, mantle & crust
  • 3 notes in a triad/chord

triads in music

We could go on, but the point is made – that it seems like everything comes in 3’s. Here’s one more for our consideration today –

But for right now,… we have 3 things to do … Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the 3 is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message Paraphrase


This verse has been referred to as “the triad of faith, hope and love.” Here is yet, another famous 3, and way more important, too.

The wisest man to have lived also spoke of 3’s. Look what he said,

A 3 strand rope isn’t easily snapped.”

Ecclesiates 4:12 The Message Paraphrase

Look what he is declaring – 1 strand is good, 2 strands are better and stronger, but with 3 starands, a rope will not be easily or quickly be snapped. This is insightful as we apply it to the triad, so let’s do so.

Consider if you will, you are that rope. In order for you to not snap and break easily or quickly, there must be woven into you 3 strands. 3 strands of truth in your life will keep you from easily snapping and breaking. One strand of truth is good, 2 strands are better and will make you even stronger, but 3 strands of truth will keep you from snapping altogether.

The triad shows us that faith, or as the wise man called it, “trusting steadily in God” is the first strand of truth in our life, and that one strand is good. It is good for us to trust in God, lean on Him and His ways, rather than our own. It is good to have that singular truth laid firm in our life. Faith is the foundation of our life, it will center us, steady us, and encourage us. (Remember, tho’, that faith requires action, it teams with work – doing, not just mental assent.) But that one strand could snap! On it’s own, it’s not strong enough.

In our triad, the next strand is hope. Hope is not wishful thinking, but a firm confidence in Jesus and His ability to come through for us today and return for us at the end of the age. Hope is our focus and our attitude. Hope is seeing beyond, and focusing on that. Hope is seeing more than today and looking to what will be. Faith and hope cemented as truths in our life will make us stronger as we walk each day with Him. But even 2 strands can be strengthened for us to avoid snapping.

Faith and hope are important truths in our life, but they won’t last forever. One day faith won’t be needed because we will see God face to face. Hope won’t be needed either, because we’ll no longer be looking for His return because He returned as He said.

But the 3rd strand of our life’s rope is love, and love is eternal, forever. There will always be love, because love is an attribute of God. 1 John 4:8 God is not faith, He doesn’t ever look to anyone else. God is not hope, he doesn’t need to hope because He knows all things. But He is love and will always be love. It has been said, “If we lose love, we lose everything.”

Love is that 3rd strand of truth in the rope of our life, that reinforces and cements our relationship with God.He will keep is from snapping.

Love, such a powerful word and yet so polluted and weakened by our society. There’s so much mixture when it comes to love, that it carries so little meaning today. Just like it was tho’, in Corinth when Paul wrote his letter to them.

So corrupt was the major city of Corinth, that Paul had to write a clear definition of what love actually was and what love actually did and what love actually was not! He wanted there to be NO question about the love of God and what it was, and what believers not only had access to but were expected to walk in. Have you read it lately? Check this portion out. He says this of God’s love: 1 Coringhtians 13:4-7 ESV

  • Love is patient and kind
  • love does not envy or boast
  • It is not arrogant or rude
  • it does not insist on its own way
  • it is not irritable or resentful
  • it does not rejoice at wrong doing
  • but rejoices with the truth
  • love bears all things
  • believes all things
  • endures all things

For me, it seems that no matter what stage of life I am in, I am ALWAYS so convicted by love. Who I am and how I respond does not match those characteristics listed above. Geesh! What about you?

But that doesn’t stop me from laying that strand of truth in my life. It motivates me to work on love all the more. It is the 3rd strand, but twisted together with faith and hope, I find my strength. Those 3 strands woven together in my life produce a consistent, strong, and dependable character in me that pleases the Lord. AND I don’t easily or quickly snap, break, unravel, or crack.

There’s enough going on in our lives these days to make anyone snap. And I dare say, without faith, hope and love working inside of us, a snapping we will go.

I just wonder if you would benefit from looking seriously at the rope of your life. Are you hanging on by a thread? Tying a knot at the end of the rope, and hanging on for dear life so you won’t fall off? Stop then, and consider the state of the triad in your life. Even if you’re not dangling there, this three-some is one worth integrating into your life. You will be strengthened by these 3.

How’s your faith? Who have you placed your faith in? Do you need to reestablish the foundation of faith in your life?

How’s your hope? Have you become hopeless and helpless? Have you gotten stuck in seeing only the troubles of today? Do you need to reestablish your hope in the Lord and His future for you?

How’s your love? Do you love like God loves?

But for right now,… we have 3 things to do … Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the 3 is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message Paraphrase

Faith, hope, and love, is a set of 3’s worth hanging onto and reinforcing in your life, because with these 3 strands, you won’t snap.

Love ya. Thanks for reading.



  • Life Application Study Bible 1 Corinthians 13:13
  • David Guzik Commentary 1 Corinthians 13:13
  • Historyplex.com/famousthreesomes
  • Quora.com;Thingsthatcomeinthrees; Roshan Kumar

Psalm 23 Begins and Ends with the Lord

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6 ESV

Shepherding and all things sheep are not popular trending topics, I know. And in these days of urban living, us city dwellers know very little about sheep and care even less about them, I know. But there are far too many places in literature and life where you and I are compared to sheep, for us to pass by these insightful truths about sheep and their shepherd as found in Psalm 23. So, just as we began with “The Lord” (is my shepherd), now we are in the last verse, concluding with, (I shall dwell in the house of)) “The Lord”.

To say the life of a sheep begins and ends with it’s shepherd or owner is an understatement.

As we have seen throughout this psalm, the shepherd is totally responsible for the care, feeding, protection and health of his/her sheep. The kind of shepherd a sheep has determines its health, strength, freedom, nutrition, behavior, social skills, progeny, and lifespan.

Remember, too, that in this psalm David is reflecting on a whole year in the shepherd’s care and the year’s activities:

  • green, ranch pastures
  • still river waters
  • mountain passes
  • high tablelands
  • fall storms
  • back home to the ranch

David, speaking as one of the Lord’s sheep was boldly announcing, “I am so glad to be back home” – aka, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. The shepherd’s house, family, household and flock is where David, this sheep, was forever delighting to be. The Good Shepherd had provided everything through another year, and there was now “no place like home.”

Isn’t that what our American Thanksgiving is s’pose to be? When we thank the Lord for how He has provided for us throughout the past year. But why only be thankful once a year? Why not joyfully proclaim to all who need to hear and will listen, “The Lord has so faithfully provided for me through every season of this past, crazy ride of a year! It’s all about the Lord! He gets me going to begin each year, He sees me through the sunny and stormy months that follow, and I will end up with Him, forever! He is awesome and there is no place else I’d rather be.

But there are other places to be and there are other shepherd’s besides the Lord, aren’t there?

Here is a place where we and sheep are different, tho’. Sheep can’t and don’t choose their own shepherd. They are stuck with the one who buys them, inherits them, or steals them.

We, on the other hand can and do choose our shepherd – the one we allow to “own us”. The one we serve and follow.

There are dangers in following the wrong shepherd. Look at what happens to those not led by the Good Shepherd.

  • lead astray
  • left alone on mountain tops
  • roams the mountains and hillsides
  • forget their fold
  • devoured by predators
  • many guiltless enemies
  • afflicted
  • hunted by lions
  • turned to their own ways
  • slaughtered by fat shepherds
  • no help for weak or sick
  • no help for the injured or stray
  • not searched for when lost
  • ruled harshly and with force
  • scattered and left as wild
  • a prey for food

This list, I gathered from passages in the Bible that speak of lost sheep, sheep that had bad shepherds. You can read those passages in Jeremiah 50:6-7; Zechariah 10:2; Isaiah 53:6; Ezekiel 34:2-10.

It is a graphic, desperate picture of those poor, needy, sheep when led by a shepherd who doesn’t really care about them, value them nor love them. How many of us could find in those descriptors what we experienced by following the wrong shepherd? But, the choice is ours, isn’t it? We choose our shepherd and we reap that shepherd’s “results”.

David made His choice. The Lord, his shepherd will care for him and He will care in these ways for you, too. Ezekiel 34:11-16 shows us these: He will –

  • search for me
  • seek me out
  • rescue
  • bring you back
  • feed in good pastures
  • let you lie down
  • bind up your wounds
  • strengthen the injured

Who wouldn’t want to be cared for like this? “Ain’t nobody can love me like Jesus”.

In fact, David summarizes his whole relationship with the Lord, His shepherd with absolute certainty! His confidence in the Lord and His expert care, no matter what he faced was sure, and so he states:

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…”

Psalm 23:6a ESV

Translation – the bottom line is no matter what, the sheep can be absolutely certain that nothing less than goodness and mercy will come out of every situation that he and the Shepherd are in. SURELY, certainly, absolutely… goodness and mercy will be on my tail – always!

So confident are the Lord’s sheep, they are sure that even tho’ things may look desperate, cold and forboding, if the Shepherd is near (and He is if He resides in your heart), so too is goodness and mercy! Period. End of concern.

Everyday goodness and mercy are near. All your days will find goodness and mercy on your heels. This is a sure thing because the Lord is your Shepherd, not other shepherds, systems, world views or ideaologies. You are His sheep and your life begins and ends with the Lord.

Psalm 23 is a perpetual reminder to you and me that the Lord, from a heart of love for us, can and will care for our every need, as we choose to follow Him, as our Good Shepherd. John 10:11 And somewhere in the mix of our daily life, if we look, we will find goodness and mercy. It is certain.

Perhaps, like I have, you might say,

Lord, other lords beside you have ruled over us, but your name alone we bring to remembrance.”

Isaiah 26:13 ESV

If that’s so, then this can be your beginning step with the Lord. Take it. Invite Him to shepherd you, lead you, satisfy you, protect you, and love on you.

And if you have walked with Him, followed Him, and trusted Him as your Shepherd, then bring His name, power, ability, purpose and love to your remembrance. Oh, and turn around and look for goodness and mercy in you life, cuz they are near too. You gotta look for them, tho’ in all circumstances.

And now, we will end as we started a few blogs ago, with the Lord.

Because of His great love, goodness and mercy,


He Lavishly Provides

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5

For me. personally, this verse, in this amazing psalm has always been hard to understand and thoroughly wrap my brain around. Is it just me? Maybe. But let me share some simple insights that have helped me make sense of this verse.

Let’s first remember that most scholars believe that this psalm is two seperate pictures, and NOT one picture all regarding a shepherd and his sheep. In viewing it that way, they explain that “the table in the preence of my enemies”, is a picture of The King, who has received and seated his vassal at a banquet table, that is lavish in every way and fully satisfying. As a guest of the overloard, all his needs are tended to – he is anointed with the customary treatment of an honored guest, his cup never is empty and his enemies observe this honored treatment.

It’s not difficult to see the analogy here. Jesus, our Shepherd, has indeed set a banguet table for us, His sheep, fully loaded with every benefit we could ever need, as we celebrate with our King at the Table of the Lord.

That picture in and of itself is encouraging and comforting. Who wouldn’t be satisfied with a covenant, victory feast set by the Lord, for you? And that may settle your mind and assist your understanding of a table in the presence of your enemies….You can stop reading if you are completely satisfied. But for a long time I was not.

Then I heard a teaching from a shepherd, on Psalm 23, that opened my eyes to Him lavishly providing for me in the presence of my enemies.

You see, in this Shepherd’s psalm, David is recounting a full year in a sheep’s life. You can see the progression:

  • at home on the ranch
  • then on to green pastures
  • beside the still waters
  • up through the dark mountain valleys
  • to the high table lands of summer

At verse 5, the sheep are in the high grounds now, where the shepherd has previously made several trips to prepare the table land for them. He has laid salt and minerals over the land and pulled up poisonous, white, cammas flowers.The alert shepherd has prepared his land, in full view of the predators, and now the sheep have arrived at the high ground, the mesas, that are now ready, water holes cleaned out, repaired and refreshed.

And did you notice, the high plateaus of sheep ranges are called “mesas” or tables in Spanish and Swahali. Have you heard of Table Mountain, in Cape Town? David’s table was the entire range – the high, summer, mountain range.

It is in these tablelands, lavishly prepared by the Shepherd, that the sheep have settled down to banquet. There are predators, and poisonous plants, as well as storms and gales in this high country, but their table has been set. “Finding this tableland is finding the shepherd’s love”, says Phillip Keller.

You anoint my head with oil.

It is Phillip Keller again, who explains that “Summertime is fly time”.

During those hot summer months in the high country, flies and parasites surge. The nose flies that torment the sheep do so by depositing their eggs on the wet snout of the sheep. When they hatch, they form little worms that find their way into the nasal passages of the sheep’s head. There, they burrow into the flesh and cause swelling and severe irritation. This is so devestating for the sheep, it will literally beat it’s head against a tree, or rub it in the dirt to try and illeviate it. In some cases a sheep will do so even killing itself.

The entire flock is at risk during fly time and the only answer is to take a mixture of oil, tar and sulfur and apply it to the sheep’s nose and head. This requires multiple applications for the health of the sheep and the health of the flock. THIS is “anointing (the sheep’s) head with oil.”

My cup overflows.

It is during the summer, high mountain, tableland times that the sheep are fit, well and their strongest. No other season sees their health any better. But as summer turns to autum and autum to winter, stroms, cold, and blizzards arrive too. The shepherd goes through these storms alongside of his sheep, often warming them as they become chilled or frozen. Ancient shepherd’s used their wineskin with wine to warm them, whereas today’s shepherd may use a mix of brandy and water to warm them up.

During the winter and stormy season, the sheep can confidently declare, “My cup overslows”, because their shepherd has warmed their frozed heart during the long, cold winters. But even during the fall and summer months, with their good health and filled, four-part stomachs, their “cup overflows”. Each sheep is well cared for by their shepherd who has lavishly provided for them.

