K-LOVE Radio Features – July 2014

Being Broken

Are you living in the past, dwelling on what was, or accepting what is? Are you longing for a time that no longer exists, or are you learning to face and embrace a reality that does? Jesus wants to heal our yesterdays so that we can embrace today and look forward to tomorrow. Will you let Him? Will you melt in His arms and receive His love and healing? I’ve found the only way He can put my life back together is if I’m willing to break…to break free from my anger, my discouragement, and my fear. The Bible says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17, ESV) God is waiting to heal you on the other side of a broken and desperate prayer.

 

100% Answered Prayers

Do you feel like your prayers aren’t being answered? What percentage of prayers initiated by God are answered? 100%! What percentage of prayers initiated by me are answered? None. Hmm? Sounds like there’s a pattern here. The Bible promises, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV) God has already figured out what is best for every part of your life. Trust Him! Stop asking God to do things that are in your heart, and start asking Him to do what’s on His heart. It’s the only guaranteed way to get all of your prayers answered.

 

Things That Never Happen

An old man was asked what had robbed him most of his joy in his lifetime. He responded, “Things that never happened!” It’s been said that 99% of the things we worry about never take place. What’s your strategy for living? Most people say being “happy and healthy” is their greatest desire in life. So here are three strategies for a healthy life: Don’t worry: God loves you unconditionally (John 13:1). Don’t give up: God will never abandon you (Psalm 139:10), and don’t fear: God will be with you until the end (Revelation 1:17). That’s how God wants us to live. The Bible says, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3b, NKJV). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, and how we live shows whom we are trusting in.

 

How To Live

Jesus is the perfect Person to study if you want to know how to live. When the disciples were filled with dread, Jesus was already dead to Himself. When they were overwhelmed with fear, Jesus was overflowing with faith. Whatever fills us, will either seduce us or satisfy us. Whatever overwhelms us, will either wash us or worry us. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33. NLT) We each take on the attributes of whatever we focus on. If I’m seeking God’s Kingdom and not trying to build my own little empire, then my life will be filled with the fruit of God’s Kingdom which is His love, His joy and His peace.

 

What Do You Want Jesus To Do?

When a blind man named Bartimaeus was yelling, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some of those around him said, “Be quiet!” But Jesus said, “Come here! What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:46-52) This could be a funny question to ask a blind man. “Who me? Oh, I’ve always wanted to be rich and famous!” But it was a real question. What we ask for is an indication of what’s most important to us! If the first person you want to see is Jesus, He will heal your sight. If the first person you want to follow is Jesus, He’ll give you a fresh start. The question is what do you want? Where is your faith? That’s where God wants to meet you today. And it is there you will receive what you need if you had every option.

 

Global Persecution

Have you noticed an increase in the amount of persecution of Christians? Jesus predicted it. He said, “…everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13) If you came from a strict Muslim or Hindu family, you might be rejected by your family and martyred for choosing Jesus. In China, if your church isn’t a state-sponsored church it might be closed down like one of the 1,500 churches destroyed or shut down since November of 2000. It has been estimated that 45 million Christians have been killed for their faith since the Day of Pentecost. Paul the Apostle wrote, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3, NIV)

 

Why Is Jesus Coming To You?

When Jesus made His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, it was only a week before His crucifixion. His disciples thought He was going there to rule and reign on Earth. He was actually going to Jerusalem to die, in order to reign in Heaven. Frankly, none of us have any idea what Jesus is coming to do in our lives. He was coming to Jerusalem looking for a fight, not for fans. He said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NIV) A lot of us want God to bring peace to our lives. He will, and that’s a promise, but first He has to bring a sword; to cut away what is dead. The resurrection can’t come before the crucifixion.

 

Facing Our Mountains

Are you facing a mountain in your life, something bigger than you can handle? We all are! Jesus said, “Have faith in God…whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.’” (Mark 11:22-23, ESV) That expression, “Have faith in God” in the original language, means “Have God’s faith!” Have God’s faith to overcome insurmountable problems. Jesus was saying, “As we believe, God can overcome any obstacle.” It was not a promise to the multitudes, but to His disciples. It was a commitment to those who were committed to Him. If you are committed to Jesus, never ever doubt that He is committed to you.

 

Forgive First When You Pray

What’s the first thing we should do when we pray? Jesus said, “…when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25, NLT) Jesus was saying the greatest obstacle to getting your prayers answered is unforgiveness. Our forgiving others opens the door for God to forgive us. The hardness in our hearts shuts him out. If we have stubborn, unforgiving hearts, it calls into question if we have ever received or appreciated God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness; deep down it’s what we all know we need. It’s why Jesus came, and when we receive it, we’ll want to give it to others. I am so grateful God has forgiven me that I want to live my life forgiving others.

 

Questioning God

Are you questioning God? I’ve found if have a question for Him it often means He first had a question for me. At one point leaders asked Jesus by whose authority did He drive the merchants out of the temple? He answered their question with His own question, “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” (Matthew 21:25, NLT) Because these leaders refused to answer His question He wouldn’t answer theirs either. Jesus wasn’t trying to trap them. He was trying to transform them. Never doubt God is for you, and that He demonstrates His love and commitment by focusing on our greatest need. It’s always difficult to face the truth, but it’s the only path with a good future. Today, if you want God to answer your questions, accept what he is trying to reveal to you.

 

Your Comeback

Are you feeling down? God knows what that’s like. No one has ever been more down than Jesus. He suffered more than anyone who ever lived. Jesus was brutalized in front of His mother, smothered with the sins of the world and dying for each one of them. Jesus knows what it’s like to be down, but not out. He was tempted in every area we have been, but never gave in to sin. He’s the God of the comeback, and if you’ll let Him, He’ll champion your comeback as well. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV)

 

Dismantled To Get Gold

Do you feel like your life is being dismantled; pulled apart and in pieces? It might surprise you that the end result will be golden. The temple in Jerusalem was covered on the outside with gold plates that were so brilliant when the sun shone on them it was blinding. Jesus predicted its destruction. Forty years later, Jerusalem was leveled, including the Temple, which was set on fire. The gold then melted between the cracks of the large stones  It had to be dismantled in order for the Romans to get to it. I find this sequence surprising similar to what takes place in us. The fires of adversity ultimately allow the gold in our lives to recede to a place where Christ can only recover it through careful deconstruction. If you allow Him to do this delicate work, you will find there is treasure inside.

Air1 Radio Features – July 2014

Being Broken

Are you living in the past, dwelling on what was, or accepting what is? Are you longing for a time that no longer exists, or are you learning to face and embrace a reality that does? Jesus wants to heal our yesterdays so that we can embrace today and look forward to tomorrow. Will you let Him? Will you melt in His arms and receive His love and healing? I’ve found the only way He can put my life back together is if I’m willing to break…to break free from my anger, my discouragement, and my fear. The Bible says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17, ESV) God is waiting to heal you on the other side of a broken and desperate prayer.

 

100% Answered Prayers

Do you feel like your prayers aren’t being answered? What percentage of prayers initiated by God are answered? 100%! What percentage of prayers initiated by me are answered? None. Hmm? Sounds like there’s a pattern here. The Bible promises, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV) God has already figured out what is best for every part of your life. Trust Him! Stop asking God to do things that are in your heart, and start asking Him to do what’s on His heart. It’s the only guaranteed way to get all of your prayers answered.

 

Things That Never Happen

An old man was asked what had robbed him most of his joy in his lifetime. He responded, “Things that never happened!” It’s been said that 99% of the things we worry about never take place. What’s your strategy for living? Most people say being “happy and healthy” is their greatest desire in life. So here are three strategies for a healthy life: Don’t worry: God loves you unconditionally (John 13:1). Don’t give up: God will never abandon you (Psalm 139:10), and don’t fear: God will be with you until the end (Revelation 1:17). That’s how God wants us to live. The Bible says, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1:3b, NKJV). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, and how we live shows whom we are trusting in.

 

How To Live

Jesus is the perfect Person to study if you want to know how to live. When the disciples were filled with dread, Jesus was already dead to Himself. When they were overwhelmed with fear, Jesus was overflowing with faith. Whatever fills us, will either seduce us or satisfy us. Whatever overwhelms us, will either wash us or worry us. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33. NLT) We each take on the attributes of whatever we focus on. If I’m seeking God’s Kingdom and not trying to build my own little empire, then my life will be filled with the fruit of God’s Kingdom which is His love, His joy and His peace.

 

What Do You Want Jesus To Do?

