This is the day that the Lord has made...

This is the day that the Lord has made...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Simple Praise

Some days I sit down to write, and I can fill pages of inspiration and ideas and thoughts about the greatness of God in my life.  Other days, I only have tears and no words. And yet on other days, my spirit enters into prayer and I enjoy the peace and stillness of being in his presence.

My God is a loving God that provides me with exactly what I need.  He has been constant and unchanged since the beginning of time. In his perfection and omnipotence, he finds room for me, and you, to live in his glory and be blessed.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever."  Psalm 118:1

There is no one else like him.  He is my Lord, my Savior, and I love him.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Letting Go

As children bring their broken toys with tear for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back and cried, "How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "What could I do? You never did let go."

How often is it that we cry out to the Lord for help and continue to struggle to find a way on our own?  It seems so many times I live my life with clenched fists, holding onto my troubles, sorrows, regrets, fears and failures when all the while I should have open hands.  Open to let God take from me and give to me as He sees fit, for my best interest.  Maybe not for today or even in this lifetime, but he certainly knows what is best for me  from the eternal perspective.  And, sometimes, sometimes what's best might have to be uncomfortable.  Uncomfortable drives change, and change is the basis for growth, and growing spiritually, personally, physically, emotionally, financially and socially is what life is all about.

I pray today that I and my friends and family might loosen their grip on those things that we are holding onto and have faith, confidence and trust in the Lord to make a way that is perfect, like only He can do.  Letting go is a crucial step in building our relationship with Him, which is truly all He wants.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2 Boys

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."  Revelation 3:19

I love my children.  As a father of two boys, very close in age, it can be difficult and challenging when they battle for the alpha position in the house.  It seems every couple of weeks a huge battle ensues, words are yelled, arms and backs are punched and there maybe even is a little wrestling. One thing is for sure, there is always yelling!  Very seldom, anymore, are there tears like there was when they were much younger.

This battling is challenging for me as the father because I understand it, I know why they are doing it and I get that it is part of human development.  All that being said, I still don't like it.  Therefore, I generally intervene after a few minutes.  I've learned that if I step in too soon, it will just continue when I leave, escalating again until I have to come back. If I step in too late, someone is hurt.  Never anything more than a bruise or a sore groin, yet the winner definitely feels triumphant. 

When I do step in, the boys know they are in trouble!  When Dad is mad, someone's getting in trouble!  Ha Ha Ha!  Yes, they will get disciplined, with a chore, or quiet time in their room or worse, they might have to sit next to me for a while and not do anything!  Then, it's hug time.  After the flames have settled, a few giggles can be heard from solitary confinement, it's time for apologies.  I don't know how many times I've had to say, "do it again, this time like you mean it"! - all the while chuckling under my breathe.  And it rarely fails, after the apology, life is good. 

I love my children more than anything and would protect them with my life.  Yet, I love them enough to know that discipline is necessary to develop good character, integrity, work ethic and an understanding of responsibility.  I discipline out of love, not anger, and there is a difference.  Our God, bless his holy name, is the same with us.  Developing our spirit, our character and integrity is why we get rebuked and disciplined.  Because he loves us so much.

The God I know and love, loves me more than I could possibly reciprocate.  Words cannot create a a story or paint a picture bold enough to express the depth of his love for me, and you.  Accepting the discipline and asking for forgiveness with intent and meaning builds a foundation of trust in God.  When you know that you have that kind of love in your life, and the trust level is deep enough, the relationship goes to a new level and you find a new peace. 

I pray that I may be able to continue to accept his discipline and repent with a thankful, open heart.  For I know that he loves me.  And for that alone, I am thankful.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


It's a good thing that the Lord doesn't ever get too busy for us.  I am sure He has a busy schedule, with all His kids, the problems of a billion or so people and a ridiculously persistent enemy, ya' know?  How does He do it?  Oh, that's right, He's God!  Which means he is SUPPOSED to be able to do it all, be everywhere, handle everything all while being in control. 

Forgive me, Lord, for not being able to duplicate all that you do and thank you for letting it be that way.

How many crises is it going to take for me to learn and understand that I need to seek Him first, not last, for the solutions in my life?  I just endured a terrible amount of stress, filled with worry and fear, due to a software failure at my office.  My life is supposed to be dependant on the Lord, not a program, but it felt that way the last 3 weeks. 