THAT all makes so much sense to me and helped me to understand what David was trying to convey about the shepherd’s care for his sheep. I hope it helped you too.

Here’s a wrap up summary.

The Lord has prepared for you a banquet of everything you need to make it through the season you are in. He has set in place all you need, for your taking. Staying close to Him in this tableland, will protect you from the wolves and poisonous fruit.

Whatever is bugging you, trying to rob you of your sanity, dignity, and maybe even your life can be overcome by the frequent application of prayer, Holy Spirit anointing, and submission to the Shepherd.

In every season, The Good Shepherd is right beside you extending love, care, provision, and protection. His grace is unlimited and His mercies new every morning. Your cup should never be empty, but rather overflowing- because His goodness to you is overflowing.

Lastly, it is the Shepherd’s desire to have His sheep live on higher grounds, above the mundane. So, if you’re not enjoying the banquet table of His provision daily, perhaps it is because you are not living in the highlands, the table lands.

For in those mesas, is where He lavishly provides.

Feast on,



  • NASB Study Bible
  • David Guzik, Commentary Psalm 23
  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Phillip Keller, Zondervan Publishing, 1970, 2007

Even in Death Valley You Are With Me

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 ESV

If this six verse Psalm 23, written by David were an artichoke, the above verse would be the heart.

For just as it lies as the centering line of the psalm, it offers our life a centering line too. And just as it serves as a transition from the shepherd/sheep motif to a direct address using I and you, so too are we able to personalize this powerful psalm. This verse is the heart of the whole psalm and should be at the heart of every believer. So let’s peel away at this artichoke.

Here we have the first “dark note’ of the psalm. The shepherd has taken us through green pastures and beautiful pools of water, He has refreshed us and led us. But now we see a dark valley, not a mountop or lush field. A valley surrounded by foreboding peaks and rocky ledges casting cold, dark shadows on our path. We are now walking through death valley, under it’s ever present shadow.

Shadowed valleys

Psalm 23 can be divided into two balanced stanzas, each with 4 couplets. The first stanza presents the shepherd/sheep relationship and the second moves into the personalized King/servant picture with personalized direct address using “you” and “I”. Have you ever noticed this before? And smack dab in the center of it all is the beautiful assurance that even in death valley, we can be certain of His presence and have no need to fear – for He is with us. This very thought centers us, and personalizes His presence with us no matter where we are, or it should.

But it is a shadow. There is no substance to it. It is the shadow of death, not the substance of death. When faced with that shadow of death, defeat seems immenent, in fact, death is guaranteed for us all. But in this verse, the Shepherd leads the sheep right down Main Street of Death Valley fortified with His presence. That presence dispels all fear, panic or alarm, as the sheep confidently proclaims, “I will fear no evil”, even in this shadow of death.

Death Valley, CA

The Shepherd’s presence made all the difference. The presence of evil was not eliminated, but the fear of evil was.


Psalm 23:4

This phrase and its reality is our centering line of life. It is the heart of our life. He is with us. With us in the darkest, lowest, most evil valley. With us in the dangerous, predator infested hideouts. With us in the valley cast with dark, scary, violent and cold shadows, of deep, dark, dirty and fruitful valleys.

Rivers in the valley, green grass too

Yes, fruitful! It is in the valleys where we find the richest food and choicest meadows – along the river banks. Valleys are well watered. There you’ll find the rivers, springs, and quiet pools. And you know what else? The only way to get to higher ground is to go through the valleys! Those shadowy valleys are actually a road to higher ground.

Our Shepherd, like any shepherd, will only take His flock where He has already been. He has scouted out the way through the shadows in death valley and now He walks with us through that valley, taking us to higher ground. (Notice too, the peaceful walk. We’re not fearfully running through the scary valley.)

I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Your rod and your staff they comfort me.

The shepherds of David’s day typically carried a rod or sturdy wooden stick, used as a weapon to protect and count the sheep, and a staff, a long, thin stick with a hook, used to direct the flock.

The rod was an extension of the shepherd’s right arm and speaks of his power, strength and authority. It was used to defend the sheep against attackers and discipline the wayward, wandering sheep. The sheep would “come under the rod” to be counted and examined. Here the shepherd would part the sheep’s wool, to check the skin for trouble. He would then run his hands over the body feeling for disease or ticks. The shepherd would examine in detail each sheep with his rod and hands. There was no “pulling the wool” over his eyes. The rod protected the sheep, they were comforted by it.

Shepherds are the only profession who use a staff. (Unless you consider the musical staff…) It is caringly used to manage the sheep, direct them, and guide them. It is a symbol of care and concern, of kindness. For with it, the shepherd draws sheep together into a close and loving relationship. He also uses it to draw the sheep unto himself.

By gently placing the staff against the animals side and applying pressure, the sheep is guided and is reassured of his proper path. Many a time, the shepherd will get “in touch” with a sheep, and they will walk this way, “hand in hand” – close, personal, intimate contact between sheep and shepherd. This comforts the sheep knowing that the shepherd is at its side.

Could The Good Shepherd’s rod and staff actually bring us comfort?

Haven’t we seen the power and authority of God is our world, life? Haven’t we recognized His love come after us and rescue us year after year? Haven’t we experienced His inspection under our wool and His gentle hands massaging our broken heart time and time again? Haven’t we then experienced the comfort of His rod?

How many time have we felt that gentle prodding inside of us to do, or say something or to go somewhere? Wasn’t it recently that we thought we felt God? Felt Him asking to walk beside us, close and personal? Isn’t it comforting to know that He wants to walk closely connected to us every day whether we are in death valley or not?

for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 23:4

Is that phrase the center point of your life? Is the presence of God in your life the heart of who you are? Have you found your way to a personal God, who is yours, and personally involved in your walk?

His presence, His rod and His staff comfort me, because the Lord is MY shepherd.

He is with us. Isn’t THAT the heart of the issue?




  • ESV Study Bible, Psalm 23
  • Quest Study Bible, Psalm 23
  • Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 23
  • NASB Study Bible, Psalm 23
  • David Guzik, Commentary Psalm 23
  • Matthew Henry Commentary Psalm 23
  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23; Phillip Keller; Zondervan 1970,2007

He Restores and Leads Me

Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.

As we run with the herd through the busy fileds of life, over each hill and through every valley, there have been endless times when we need to stop, catch our breath, renew our strength, and be refreshed. Finding and following the right path during those times is always challenging. And that is why this verse is so encouraging to those who are His sheep, because the Good Shepherd –

Restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness…”

Psalm 23:3 ESV

When we are weary or downcast, our Shepherd restores us. He returns life’s vitality, energy and joy, He revives our passion, in all areas, and He renews our strength. We find our body, mind and soul fully restored and recharged. I have experienced this often, haven’t you?

Have you heard of a sheep being cast down? It is interesting about sheep and insightful as it applies to us people.

a cast sheep

A “cast” sheep is one who is on its back and cannot get up again by itself. On its back, feet in the air flailing, struggling to stand up but without success, often bleating, frightened and frustrated. The owner, the shepherd must find it within a short time or the sheep will die.

As it lies there struggling, gasses build up in their rumen. Because they are expanding, this cuts off the blood circulation to the extremeties, especially the legs. If the weather is hot, the sheep will die within a few hours. If it is cool, it may survive in that position for several days.

When the shepherd does find it, he will tenderly roll it on its side, relieving the pressure from the built up gases. Then he will lift the sheep, straddling it to hold it up, rubbing the limbs to restore circulation to the legs. Little by little it would regain its equilibrium, until it runs off again into the herd. The sheep has been restored. From downcast to restored. That’s the exclusive work of the shepherd.

How often have I been cast down? Unable to get myself out of the funk I’m in? Stuck. Unable to move forward. Left on my own, waiting for a, force greater than myself to act upon me. Something to get me going again.

It is the sheep whose Shepherd is the Lord, that will be found in time, in the hot sun and restored to vitality. It is the sheep, whose God is the Lord, who will be rescued from an upsidedown world, be revived, find strength and keep on going refreshed. It is because the Lord is my Shepherd, that my body, mind, and soul is restored.

I love that this verse doesn’t end with the sheep being restored and renewed. That is wonderful and absolutely needed. But when we are revived, restored and renewed, we need detailed direction next. We need to be led. We need to know what to do and where to go. Right?

So, of course the psalm next says –

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.

We sheep, being creatures of habit, if left to ourselves will follow the same ole path and trails until they become ruts. We will graze the same ole hills ’til they become desert wastelands. The land will become “sheeped to death” with deteriorated trails that now look like muddy gullies. This is what happens if we sheep, are left to ourselves. We go our own way, the way we always have gone, the way of our own destructive habits.

Can you identify within yourself those destructive ruts your habits have entrapped you in? I can.

That is why “The greatest safeguard a shepherd has is to keep his sheep on the move,”according to Phillip Keller, a professional shepherd and scientist. He states in his book, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”:

  • No other aspect of ranch operations requires more attention than moving sheep
  • On average, new ground almost every week so that the sheep don’t overfeed the same ground too frequently or too long
  • There must be a plan of action regarding the rotating of grazing
  • Contrary to popular thought, sheep cannot “just get along anywhere”
  • They require careful handling and detailed direction, more than other livestock

You see, we sheep need to keep moving, but moving in the right direction and on the right path, not rut. No wonder, the emeny of our souls convinces us to look for comfortable spots, soft, easy spots. But in those comfortable spots, we become wolly – fat, not healthy or productive. Undisciplined and lazy – spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

a wolly sheep needing shearing

God knows what He is doing with me as He sets me on my feet with a restored soul and leads me in the right path. Not the wrong rut, comfortable path, but the right path – naturally, morally and legally. He guides me along a new normal path of justice and rightness.

The Shepherd is guiding and leading us in the right path, but the problem is, we don’t want to follow Him. It’s so much more comfortable in our dreary rut with our predictable habits. Moving us into unfamiliar fields to graze on new thoughts and principles is scary. Mixing our life up and rotating our ideas to become more like His is challenging, and difficult and SO new.

But as He leads us along the right paths, and as we choose to follow His ways, we are learning to honor Him. The name of our shepherd is being honored and His character is being seen in our lives. And other lost and worn out sheep can see that there is a Shepherd who cares, leads, restores and loves His sheep. They too can join His fold and find restoring and leading.

For God’s sake, won’t you let Him restore and lead you? Aren’t you glad that He does?



“A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”, Phillip Keller; Zondervan Books 1970, 2007

Green Pastures and Still Waters

Psalm 23:2 – He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He makes me lie down in green pastures

As sheep, we are free to chose our shepherd, the one that leads us and the one that we willingly follow. For it is the shepherd that is responsible for the care, feeding, health and protection of his flock. That task of shepherding is cumbersome and requires a vigiliant shepherd, otherwise the sheep and the herd will find itself in brown, barren fields, thirsty, matted, malnourished and unsettled. But if The Lord is your shepherd, He leads you in green pastures and beside still waters.

As we mentioned last time, sheep can’t find water or pasture without a shepherd. They have no sense of direction and wind up following another sheep, usually to a dirty, insect infested pothole filled with muddy water. Sheep will settle for less, that momentary satisfaction; they lack discernment and don’t know what’s good for them until the shepherd comes to their rescue.

And according to the professional shepherd, Phillip Keller,

… it is almost impossible for sheep to be made to lie down”.

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23; page 41

Here are the four requirements that must be met, in order for sheep to physically lie down –

  1. They must be free from all fear
  2. They must be free from friction with others of their kind
  3. They must be free from pests
  4. They must be free from feeling hungry

So, if our text says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures…” (which it does), then these four requirements have been met for the sheep to actually lie down for the shepherd. Let’s consider each one, briefly.

Free from all fear – Sheep are prey animals, remember? So they are constantly on guard for coyotes, bears and the like, which if they sense them, they will become agitated, restless, and easily panicked. They are defenseless and feeble and so their only choice is to run. That is why they stand up and are ready to run for their life at all times. It is the shepherd’s presence that allows them to lie down.

Free from friction with others of their kind – Within the flock there is a literal “butting” order, a rivalry where sheep stand up and defend their rights, where they actually challenge intruders or other aggressors. This constant jealousy makes the sheep edgy, tense and restless. There is a tension that comes when standing up for themselves, their rights and trying to get ahead. Again, the shepherd’s presence makes the difference for them. They are safe and accepted by him.

Freedom from pests and parasites – There are seasons where sheep are under constant attack from flies and ticks making it next to impossible for the sheep to lie down. Extra care is needed by these sheep who are “being bugged”. These all consuming distractions, “nose-flies”, demand the sheeps full attention and there is no way that sheep will lie down.

Free from finding food and hunger – Have you ever considered that most sheep countries are in dry, semi-arid areas of the globe? You’re not gonna find green pastures there. To find those lush, verdant grazing fields takes the skill of an experienced shepherd, who has planned and labored to get his flock there. For the good shepherd, a worn-out field, lacking vegetation does not allow for a sheep to eat, much less lie down. Hungry sheep are forever on their feet searching for food.

With these four requirements met, the Shepherd has released the sheep to be able to lie down in lush, green pastures, confident they are safe, healthy, defended, and satisfied.

Looking back at these four requirements for sheep to lie down, do you see any parallels with your life, your needs or behaviors?

How’s your “fear factor”? Are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Stressed, feeling panicked and sometimes just ready to bolt?

How trapped have you become by trying to get ahead? By standing up for your rights and yielding to the rivalry?

What are your distractions that keep you from truly resting? What distractions are bugging you?