When a blind man named Bartimaeus was yelling, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some of those around him said, “Be quiet!” But Jesus said, “Come here! What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:46-52) This could be a funny question to ask a blind man. “Who me? Oh, I’ve always wanted to be rich and famous!” But it was a real question. What we ask for is an indication of what’s most important to us! If the first person you want to see is Jesus, He will heal your sight. If the first person you want to follow is Jesus, He’ll give you a fresh start. The question is what do you want? Where is your faith? That’s where God wants to meet you today. And it is there you will receive what you need if you had every option.

 

Global Persecution

Have you noticed an increase in the amount of persecution of Christians? Jesus predicted it. He said, “…everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13) If you came from a strict Muslim or Hindu family, you might be rejected by your family and martyred for choosing Jesus. In China, if your church isn’t a state-sponsored church it might be closed down like one of the 1,500 churches destroyed or shut down since November of 2000. It has been estimated that 45 million Christians have been killed for their faith since the Day of Pentecost. Paul the Apostle wrote, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3, NIV)

 

Why Is Jesus Coming To You?

When Jesus made His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, it was only a week before His crucifixion. His disciples thought He was going there to rule and reign on Earth. He was actually going to Jerusalem to die, in order to reign in Heaven. Frankly, none of us have any idea what Jesus is coming to do in our lives. He was coming to Jerusalem looking for a fight, not for fans. He said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NIV) A lot of us want God to bring peace to our lives. He will, and that’s a promise, but first He has to bring a sword; to cut away what is dead. The resurrection can’t come before the crucifixion.

 

Facing Our Mountains

Are you facing a mountain in your life, something bigger than you can handle? We all are! Jesus said, “Have faith in God…whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.’” (Mark 11:22-23, ESV) That expression, “Have faith in God” in the original language, means “Have God’s faith!” Have God’s faith to overcome insurmountable problems. Jesus was saying, “As we believe, God can overcome any obstacle.” It was not a promise to the multitudes, but to His disciples. It was a commitment to those who were committed to Him. If you are committed to Jesus, never ever doubt that He is committed to you.

 

Forgive First When You Pray

What’s the first thing we should do when we pray? Jesus said, “…when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” (Mark 11:25, NLT) Jesus was saying the greatest obstacle to getting your prayers answered is unforgiveness. Our forgiving others opens the door for God to forgive us. The hardness in our hearts shuts him out. If we have stubborn, unforgiving hearts, it calls into question if we have ever received or appreciated God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness; deep down it’s what we all know we need. It’s why Jesus came, and when we receive it, we’ll want to give it to others. I am so grateful God has forgiven me that I want to live my life forgiving others.

 

Questioning God

Are you questioning God? I’ve found if have a question for Him it often means He first had a question for me. At one point leaders asked Jesus by whose authority did He drive the merchants out of the temple? He answered their question with His own question, “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” (Matthew 21:25, NLT) Because these leaders refused to answer His question He wouldn’t answer theirs either. Jesus wasn’t trying to trap them. He was trying to transform them. Never doubt God is for you, and that He demonstrates His love and commitment by focusing on our greatest need. It’s always difficult to face the truth, but it’s the only path with a good future. Today, if you want God to answer your questions, accept what he is trying to reveal to you.

 

Your Comeback

Are you feeling down? God knows what that’s like. No one has ever been more down than Jesus. He suffered more than anyone who ever lived. Jesus was brutalized in front of His mother, smothered with the sins of the world and dying for each one of them. Jesus knows what it’s like to be down, but not out. He was tempted in every area we have been, but never gave in to sin. He’s the God of the comeback, and if you’ll let Him, He’ll champion your comeback as well. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV)

 

Dismantled To Get Gold

Do you feel like your life is being dismantled; pulled apart and in pieces? It might surprise you that the end result will be golden. The temple in Jerusalem was covered on the outside with gold plates that were so brilliant when the sun shone on them it was blinding. Jesus predicted its destruction. Forty years later, Jerusalem was leveled, including the Temple, which was set on fire. The gold then melted between the cracks of the large stones  It had to be dismantled in order for the Romans to get to it. I find this sequence surprising similar to what takes place in us. The fires of adversity ultimately allow the gold in our lives to recede to a place where Christ can only recover it through careful deconstruction. If you allow Him to do this delicate work, you will find there is treasure inside.

Air1 Radio Features – June 2014

Exhausted But Still In Pursuit

Are you exhausted? At times, we all feel worn out and whittled down. If, at those weary moments we continue to persevere, God promises to show Himself strong on our behalf. The Bible says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13, NKJV) He will not deny who He has created us to be. He will not deny what He has created us to do. In the Bible, Gideon’s band had been whittled down from 32,000 to 300. Judges 8:4 even says, “They were exhausted but still in pursuit.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible) Sounds like us at times, doesn’t it? We are exhausted but still in pursuit; struggling, but still believing. Why would we continue to carry on when we are at the end of our rope? Because we genuinely believe God has called us to prevail.

 

The Necessity of Failure

At times we all feel like failures. There was a season in my Christian life when I was so discouraged I had trouble getting out of bed. I came to realize, we must all fail in order to succeed. Joseph thought he could make his dream happen and it came to nothing. Moses attempted to liberate his people and it backfired. Paul, prior to his conversion, wanted to be holy but couldn’t. Peter said he would never deny the Lord but did just that, three times! The most important thing we can learn from failure is that, no matter how bleak it looks, we shouldn’t give up. The only time failure will disqualify us is when we refuse to admit we have fallen short. Thankfully, our God is one who understands that we’re all in process.

 

I Could Be That Person

One day I was driving down an impoverished inner city street and as I looked at the people I was passing by I thought, I could be that person! I could be that person! When our eyes are opened, we will each see how much we’ve been given. It’s been said, when you’re stuck in traffic, think of all the people who’d love to have a car. When you’re having a hard time with your spouse, think how many don’t know what it’s like to love and be loved in return. When you’re weekend’s over and you go back to work, think of the mother who has to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, just to feed her children. When I view my life from this perspective, I’ve found that being grateful is the only appropriate response.

 

A Fresh Glimpse of God

People go wild over the possibility of winning the lottery. But what would you pay to live one more year, one hundred more years, a thousand, or a million? How about living forever? The Bible describes how those who are experiencing eternal life are pretty excited about it. In the Book of Revelation we see twenty-four elders who are continually before God. Over and over again they fall on their faces and worship Him, saying: “We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come…” (Revelation 11:16-17) Perhaps the only reason we’d ever think living forever might get boring is because we haven’t seen God. I’ve found, whenever I get a glimpse of the Creator of the Universe, He reveals Himself to me in a brand new way, and that’s never boring.

 

Aiming At The Wrong Target

He was one shot away from claiming victory in the 2004 Olympics 50-meter three-position rifle event. He didn’t need a bull’s eye to win, all he had to do was hit the target. But, to everyone’s amazement, Matt Emmons fired at the wrong target. His score for a good shot at the wrong target? Zero! Instead of a medal, he ended up in eighth place. In life, it doesn’t matter how accurate you are if you are aiming at the wrong goal. In the end, it’s worthless. The Bible says, “He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” So, my question is: What target are you aiming at? If it points to Jesus, then it leads to life, and no matter what things look like, the end result will be winning.

 

Bible’s Losers

Do you feel like a loser? You’re not alone. Most Bible characters felt like losers at one point. Adam had serious problems in his marriage and with his children. Noah preached 120 years but didn’t have one convert. Moses couldn’t speak well and even stuttered. Elijah battled depression and melted under pressure. Jonah refused to obey God. Peter had a bad temper and was even known to curse and behave like a loose cannon. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca and Jacob had favorite children, which is a curse. But each of them had a destiny in God and fulfilled it. Sure, none of us are perfect. We all blow it. That’s why we each need a perfect Savior; someone who’s not fixated on what we’re not, but helping us become who we are created to be.

 

Numb From Hurt

Do you feel numb? This illustration will help you realize why. In our physical bodies, when muscles are stiff and un-pliable they gradually become unusable; it may have started when we got hurt. Damaged tissue restricts blood from flowing to muscles, and when there’s no flow of blood, we lack oxygen and our muscles begin to die. Perhaps your life is blocked by a bad habit? Often times, we become so consumed with our pain that we’re unable to focus on anything else. These constricted areas become stagnant ponds, breeding grounds for more pain and cesspools of heartache. It deforms our walk and twists how we stand. Our pain can keep us from getting the rest we so desperately need. What’s the cure? Let the life-giving blood of Jesus flow over your battered life, restoring whatever’s been damaged.