I have been somewhat embarrassed that I let the stress get to me in such a way.  I have made it through so much with God, I cannot understand why I didn't seek Him for this as well?  I trust Him with my life and I know that the eventual result was all His doing and the simplicity and over reaching benefit of the solution is still mind blowing to me.  Because that is God's way. 

So I sought counsel in Proverbs today when this verse slapped me alongside the head:  Listen to you father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.  Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.  The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! Proverbs 23: 23-25

I know that many times in life I have let my mother and father down, have fallen short of their expectations and at times, caused them undue strife.  As a father now, I understand the unconditional love a parent has and the sacrifice they are willing to make to help their children grow, learn and succeed in life.  I look back over my life and see how I took that for granted, how God allowed my life to play out based on my choices and how many blessings I have had because of my mother and father. 

Mom, who is still here with me, and Dad, who's been enjoying Heaven for four years now, I'm thankful for all the sacrifice you made for me, the discipline you handed down to me and the understanding that has grown in me because of you in my life.  It is my true hope that you are glad...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Building Trust

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.  Psalm 125:1

Trust is a hard thing to develop and grow.  In many cases, it requires months, if not years of time and experience looking at and observing someone's track record, their character and qualities.  In many situations in life we are required to "just trust" someone without knowing their history.  In these situations, it's difficult at times to be open enough to allow yourself to trust. 

Trusting in the Lord helps in many ways, including giving your trust to others. Who else has a 2,000 yr track record?  Building trust in the Lord isn't necessarily easy, as it does require faith as I have written about before.  But trusting in the Lord provides a foundation for you to trust others as you have a comparative subject in the Lord.

The Holy Spirit speaks to you and guides when you trust in the Lord.  Offering your trust to others, through the Holy Spirit, provides protection for you against the enemy and his clan.  Listening to that "wee small voice" is a skill that requires use and practice to develop, but will save you from much heart ache in your life.

The Holy Spirit, in your life, is a difference maker, a peace-bringer, a relationship-builder, a life-protector and soul-developer.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart so that your heart might trust those who are trustworthy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.   Hebrews 11:1

So many aspects of living and being spiritually inclined require faith that without faith, it is impossible to achieve.  As an intellectual, understanding Jesus, his sacrifice, the meaning of his life and death in my life and the existence of an eternal Heaven were difficult to comprehend. I come from a background of "here is why this works, look at the research and the evidence."

Living a spiritually inclined life requires a "knowing" deep in your heart and in your mind that the Scriptures, and things written about Jesus, are true.  To simply know something means that you can regurgitate the fact or data correctly.  On a deeper level of understanding, to "know that you know" something means that not only can you correctly reproduce the right fact or data in question, but you understand and comprehend how it came it about.  And the deepest level of knowing is to "know that you know that you know."  At this level there is no conscious thought or input into the fact or data, there is no need for understanding or comprehension because the fact or data is so engrained in your heart and mind that it is no longer something that you know, it has become a part of who you are.  It not longer requires intentional thought to contemplate the idea in consideration.  It just is. 

To me, this is faith.  And faith grows through experience and understanding.  A great example of living in the "know that you know that you know" level of consciousness is the study of gravity.  As a toddler when you were sitting in your high chair, you first "learned" about gravity, or were made aware of it, by dropping your spoon on the floor over and over and having Mom or Dad it pick it up.  Right?  Who didn't do this?  From there it progressed to if I stand at the top of the steps and lay on my tummy, I can ride all the way down to the bottom.  Then, through more experience of throwing baseballs, jumping out of trees and spitting lougies off the 5th floor balcony of your hotel room, gravity became more understood.  And finally, at some point you learned that gravity actually was a force, 9.8 m/s2 and could be used to understand how other things in the universe worked.  And, now, well, you don't even contemplate gravity because it is just there, a part of everyday life.

This, too, is how our faith is built.  At first, we must just accept things for what they are.  Jesus shed his blood for me so that I may be forgiven of my sins and have eternal life, having to never experience death.  I remember hearing a story of Billy Graham being asked in an interview what changed his ministry from filling tents with people to filling giant stadiums?  His response was miraculous.  "My ministry took on new meaning the moment I began to believe the Scriputres in full faith."