Have you settled for grazing on meaningless, empty fields that bring you no spiritual nutrition? Are you searching for food that satisfies?

The Good Shepherd provides the peace and the place for His sheep to lie down. He has made a place for them to lie down. The sheep know this, trust him and rest because of his presence with them.

He leads me beside still waters

Even though sheep thrive in dry climates, they still require water, for without it dehydration sets in, which effects the tissues and causes serious damage. Most of sheep’s water will come from either

  • dew on the grass
  • deep wells
  • streams

Although the skilled shepherd will lead the flock to those streams, sheep can go for months without actually drinking from a stream. Why?

Streams in the desert are hard to find, yes, that’s one reason. But more interestingly, sheep are able to drink every day, if there is heavy dew on the grass.That water is enough to sustain them for weeks without coming to a well or stream. Sheep will graze just before dawn on drenched vegetation and become fully satisfied.

A fully satisfied sheep is happy and refreshed and will lie down to rest and ruminate.

This, again, is the shepherd’s job – to keep the sheep watered, satisfied and able to lie down, even if they are in a dry place. The shepherd knows where the next watering source is and allows for his sheep to find daily thirst quenching from the early morning dew until they reach their goal – beside still waters.

As His sheep, be encouraged, that even in the dry times, He has provided the early morning dew (first light prayer time) for you to find satisfaction. You can go for months on just those dew point – prayer times. Without them tho’, dehydration sets in and your Spirit shrivels up, causing you serious spiritual damage.

As His sheep, He is able to provide for each and every requirement that it takes for you to be at rest enough to lie down. He is the Good Shepherd and He cares for His sheep.

Ponder, won’t you, are you grazing in green pastures and beside still waters or have you been feeding on some barren hillside, drinking from dirty potholes of muddy water? The Good Shepherd will lead you if you chose to follow Him.

He will lead you to lie down in green pastures and drink beside still waters.

Let’s graze on that dew soaked meal each day.



  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23; W. Phillip Keller; Zondervan Books; 1970, 2007

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23:1- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Last time we talked about people being like sheep without a shepherd, (see previous blog) and were reminded that King David (who at the time was a shepherd) proudly declared, “The Lord is my shepherd!”.What a boastful pronouncement! What confidence and connection.

How could a mere mortal, made from clay, claim to be connected to and led by the diety? How could David assert that the creator of the universe in all of its vastness is his Lord, his shepherd? Here was David, made in God’s image (like each and every human), claiming connection with the Lord, Jehovah God, creator of all things, author and originator of all life actually leading him.

David was basically saying, “Look who MY owner is! The Lord is my manager, my boss, my caregiver, my provider, my shelter, my shepherd.” “I belong to His flock, He is MY shepherd”. David was announcing God’s legitimate claim on His life. “I belong to Him because he created me.” David recognized and yielded to God’s claim on His life.

As a shepherd David knew that each of his or any flock bore the mark of it’s shepherd. With an awl-like tool, an ear of each sheep would be marked with a permanent label, forever identifying it as belonging to his flock. David was publicizing to all that he had been marked by his shepherd, the Lord, and would forever belong to Him, to His flock, all the days of his life.

This is where each of us begins with our connection to the Shepherd. We begin by acknowledging His claim on our life. Acknowledging He is our Lord, shepherd, manager and boss. Recognizing His right, as our creator to our ownership, and willingly being marked by the cross upon which He died. He bought me, He owns me. I gladly and proudly proclaim, “The Lord is my shpeherd.”

I shall not want.

Psalm 23:1 ESV

To “want” is to lack. To not “want” is to be content.

The shepherd was the one responsible for the welfare of the flock. The sheep’s care, protection, and well being fell solely on the shepherd. The care they received depended on their shepherd. Whether they had grass to graze in, fresh water to drink, a roof over their head, their wool groomed and injuries tended to depended on who their shepherd was.

Not all flocks are watched 24/7. Not every flock is defended against all predators. Not all sheep were fortunate enough to always have plush grazing, shaded rest spots, healing medicines, and other healthy sheep to hang out with.

But David had experienced all of those provisions from his shepherd – the Lord. He was never in want knowing that his shepherd was tending to his every need. Peace permeated his life because the Prince of Peace was his shepherd. There was an assurance that the Good Shepherd was never sleeping and would never leave him. He would lack nothing with the Lord as his shepherd.

The Lord, our shepherd is filled with such love for His flock that he leaves the 99 sheep safely in the pen to go after that one who is forever wandering off. He searches for and finds it, putting it on His shoulders and carries it back to the fold to be cared for.

There is danger in our world, for there are many who would seek to drive you, dear sheep, as your shepherd. But the care they provide you is lacking. The pasture is barren and the water polluted. There is no protection from the ravenous wolves and predators who seek to devour you. The Good Shepherd is not caring for you and you are not content. You live in danger and want, lack.

“No man can serve two masters…”

To come under the care of The Good Shepherd begins by acknowledging that He is your Lord – The Lord, is your shepherd. You’re not following any other leader, voice, manager or shepherd. The Lord is your shepherd and you will follow Him. You recognize His claim on your life and you willinging present yourself to His leading and care. You will trust Him and you will not lack, for He is YOUR Good Shepherd.

Who we follow determines our spiritual health. Who our shepherd is matters because that shepherd’s claims on our life will either satisfy us or destroy us.

Do you belong to Him? Is the Lord YOUR shepherd?


Petrified Rock

Some 225 million years ago a dense forest with a tropical climate was flooded by rain storms that sent mud and sediment washing it to the lowlands. Conifers 200 feet tall and 9 feet in diameter lived and died there. Volcanic eruptions blanketed the area in ash and debris, causing oxygen and insects to mix with ground water and form silica. This became known as “Chinie Formation”, or as we commonly call it – The Petrified Forest. (1)

In these formations scattered across the U.S. we find petrified rock. Let’s review what exactly that stuff is.

Petrified rock is a fossil that is formed when a plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay due to oxygen and organisms. Ground water flows through the sediment and replaces the plant material with silica, calcite, and pyrite. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that displays details of wood, bark and cells.

petrified rock

Often petrified wood are such accurate perservations, people don’t realize they are fossils until they pick them up and find them to be very heavy. (1)

“Why should I care, Deb? What’s with the geology lesson?” you may be thinking.

There once was a group of devoted followers of the Teacher, who had just witnessed Him feed 5,000 men with only 5 loaves and 2 fish. Immediately following that, those same devotees were caught in a perilous wind storm at sea while they were in their boat. Peering over their port side they saw the Teacher walking on the water, in the midst of the wild winds. He got into their boat, while the winds and waves ceased. Their recorded response was “they were utterly astonished”. Mark 6: 30-51

But that is not all that is recorded about their response, here’s what the rest says:

for they did not understand about the loaves, their hearts were hardened.”

Mark 6:52 ESV

but in fact their heart was hardened, being oblivious and indifferent to His amazing works.”

Mark 6:52 The Amplified Bible

the Teacher feeding the 5,000

Here were devoted, Jesus followers whose hearts were hardened. Even though they had seen the miraculous on at least these two occasions, they were still oblivious and indifferent to Jesus’ deity and power. In fact, the word in the Greek for “hardened” is “poroo”, from “poros” – “a kind of stone; to petrify, ie (figurative) to render stupid or callous).” G4456 Strongs Concordance

Let me repeat that – in this account, Jesus’ disciples were oblivious to His power because their hearts were petrified. Their hearts had become calloused to His miraculous works. They were indifferent to the healings, demonic evictions, new births, feeding of 5,000 and stormy seas being calmed. Their hearts were hardened. Their hearts were petrified.

They had somehow allowed the seed of God to become buried by worldly sediment, cultural volcanic ash, and perverted debris. The life they once had, was replaced by hard and crystallized silica that presented a heart that looked vibrant, but indeed was heavy and pertified.

Their heart was a fossil. The seed of faith was stuck in that amber, egg muck of Jurassic Park. They were astonished at the Teacher’s abilities, yet unmoved, and oblivious to His deity and power.

I dare say, that is the condition of many hearts today. They are indifferent to what they have for years, seen and heard about Jesus. They are oblivious to the miracles that surround them every day. They see one astonishing event (a dead football player being revived by medicine and prayer for example), and yet don’t understand that same God is able to resurrect their own dead dreams, marriage, or hopes.

A hard heart begins as callous – a hard, thick area in our spiritual heart that has developed over time from friction or irritation. That callous, when fully developed will leave the heart less sensitive to touch. A callous heart feels little to no emotion and shows no sympathy for others.

The callous heart no longer listens for or hears God’s voice. The heart no longer desires God, the eyes no longer see His hand and the ears no longer hear His voice. Eyes but not seeing (Him) and ears but not hearing (Him). This is the picture of a hardened heart. This is a petrified, spiritual heart. Matthew 13:14-15

I made a list of things we are told that a hard heart does to us. You will find these phrases in these verses: Ephesians 4:18; 2 Corinthians 3:14; Matthew 19:8; Mark 3:5; John 12:40; Hebrews 3:13; Proverbs 28:14; Romans 2:5

  • alienates us from God
  • darkens our understanding
  • cages us in ignorance
  • opens us up to sensuality
  • opens us up to greed
  • opens us up to every kind of evil impurity
  • keeps a veil on our understanding
  • opens us up for divorce
  • grieves God
  • petrifies our faith, we can’t believe
  • deceives us about sin
  • gets us into trouble
  • brings on us God’s wrath

It is with our heart that we believe. If that heart is hard, petrified and calloused, then belief, faith, trust, hope, happiness, and confidence in God and His abilities is impossible. The debris of the Chinie Formation has sealed that faith seed and sealed our fate as well. Without a drastic change, we become petrified rock. Stony, hard, and insensitive to God and His voice. A hard-hearted generation, indeed.

Chine Formation

We need not look far to see people walking around who appear to be vibrant, passionate, and even colorful. But let’s not be fooled. They are fossils. Petrified, wooded soldiers insensitive to God, oblivious to His miracles, and indifferent to His will. The have hard hearts and their actions prove it.

Even though those followers of the Teacher found themselves petrified, unmoved, and oblivious to His divine power working right in front of them, it was temporary. Thank God! For within 2 years, they were the one’s who were said to have “turned the world upside down”.

A hard and petrified heart is fixable. The cost is repentance.

It is turning back to God and admitting that you have not been listening to His voice. It is admiting that you have not been looking for Him. It is talking to Him about it all. Being real with Him and expecting He will show up for you, forgive you and heal your hard heart, and begin the work of softening it back up.

The Petrified Forest wasn’t built in a day and neither will your soft heart be. But each day you respond to God’s voice, works and people, will be a day you live with a softer heart than the day before. Until finally you begin to feel again. To see again. To understand more. You will have a heart of flesh again and not a heart of stone. Ezekiel 36:26

The Pertified Forest in Arizona, USA

I have lived this. The disciples lived it. And so can you. Your heart can be transformed from a petrified rock, to soft, supple and faithful.

Let’s change the world with our soft hearts,



1. Geology.com/petrified rock

Valentine’s Heart Wishes

As I am writting this day, February 14, many will “celebrate” Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day. Our family exchanged gifts and sentiments and perhaps yours did too. Whether or not you do, the health of your heart matters.

Please check out my brief video (1 min. 18 sec.) to see what I mean and why it matters to you today.

Our heart is the most valuable thing that we have to give away. To receive another’s heart is the most valuable treasure that we can possess. For in that heart we find not a cardiovascular muscle that pumps blood through the body, but the essence of one’s mind, will and emotions. The very center of a person, the core of who they are.

To be entrusted with such a gift is humbling, fearful, fulfilling, and joyous. And if that heart is a whole, healthy heart, the years ahead for that relationship are likely to be many. If that heart is less than whole – a hard, hallow or half heart, challenges will ensue. Softeners will be needed for the hard heart, meaningful substance is needed for the hallow heart and obstacles as well as distractions must be removed from the half heart.

Each heart requires tending and careful grooming for wholeness to occur. It is a process, one that each of us must chose to commit to for wholeness.

I trust that you have and will continue in that process of having and sharing a whole, healthy heart – not just today, on this day of hearts, but everyday.

Happy heart day,


Time For the Showdown

AKA – Make Up Your Minds

This is the mic drop, epic ending to our series “Serving our own gods” that we have been in for the last 4 weeks. (Check them out in the archives.)

As mentioned last week, there is quite a caseload of precedent for what happens when people serve their own gods and there is ample evidence from history of the results. So, let’s conclude with a massive smackdown between The Lord – Jehovah God and Baal.

In this senario, we find a man of God, under the inspiration of the Lord , calling the prophets of Baal to a showdown with the stated purpose:

How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow Him; if it’s Baal follow him. Make up your minds.”

1 Kings 18:21 The Message Paraphrase

You see, I believe that this is the clarion call today as well. The fence sitters are being called to take a side. Yoke up with their god or yoke up with the “only wise God.” The fence is coming down and minds must be made up.

You may remember the rest of the story. The God who answers by fire is the true God. 1 Kings 18:24

The 450 prophets of Baal build a stone altar, cut up a bull, and lay it on the wood-covered altar. Then they begin to call on Baal- their god, to come as fire and consume their offering. They pray all morning, shout, cut themselves, dance and jump, asking for Baal to come and show himself strong for them. But nothing happens. Not a breeze, not a voice not even a spark.

Then the Lord’s prophet, Elijah, does the same. He repairs the altar, cuts up his offering and lays it on the wood that is upon the stone altar, but he also digs a trench around it. Adding insult to injury for Baal’s prophets, Elijah pours 4 jars of water over the offering, the wood, and the altar, filling the trench to the top.