 

The Secret Life of Mothers

One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen is not a place; it’s a person. At times she’s visible in public, but most often she remains hidden. I’m referring to the secret life of a mother. Working when no one else sees. Listening when no one else hears. Loving when no one else cares. Present, when no one else is around. Once you catch sight of a mother’s secret life, it’s unforgettable. Once it touches you, you will cherish it forever. Mothers give us a peek into the heart of God: invisible but present, unseen but known, happy to give in secret. Forever looking for opportunities to shower those she loves with kindness and understanding. I thank God for mothers. Is there a better glimpse into the God who is love? I think not!

 

Destiny

Do you believe God has a marvelous destiny for you? I’m convinced He does, and it’s better than you could ever imagine. Noah Webster’s definition of “destiny” is really quite perfect: “…a predetermined state; a condition foreordained by the Divine will.” When you look closely, everything about this definition speaks of obedience. Since it takes God to destine, it stands to reason only God can predestine or predetermine, and likewise to foreordain. The only destiny that is real is God’s will, and the only way you get God’s will is by being obedient to Him. The Bible says, “…(God) will do for me all He has planned. He controls my destiny.” (Job 23:14, NLT) The doorway to God’s destiny for your life is trust and obedience. Trust that God will lead you, and obey whatever He says to do. I have found, He never fails.

 

God’s Timing

A man went for a walk and began to talk to God. He asked God if it was true that “1,000 years was like one minute to Him.” God said, “Yes, that’s true.” The man then said, “Then maybe it’s also true that what is a million dollars to us is only a penny to You.” God again replied, “Yes, that’s certainly true.” At this point the man became a little greedy and said, “Well, Lord, how about giving me one of those pennies?” God said, “Absolutely! I can’t give it to you right now, but if you wait a minute I’ll give it to you.” It’s pretty funny, but let me leave you with this thought: God wants to bless us, but are we more attached to our timeframe for receiving His blessing then we are to Him?

 

How We Look At Life

When a man came home every night from work his wife consistently told him about that day’s calamities. One night when he got home he said to her, “Sweetheart, before you tell me everything that’s gone wrong today, can I at least sit down and enjoy my dinner?” The next day, as soon as he came through the door, his wife said to him, “Honey, hurry up and eat, I have something terrible to tell you.” It’s a funny story, but it also demonstrates how some of us look at life: a disaster waiting to happen, or an opportunity waiting to blossom. The Bible says, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)

Denial

Do you think less of someone who acknowledges that they’ve blown it, or more. Does humility diminish us, or elevate us? Paul the Apostle acknowledged what God knew was true. He said, “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man…” (1 Timothy 1:13a, NIV) He even went so far as to say he was the chief of sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) But then he mentions God’s response to this confession; but “I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” (1 Timothy 1:13b, NIV) Paul got it! He understood what he did wrong. Sadly, most of us are in denial. We all tend to minimize our sins. If I think I’m really not that bad, I’m in denial, and I’ve never really seen my life from God’s perspective. We all need a Savior, and thankfully, Jesus is ready and willing to save a repentant heart.

K-LOVE Radio Features – June 2014

Exhausted But Still In Pursuit

Are you exhausted? At times, we all feel worn out and whittled down. If, at those weary moments we continue to persevere, God promises to show Himself strong on our behalf. The Bible says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13, NKJV) He will not deny who He has created us to be. He will not deny what He has created us to do. In the Bible, Gideon’s band had been whittled down from 32,000 to 300. Judges 8:4 even says, “They were exhausted but still in pursuit.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible) Sounds like us at times, doesn’t it? We are exhausted but still in pursuit; struggling, but still believing. Why would we continue to carry on when we are at the end of our rope? Because we genuinely believe God has called us to prevail.

 

The Necessity of Failure

At times we all feel like failures. There was a season in my Christian life when I was so discouraged I had trouble getting out of bed. I came to realize, we must all fail in order to succeed. Joseph thought he could make his dream happen and it came to nothing. Moses attempted to liberate his people and it backfired. Paul, prior to his conversion, wanted to be holy but couldn’t. Peter said he would never deny the Lord but did just that, three times! The most important thing we can learn from failure is that, no matter how bleak it looks, we shouldn’t give up. The only time failure will disqualify us is when we refuse to admit we have fallen short. Thankfully, our God is one who understands that we’re all in process.

 

I Could Be That Person

One day I was driving down an impoverished inner city street and as I looked at the people I was passing by I thought, I could be that person! I could be that person! When our eyes are opened, we will each see how much we’ve been given. It’s been said, when you’re stuck in traffic, think of all the people who’d love to have a car. When you’re having a hard time with your spouse, think how many don’t know what it’s like to love and be loved in return. When you’re weekend’s over and you go back to work, think of the mother who has to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, just to feed her children. When I view my life from this perspective, I’ve found that being grateful is the only appropriate response.

 

A Fresh Glimpse of God

People go wild over the possibility of winning the lottery. But what would you pay to live one more year, one hundred more years, a thousand, or a million? How about living forever? The Bible describes how those who are experiencing eternal life are pretty excited about it. In the Book of Revelation we see twenty-four elders who are continually before God. Over and over again they fall on their faces and worship Him, saying: “We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come…” (Revelation 11:16-17) Perhaps the only reason we’d ever think living forever might get boring is because we haven’t seen God. I’ve found, whenever I get a glimpse of the Creator of the Universe, He reveals Himself to me in a brand new way, and that’s never boring.

 

Aiming At The Wrong Target

He was one shot away from claiming victory in the 2004 Olympics 50-meter three-position rifle event. He didn’t need a bull’s eye to win, all he had to do was hit the target. But, to everyone’s amazement, Matt Emmons fired at the wrong target. His score for a good shot at the wrong target? Zero! Instead of a medal, he ended up in eighth place. In life, it doesn’t matter how accurate you are if you are aiming at the wrong goal. In the end, it’s worthless. The Bible says, “He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” So, my question is: What target are you aiming at? If it points to Jesus, then it leads to life, and no matter what things look like, the end result will be winning.

 

Bible’s Losers

Do you feel like a loser? You’re not alone. Most Bible characters felt like losers at one point. Adam had serious problems in his marriage and with his children. Noah preached 120 years but didn’t have one convert. Moses couldn’t speak well and even stuttered. Elijah battled depression and melted under pressure. Jonah refused to obey God. Peter had a bad temper and was even known to curse and behave like a loose cannon. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca and Jacob had favorite children, which is a curse. But each of them had a destiny in God and fulfilled it. Sure, none of us are perfect. We all blow it. That’s why we each need a perfect Savior; someone who’s not fixated on what we’re not, but helping us become who we are created to be.

 

Numb From Hurt

Do you feel numb? This illustration will help you realize why. In our physical bodies, when muscles are stiff and un-pliable they gradually become unusable; it may have started when we got hurt. Damaged tissue restricts blood from flowing to muscles, and when there’s no flow of blood, we lack oxygen and our muscles begin to die. Perhaps your life is blocked by a bad habit? Often times, we become so consumed with our pain that we’re unable to focus on anything else. These constricted areas become stagnant ponds, breeding grounds for more pain and cesspools of heartache. It deforms our walk and twists how we stand. Our pain can keep us from getting the rest we so desperately need. What’s the cure? Let the life-giving blood of Jesus flow over your battered life, restoring whatever’s been damaged.

 

The Secret Life of Mothers

One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen is not a place; it’s a person. At times she’s visible in public, but most often she remains hidden. I’m referring to the secret life of a mother. Working when no one else sees. Listening when no one else hears. Loving when no one else cares. Present, when no one else is around. Once you catch sight of a mother’s secret life, it’s unforgettable. Once it touches you, you will cherish it forever. Mothers give us a peek into the heart of God: invisible but present, unseen but known, happy to give in secret. Forever looking for opportunities to shower those she loves with kindness and understanding. I thank God for mothers. Is there a better glimpse into the God who is love? I think not!

 

Destiny

Do you believe God has a marvelous destiny for you? I’m convinced He does, and it’s better than you could ever imagine. Noah Webster’s definition of “destiny” is really quite perfect: “…a predetermined state; a condition foreordained by the Divine will.” When you look closely, everything about this definition speaks of obedience. Since it takes God to destine, it stands to reason only God can predestine or predetermine, and likewise to foreordain. The only destiny that is real is God’s will, and the only way you get God’s will is by being obedient to Him. The Bible says, “…(God) will do for me all He has planned. He controls my destiny.” (Job 23:14, NLT) The doorway to God’s destiny for your life is trust and obedience. Trust that God will lead you, and obey whatever He says to do. I have found, He never fails.