Then Elijah set himself to pray to his God. As he prayed, he said,

Answer me , O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord are God…”

1 Kings 18:37 ESV

Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” 1 Kings 18:38

My friend, the Lord is THAT God who answers by fire, performing miracles and revealing Himself the God of God’s and Lord of Lords. He is THAT God who shows up in power to expose all other gods as impotent. He is THAT God who shakes men and women off of their fences and calls them to make up their minds.

I have no hesitation in saying that these days are showdown days. The gods of this world and those who represent them are being called upon to show their strength, and reveal themselves. And isn’t that what we are seeing on our screens, in our Capitol buildings, school campuses and businesses?

A showdown is mouting.

The followers of Baal and the followers of The Lord are about to face off, because the Spirit’s behind each of those are in mortal combat for the prize of dominion. But the Good News is, The Lord has already secured the ultimate victory, just like in the example of Eijah. He has purchased our freedom by His death on that wooden cross, where he became our sacrifice. He triumphed over death by coming to life after three days, and He answered by fire, as seen on the Day of Pentecost, in the first century church.

The spirit behind Baal and other false gods hope to distract you from that truth because they know The Lord and they fear Him and His power. They know they are losers. Mark 1:21-24; James 2:19 They know that The Lord has already won the great showdown.

The purpose of sharing these things is to call a people out and up, away from their own ways and gods, to the only Wise God, Creator of all things, the Great Jehovah God of the Bible. The Lord is The Lord yesterday, today and forever and wise is the one who gets off the fence and makes up their mind to serve Him.

There is grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, love and acceptance to the one who responds to The Lord. But not all will.

In the end, just like those prophets of Baal were slaughtered, those who refuse to yield to The Lord will also meet their eternal end, their eternal judgment. There is much more after this life, and The One True God is the One sitting on that judgment seat in that life. Our relationship with Him here, in this life, is the basis for our eternal life – with or without Him.

In the showdown, whose side are you on? What God are you serving?

You must make up your mind.


Results of Serving Our Own gods

For the past couple of weeks we have been looking at this idea of “serving our own gods”; what it might mean to us, and if indeed we really are serving our own gods.

Today, let’s dive into what the results of doing so would be, based on precedent. The most vivid example to me, would be that of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt in 1446 BC.

After 80 years under the oppression of Pharaoh Thutmose III (aka, The Napoleon of Egypt), there was a show-down between the gods of Egypt and Jehovah God, of the Jews.

In this show-down, smack-down, Egypt’s gods of earth, sky and health were confronted, as displayed by what is referred to as The 10 Plagues of Egypt. According to ancient writings, the purpose was three-fold:

  • warning
  • opportunity to repent
  • divine judgment

In the end we see that in fact the plagues did discredit the false gods of Egypt and reveal each one as absolutely powerless. But, I digress.

First, let’s remember that these Jews, for decades had believed that Jehovah existed, but they did not believe He could set them free. They questioned His power and love for them, after what seemed to be an eternity (80 years) of unanswered prayers for help and deliverance. The Jews saw themselves in bondage and servitude all the while they saw what appeared to be the provision of the gods upon the Egyptians, ie: the Nile overflowed, the crops grew, the sun shined and their families were growing because children kept coming to them.

Where was Jehovah’s provision for THEM? His seeming absence was noted by the Egyptians too. What god would allow his people to be oppressed by enemies? Certainly that god was no god at all, many Egyptians must have believed. Look how our gods bless us!

When the Patriarch went before the Pharaoh and told him to release the Jews so they could go and worship Jehovah, Pharaoh’s response was –

Who is the Lord? I don’t know him.”

Exodus 5:2 ESV

There were many gods in Egypt that were worshipped, but Jehovah was not one of them and was not even recognized by Pharaoh. Hence, the show-down ensues.

Multiple times the eighty year old Patriarch, and his eighty-three year old brother go before Pharaoh saying, “The Lord says, “Let my people go so that they may worship me in the wilderness.”” And multiple times their request is denied by Pharaoh. Even after a miraculous demonstration of a staff becoming a snake that eats up all the magicians staff/snakes. Exodus 7:1-13

What were the results of serving those Egyptian gods?

Plague #1 – The waters (of the Nile River, all ponds and lakes) are turned to blood. Exodus 7:14-25 This is the confrontation with and judement upon “Hapi” the Egyptian god of the Nile.

The Nile represented the commerce of Egypt. Egypt’s lifeblood. Everyone’s life was dependent on the Nile – for transportation, irrigation, drinking water, food and even setting the calendar. The Nile was worshipped as the Egyptian’s sustainer and creator. Along with Hapi, there were other gods associated with the Nile as well.

This blow to the Nile rendered their gods powerless. There was no escaping the blood instead of water. And even though Pharaoh’s magicians were able to duplicate this miracle, they could not undo what Jehovah had done, nor the judgment He had brought to their culture.

Plague #2 – Frogs Exodus 8:1-15 This was a confrontation with “Heket”, the goddess of fertility.

Frogs were sent by Jehovah and they overran the entire nation. In the bedrooms, kitchens, ovens, kneading troughs. These annoying frogs were literally everywhere. And because frogs were a symbol of fertility and because they lived on land and in water they were considered sacred and could not be killed. Imagine, not being able to kill these invaders. But Jehovah did kill them in their houses, courtyards and fields. This plague also was copied by Pharaoh”s magicians.

Plague #3 Gnats Exodus 8:16-19 This dealt with “Geb” the god of the earth.

The dust of the earth was atruck by Aaron and it turned to gnats, or lice as another translation says. You know the power of lice. Once they land on your hair, they are all over, and these lice infected both man and beasts. Because the Egyptian priest’s duty was to perform purity rites, they were considered impure if they were infected with lice. Isn’t it interesting that now these priests could not even perform their rituals in the temples because of the lice on them. Perhaps that is why the priests confessed to Pharaoh, “THIS IS THE FINGER OF GOD.” verse 19

Plague #4 Flies Exodus 8:20-32 Of course there is a fly god in Egypt, and this was to bring him down. He was “Uatchit”.

Although the flies invaded Egypt. and the smelly, decaying frogs and the bloody, deadly, fish were swarmed by them, this is the first time that God makes a distinction between His people living in Goshen and the rest of Egypt. In Goshen there were no swarms of flies.

Plague #5 Livestock die Exodus 9:1-7 The Egyptian god of cows was “Hathor” and this was his judgment.

All livestock – cows, horses, donkeys, camels, sheep and goats died. Every sacred cow the Egyptians had was now being judged by Jehovah God. BUT THE LIVESTOCK OF ISRAEL did not die.

As you can imagine, Egypt was in crisis. It was devestated. And remember, part of the reason for this is to give it’s people an opportunity to repent and turn to Jehovah. These plagues were not only judgments on their gods, but warnings to turn from serving their own gods and turn to Jehovah. What would have happened in Egypt had that happened? One can only guess.

But the plagues continued. Even after the priests declared this is the finger of God, Pharaoh and his people remained steadfast in their idolatry, hardening their hearts to the call on Jehovah.

Plague #6 Boils Exodus 9:8-12 Judgment of “Sekhmet” the goddess of medicine and peace.

With this health epidemic on both man and beast we are told “the magicians could no longer stand before Moses because of the boils.” v. 11

Plague #7 Hail Exodus 9:13-35 Judgment here was upon “Nut”, the goddess of the sky.

And with this historic thunder, lightening fires, and hailstorm, Pharaoh’s officials were divided into two groups: those who feared the word of the Lord and those who did not pay attention to the word of the Lord. The whole land was destroyed except for in the land of Goshen.

Plague #8 Locusts Exodus 10 1-20 The Egyptian diety “Serapia” whose jurisdiction was to protect from locusts was thoroughly defeated. The vegetation that remained in the land was eaten by invading locust armies.

At this point, even Pharaoh’s servants spoke up and pleaded with him to let Israel go because their whole land was ruined. v. 7

Plague #9 Darkness over the whole land Exodus 10:21-29 “Ra” the feared sun god of Egypt was targeted here.

This was a darkness that could be felt and it blanketed Egypt for 3 days and nights. They could not see their hand in front of their face and no one left their home for 3 days. However, all the people in Israel had light where they lived. v. 23

Through all of these plagues, Pharaoh never relented or released Israel to go and worship Jehovah outside of Egypt’s confines. Over and over we see Jehovah reminding Pharaoah and his cabinet through the voice of Aaron that

I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Exodus 9:16 ESV

But Pharaoh remained firm and unchanging, choosing not to repent nor receive the Lord’s warnings. Therefore, there was a tenth and final plague.

Before the 10th plague, The Passover was instituted. Read Exodus 12 for the details. But a sacrificed lamb and it’s blood on the door posts of Israel’s homes provided a truly safe space for them during the 10th plague.

Plague #10 The death of the firstborn Exodus12:29-32 Judgment on all of the gods of Egypt, including Pharaoh himself who was considered a god by his people.

No family was exempt from this devestating death blow, from the palace to the poor, wailing was heard at midnight, when the death angel passed over every home, looking for the blood of the lamb. Those homes without the lamb’s blood on the door, were smitten with their firstborn child being killed. The firstborn represented judgment on Pharaoh’s rising leaders and his kingdom. This death blow was excruciating.

Pharaoh now knew Jehovah God and His power. The people of the land also knew His power and might. And the Israelites worshipped Him in fear and greatfulness. Pharaoh sent them away from Egypt to “serve the Lord”. And he added, “be gone, and bless me also!” v. 32

These plagues on the gods of Egypt did their job.

They warned all of the fearful, awesomeness of Jehovah God.

They provided anyone who wanted an opportunity to repent and believe in Jehovah God.

And they pronounced judgment on the gods of Egypt in an undeniable way.

Are the results of serving our own gods any different today than we see in this precedent from Israel?

I think not. The end game is still:

Warning to those who serve their own gods.

Opportunity to repent and turn to the Lord.

Because divine judgment will one day come upon all other gods.

This isn’t Egypt, but there are gods whom we have trusted in and the warning is powerfully clear. Let’s take action, because judgment is coming.



Learn Religions- What Are the Ten Plagues of Egypt; Mary Fairchild 6.2020

Got Questions,org, What’s the meaning and purpose of the 10 plagues of Egypt

BibleCharts.com, The Ten Plagues of Egypt

The Ten Plagues: God’s Judgment and His Mercy

The Holy Bible

Serving Our Own gods – part 3

AKA – What we know about the God of the Bible & why it matters

In two recent blogs by the same title (part 1 and 2), we discussed the similiarites between our day and ancient days of pagan influence. We saw the parallels between those days of idolatrous practices and ours. We understood the spiritual mixture in those people and times of days gone by and the spiritual mixture today. And we realized that we too, find ourselves serving our own gods, just like men and women have for thousands of years.

But what’s the alternative?

If one were to adhere to the teachings of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, we would see the picture of One God, called The Lord, Yaweh, Jehovah. This God, was the God served by Old Testament persons, all the while they also served the gods of the nations surrounding them as well. But this God, called for their exclusive love. This God called for their whole heart. This God called for all of their passions, not just a swath of a bigger piece. This God called for a focus of their mind and not forgetful of their oaths.

The New Testament offers a similiar picture. One in which we see Jesus, called The Christ, who was called after His Father, The Great I Am, also calling for His followers to :

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Matthew 22:27; Luke 10:27; Mark 12:30 ESV

The alternative offered by the God of the Bible is to offer your heart, mind, soul and strength to Him. Exclusively. Solely. Without reservation. And permanently. Sorta like one does in marriage. Because THAT is exactly how the God of the Bible sees humanity – whom He loves. He sees believers collectively as a beautiful bride for His only, begotten Son. Revelation 19:7

He loves the whole world and all humans in it. Each of them created by Him, in His image, for His pleasure. (Genesis 1:26; Revelation 4:11) A God of love (1 John 4:7-8) simply longing to share that love with His creation, His sons and daughters.

He is not a piece of hard, cold metal like that of idols. He is not a piece of man-hewn wood, like that of idols. He is not an imagination of man’s heart or mind. He is not subservient to or in alliance with any other god of the past, present or future. He is not a god who is afar off or uninterested in the affairs of men. Not the God of the Bible.

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.”

Exodus 34:6-7 ESV

This is Jehovah God.

His Son Jesus, who came to Earth on His behalf, to redeem humankind back to a loving relationship with Father-God, exemplified these qualities. With compassionate love, He sought to unite the people of His day with His Father – God, and then called all those after to “Go and do the same”.

The alternative to idol worship, self worship or sin worship – whatever you call it, is the worship of Almighty God. Who tangibly reveals Himself, comforts, strengthens, corrects, inspires, guides and enjoys His people.

This matters more than anything else in your world. Your relationship with the God of the Bible matters, for in it you find purpose, security, happiness, hope and value. The idols of self-pursuit and happiness, money, sex, or man’s approval have no such things to offer you. They leave you empty, seeking and hopeless.

“If we find God to be so boring or so neglible that we must put other things in his place that really satisfy us more than He does, then we offend Him and we destroy ourselves.” John Piper

And there is a huge problem with offending an Omnipotent God.

Put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”

Colossians 3:5-6 ESV

You see, the same merciful, slow to anger and loving God is also the God who’s wrath will judge our idols. He seeks our exclusive love and if we have idols keeping us from Him, His judgdment will fall one day, not just on them, but on us. That is why we forsake them, tear them down and pull them up by the roots in our life because they are what causes His wrath to fall. The consequence of keeping idols in our life matters to your children and your grandchildren. There are generational idols that must be torn down or they will take over and incur the wrath and judgment of Jehovah God.

This is the truth of the God of the Bible. And this is why it matters.

Therefore, may it be said of you and me –

You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven…”

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 ESV

Because nothing else really matters if we don’t get this right.



  1. John Piper


This short lil video, I hope will encourage you to consider in your commitments – not just being committed to the goal or product (like loosing weight), but remaining strongly committed to the process by which that goal will be reached. Without commitment to the long-term process, the goal will never be reached.

Go ahead, click it on now.

The truth revealed here is – to commit our life to the Lord is a process of rolling our cares, weakensses, fears and controls onto the Lord. Much like rolling a stone on a road. It is a process of persistent rolling and trusting. It is a commitment to continue rolling things upon Him, rather that carry that heavy stone around each day. It is a decision to stick with it (the process) as well as to reach our goal (being free of burdens) and trusting Him.

Psalms 37:5 says, “Commit your ways to the Lord and He will bring it to pass.” In fact, that word “commit” in the Hebrew is “gilgal” which means – “to roll away, roll off, remove; to trust.” (H1556) So when we commit our life to Him, we are literally rolling our burdens, cares, and controls off of our mind and back and onto Him. That is the process, and our trusting the Lord to bring things to pass is the goal or product.

The cool thing is that in John 20, we see that Mary Magdelene, a committed follower of Jesus, during probably one of her darkest times, early one morning, following the death of Jesus, came of her own volition to the tomb where He was. And what did she find? “The stone had been rolled away.”

Isn’t is interesting that that phrase is used!? The very rolling away of her burdens onto Jesus while He was alive and her commitment to that process no matter what, led Mary into a situation where God literally rolled away the stone and brought to pass what she hoped for – the resurrection of Jesus.

God brought it to pass because she committed her way(s) to the Lord.

Could it be said that her commitment to the process of trusting God actually rolled away the stone? I don’t know. But could it be said that your commitment to rolling your cares onto God will produce a similiar outcome in your life?


As we persist in rolling our cares upon Him we too will find God will bring it to pass. He will take care of things.

That’s a deal I will take any day.

How’s your commitment to the process?


Seeing Things From a Different Angle

As we embark on another trip around the sun, I will be taking these first 2 weeks to prayerfully consider our direction for 2023.

Therefore, I have selected to share this encouraging video again, in hopes that it will encourage you as you set out in this fresh new year.

May you have new eyes to see how He wants to use you this year.

Lord. open our eyes to see…


Dream Big in 2023

A New Year’s Challenge for You

I know of a man who was extremely wealthy and a highly influencial politician; in fact he came from a family of monarchs. He was very well connected within his country and with the surrounding countries.

He was not a particularily nice guy, in fact he was quite wicked. He had some evil practices, one that included child sacrifice – actually sacrificing his own children. This guy was was an odd mix of prestige, evil, and wheeler-dealer.

At one point in his life he actually had two kings plotting against him and his kingdom. He was facing extermination, as was the royal line. His whole kingdom was panicing as their hearts were overcome with fear due to the damage that had already been inflicted on their nation.

In response to this impending attack, he chose to survey his city’s vulnerable spots and so he started at the water supply. It is there that we hone in on Ahaz and what happened next. It is there we find a new year’s challenge for you to DREAM BIG!

It is there that the prophet Isaiah (and his son) meet with Ahaz, to deliver to him God’s message. Knowing what you know about Ahaz now, what would you expect God’s message to be?

Believe it or not, God gave Ahaz four assurances. We find them in Isaiah 7:4.

  1. Be careful
  2. Be quiet
  3. Do not fear
  4. Do not let your heart be faint

Knowing Ahaz’s pending conflict and the people’s fearful panicing, knowing the kingdom’s devestation already, God tells the prophet to tell Ahaz to be careful and be quiet. Think of it. God was saying, “Settle down, calm down.” God was telling them all to not be rash or impetuous, but to take a deep breath and chill out for a minute. Stop, collect yourself and settle down.

He went on to tell them the number one salutation to humans in the bible – Do Not Fear. Don’t look at the two armies, don’t look at the devestation, don’t look at the circumstances. Do Not Fear.

Then Isaiah tops it off by telling Ahaz to not allow his heart (or the people’s heart) to be faint. He tells them to guard what their heart feels, and believes. He encourages them, comforts them, and offers them peace and hope.

But that’s not all. After Isaiah delivers that hope to Ahaz and the people, he goes on to tell them more of what God says to them. He tells them that the plans of the two terrorist countries (that are after them) –

… shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass.”

Isaiah 7:7 ESV

He continues by saying that within 65 years, they (the terrorosts countries) will be defeated themselves. That’s remarkable, foretelling the future to Ahaz! Hang in there dude, they’ll be gone soon. Settle down and trust me. Wow. But then, there’s another dinger –

If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.”

Isaiah 7:8 ESV

Isn’t it interesting how God responds to Ahaz in his time of fear, trouble and uncertainty. First He gives him assurances, then He shares the futute and finally He reminds Ahaz, to be strong in faith. A-MAZE- ING.

That would be a trememdous story if it ended there. We all could take lesson from it, find encouragement from it and recheck our faith. We could be confident that God was still with us, even in our not so nice state, and we could be thankful that God was still talking to us in spite of our wicked ways. We could be encouraged that God was in charge and could be trusted.

But there is yet another incomprehensible offer that God gives to Ahaz. You won’t believe it –

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God: let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

Isaiah 7:11 ESV

God was still wanting to encourage Ahaz that He was in control and told him to ask for a sign to prove it. Basically, God was saying, think big Ahaz, dream big – think outside the box. Go as deep as hell or as high as heaven. Ask me for a sign, no matter how big or hard you think it is. Ask. Dream. Go for it.

Remember that little lesson from above about being firm in faith? Ahaz should have remembered that now. Here Ahaz was being offered a blank cheque for any kind of miraculous or crazy sign that he could think of. Go big or go home, Ahaz. Now’s your chance. Call on your faith and God’s ability and let’s see something wonderful, something miraculous. God wants to prove Himself to you. A-MAZE- ING!

And here is where Ahaz proved his alliance.

He refused God’s offer to dream big, he refused to ask any sign of God or “put God to the test.” v. 12 His lame excuse of “putting God to the test” was evidence of his own alliance against God, and later proved to reveal his alliance with a terrorist country. (Which was eliminated in 65 years, as God said.)

Ahaz’s refusal to dream big at God’s request resulted in the destruction of his country and the extinction of his royal blood like. Ahaz heard God’s call and chose not to answer, obey or follow through. Ahaz proved he did not trust God or in God’s ability to deliver his nation. Ahaz did not believe that God was in control, he believed in man’s abilities and the Assyrian war machine.

My friend, I believe with all of my heart, that God is saying to YOU at the beginning of this year, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God.” Make it a big one, outside of the box of hell and heaven – think BIG. Dream BIG. Use your faith, stand in it and ask BIG.

This year, amidst the turmoil, uncertainties, financial stresses and political unrest, God would say to you – be careful, be quiet, do not fear and don’t become fainthearted. He sees you, He knows your situation and need, He knows your heart and deeds. He offers you peace and hope.

And He says to you, Ask me for a sign….as deep as hell or as high as heaven… Let me prove myself to you. I am in control and I love you. Place your trust in Me and not in man. “If you are not firm in your faith, you will not be firm at all.”

Dream Big this year, my friend.


Starting this New Year Debt Free

Happy New Year to You!

As we embark on another trip around the sun, I will be taking these first 2 weeks to prayerfully consider our direction for 2023.

Therefore, I have selected to share the number 1, most viewed video that I have posted, in hopes that it will encourage you (again) as you set out in this fresh new year. It’s topic is timeless and powerful.

There are many types of debt, aren’t there? In this video, we will address what I consdier to be the most important debt we have – the debt of forgiveness. So, here again is, “The Power of Forgiveness”.

May we all walk this year debt free and abounding in mercy, compassion and forgiveness.

God Bless,


Preparing For Your Exodus #5 – Final

Part 5 – God Says Now

Complete these famous phrases:

  • Here and ___
  • Anytime ___
  • ____ what?
  • ____ hear this
  • ___ or never
  • All together ___
  • Don’t look ___
  • For ___
  • or from Queen, “don’t stop me __”
  • or Shakespeare’s “___ is the winter of our discontent”

The missing word of course is NOW. Not the National Organization for Women, but the adverb meaning, “at the present time or moment. At this point in the series of events.” (The Free Dictionary)

This small, powerful word, “now”, has the potential to drastically change the immediate situation. Consider a fully pregnant woman who says to her spouse, “It’s time to go to the hospital, now.” Or a father who has given instructions for his child to follow, who loudly and emphatically, says, “NOW!

“Now”, being an adverb modifies (limits or restricts) the meaning of a verb. Remember what they taught us in school, it answers the question when, where, how, how much or how long.

  • When will you release your people from Egypt, God? Now.
  • How much longer will we be enslaved? Now.

After Moses and the people experienced things getting worse instead of better, they had reached their last straw, And in fact, God, too, had reached His last straw. Geesh, after 430 years, I guess you could say, “Now, was the time”. Check it out –

And the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh…”

Exodus 6:1 ESV

You’ll remember, in the previous 4 lessons of this series, we saw:

  • Part 1 – God Sees
  • Part 2 – God Shows Up
  • Part 3 – God’s Signs
  • Part 4 – God’s Last Straw

And now, finally, after five chapters of prepping the Israelites and their leadership, God says, “NOW“. “Now” is the time for you to see what I will do. “Now” is the time for you to see what Pharaoh will do. “Now” is the time for you to leave Egypt. “Now” is the time for you to step out of slavery and into freedom. “Now”.

That short, little adverb was about to drastically change Moses’, Aaron’s, and Israel’s immdediate situation.

For generation after generation they had been in bondage to Egypt. That’s all they had known and what they had learned to live with for 430 years! Growing within Egypt from 70 people in the days of Joseph to anywhere from 200,000 – 2 million in Moses’ day.

NOW YOU WILL SEE WHAT I WILL DO, God says. What a powerful statement, and what a long awaited one, too.

My friend, I don’t care how long you have struggled with family issues that have enslaved your mind, will or emotions, and ancestral ties that have bound up your Spirit. God is speaking into your heart right now, “Now, you will see what I will do.” Now is the time of your exodus. Now is the time God wants to totally deliver YOU from your own personal Egypt, from your own years of personal bondage and compromise and set you totally free.

He has heard your cries, and is showing up on your behalf with powerful signs for you to see and be encouraged by. Your last straw is His last straw and today, He says to you, “Now you shall see…”.

After Noah built the ark, the day finally came when God said to the rain, “Now“.

After Abraham was given a miracle son, God said to Abraham, now, give him back to me.

After Sarah, and Rebekah failed to conceive, God released the seeds to meet one another and said to them, “Now“.

After Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and abandoned in prison, God said, “Now, go interpret Pharaoh’s dream.”

We could name others, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, David, Elisha and the prophets all were told at their appointed time, “Now”.

John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and Paul, each came on the scene at their appointed time and brought deliverance to thousands, when God gave the word, “now”.

Our God lives beyond time and functions on an eternal clock that we hope to one day understand and experience. But He works by design and intentionality according to His time. His appointed time, His set time, and it is often called suddenly. (Although it had been in the works for thousands of years…)

  • 2 Cor. 6:2 – now is the set time…
  • Rom. 13:11 – now is the set time…
  • Gal. 4:4-7 – in the fullness of time
  • John 13:1 – Jesus knew that His hour had come
  • 2 Chron. 29:36 – God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly
  • Gen. 18:14 – at the appointed time next year
  • Psa. 75:2 – when I select an appointed time
  • Acts 7:17 – as the time of promise was approaching
  • Eph. 1:10 – in the fulness of time
  • Mark 1:15 – the time is fulfilled
  • Hab. 2:3 – the vision is for an appointed time
  • Ecc. 3 – there is a time and season for everything under heaven

If God plans it, it happens on time. His time. “He makes everything beautiful in it’s time.” Ecc. 3:11

God had been preparing His people for over 430 years for their great escape from Egypt, and now their time had come. It was the fullness of time, their set time for freedom. They were as ready as they were going to be. It was show time.

In Moses’ days, like in Jesus’ days, transgression and sin had degraded people to the lowest level of morality. People were given wholly over to the dominion of the devil and his violent works. The social and political conditions were ripe for God to make Himself known. Ripe for God’s powerful arm and acts of judgment. Exodus 6:6 (1)

Is our day really any different?

Sin and depravity are rampant. Violent and destructive demonic actions have been released upon our generations, including the youngest of the young. Social norms are no more. Wrong is touted as right and right derided as wrong, Political conditions have simmered and are now boiling over with deception, shame, harrassment, cancelling, and lies.

Dare I say it again, NOW is the time for God to show up and display His powerful hand. Now is the time for Him to lead His people from bondage to freedom. Now. Now. Now.

When God says, “Now”, look for Him to drastically change your immediate situation.

I believe this coming year, 2023, will be a year when our hearts and minds fill with those proverbial questions of when, where, how, how much, how long. And God will give instructions to His children, emphatically stating, “NOW!”.

Now hear this – God has been preparing you for your exodus, NOW get ready to move out, my friend. It’s now or never. All together now. Here and now. You are now free to move about the country.

The time is now,


1 – Bibleask.com

The Last 2 Warnings (of the Beatitudes)

The Beatitudes, or Sermon on the Mount conclude with Jesus giving us four warnings. We spoke last week about the first two: 2 Gates: Choosing either the narrow gate or wide gate and 2 Prophets: Choosing either fales teachers or truth teachers.

Here are the last two warnings: 2 kinds of disciples and 2 foundations. Check it out and spend some time in self-evaluation.

Thank you for your time and interest, I truly appreciate it.

Please message me if you have any ideas or requests for topics that you would like to see addressed, that would help to equip you spiritually.