 

God’s Timing

A man went for a walk and began to talk to God. He asked God if it was true that “1,000 years was like one minute to Him.” God said, “Yes, that’s true.” The man then said, “Then maybe it’s also true that what is a million dollars to us is only a penny to You.” God again replied, “Yes, that’s certainly true.” At this point the man became a little greedy and said, “Well, Lord, how about giving me one of those pennies?” God said, “Absolutely! I can’t give it to you right now, but if you wait a minute I’ll give it to you.” It’s pretty funny, but let me leave you with this thought: God wants to bless us, but are we more attached to our timeframe for receiving His blessing then we are to Him?

 

How We Look At Life

When a man came home every night from work his wife consistently told him about that day’s calamities. One night when he got home he said to her, “Sweetheart, before you tell me everything that’s gone wrong today, can I at least sit down and enjoy my dinner?” The next day, as soon as he came through the door, his wife said to him, “Honey, hurry up and eat, I have something terrible to tell you.” It’s a funny story, but it also demonstrates how some of us look at life: a disaster waiting to happen, or an opportunity waiting to blossom. The Bible says, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)

Denial

Do you think less of someone who acknowledges that they’ve blown it, or more. Does humility diminish us, or elevate us? Paul the Apostle acknowledged what God knew was true. He said, “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man…” (1 Timothy 1:13a, NIV) He even went so far as to say he was the chief of sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15) But then he mentions God’s response to this confession; but “I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” (1 Timothy 1:13b, NIV) Paul got it! He understood what he did wrong. Sadly, most of us are in denial. We all tend to minimize our sins. If I think I’m really not that bad, I’m in denial, and I’ve never really seen my life from God’s perspective. We all need a Savior, and thankfully, Jesus is ready and willing to save a repentant heart.

K-LOVE Radio Features – May 2014

Hugs and Hope

We all stare at unthinkable circumstances, wishing they would go away. One day they will! But, for now, we can find comfort in knowing God is with us in our struggles, interceding on our behalf…praying we will not despair. If it is not God’s will for us, and those we love, to fully understand why things happen on Earth, then may God give us the grace to help those facing the unimaginable with hugs and hope. When emotions are overwhelming, trite words only make matters worse. At those times, we can merely offer our reassuring presence. God will help us as we help others learn to lean on Him. The Message Bible says, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, MSG)

 Meeting Paul Newman

We all need to laugh more. I know I do. Here’s a funny story. A woman was buying an ice cream cone in a Beverly Hills store. She was amazed when Paul Newman walked in and stood right behind her. Though she was rattled, she was determined to maintain her composure. She proceeded to pay for her ice cream cone and then confidently walked out. Once outside, though, she realized she didn’t have her cone. Not wanting to look foolish, she waited a few minutes before reentering the store. When she did not find her ice cream cone at the counter, she stood wondering where it was. Just then, she was tapped on the shoulder, and was startled to find it was Paul Newman. He politely told her “Miss, if you’re looking for your ice cream cone, you put it in your purse.”

Welcome to America!

The secret of making people feel valued is to honor them. A bi-lingual pastor has seen his church grow into many thousands by doing just that. Whenever he meets a Mexican-American he asks them, “Has anyone welcomed you to America since you’ve been here?” Invariably they will say, “No!” Then, with a big smile, and total sincerity, he says, “I’m so sorry that hasn’t happened yet. Let me be then the first to say to you, ‘Welcome to America! We’re glad you’re here!” The response to these heartfelt words is often shocking. Smiles come to faces, tears to eyes. They’ve finally been welcomed to their new home. They’ve been honored. The Message Bible says, “Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners…” (Leviticus 19:34)

Praying in a Restaurant

I was once in a crowded restaurant on a Sunday after church with a pastor friend when the Lord prompted me to invite the entire restaurant to pray. I stood up with a big smile and said to the 50 people who could hear me, “Could I have your attention please?” The busy room went completely silent in about 10 seconds. I continued, “You know, we’re having such a wonderful time here with family and friends in this great restaurant, why don’t we just take a moment and thank God for this beautiful day.” I then bowed my head and offered a brief, uplifting prayer before sitting down. What happened next was even more surprising. Throughout the meal, people began to come over and thank me, even waitresses. It’s funny, how just obeying God at times is the best thing we can do.

 Volunteering vs. Obedience

What would you rather do, volunteer to do something, or do something because you’re told to? It’s no surprise that we’d all probably rather volunteer. Yet the Bible says, “to obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22, NKJV) God’s not looking for volunteers, He’s looking for people who are willing to be obedient out of love for Him. He doesn’t want us to be creative about His will. He wants us to do His will. He isn’t looking for scriptwriters. He needs script-doers! We don’t train our children to be volunteers. Our hope is that they’d learn to be obedient to us, and even more so to God. There are people waiting for us on the other side of our obedience, and only through obedience to Christ can we find our destiny and true identity.

 Under Authority

One day, my six-year-old grandson said, after I asked him to escort his little brother outside, “Grandpa, why do I have to always do what you say?” I chuckled at his honesty and sincerity and said, “I know Judah, it’s hard sometimes to have to obey, but that’s just the way life is.” At times, we all dislike being under someone else’s authority. Because we’re sinners, we all tend to want to rebel. The word “authority” comes from the root, “author or originator.” If Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, then we each need to learn to be under His authority. Even Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. He didn’t get to call the shots. He was a man under authority. We only have authority if we are under authority. Whose authority are you under?

Greatest Challenges

Our greatest challenges will invariably lead to the most extraordinary opportunities. Resurrections follow crucifixions! Have you ever pierced a piece of wax paper? Isn’t it interesting that you encounter the most resistance right before breaking through? The point of greatest difficulty is usually right before discovery. If we give up too soon, we’ll miss the moment. The Bible says, “…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, ESV) If we faint, we may reap nothing. If we persevere, then God has His way, and breakthrough eventually happens . Scripture challenges each of us to “…press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:14, NLT)

 Replenishing Your Hope

Ever notice how at different times, the things we need most are in short supply. Sometimes it’s water, other times it’s a certain type of food. We all run low on things that need to be replenished. Right now, a lot of us are a little short on hope. But because hope is eternal, we’re always going to need it. Would you like to know a sure-fire way to increase your hope? 1 Peter 1:13 says, “…rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (NKJV) In other words, I’m not putting my hope in what I can or can’t do. I’m placing my hope fully, completely, totally on what only Jesus can do in my life. It’s called grace! The more grace I receive, the more hope I’ll have.

 Washington Monument

When I was a barely a teenager my twin brother and I decided we were going to bypass the elevator and take the stairs to the top of the Washington Monument. As was typical, we made it a race. On and on we went until completely exhausted. Our biggest problem was we never knew how close we were to the top. There were 50 landings and 897 steps, but not one sign, no indication of the finish line. By the time we quit and walked all the way back down, we could have been one or two landings away. We’ll never know! What a lesson in life? I’m reminded of the words of the irrepressible Winston Churchill, who repeated over and over again in one of his final speeches, “Never give up! Never give up!”

Emotions in Movies

Every time you experience an emotion during a movie that touches your heart in a profound way, it somehow connects you to a quality found first in the heart of God. Whether we like it or not, in our purest moments, we have each been hardwired to love what God loves and hate what He hates. It is only when we continually allow God to have all of us that we remain in tune with our Creator. For, after all, we have been created in His image and likeness, carved out of His heart, and destined to reflect Him forever. The Bible says, “As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, GWT)

 Memories

Memories are a funny thing. When someone has hurt us, the edges can appear sharper than they really were, until we are healed. But when someone has helped us, inspired us, blessed us, all the edges in the end appear to be gone. The majesty of his or her life seems to have even greater prominence. Deep down we all know how hard life can be, how at times it can appear hopeless. So, when someone leaves a lasting impression of hope that is truly impressive, it is because they have become, as the Bible says, “…more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, ESV) They have conquered attitudes, responses, and challenges in life that many of us have failed to. But in truth, they were only able to do this because of Jesus.

 Godly Examples

When I look back to before I surrendered my life to Jesus, I believe one of the principle reasons I became an atheist was because I was shown a misrepresentation of Christ. In stark contrast, it was the people who showed me the true Jesus, who modeled His life and heart so marvelously, they made me want to receive Him, and want to be like Him. They represented Jesus well. The true value of a godly example, someone who we know is flawed, but in so many ways appears flawless, is that they bring Heaven to Earth, they give us a glimpse into what is most important…eternity. Are you and I ready to stand before our Creator? Have you allowed Jesus to take His rightful place as Lord and God of your life? May God help us all to become the godly examples who represent Jesus well.