Grateful for you,


2 Christmas Time Births – a Voice and a Savior

I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, this 2022.

During this wonderful season of Christmas I’d like to encourage you with three thoughts from that very first Christmas.

#1 Mary and Joseph lived in the days of Herod the Great. He was a cruel puppet king over Judea who brutally killed family, friends and foes indiscriminately. The land feared his edicts, and were severly oppressed by his unfair taxes and decrees. It was not “Happy Days” living during this time.

#2 Zechariah and Elizabeth, childless priests, were told they would give birth to John the Baptist – the voice. Thinking that they were beyond the age of being birthing parents, nevertheless, they bore a son named John, who grew as a prophet and became the voice pointing to Jesus.

#3 Mary, the young, favored and overshadowed virgin, was chosen to bring forth the Savior of the world. With questions in her troubled heart and mind, her response to the angel was to allow the Holy Spirit to empower her to bring forth what had been planted within her.

What this means to you, today:

#1 These days that we live in are wrought with fear, oppression, increased taxes and ungodly decrees. And if we were to look only at the rulers in the political arenas it would be easy to grow weary and become discouraged. But like Mary & Joesph’s days, this is the exact time that God will bring forth good from evil, light from darkness, a voice and the Savior.

#2 Alive right now, are many godly believers/priests who have yet to see the fulfillment of the promises that God has spoken to them. They are ripe now and ready to bring forth their promised VOICE to the world. The roaring voice from deep within them, that of a lion, pointing to Jesus – the way. This is a season of the release of the VOICE of the people of God.

#3 The seemingly impossible circumstanes you face, the troubled heart and questioning mind within you will all be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit. That power will ignite to life the seed of the Heavenly Father within you and produce the Savior – Jesus. YOU, will burst forth, with the life of Jesus and you will share that life with those in your world.

You see, Christmas time is the season of darkness and oppression that produces a voice in that wilderness that points to Jesus, the only Savior of the world.

Are you a voice pointing to Jesus or are you a carrier of Jesus? Both are birthed at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas,


Preparing For Your Exodus #4

Part 4 – God’s Last Straw

Although my head tells me this should be a Christmas blog, (I am writing this Dec. 20 after all), my heart knows we need this very important part 4, and next week’s conclusion, before the new year is upon us. All of this, is a very firm Word in my Spirit for this next year.

So, where are we?

We’ve been looking at the setting for the great Exodus from Egypt led by Moses, as found in the book of Exodus chapters 1-6 and understanding the many similiarities between what happened to them then, and what is happening and about to happen to us in these days. Please catch up, as you wish by reading the previous 3 blogs:

  1. #1 – God Sees
  2. #2 – God Shows Up
  3. #3 – God’s Signs

As we pick up today’s portion we find Moses and Aaron going before the Pharaoh of Egypt-

Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.”” But Pharaoh said, ” Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

Exodus 5:1-2 ESV

Notice, God wanted freedom for His people. That is His desire for all of us, to be free from slavery. But Pharaoh didn’t know God, so he refused. In fact, in Egypt, it was he who was considered a god, a child of the Sun and friend of the gods.

Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh in the authority they had been given by the Lord God of Israel. They spoke those words as a reminder to themselves and all listeners that their words would be acted on by that very God.

Pharaoh’s refusal was an attempt at exerting his own authority over God’s. But God’s response was, these things will happen so that you will know me, the God of Israel and you, too, will obey my word. You don’t know me now, Pharaoh, but you soon will, because I will set my people free.

With this dueling authority, the gauntlet is laid.

I must insert here, there is no authority greater in your life than the Lord’s. Whether you know Him or not, His desire is to see you freed from sin’s slavery and make His power and name fully known to you and the world. He will be known as the Omnipotent Creator.

Things from here on out get worse for the Israelites. In fact, things got much worse before they got better. They were expected to keep making their daily quota of bricks but now, because of Pharaoh’s fury, they were to do it without being given straw. If they wanted straw, they had to get it themselves.

Finding straw of course, took more time, which prohibited them from producing the same amount of bricks. And so, because straw makes for stronger bricks and because of it’s acid content helps the mortar stick together better, they went off to find straw, roots, and other things to mix in for their bricks.

Archaeology confirms that bricks of all kinds have been found in Egypt. Some have chopped straw, rough roots and other odd things. Some have been found that have no straw at all.

The results of Moses first visit were defiance and further hardship. The trouble that came upon the Israelites seemed like evil. The immediate effect was to make it worse. What God allowed made it seem even worse. The Israelites couldn’t believe making things worse could be part of God’s plan.

There are times in our life and in the life of our society that is seems things are getting worse and not better. Trouble increases. Authority duels are obvious in many areas of life. Our workload is unfairly increased and our God seems absent.

Things commonly go backward with the saints before they come forward, so the corn groweth downward ere it grow upward.”

John Trapp

“It is the darkest before the dawn.”

The Israelite leaders blamed Moses.”You’ve put a sword in their hand to kill us”. The people, in their trouble called out to Pharaoh for help- not God, or even Moses. Pharaoh seemed like a friend when they were his slaves. In the previous chapter, they believed God was with them, but now their excitement was gone.

But Pharaoh was cruel and did not care about them. He called them names, insulted them, commanded more work and allowed no time for religious duty to God. He punished them for it and for even wanting it.

Even Moses, with his insecurities ressurfacing, asked God,

O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?… You have not delivered your people at all.”

Exodus 5:22-23 ESV

From their perspective, their world was topsy-turvy.

God, however, does not see as man, nor are His ways like man’s.

God is interested in way more than just freeing Israel. He knows they need transformation to become His people, fit for the Promised land. He knew they needed to learn endurance, patience, and complete trust in Him. He knew defeating Egypt’s evil would not come quickly or easily. And He knew their faith & trust would come with countless opportunities for surrender and obedience.

What He was interested in was them trusting Him in their trouble so He could use it for their good and His glory.

No Israelite was exempt from this. Not Aaron, and not Moses. Moses’ fears of inferiority came rushing back when things got worse not better. He still doubted that he was the right guy – Why did you ever send me? He hoped the liberation would be easy and now that is wasn’t he doubted who he was and whether God could really use him. (he’s not anything like us, right? ha ha )

God was working through the trouble, hardship, and worsening conditions to produce a people who would trust Him and His ability to use them for good and His glory. 2 Peter 4:12-14, 19; 3:8-9, 14-15

There was blame enough to go around, but God deserved none of it.

He was seeing beyond the immediate, to the long term victory. To the wandering and complaining years, To the warring and possessing years. To the reigning and prosperous years. To the years it would take for these people to be His people. To you and I. To our struggles. To this day. To our times. And to eternity, when His son would have for Himself a spotless Bride, fully devoted to Jesus.

The the Israelites and their leaders believed that God had done evil to His people by allowing such trouble. They believed because it was getting worse and not better, it could not possibly be God’s will.

But these events in Egypt were demonstrating God’s last straw. The straw that would set in motion a massive exodus. For them, then and I believe for you now.

God is at work in our nation, and although it appears things are getting worse and not better, let’s let Israel remind us that He is at work in the now and for the long term. He is preparing us, transforming us and equipping us.

We are facing the days of God’s last straw in our lifetime. The days of His preparation for our exodus from slavery into complete liberty. But first, we must learn to trust Him and be wholly confident in Him and obedient to His voice.

Don’t lose heart as things get worse. He’s working on us in the midst of things getting worse, preparing us for our exodus.

Submitting to His fashioning,


Preparing For Your Exodus #3

Part 3 – God’s Signs

In this third of our five part series, you will see how God chooses to use you in bringing deliverance to others and helping them to believe. But first He will give you signs that will scare you, encourage you, and teach you to listen to and obey His voice.

These thoughts are based on Moses and the Exodus account you will find in Exodus chapter 4.

After “God shows up” (in Exodus chapter 3 & our previous lesson), we find Him telling Moses that he has been selected to be the comissioned leader and carry His name to lead His people out of Egypt into the land God promised to give to the Partiarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Moses is given a project, one of seeming impossibilities, with ridiculous odds of failure, and that required 100% faith and focus on God. Moses questions whether he is up to the task and responded to God with a series of questions all of which revealed his doubt in God’s decision.

Moses first said to God,

BUT they won’t believe me or listen to me…”

Exodus 4:1 ESV

I love the BUTS of the Bible, they reveal so much about humanity and God’s amazing dealings with us. Moses doubted that anyone would listen to him. Who was he afterall? Here he was just a shepherd going before the King of Egypt with all of his powerful magicians and political advisors.

God answered Moses, “What’s in your hand?” The same thing that God asks of us, “What’s in your hand, Debbie?” “What’s in your hand _________ (your name)?” Moses was holding his shepherds staff.

“Throw it down” Moses was told. And when he did, it turned into a snake and scared Moses away. Then God spoke again to Moses and told Him to pick up the snake by the tail. Which Moses did, and the snake turned back into Moses’ staff.

“What’s in your hand?” is how God uses people. He uses what people have. The years of sheep tending were not wasted for Moses. He didn’t need a scepter to go before the King, he needed his staff. He needed what God had put in his hand, because God uses what is in our hand. (Check out Shamgar, David, Sampson, and the little boy with fish and bread.)

The staff turning to a snake was not part of Moses everyday experience, and so it was a sign given as confirmation to Moses of God’s power to use what God had given him, but it was also a sign that the people would believe.

After running away from the snake, Moses learned to listen to God’s directions and to take it by the tail – the most dangerous place. Moses learned how to do what God told him to do even if it was dangerous and uncomfortable. Moses learned that God could transform something good into evil and back again, IF Moses would trust and obey the voice of God.

Then, what Moses held in his hand was called the rod of God! And with the rod of God, Moses would eventually part the sea, strike the rock and defeat the enemy in the valley.

Sign #1 – Staff to snake – Watch what God will do with what’s in your hand

God uses what you have in your hand. Your years of doing it, your experience, your skills, your heart and your dreams. Nothing is wasted. You need nothing more than faith in what He has given you. Faith that will trust Him with uncomfortable encounters, maybe even dangerous ones, but faith that you are doing what you have heard Him say to you.

When you decide that in your heart, and take action, you begin to move in a new freedom but so do those that God has sent you to. The signs are for you and for them too, to believe!

You would think that one sign was enough to boost Moses’ confidence in God. But God gave Moses another sign in which his healthy hand became leprous and then was restored to full health again. This sign was again to reassure Moses of God’s total and unstoppable power to restore even the most disgraceful, shameful, and horrible sin and disease in his life. God was saying, trust me Moses, to use ALL that you are – even the diseased and broken parts.

Sign #2 – The leprous hand restored – God will restore and use even our diseased and broken parts

There is no sin or shame God will not forgive or restore you from and use for His glory. He will do it as a sign for you to believe in and fully trust Him, and He will use you to share it with others so that their hope can be restored and they will believe in the power of the Almighty God.

But God is not through giving Moses (or you) signs.

He next tells Moses to take some water from the Nile and pour it on the ground and it will become blood. Guess what happens? Yup. He does and it does.

Blood always represents judgment. God’s message here was that if transformation didn’t work (staff to snake and hand to leprosy) then perhaps judgment would convince them to believe.

Sign #3 – Water to blood – God will bring judgment to the land

Our land, like ancient Egypt will face judgement. Our lives will face judgment and the Blood of the Lamb will cover and protect us during this time if we believe. The purpose of the blood is to make believers.

After these three persuassive signs, Moses still objects by saying –

I am not eloquent… I am slow of speech…”

Exodus 4:10 ESV

Let’s be real here, Moses had spent the first 40 years of his life being trained in all the wisdom of Egypt. Acts 7:22 The real issue for Moses was his confidence was gone! That was way back then and now, he only spoke sheep talk. And while we’re being real, he’s not really complaining about his speaking ability but his inability to be a leader to God’s people.

Even though God had promised to be with him, and teach him what to do and say, Moses was comparing himself to those smart guys in Pharaoh’s court and coming up on the short end. Which is all we need to understand that Moses’ focus was in the wrong place, on himself and not on God. God provided Aaron, to be the speaker for Moses and promised to teach them both.

Sign #4 – God provides us the support we need – because He sees more in us than we do

Who of us has not dealt with a lack of confidence? Especially when we see a task before us with seemingly impossible odds of failure and requiring more faith than we think that we have? And yet, God, who hears the groans of the needy around you and the cries from the lonley, broken and lost who you come in contact with – provides for you all you need to bring them to faith, by means of your faith.

Lastly, here’s the bottom line of this long story.

After these 4 signs, and Moses listing disqualifications, doubts, and lack of confidence, he reveals the real issue in his heart. Without anymore excuses cuz God has dashed them all to pieces, Moses says to God –

Please send someone else…”

Exodus 4:13 ESV

This made God angry. (v. 14). You know why? He was angry at Moses’ unwillingness not his questions or doubts. Moses revealed, by this request, that he was unwilling not unable.

Sign #5 – God reveals what’s really in our heart – He uses the willing heart

Whatever it takes, God will whittle all of our excuses down to reveal our willingness to obey His voice. When all is stripped away, are we willing to do what He has called and equipped us for?

God has demonstrated by these signs that He can and will work with what He has created. He will first deal with our own doubts and insecurities showing Himself strong on our behalf so that WE believe. Then, he uses us to affect other people’s beliefs.

God is intending a tremendous exodus of people from bondage into freedom and fulfilling of His promises. He has been preparing you for this exodus by hearing your desires, showing up in your life, and revealing signs like these to you, verifying His desire to use YOU!

What’s is your hand? Allow Him to restore the broken parts of your heart and judge you in His love and mercy. He has provided all you need for victory and deliverance if only you are willing.