Air1 Radio Features – May 2014

Hugs and Hope

We all stare at unthinkable circumstances, wishing they would go away. One day they will! But, for now, we can find comfort in knowing God is with us in our struggles, interceding on our behalf…praying we will not despair. If it is not God’s will for us, and those we love, to fully understand why things happen on Earth, then may God give us the grace to help those facing the unimaginable with hugs and hope. When emotions are overwhelming, trite words only make matters worse. At those times, we can merely offer our reassuring presence. God will help us as we help others learn to lean on Him. The Message Bible says, “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, MSG)

 Meeting Paul Newman

We all need to laugh more. I know I do. Here’s a funny story. A woman was buying an ice cream cone in a Beverly Hills store. She was amazed when Paul Newman walked in and stood right behind her. Though she was rattled, she was determined to maintain her composure. She proceeded to pay for her ice cream cone and then confidently walked out. Once outside, though, she realized she didn’t have her cone. Not wanting to look foolish, she waited a few minutes before reentering the store. When she did not find her ice cream cone at the counter, she stood wondering where it was. Just then, she was tapped on the shoulder, and was startled to find it was Paul Newman. He politely told her “Miss, if you’re looking for your ice cream cone, you put it in your purse.”

Welcome to America!

The secret of making people feel valued is to honor them. A bi-lingual pastor has seen his church grow into many thousands by doing just that. Whenever he meets a Mexican-American he asks them, “Has anyone welcomed you to America since you’ve been here?” Invariably they will say, “No!” Then, with a big smile, and total sincerity, he says, “I’m so sorry that hasn’t happened yet. Let me be then the first to say to you, ‘Welcome to America! We’re glad you’re here!” The response to these heartfelt words is often shocking. Smiles come to faces, tears to eyes. They’ve finally been welcomed to their new home. They’ve been honored. The Message Bible says, “Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners…” (Leviticus 19:34)

Praying in a Restaurant

I was once in a crowded restaurant on a Sunday after church with a pastor friend when the Lord prompted me to invite the entire restaurant to pray. I stood up with a big smile and said to the 50 people who could hear me, “Could I have your attention please?” The busy room went completely silent in about 10 seconds. I continued, “You know, we’re having such a wonderful time here with family and friends in this great restaurant, why don’t we just take a moment and thank God for this beautiful day.” I then bowed my head and offered a brief, uplifting prayer before sitting down. What happened next was even more surprising. Throughout the meal, people began to come over and thank me, even waitresses. It’s funny, how just obeying God at times is the best thing we can do.

 Volunteering vs. Obedience

What would you rather do, volunteer to do something, or do something because you’re told to? It’s no surprise that we’d all probably rather volunteer. Yet the Bible says, “to obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22, NKJV) God’s not looking for volunteers, He’s looking for people who are willing to be obedient out of love for Him. He doesn’t want us to be creative about His will. He wants us to do His will. He isn’t looking for scriptwriters. He needs script-doers! We don’t train our children to be volunteers. Our hope is that they’d learn to be obedient to us, and even more so to God. There are people waiting for us on the other side of our obedience, and only through obedience to Christ can we find our destiny and true identity.

 Under Authority

One day, my six-year-old grandson said, after I asked him to escort his little brother outside, “Grandpa, why do I have to always do what you say?” I chuckled at his honesty and sincerity and said, “I know Judah, it’s hard sometimes to have to obey, but that’s just the way life is.” At times, we all dislike being under someone else’s authority. Because we’re sinners, we all tend to want to rebel. The word “authority” comes from the root, “author or originator.” If Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, then we each need to learn to be under His authority. Even Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. He didn’t get to call the shots. He was a man under authority. We only have authority if we are under authority. Whose authority are you under?

Greatest Challenges

Our greatest challenges will invariably lead to the most extraordinary opportunities. Resurrections follow crucifixions! Have you ever pierced a piece of wax paper? Isn’t it interesting that you encounter the most resistance right before breaking through? The point of greatest difficulty is usually right before discovery. If we give up too soon, we’ll miss the moment. The Bible says, “…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, ESV) If we faint, we may reap nothing. If we persevere, then God has His way, and breakthrough eventually happens . Scripture challenges each of us to “…press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:14, NLT)

 Replenishing Your Hope

Ever notice how at different times, the things we need most are in short supply. Sometimes it’s water, other times it’s a certain type of food. We all run low on things that need to be replenished. Right now, a lot of us are a little short on hope. But because hope is eternal, we’re always going to need it. Would you like to know a sure-fire way to increase your hope? 1 Peter 1:13 says, “…rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (NKJV) In other words, I’m not putting my hope in what I can or can’t do. I’m placing my hope fully, completely, totally on what only Jesus can do in my life. It’s called grace! The more grace I receive, the more hope I’ll have.

 Washington Monument

When I was a barely a teenager my twin brother and I decided we were going to bypass the elevator and take the stairs to the top of the Washington Monument. As was typical, we made it a race. On and on we went until completely exhausted. Our biggest problem was we never knew how close we were to the top. There were 50 landings and 897 steps, but not one sign, no indication of the finish line. By the time we quit and walked all the way back down, we could have been one or two landings away. We’ll never know! What a lesson in life? I’m reminded of the words of the irrepressible Winston Churchill, who repeated over and over again in one of his final speeches, “Never give up! Never give up!”

Emotions in Movies

Every time you experience an emotion during a movie that touches your heart in a profound way, it somehow connects you to a quality found first in the heart of God. Whether we like it or not, in our purest moments, we have each been hardwired to love what God loves and hate what He hates. It is only when we continually allow God to have all of us that we remain in tune with our Creator. For, after all, we have been created in His image and likeness, carved out of His heart, and destined to reflect Him forever. The Bible says, “As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory with faces that are not covered with veils, we are being changed into his image with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, GWT)

 Memories

Memories are a funny thing. When someone has hurt us, the edges can appear sharper than they really were, until we are healed. But when someone has helped us, inspired us, blessed us, all the edges in the end appear to be gone. The majesty of his or her life seems to have even greater prominence. Deep down we all know how hard life can be, how at times it can appear hopeless. So, when someone leaves a lasting impression of hope that is truly impressive, it is because they have become, as the Bible says, “…more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, ESV) They have conquered attitudes, responses, and challenges in life that many of us have failed to. But in truth, they were only able to do this because of Jesus.

 Godly Examples

When I look back to before I surrendered my life to Jesus, I believe one of the principle reasons I became an atheist was because I was shown a misrepresentation of Christ. In stark contrast, it was the people who showed me the true Jesus, who modeled His life and heart so marvelously, they made me want to receive Him, and want to be like Him. They represented Jesus well. The true value of a godly example, someone who we know is flawed, but in so many ways appears flawless, is that they bring Heaven to Earth, they give us a glimpse into what is most important…eternity. Are you and I ready to stand before our Creator? Have you allowed Jesus to take His rightful place as Lord and God of your life? May God help us all to become the godly examples who represent Jesus well.

Air1 Radio Features – April 2014

Separating Yourself From the World

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were captive slaves for 400 years in Egypt. This captivity is a type of the bondage of sin each of us experience when we are under the world’s value system. Coming out of Egypt, or leaving behind the world’s values, requires making a decision to separate ourselves from our past sin and bondage. Only then can God help us. As the plagues were consuming Egypt, the death angel was able to pass over the homes of the Israelites because of the blood that covered the doorposts of their homes. Likewise, only the blood of Jesus can protect us from the penalty of our sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, ESV)

Absolutely Persuaded

What would you do if you knew in the deepest part of your being that God was committed to helping you complete a particular endeavor? Not something that you invented or would ever initiate, but what you’re absolutely persuaded is on God’s heart. It may appear highly unlikely, or even impossible, but no matter, if an all-powerful God would fulfill this specific hope or dream, what would you believe for? The Bible says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” (Hebrews 11:1,3, NLT) Today, stake your claim on God’s ability to fulfill His promises.

Tolerance

Tolerance is defined as, “the ability or willingness to tolerate something. In particular, the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” If this is what it means to be tolerant, then NO, I don’t want to be tolerant. I will instead commit to be much, much more. I will look into the eyes of those I disagree with on moral and spiritual issues and tell them I love them, even when I know that their beliefs and lifestyles are detrimental to their good and contrary to God’s best. I will endeavor to not just put up with, but also to speak the truth in love to those who vehemently disagree with me, and I with them. This is how Jesus loves us. I must do no less to others.

Little Things

I’ve found it’s the little things in life that require my greatest attention: both the little good and the little not so good. A little laziness can be fed by little faith, which can lead to a little foolishness, which can initiate a little sin, which can bring on a whole lot of pain, which can destroy your life. On the other hand, a little extra commitment can expand your faith, which can lead to acts of obedience that can be catalysts for great victories, bringing about a whole lot of healing, which can transform your life. The Bible says, “Don’t despise the day of small things.” (Zechariah 4:10) And it was Jesus Himself who said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” (Luke 16:10, NLT) What little thing is in front of you today that will lead to a BIG opportunity?

God’s Provision

When the Israelites left Egypt, they first had to pass through the waters of the Red Sea, which represent the waters of baptism each believer is asked to submit to as our first act of obedience in following Jesus. They had experienced the miracle of being delivered from the bondages of Egypt (the world’s value system), now they would see the miraculous provision of God in their journey through the wilderness: the miraculous supply of food in the form of manna, water flowing from rocks, a cloud guiding them by day, and a pillar of fire leading them at night. God provides this same provision for each of us. The Bible says, “…this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NLT)

God’s Inheritance For You

Do you know that God has a wonderful inheritance for you? It’s true! But you’ll have to possess by faith what is rightfully yours. The nation of Israel was unwilling to take charge of their Promised Land, and therefore wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Now it is our turn! Will we possess our inheritance: the land God has for us? Because the Israelites were not willing, many died having never received what God desired to give them. However, their children stepped up and did what their parents were unwilling to do. Are you willing to conquer the land your natural or spiritual parents were unwilling to? God is ready and wanting to help you! But it will take faith, which is the evidence of everything He desires to give us for our good.

Managing Your Finances

My wife can shop for hours and buy nothing, but I really respect her because I know she’s shopping for a deal. Here are some great suggestions for you to live in financial peace. God is a giver. Obey Him when He asks you to give. If you can’t live within the boundaries of a smaller income, you won’t be able to live within the boundaries of a larger one. If you can’t manage what you’ve got, you won’t be able to manage what you’ll get. How do you know if you have control of your credit cards? If you can’t pay the balance at the end of each month, you don’t have control. In terms of getting out of debt, set goals that are out of reach, but not out of sight. Beyond what you can easily do, but not beyond God’s provision.

Getting Alone With God

None of us should ever be alone long term. We all need people around us in healthy relationships, but don’t be surprised if you sense God wants to be alone with you. He has very personal and wonderful things He wants to share, and the only way for that to happen is One-on-one with your Creator, the One who loves you the most. It will be a powerful and life-changing experience. The Bible says that Jesus went into the wilderness, “…filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1), but He came out, “…in the power of the Spirit.” (Luke 4:14) Getting alone with God is that transforming! It may be for a few minutes, hours, or days, but my time with God is priceless. He will do what no One else can do, for He alone knows who He created me to be.

Touched By Jesus

Do you feel unworthy to be touched by Jesus? It’s true. You’re not worthy. None of us are. But He still wants to touch us. An untouchable man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus begging to be healed. He said, ‘Jesus, if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,’ Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him saying, ‘I am willing. Be healed!’ “Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.” (Mark 1:42, NKJV) The reason we are happier giving than receiving is because God is as well. God gets great joy out of touching us, out of healing us, out of liberating us. Would you let Jesus touch you today, exactly where you are hurting the most? He is more than willing! It’s why He came to Earth.

Watching Your Son Die

A father and son, and the son’s friend, were sailing when a storm overtook them. Soon the boat capsized, and all three were swept into the ocean. Grabbing a rescue line, the father made the most excruciating decision of his life. Which boy would he throw the lifeline to? The father knew that his son was a Christian. He also knew his son’s friend was not. As the father yelled out, “I love you, Son,” he threw the lifeline to his son’s friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend in, his son had disappeared beneath the waves. The father knew his son was ready to meet Jesus, but his son’s friend was not. He had sacrificed his son, to save the friend. The rescued friend went on to receive Jesus. How great is the love of God that He too would send His Son to die for us?

I’m Not the Man I Once Was

The old method of drawing people into a relationship with Jesus was persuasion: Convince them that they need to be born again. But now, it really takes the more personal approach of identification. If someone can’t identify with me, they’ll never fully trust me. If they can’t see the struggle in me, then my life becomes less believable. Though none of us are perfect representations of Jesus, if we truly believe that Jesus died in our place then every day we can express our gratitude to Him amidst our struggle. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I may not be the man I want to be; I may not be the man I ought to be; I may not be the man I could be; I may not be the man I can be; but praise God, I’m not the man I once was.”

One Constituent

A State Assemblywoman met another legislator in an elevator after a vote. One of them said to the other, “I can’t believe I voted for that bill!” But they both knew why she had voted for it. It wasn’t because she believed it was the moral high ground. It was all about keeping her constituents “happy,” so she’d be re-elected. You and I have “one Constituent” we should want to keep “happy:” His name is Jesus! How much money would it take for us to change our vote? How much pressure to surrender our morals? “Jesus, keep my heart ever looking to please You alone. There are many voices in this world trying to distract me from being the person You created me to be. Let Yours be the one voice I hear and obey. For You alone have what I really need.”

K-LOVE Radio Features – April 2014

Separating Yourself From the World

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were captive slaves for 400 years in Egypt. This captivity is a type of the bondage of sin each of us experience when we are under the world’s value system. Coming out of Egypt, or leaving behind the world’s values, requires making a decision to separate ourselves from our past sin and bondage. Only then can God help us. As the plagues were consuming Egypt, the death angel was able to pass over the homes of the Israelites because of the blood that covered the doorposts of their homes. Likewise, only the blood of Jesus can protect us from the penalty of our sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, ESV)

Absolutely Persuaded

What would you do if you knew in the deepest part of your being that God was committed to helping you complete a particular endeavor? Not something that you invented or would ever initiate, but what you’re absolutely persuaded is on God’s heart. It may appear highly unlikely, or even impossible, but no matter, if an all-powerful God would fulfill this specific hope or dream, what would you believe for? The Bible says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” (Hebrews 11:1,3, NLT) Today, stake your claim on God’s ability to fulfill His promises.

Tolerance

Tolerance is defined as, “the ability or willingness to tolerate something. In particular, the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” If this is what it means to be tolerant, then NO, I don’t want to be tolerant. I will instead commit to be much, much more. I will look into the eyes of those I disagree with on moral and spiritual issues and tell them I love them, even when I know that their beliefs and lifestyles are detrimental to their good and contrary to God’s best. I will endeavor to not just put up with, but also to speak the truth in love to those who vehemently disagree with me, and I with them. This is how Jesus loves us. I must do no less to others.

Little Things

I’ve found it’s the little things in life that require my greatest attention: both the little good and the little not so good. A little laziness can be fed by little faith, which can lead to a little foolishness, which can initiate a little sin, which can bring on a whole lot of pain, which can destroy your life. On the other hand, a little extra commitment can expand your faith, which can lead to acts of obedience that can be catalysts for great victories, bringing about a whole lot of healing, which can transform your life. The Bible says, “Don’t despise the day of small things.” (Zechariah 4:10) And it was Jesus Himself who said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” (Luke 16:10, NLT) What little thing is in front of you today that will lead to a BIG opportunity?

God’s Provision

When the Israelites left Egypt, they first had to pass through the waters of the Red Sea, which represent the waters of baptism each believer is asked to submit to as our first act of obedience in following Jesus. They had experienced the miracle of being delivered from the bondages of Egypt (the world’s value system), now they would see the miraculous provision of God in their journey through the wilderness: the miraculous supply of food in the form of manna, water flowing from rocks, a cloud guiding them by day, and a pillar of fire leading them at night. God provides this same provision for each of us. The Bible says, “…this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NLT)

God’s Inheritance For You

Do you know that God has a wonderful inheritance for you? It’s true! But you’ll have to possess by faith what is rightfully yours. The nation of Israel was unwilling to take charge of their Promised Land, and therefore wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Now it is our turn! Will we possess our inheritance: the land God has for us? Because the Israelites were not willing, many died having never received what God desired to give them. However, their children stepped up and did what their parents were unwilling to do. Are you willing to conquer the land your natural or spiritual parents were unwilling to? God is ready and wanting to help you! But it will take faith, which is the evidence of everything He desires to give us for our good.