Joining you in following His voice,


See you Next week for #4 God’s Last Straw

Preparing For Your Exodus

Part 1 – God Sees

This is one of those times I write under the impact of what I hear The Spirit saying to us – to you and me, to believers, and to our nation.

He is preparing us for our exodus, our depatrure from things as we know them, our going out and being set free from our oppression and affliction.

With that theme in mind, it is clear that we can look at the ancient exodus of Israel, after their 430 years in slavery, and draw some comparisons and parallels. So, from now ’til the end of the year, in a 5 part series, we will look at and draw those comparisons with the intention of inspiring you to see that now is the time for you to prepare for your exodus.

The overriding theme of the book of Exodus is God fulfilling His promise to the Patriarchs to make their descendants a great nation, (despite the oppression of the world’s greatest superpower (Egypt) and their own unbelief and disobedience.) Their exodus was so impactful, Israel’s national identity and even their calendar reoriented around the month that they came out of Egypt. And, their success was totally ascribed to God’s power and God’s character, not their own power, or weak and godless character. (So too, will be our exodus and the display of God’s power.)

As we begin this comparison, let’s start right there. What God is preparing to do is fulfill His promises to raise up His Church, His Ekklesia, despite economic forums or governmental overreach, who will walk in relationship to the Omnipotent God and reveal His character here on this planet, wherever they are. This will be so impactful it will change national identities, and will be marked on all calendars as The Great Outpouring and Harvest.

My friend, this is a personal freedom being offered to you. A freedom from years of oppression and bondage. A freedom to walk in the fullness of God’s promises fulfilled and God’s power revealed. This isn’t some imaginary or delusional hope, this is what God has promised to those that believe Him. He is preparing us for our exodus.

In Exodus 2:23-25, we find our first lesson, preparing us for our exodus. Here’s what it says,

During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.”

It is clear from these verses that God sees exactly what the Israelites are going through and have gone through. God sees. In fact, there are four facets listed here to God’s seeing.

  1. God hears
  2. God remembers
  3. God saw
  4. God knew

God Hears

God hears the groaning because of slavery. God hears the cries for help. God hears the cries for rescue. God hears the prayers offered up to God. Whether it be 3,468 years ago by the ancient Israelites or today, by the Yahweh believers around the world, God still hears.

With believers increasing mightily and threatening governmental leaders, like Pharaoh, taskmasters have been appointed to burden down with heavy loads the people of God. Still the faith filled ones prosper, despite the oppression, all the while the taskmasters treat them ruthlessly.

Making their lives bitter and forced into hard service, even releasing a death decree to kill babies, the Egyptian magistrates dreaded the Israelites, just like many of our governmental leaders make our lives bitter and decree death to our babies. Their dread tho’, will not keep us from multiplying in strength and numbers and faith!

God hears. He sent Moses, the one drawn out of the waters. And so it is, God hears us, and is preparing to send yet another drawn out remnant to free those suffering from bondage. God hears.

God Remembers

God remembers. He is not forgetful like an old person, or dull because of age. He is sharp, precise, and fully cognizant of all He has said and promised. He remembers His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to make their descendants a great nation with countless sons and daughters. They will not be defined by years slavery, but by their covenant with God.

  • Abraham’s covenant – Genesis 12:2
  • Isaac’s covenant – Genesis 17:15, 21
  • Jacob’s covenant – Genesis 26:3-5

God is a God of covenants. He is a God- keeper of agreements. A fullfiller of promises. He is not a man that lies. If He said it, He will do it. Numbers 23:19 He remains faithful, even if we are unfaithful because He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 God remembers!

God remembers that He made you for a specific purpose. God remembers the plans He has for your eternal happiness and hope He has for your eternal fellowship. He remembers the giftings, skills, and even weaknesses He put inside of you and He remembers all of it is being used to fashion you into a highly valued and treasured vessel of honor for Him. God remembers that He is not done with you yet.

God Saw

God saw the people of Israel. The whole mess of slavery, bitterness, oppression, ruthless rulers, death decrees, and unjust treatment. God saw the worldwide mess of Covid, the harsh treatment, the fruitful years in rapid decline. God saw the favor turned to fury. God saw the big picture, not just the immediate.

God saw the victory, freedom, blessing, and fulfillment that lie ahead. God saw it all. Past. Present. Future. He is The Great I Am.

God Knew

God knew. He knew their suffering and He knew their deliverance was coming. God knew that the promised land lay ahead. God knew it was a fruitful place, full of provision and enemies. God knew their future. God knew what they had. God knew what they needed. God knew what lie ahead. God knew their successes and their failures. God knew.

In what ways are we any different? In what ways is God different? Is He not the same yesterday, today, and forever?

As we approach this new year, I believe it is time to prepare to exit the past years of oppression, bondage and silencing. A new season of promises fulfilled, God’s people rising up, and God’s power revealed in signs, wonders and miracles.

He has seen our situation and is redirecting our focus to His powerful deliverance. It will be epic, because our nation, like Israel is in crisis.

Rest assured, God Sees! And when He sees, He hears, He remembers and He knows. Our God sees a massive exodus of sons and daughters, walking in His miraculous power and fully dependant on every Word that proceeds from His mouth.

This is what He is preparing to do in our nation and the nations of the world. This is what He is preparing to do in and through His people, the followers of Yahweh. The land of promises lie ahead to those who are preparing themselves for the exodus.

In continuing preparation for our exodus, please check back for the next 4 parts of this series.

  • God Shows Up 12/10
  • God’s Signs 12/17
  • God’s Last Straw 12/24
  • God Says NOW! 12/31

Before you go, please remember that God sees everything that you are going through and He has heard your cries for help. He remembers well all He has promised you and He sees it happening because He knows your victorious destiny.

God sees YOU, and He is preparing you for your exodus.


Wrestling with Who I am

I have been facinated with the not so patriarch, Jacob.

This guy was a hustler from the womb. Not willing to allow anyone ahead of him, even in the womb. Upon delivery with his twin brother, he grabbed the heal of his brother when he arrived and kept on grabbing after things his whole life.

You may remember these, his greatest hustles:

  • He bargained for his brother’s birthright
  • He deceived for his brother’s firstborn blessing
  • Schemed for more of his uncle’s herds
  • sent bribes to his brother hoping for acceptance

To those familiar with how his story ends and him becoming one of the Partiarch’s of the Faith (in Judiasm & Christianity) these hustles are well known. But his proclivity for scheming, deception and cheating puzzles me. His swindling, or as one could say, the art of his deals amaze me.

This guy had to run away from his family because of his dishonest dealings with his brother and dad. He hid out with his uncle for 20 years! That is some serious time to allow family anger to subside. And all the while God blessed him! In spite of and on top of who he was inside, a cheater, God still promises to bless him for generations to come.

But there came a time in Jacob’s life, where he was left alone with who he was. In his account in Genesis, we read:

During the night, Jacob arose, woke up his wives, his maidservants, and eleven sons, and had them cross the ford of the Jabbok River. He sent them across along with everything he had, and Jacob was left all alone. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a man appeared and wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he was not winning the match, he struck Jacob’s hip and knocked it out of joint, leaving it wrenched as he continued to wrestle with him. Eventually, the man said to him, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob refused. “No! Not until you bless me!” “What is your name?” asked the man. “Jacob,” he replied. “Not anymore.” the man said to him. “Your new name is Israel, for you have struggled both with God and with people and have overcome.”

Genesis 32:22-29 TPT

There is so much in this passage, so let’s unpack it.

Jacob came to a place of emptying out himself of everything, his spouse, children, and servants. He released all he had only to be left with all he was. Alone, in that place, he wrestled with a mysterously appearing man (many believe the man to be God, some say it was the guardian angel of Esau and still others say it was satan.) What matters here for me is that Jacob, all by himself is wrestling with his identity, his walk, and his very his name.

And isn’t it interseting that his wrestling happens at Jabbok, which means “emptying”. The Jabbok River emptied into the Jordan River above the Dead Sea. Here, is where Jacob emptied himself and wrestled with God for His blessing. It was at daybreak that Jacob’s breakthrough came. Having prevailed as he did in the womb, he did not relent and grabbed his blessing – a new walk and a new name.

At Penuel, having first emptied himself, he wrestled with who he was and he actually saw the face of God, and lived to tell about it. This encounter marked him for life, his name and his walk.

This is Jacob’s story, but what puzzles, amazes, and facinates me is this:

  • God fearfully and wonderfully made each of us Ps. 139:13-14
  • He made us in His image GEn. 1:27
  • He thinks innumerable thoughts of love and blessing for us Ps. 139:17-18
  • He has chosen us & helps us Is. 44:2
  • He named us Is. 49:1
  • He redeemed us Jn. 3:17
  • He calls us His children Jn. 1:12
  • He accepts and empowers us as we wrestle with our own weakness & shor comings 2 Cor. 12:9
  • We have this divine treasure in our earthen vessels 2 Cor. 4:7

How can it be that the very God who made me in His likeness still loves, accepts and uses me, the one who is so prone to sin, manipulation, dishonesty, judgment, compromise, selfishness, pride and arrogance? How can it be that Jacob’s story is really mine? I too have personality traits far from godly.

His whole life he was known for certain traits, by his family, associates and city. Jacob, the deceiver. And yet, Jacob emptied himself in that moment, and stood alone before God, wrestling for a bigger blessing upon his life. From that place he emerged as a Prince with God, his true destiny as our Partiarch.

And so it is with me, with you. Those very traits, designed into our personality by God, He refines and uses them for His will. He sands off our prickly, rough edges and causes us to hold the weight of His presence. He sharpens our iron sharp wills and galvanizes us with His will, unshakable, unmoveable. We hold this treasure in earthen, weak, vessels, that His power can show forth in spite of our weaknesses. In fact, His power is made perfect in our weakness.

When I look within, I cry with the prophet of old, “O, wretched man that I am!”. I am wrestling with who I am. I am wrestling with who I want to become. I, like Jacob, will not let God go until He blesses me, and changes my walk and empowers my new name.

Emptying myself of those “warts and all”, I see His face and what I want to become. I want more! More of Him.

If you too, have wrestled or are wrestling with who you are, please know that you are not alone. Remember Jacob. Remember me. Join us in the match of a lifetime and be confident that in the end, you will walk away changed, and very much alive, having seen the face of God.

Won’t you join us as we wrestle with who we are and who we are becoming.


Handling Anxiety

It seems that we are fairly familiar with the causes and even the symptoms of the anxiety that we experience. But are we as familiar with and open to the coping secrets that Jesus provides us? Are we anxious enough to finally yield to His solution for human anxiety?

Sit for a spell and give it some thought, won’t you?

Cheers to your new found peace.


I Can’t Hear for All the Noise

Today’s title is a summary of some overwhelming thoughts that I was recently wrestling with. I couldn’t hear what I needed to hear because of all the other noise that was coming at and overcoming me.

Hearing is essential to all animals and we humans can distinguish 400,000 different sounds. All of these sounds are actually frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hertz, but we are most sensitive to sounds between 500 & 4,000 Hertz and we are most sensitive to frequencies that are crucial to speech recognition. (So, most of us really do hear what they are saying. Ha ha)

The loudness of these sounds is important too, and is expressed in decibels, dB. Prolonged exposure to louder than 85dB will damage our ear and cause hearing loss. Just for your reference, a gas powered lawn mower loudness is 85-90 dB!

“In 1999, the World Health Organization determined in a 24 hour period, exposure to 70 dB would produce minimal hearing loss in 95% of people.” (1) For clarity, that means that if you were exposed to 70 dB of noise for 24 hours straight, 95% of people would experience minimal hearing loss.

Hang with me here, we’ll tie some things together shortly.

Our very mechanism of hearing is a complicated and marvelous design. Here’s a quick review:

  • 2 identical units – right and left ear
  • external ear – the pinna, ear canal and eardrum
  • middle ear – malleus, hammer, incus, anvil, stapes, stirrup
  • inner ear – oval window, cochlea
  • auditory nerve
  • the brain – not part of the hearing mechanism but the power that turns what we hear into a sound that we recognize and understand

The pinna acts as a funnel, collecting all those sound waves, and sending them along the 2-3 cm ear canal where they will bounce off the ear drum and onto those 3 tiny bones in the middle ear. Those lil’ guys amplify those “good vibrations” and send them on to that snail shaped cochlea that has fluid inside. That fluid stimulates tiny hair cells causing them to move. When they do move, these pore-like channels open up and chemicals rush in creating an electrical signal. The auditory nerve then carries this electrical signal to the brain and voila, our brain decipers what we are hearing.

The fact that we can hear at all is a very complicated process we ought not take it for granted.

But here’s the deal. Because we can hear, we are hearing all sorts of noise, facts, issues, voices, and news. Sometimes, like I experienced last week, there is so much noise, we can’t seem to hear with any clarity what is really important. We have trouble filtering through all the noise. (Is it just me?)

If we continue to expose ourself to loud and frequent noise it should come as no surprise that we would experience hearing loss. We become dull in our hearing first and then our heart even grows dull, heavy burdened. Then, sensitivity is lost, All because of the noise constantly bombarding our ears and taking root in our heart.

From the early first century, we have writings speaking to this very issue.

“Your heart has grown dull of hearing and your ears can barely hear.” Matthew 13:15 ESV

“You have become dull of hearing…” Hebrews 5:11 ESV

“Dull” in the original languages in the Hebrews text means, “sluggish, lazy; stupid, dull & slothful.” “Dull” in the Matthew text means, “heavy, weighty, burdensome, grave. Grievous, heavy.” And it is taken from a word meaning, “going down; a load. Abundance, authority – burdensome, weight.”(3)

The writers here, in the first century are speaking of people’s hearing becoming weighed down, burdensome, and even stupid with an abundance of authority loading on weights. Humph, sounds very familiar…

Here’s a look at how another first century writer describes the things that dull people’s hearing.

In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

No wonder my hearing had become dull. The noise coming at me was alot of this garbage! It was loud. It was constant. It was burdensome, heavy and stupid! It had found it’s way into my hearing mechanism and further complicated my hearing process. (Just what I needed… NOT!)

What changed?

I did as the audiologists (2) suggest – “If you have normal hearing and want to keep it that way…

  • avoid loud & constant noise
  • use healthy practices when listening to music
  • avoid substances that harm your ears
  • don’t let stuff (ear wax) build up
  • be aware of infections
  • check your heart condition

So I: turned off my 1 hour a day news show, the radio and canceled certain streaming. I choose to listen to only things, videos, and podcasts that would build up my faith. I avoided all things negative or harmful to my hearing and faith. I got rid of stuff building up inside of me, perhaps causing infections by having more serious prayer time. I asked the Lord to heal my heart and remove all hardness and infection.

I realized that my faith, personal convictions and reliance on Christ was dependent on my hearing. “Faith comes from hearing…” Romans 10:17 ESV

I couldn’t hear because of all the noise, so I cut the noise and increased those things that would build my faith. I listened to uplifting, encouraging, and spiritually nutritional things cuz I wanted by faith and reliance on Jesus renewed, and cleaned up.

My hearing has improved but only because I never again want to say or experience, “I can’t hear for all the noise.”

How’s your hearing?



  1. Centers for Disease Control cdc.gov
  2. Audiologynow.org – Sandra WIlliams 10.25.22; New Hampshire Hearing Institute, NHHI, nhhearinginstitute.com
  3. The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong, LLD. STD.

How Are Your Investments?

If you’re old enough to be reading this (and interested too) then you are old enough to be making investments. And I am just wondering, how are your personal investments? If one were to look into your account, what would they find?

I hope you either already are or will consider making lasting investments.


Seasons – it’s all about the tilt

I’m sure you remember that we here on Earth have our seasons all because of the tilt of the earth.

Our tilt is not like that of Uranus which sits sideways. Nor is it like Jupiter, whose tilt is only 3 degrees. Our tilt, slant or “axial tilt” is 23.4 degrees and decreasing. It is usually between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees.

It is because of that tilt that our planet has it’s seasons. As the North pole tilts toward the sun we have summer in the Northern hemisphere. Conversely, when the South pole tilts toward the sun we have winter in the Northern hemisphere.

It’s amazing to me that at any one time, earth is going through two distinct seasons. One in the Northern hemisphere and one in the Southern hempsphere. Yet, we only are experiencing the one that we are in.

Also interesting to note is whichever hemisphere is pointed towards the sun receives more energy and light from the sun.

It is precisely that tilt that gives us our winter, spring, summer and fall. Three months each, with specific starting and ending dates makes earth’s seasons measured, predictable and purposeful.

Spring – seeds take root, things begin to grow, warmer weather, animals awake, melting snow and rain

Summer – temperatures increase to the hotest time of the year, heat waves and droughts

Fall – temperatures cool, plants grow dormant, animals prepare for cold storing food or traveling, harvests

Winter – brings chill, snow, ice, rain, animals seek warmth

Seasons are those periods of the year with disctinct conditions and day lengths but the timing and characteristics of seasons depend on where you are on earth.

One other note before I make some applications to your life. Earth’s axis rotation is changing. In fact, a complete cycle is 26,000 years. In 13,000 years earth’s seasons will actually reverse. It will take another 13,000 years for them to return back again. This change is gradual and we never notice it. But it does cause our summer solstice to arrive 20 minutes early every year. In 70 years, it will arrive a full day earlier.

Why the astronomy lesson? Why should I care?

One thing we know for sure is that as long as there is an earth, there will be seasons. Genesis 8:22 promises that. And I would add, as long as we are living, our life will go through seasons. (And I don’t just mean those 4 seasons each year.)

Each of us personally experience seasons in our life. If we don’t recognize what season we’re in we tend to feel lost and without purpose. So it is important for us to recognize the season that we are in.

Each season has a specific purpose, something that must be accomplished. Also, remember, “if we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” Anne Bradstreet

“Life is not one long race, but many short ones in succession.” And those short ones are the seasons of life that we all pass and grow through. Seasons help us plan and manage expectations. Seasons remind us that there is a time for everything. Ecclestiastes 3:1 It is frustrating though that the seasons of our life are not as clearly defined as our tilted, earthly seasons, isn’t it?

Most importantly, every season has a beginning and an end.

The season you are currently in is not permanent. The season you are in does have a purpose to accomplish in your life. The season you are in is exactly because of the tilt and lopsided orbit of your life. The season you are in is part of a much larger cycle with a much bigger purpose than you are now seeing. The season that you are in may be producing incremental changes for you but big and lasting changes for the generations that follow you. You may or may not see your seasonal change, but it is happening.

Lastly, the amount of light and energy that you experience in your seasons depends on what direction you are pointed. Are you pointed toward the Son? There is where you will find energy and light for your seasonal changes.

You may have times when you think that your life is off kilter, lopsided or having been hit by some enormous object that threw you off course. I imagine Mother Earth thought that 4.5 billion years ago when something crashed into her and caused her to tilt 23.4 degrees. But without her tilt, there would be no seasons. Without her tilt the only habitable place for humans would be the equator. So whatever has crashed into your life is part of a master plan, and it has a definate purpose.

It really is all about the tilt and seasons of your life.

Cheers to your growth through each season,



  • Nasa Science Space Place – spaceplace.nasa.gov
  • Wellsfarber.com
  • Plansforthefuture.net
  • Livescience.com
  • Planetsforkids.org
  • Earthhow.com
  • On Star Register – osr.org/blog/kids
  • The Holy Bible


There’s alot of talk these days about fasting, specifically intermintent fasting. There are tons of positive benefits fasting brings to your life and I’ve experienced them. How ’bout you?

There seems to be signifigant value in learning to deny our appetites for a season. Science has spoken.

But I submit to you the value of denying our appetites goes way beyond our physical well being. I am confident it brings emotional, spiritual, intellectual AND physical health and wholeness to those who give themselves to fasting.

Please take a few moments and see how you can benefit from fasting.

God bless you on your journey of self denial.


A Song to Take You Higher

Where do you go for help?

I think that we could agree that it depends on the problem you are facing, right?

If the sink is stopped up and overflowing we’d seek out a plumber. If our car engine is misbehaving, we’d seek an auto mechanic. If our child is severly depressed we would waste no time in calling for a mental health specialist. Where we go for help depends on who has the problem, the nature of the problem and the symptoms being experienced.

Let’s leave for now the self diagnosed, “easy” to fix problems like the sink, and the car, and delve deeper into the kinds of problems mentioned above with your child. Depression, anxiety, fear, financial worries, illness, relational conflict, political unrest, and the like. Let’s focus on those types of problems.

Where do you go fo help?

I want to offer you a song, one that will take you higher (than where you are now). One that provides you with a clear Source of help and a well paved path to that Source.

The song is one of 15 listed in the ancient Hebrew writings of poetry. It was sung by the Hebrews as they made their annual trek to Jerusalem for the Feasts. This song was intended to instill confidence to those on the long and dangerous journey. Faced with dangers and bandits along the arduous road these travelers sang this song that lifted their spirits higher, encouraged them in their journey and reminded them that although they felt alone they definately were not.

Interestingly, their song serves as a parable for us and our journey through life. It answers the question, “Where do you go for help?” by revealing the Source and the path. Let’s look at that song, now.

I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 TPT

On the trek toward their destination, they looked up and saw the surrounding hills and mountains. Were these hills and mountains places to fear? Were they there to keep them from finishing their journey? Did they represent dangers, distractions, or reminders of previous victories? Were these large and overshadowing pillars where they would get their help from?

They sang about looking to the mountains, and arriving at the City, but that is not where their help came from. They saw beyond the hills, looking to the One who made those hills and mountains, the Creator of each hill and even the valleys. The Creator of heaven and earth.

They saw the Creator, Jehovah God looming far superior to those puny mountains. THAT is where their help came from. THAT is how they would finish their journey. That is where their confidence came from. THAT is the song they bravely sang. THAT is the song took their spirits higher.

The song continues,

He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; He will never forget or ignore me. He will never slumber nor sleep; He is the Guardian-God for His people, Israel. “

Psalm 121:3-4 TPT

Help wasn’t in the City, the powerful mountains or their own personal strength, their help came “only from the Lord”. The Creator. He was the One who would guard them on the trail, and guide them along the dark path. He was the One who watched over their steps and provided a stable, firm foothold for them. He was the One who empowered them to stand up, walk forward and not slip.

The Lord was their Keeper, their watchman. He was the one who watched over them and would never forget or ignore them. He was the One who didn’t take naps, or disappear in the darkest times. He would guard them, He would keep them. THIS was their confident song. THIS is who they looked to for help, whether in the sunlight or the moonlight.

This song rang with faith and confidence in the One who had delivered them in the past and who would do so again as needed. Their song resounded as they continued singing –

Jehovah Himself will watch over you; He’s always at your side to shelter you safely in His presence. He’s protecting you from all danger both day and night. He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity. As He watches over you. you will be guarded by God Himself. You will be safe when you leave your home and safely you will return. He will protect you now, and He’ll protect you forevermore.”

Psalm 121:5-8 TPT

Jehovah Himself will watch over us, in every circumstance along life’s journey they sang. Their voices were lifted high to match their vision as they declared His presence to be their shade and protection. No bandit-stealer, or ravenous beast need they fear, for He was their Keeper and Guardian along the Way.

Melodic notes of thanks and praise filled their journey on life’s road for they were confident in His eternal protection whether at home or away. They knew where their help came from, not just for this journey, but for their life.

They knew the hills they originally looked to were to serve as reminders of the places where the Lord had done mighty wonders for Abraham (on Moriah), Moses (on Nebo), and on Carmel (defeating Baal). Yet, perhaps some even saw prophetically to the hill Jesus would sit on and teach the multitudes, the Mount of His Transfiguration and the hill of ultimate redemption – Golgatha.

Although their eyes were lifted to those hills, they knew that their help did not come from those strong hills and mountains. No government, god of nature, or overwhelming obstacle would be their helper. Their help was in the name of the Lord, Creator of heaven and earth.

This God, with unbounded power was their protector, watchman, helper and their confidence could not be stronger. THIS lifted them. THIS encouraged them. THIS empowered them as they headed to their destination.

THIS was the song that took them higher.

No matter the problem, no matter who is struggling with it, and no matter the symptoms, the Source of your help is found in the Lord who made heaven and earth. And the path to that Source begins by lifting up your eyes – no longer seeing the dangerous mountains, but seeing your Source of help, strength, confidence, peach and hope.

Today, as you walk the road of life, may you too lift your eyes to the hills that reveal all He has done for you in the past, and find the same confidence that He watches over you everyday, everywhere, and every step. He is your helper in daytime and in the darkest hours.

He is the song that takes you higher.

“Sang it, girl, Sang it, boy.”


Contender or Pretender

Repost from Sunday sermon 6.26.21, because this is so vital right now. 5.6.23

I remember times in my life when I decidedly committed myself to being a true contender. Bear with me as I list some:

  • Young softball pitcher
  • 16 year old female table tennis champion
  • Award winning French Horn student
  • Honors college student
  • Ace volleyball server
  • SUP 10Ker

In each of these stages, my focus, energy, effort, thoughts and time was (mostly) willingly given to improving, becoming stronger, better, more accurate and fluid in what I was contending for.

Training, discipline, and a long term goal, pushed aside laziness, discouragement and cheap talk. I was purposed to contend and be the best I could in an effort to win the prize.

If you’re looking to be a contender, your daily decisions are what put you on the road to that prize, not your words.

Contenders and pretenders look alike on the surface, but it is their actions that set them apart.

Pretenders take the path of least resistance, while contenders take disciplined training and overcome. There’s no achieving that championship belt by sitting quietly and watching others in the ring.

Pretenders allow laziness to take over and then the comfort zone anchors them in.

Here’s why it matters, whether you are a contender or pretender…

“… I felt the need to challenge you to vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish.”

Jude 3

Judah, was Jesus’ half brother and it is he that is speaking here. He was writing to the early believers because he wanted to challenge them to contend for the things that Jesus had taught them. Fight for them, for their truth, for their preeminence, for their validity. He was calling them to be contenders for the faith not pretenders.

No words of the Bible could be any truer today. Judah is calling to us, to remind us to contend for the beliefs we cherish, not become lazy and allow them to slip from our minds, lives, and national awareness.

Contend, with the same discipline as an athlete, for Christian beliefs that are under attack. Focus on them, exercise with them, spur with others- as an athlete and true contender for the faith, not just some lazy “Christian”.

Here is a quick list I made of Christian messages that are under attack:

  • God as creator
  • All are created equal and in God’s image
  • God loves all mankind
  • The Bible is his word and divinely inspired
  • The inerrancy of the bible
  • There is truth and there is absolute truth
  • There is life after death lived in heaven or hell for everyone
  • Right and wrong
  • Power and freedom come from God not government
  • Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman
  • The church is God’s institution designed to execute God’s will on earth
  • Life begins at conception
  • Male and female

We are told to contend for these beliefs! Judah tells us to vigorously defend these!

What are we doing Christians?

We cannot allow the influences of this society to sweep away these beliefs that we cherish!

Who’s winning? Are you contending for the faith?

Think too about the values and beliefs brought to this nation by our founding fathers. We must not let them slip or be retaught guised in lies. This is serious.

I can’t help it, what are we doing?

Are you a contender or a pretender?

Go with God,