Managing Your Finances

My wife can shop for hours and buy nothing, but I really respect her because I know she’s shopping for a deal. Here are some great suggestions for you to live in financial peace. God is a giver. Obey Him when He asks you to give. If you can’t live within the boundaries of a smaller income, you won’t be able to live within the boundaries of a larger one. If you can’t manage what you’ve got, you won’t be able to manage what you’ll get. How do you know if you have control of your credit cards? If you can’t pay the balance at the end of each month, you don’t have control. In terms of getting out of debt, set goals that are out of reach, but not out of sight. Beyond what you can easily do, but not beyond God’s provision.

Getting Alone With God

None of us should ever be alone long term. We all need people around us in healthy relationships, but don’t be surprised if you sense God wants to be alone with you. He has very personal and wonderful things He wants to share, and the only way for that to happen is One-on-one with your Creator, the One who loves you the most. It will be a powerful and life-changing experience. The Bible says that Jesus went into the wilderness, “…filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1), but He came out, “…in the power of the Spirit.” (Luke 4:14) Getting alone with God is that transforming! It may be for a few minutes, hours, or days, but my time with God is priceless. He will do what no One else can do, for He alone knows who He created me to be.

Touched By Jesus

Do you feel unworthy to be touched by Jesus? It’s true. You’re not worthy. None of us are. But He still wants to touch us. An untouchable man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus begging to be healed. He said, ‘Jesus, if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,’ Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him saying, ‘I am willing. Be healed!’ “Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.” (Mark 1:42, NKJV) The reason we are happier giving than receiving is because God is as well. God gets great joy out of touching us, out of healing us, out of liberating us. Would you let Jesus touch you today, exactly where you are hurting the most? He is more than willing! It’s why He came to Earth.

Watching Your Son Die

A father and son, and the son’s friend, were sailing when a storm overtook them. Soon the boat capsized, and all three were swept into the ocean. Grabbing a rescue line, the father made the most excruciating decision of his life. Which boy would he throw the lifeline to? The father knew that his son was a Christian. He also knew his son’s friend was not. As the father yelled out, “I love you, Son,” he threw the lifeline to his son’s friend. By

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the time the father had pulled the friend in, his son had disappeared beneath the waves. The father knew his son was ready to meet Jesus, but his son’s friend was not. He had sacrificed his son, to save the friend. The rescued friend went on to receive Jesus. How great is the love of God that He too would send His Son to die for us?

I’m Not the Man I Once Was

The old method of drawing people into a relationship with Jesus was persuasion: Convince them that they need to be born again. But now, it really takes the more personal approach of identification. If someone can’t identify with me, they’ll never fully trust me. If they can’t see the struggle in me, then my life becomes less believable. Though none of us are perfect representations of Jesus, if we truly believe that Jesus died in our place then every day we can express our gratitude to Him amidst our struggle. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I may not be the man I want to be; I may not be the man I ought to be; I may not be the man I could be; I may not be the man I can be; but praise God, I’m not the man I once was.”

One Constituent

A State Assemblywoman met another legislator in an elevator after a vote. One of them said to the other, “I can’t believe I voted for that bill!” But they both knew why she had voted for it. It wasn’t because she believed it was the moral high ground. It was all about keeping her constituents “happy,” so she’d be re-elected. You and I have “one Constituent” we should want to keep “happy:” His name is Jesus! How much money would it take for us to change our vote? How much pressure to surrender our morals? “Jesus, keep my heart ever looking to please You alone. There are many voices in this world trying to distract me from being the person You created me to be. Let Yours be the one voice I hear and obey. For You alone have what I really need.”

Air1 Radio Features – March 2014

Forgetting What Is Behind

Are you feeling defeated? At times, we all do! But, since we can’t change our past, can we really believe God will change our future? The sun sets every day with one primary message: “no matter how bad you felt you did today, the day is over. It’s not going to beat you up anymore. Tomorrow, you will have a fresh start.” Paul the Apostle wrote, “…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14, ESV) God gets far more glory out of us succeeding, than failing. Even now He is making sure every thing that happens to us will work for our good if we love Him and are committed to His will being done, and not our own.

Safe Friends

It’s been said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” The Bible says it this way, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1Corinthians 15:53, ESV) One of the first things I ask a person who is struggling being a Christ follower is, “Are your friends helping you get closer to Jesus, or are they making it harder for you to follow Him?” If their answer is, “No, they are not!” my immediate recommendation is, “You need new friends.” A drowning person can’t rescue another drowning person, or as Jesus said, “…if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.” (Matthew 15:14, NLT) Every one of us have to decide, who are we following, and where are they taking us?

 Steadfast In Trials

My wife Suzie & I pastored a live-in community for four and a half years with dozens of individuals struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol. Though we saw many set free, some could not cut loose their attachment to their drug of choice. In “The Great Divorce,” C. S. Lewis chronicles the battle many go through with addictions. He describes a busload of people from Hell who tour the outskirts of Heaven. Each person is urged to leave his sins behind. Sadly, they express denial and self-delusion about their addictions. Though miserable, they blame others and pity themselves, refusing to take responsibility for their behavior or see the root of their problems. The Bible encourages us, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life…” (James 1:12a, ESV)

Being Sincere Is Not Enough

Have you met people who’ve said, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere? You can be a Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist and pray to the same God.” Though this statement sounds open minded, even a casual examination of what these religions teach will reveal they have little in common. Many years ago, I knelt on a beach in a remote part of a Hawaiian Island and prayed, “Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, I have studied your teaching and know that you are not the same person. Would you reveal yourself to me?” I was desperately sincere, and within a few months, I surrendered my life to Jesus and would never be the same. Being open minded is good, but opening your heart to Jesus will transform your life. The Bible says, “Whoever has the Son has life…” (1John 5:12, ESV)

Connected To The Body

I have found in my 42 years of being a Christ-follower that there’s only one way for a person to live a healthy, fruitful life: and that is to be connected in a vital and tangible way to the Body of Christ. Can any of us imagine a part of our body living long when it is disconnected? It would likewise be silly to think that a believer can become whole or fulfill his or her destiny if they are unwilling to connect with Christ’s Body, His Church. The Bible says, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” (1Corinthians 12:12, NLT) There is no perfect church, but I have found the local church is the perfect place for imperfect people.

 Going To Samaria

During the time of Jesus, Samaritans were considered half-breeds, and universally despised by both Jews and Romans. Being Jewish and from Galilee, Jesus had experienced racial prejudice firsthand. He understood the cruelty of discrimination. Consequently, when He was traveling from Judea back home to Galilee, Jesus made a conscious decision not to skirt the prejudice around Him, and face it head on. He deliberately went through Samaria. A direct route from Judea to Galilee was about 70 miles, or a two and a half day walk. But, due to prejudice, many Jews were willing to journey about twice the distance on a hotter and more uncomfortable road, rather than go through Samaria. Jesus cut through this narrow-minded bigotry and many Samaritans from a village named Sychar believed in Him. (John 4:39) What Samaria is God asking you to go to?

Prayers Healing Effects

Is there something we can do to increase our self-control and ability to resist temptation? According to a new study, prayer really helps people stay in control of their emotions and behavior. Researchers say that people who turn to prayer ‘as a coping response to the high demands in life’ are rewarded with increased strength and ability to resist temptation. The study found that praying helps people maintain self-control. Faith in a higher being has even been found to significantly improve treatment for people suffering with a psychiatric illness. Researchers found that patients with ‘no’ or only ‘slight’ belief in God were twice as likely NOT to respond to treatment than patients with higher levels of belief. The Bible says, “…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16, NIV)

We Will Serve Whatever We Worship

We are made to worship and everyone is worshipping someone or some thing. So be careful what you worship. In the Old Testament, when people worshipped foreign god’s they eventually were in bondage to them and were taken away captive into the nations that promoted these demonic spirits. In the end, we will serve whatever we worship, whether it is the God of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, or a god created by our imagination. God warns the people He rescued about following other gods, He says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3, ESV) I have worshipped many things, but only One deserves my complete adoration.

Our Misery Becomes Our Ministry

Can God use our greatest pain to help others? It’s one of the great paradoxes in life, but the answer is “Yes, absolutely!” Our pain can become our greatest gain, if we see our lives from God’s perspective and respond as He hopes we will. In the Book of Acts, Paul the Apostle, after being stoned and left for dead in the city of Lystra was miraculously resurrected. (Acts 14) You would think that Lystra would be the last city he would ever return to. But, as God would have it, a short time later, after visiting other cities, he went back to Lystra, the very place he experienced so much misery, and strengthened the believers there. In life, we are called to make our misery our ministry. God’s strength always shows up best in our weakness.

Going Across San Francisco Bay

Two weeks after giving my life to Jesus, I found myself in a life and death situation. On a cold spring day, I was paddling out to a houseboat in Sausalito, California in a six-foot long dinghy, when I lost one of my paddles. Unable to stop or control the boat, I drifted ten miles, for over an hour, all the way across San Francisco Bay to Berkeley. No other boat came any where near me, and so if the boat had capsized, I would have certainly drowned. Having just read about Peter doubting Jesus and sinking in the water, I resolved to trust God to keep me safe. He did, and now forty years later, I’ve seen His miraculous, protective hand hundreds of times since. Have you trusted Jesus with your life? You’ll find, as I did, He will never fail you.

 No Bargaining With God

If, as the Bible says, “experience gives hope,” (Romans 5:4) have you lived long enough to learn from your experiences, and accept the fact that being obedient is infinitely better than being impulsive, safe is far more desirable than reckless, and careful always trumps careless. All of us are hoping to have a blessed life. But we can never get around the principle of reaping what we sow. There is no bargaining with God. The Bible declares this unbreakable law, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6: 7-8, ESV) Holy Spirit, help me to obey You that I may live!

Living the Impossible

If a person rescued you from certain death and even gave His life in the process, would you ever forget him? And if what you were rescued from was so utterly impossible, would it not make you want to do the impossible as well? That’s what happens when you truly see Jesus…you can’t forget Him and you want to be like Him. But that can never happen unless, like Jesus, you’re willing to live an impossible life. If you are, then let me ask and answer this important question: why would you ever attempt to do the impossible? For only one reason: you are absolutely certain that nothing less than the impossible would meet the need! It’s what provoked Jesus to live an impossible life, and it’s what provokes me. Jesus said, “…with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, ESV) What impossible life is Jesus asking you to live?

K-LOVE Radio Features – March 2014

Forgetting What Is Behind

Are you feeling defeated? At times, we all do! But, since we can’t change our past, can we really believe God will change our future? The sun sets every day with one primary message: “no matter how bad you felt you did today, the day is over. It’s not going to beat you up anymore. Tomorrow, you will have a fresh start.” Paul the Apostle wrote, “…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14, ESV) God gets far more glory out of us succeeding, than failing. Even now He is making sure every thing that happens to us will work for our good if we love Him and are committed to His will being done, and not our own.

Safe Friends

It’s been said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” The Bible says it this way, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1Corinthians 15:53, ESV) One of the first things I ask a person who is struggling being a Christ follower is, “Are your friends helping you get closer to Jesus, or are they making it harder for you to follow Him?” If their answer is, “No, they are not!” my immediate recommendation is, “You need new friends.” A drowning person can’t rescue another drowning person, or as Jesus said, “…if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.” (Matthew 15:14, NLT) Every one of us have to decide, who are we following, and where are they taking us?

Steadfast In Trials

My wife Suzie & I pastored a live-in community for four and a half years with dozens of individuals struggling with addictions to drugs and alcohol. Though we saw many set free, some could not cut loose their attachment to their drug of choice. In “The Great Divorce,” C. S. Lewis

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chronicles the battle many go through with addictions. He describes a busload of people from Hell who tour the outskirts of Heaven. Each person is urged to leave his sins behind. Sadly, they express denial and self-delusion about their addictions. Though miserable, they blame others and pity themselves, refusing to take responsibility for their behavior or see the root of their problems. The Bible encourages us, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life…” (James 1:12a, ESV)

Being Sincere Is Not Enough

Have you met people who’ve said, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere? You can be a Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist and pray to the same God.” Though this statement sounds open minded, even a casual examination of what these religions teach will reveal they have little in common. Many years ago, I knelt on a beach in a remote part of a Hawaiian Island and prayed, “Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, I have studied your teaching and know that you are not the same person. Would you reveal yourself to me?” I was desperately sincere, and within a few months, I surrendered my life to Jesus and would never be the same. Being open minded is good, but opening your heart to Jesus will transform your life. The Bible says, “Whoever has the Son has life…” (1John 5:12, ESV)

Connected To The Body

I have found in my 42 years of being a Christ-follower that there’s only one way for a person to live a healthy, fruitful life: and that is to be connected in a vital and tangible way to the Body of Christ. Can any of us imagine a part of our body living long when it is disconnected? It would likewise be silly to think that a believer can become whole or fulfill his or her destiny if they are unwilling to connect with Christ’s Body, His Church. The Bible says, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.” (1Corinthians 12:12, NLT) There is no perfect church, but I have found the local church is the perfect place for imperfect people.

Going To Samaria

During the time of Jesus, Samaritans were considered half-breeds, and universally despised by both Jews and Romans. Being Jewish and from Galilee, Jesus had experienced racial prejudice firsthand. He understood the cruelty of discrimination. Consequently, when He was traveling from Judea back home to Galilee, Jesus made a conscious decision not to skirt the prejudice around Him, and face it head on. He deliberately went through Samaria. A direct route from Judea to Galilee was about 70 miles, or a two and a half day walk. But, due to prejudice, many Jews were willing to journey about twice the distance on a hotter and more uncomfortable road, rather than go through Samaria. Jesus cut through this narrow-minded bigotry and many Samaritans from a village named Sychar believed in Him. (John 4:39) What Samaria is God asking you to go to?

Prayers Healing Effects

Is there something we can do to increase our self-control and ability to resist temptation? According to a new study, prayer really helps people stay in control of their emotions and behavior. Researchers say that people who turn to prayer ‘as a coping response to the high demands in life’ are rewarded with increased strength and ability to resist temptation. The study found that praying helps people maintain self-control. Faith in a higher being has even been found to significantly improve treatment for people suffering with a psychiatric illness. Researchers found that patients with ‘no’ or only ‘slight’ belief in God were twice as likely NOT to respond to treatment than patients with higher levels of belief. The Bible says, “…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16, NIV)

We Will Serve Whatever We Worship

We are made to worship and everyone is worshipping someone or some thing. So be careful what you worship. In the Old Testament, when people worshipped foreign god’s they eventually were in bondage to them and were taken away captive into the nations that promoted these demonic spirits. In the end, we will serve whatever we worship, whether it is the God of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, or a god created by our imagination. God warns the people He rescued about following other gods, He says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3, ESV) I have worshipped many things, but only One deserves my complete adoration.

Our Misery Becomes Our Ministry

Can God use our greatest pain to help others? It’s one of the great paradoxes in life, but the answer is “Yes, absolutely!” Our pain can become our greatest gain, if we see our lives from God’s perspective and respond as He hopes we will. In the Book of Acts, Paul the Apostle, after being stoned and left for dead in the city of Lystra was miraculously resurrected. (Acts 14) You would think that Lystra would be the last city he would ever return to. But, as God would have it, a short time later, after visiting other cities, he went back to Lystra, the very place he experienced so much misery, and strengthened the believers there. In life, we are called to make our misery our ministry. God’s strength always shows up best in our weakness.

Going Across San Francisco Bay

Two weeks after giving my life to Jesus, I found myself in a life and death situation. On a cold spring day, I was paddling out to a houseboat in Sausalito, California in a six-foot long dinghy, when I lost one of my paddles. Unable to stop or control the boat, I drifted ten miles, for over an hour, all the way across San Francisco Bay to Berkeley. No other boat came any where near me, and so if the boat had capsized, I would have certainly drowned. Having just read about Peter doubting Jesus and sinking in the water, I resolved to trust God to keep me safe. He did, and now forty years later, I’ve seen His miraculous, protective hand hundreds of times since. Have you trusted Jesus with your life? You’ll find, as I did, He will never fail you.

No Bargaining With God

If, as the Bible says, “experience gives hope,” (Romans 5:4) have you lived long enough to learn from your experiences, and accept the fact that being obedient is infinitely better than being impulsive, safe is far more desirable than reckless, and careful always trumps careless. All of us are hoping to have a blessed life. But we can never get around the principle of reaping what we sow. There is no bargaining with God. The Bible declares this unbreakable law, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6: 7-8, ESV) Holy Spirit, help me to obey You that I may live!

Living the Impossible

If a person rescued you from certain death and even gave His life in the process, would you ever forget him? And if what you were rescued from was so utterly impossible, would it not make you want to do the impossible as well? That’s what happens when you truly see Jesus…you can’t forget Him and you want to be like Him. But that can never happen unless, like Jesus, you’re willing to live an impossible life. If you are, then let me ask and answer this important question: why would you ever attempt to do the impossible? For only one reason: you are absolutely certain that nothing less than the impossible would meet the need! It’s what provoked Jesus to live an impossible life, and it’s what provokes me. Jesus said, “…with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, ESV) What impossible life is Jesus asking you to live?