As we experience more of the blessings and principles taught in the Scriptures, our faith grows until, hopefully, one day, we "know that we know that we know" Jesus died for me.  Rev. Graham learned this and it changed his life forever.  So to will it change yours and mine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Time To Rest

Believe it or not, there is more to life than finishing your "to do" list or work.  I can remember, way back, I mean wa-a-ay back to when I was a kid and the grocery stores closed at 9, the downtown closed at 5:30 and nobody, I mean, nobody was open on Sunday.  The trend of 24 hour service and open everyday has permeated every nook and cranny of our society. It seems that we, lumping us all together (unfairly, of course), have assumed the motto, "Live to Work."

This, however, is not spiritually inclined living.  At the center of a life focused on serving God and his people, there is rest.  God was, and is, smart enough to know that we need to rest.  He designed us, created us and built us in his image so he knows how we are to best live to get maximum benefit from life.  And with that, he has said we must take time to rest.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rest from his own work, just as God did from his.  Hebrews 4:9-10

Rest has many valuable qualities: it renews the mind and spirit, it rebuilds the physical being, it reconnects individuals with God and many more!  God gives us a the example and then asks that we not fall short.  He worked 6 days, and on the 7th, he rested.  Why? 

What is the benefit of work without having the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor?  Did God not rest on the 7th day so that he might enjoy what he had created? 

Those who are believers and followers of Scripture know this principle, yet it is an easy one to overlook and let the enemy trick us into believing it's okay to not rest.  It's not!  The next verse in Hebrews tells why:  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.  Hebrews 4:11

Do not be fooled for the Lord, God Almighty, is forever with you and nothing is hidden from him.  Something as simple as taking more time to rest and reflect can, and will, build stronger faith and a better relationship with Jesus. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love and Support

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.     Hebrews 3:12-13

Life is hard.  It's even more difficult when you are all alone, without the encouragement and support of others around you.  God has instructed us to care for one another, to lift each other up and to hold each other accountable.  Sin and the enemy are powerful forces that can't be defeated and kept in check by yourself.  It requires the work of all of his people.

It is so easy to get caught up in the modern thinking of "I".  I've been engulfed in this school of thought for many, many years.  Living and taking action from this perspective puts the focus of life on "I".  Truly, the universe revolves around "I" in that way of living.  This way of thinking and living leaves no room for a loving God.  All of the positive, successful, happy and abundant moments in life are the result of "I" and the energy or thoughts of "I".  In this realm of existence, God is a punisher.

When a mistake is made, or you fall short in a relationship, or your business struggles, or maybe your kid develops a behavior issue, all of a sudden it's not "I" anymore, it's God.  "God is punishing me for ______" becomes a common thought.  Taking all the credit for the good in life, "I" places all the blame for shortcomings and failures on God, or even worse, other people.

Having a positive mental attitude and outlook on life are necessary tools for happiness and success in life.  However, replacing God with a grander vision of one's self is the result of an ego (Edging God Out) controlled by the enemy.  And many, many times, the "I" is not able to see the pile of manure they are standing in because the enemy has it covered in flowers....but it's still a pile of manure. 

You and I, as brothers and sisters in Christ, must be able to support one another and hold tight to the Word of the Lord.  It is our duty, a command from God, that we help those around us in their walk with God. Love and support are necessary ingredients in the development of a tender heart filled with the Holy Ghost. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Temptation is everywhere.  Satan is everywhere.  There is not a place that you can go today where temptation itself cannot be or will not be.  Just as the Holy Spirit can permeate a person, place or thing, so may the enemy. 

Our human nature is to be curious and exploratory. It is this very nature that can lend a hand in the destructive process of the enemy. It is for this reason we must, as it is written, focus our thoughts and attentions on those things that are good, righteous, pure and clean.  Because temptation can be so destructive, God did not leave us helpless to it.

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:18

Jesus suffered, just as you and I suffer, when tempted.  The suffering comes as a result of being separated from God by the desires of the flesh.  The enemy doesn't tempt us with glory and the joy of the Lord, no, we are tempted with things of the flesh.  Thankfully, Jesus has been there before us and is here with us to guide us through those times.  He has walked a mile in our shoes.  He has gone before us so that, if we choose, we can have victory over temptation...through him.  The joy of life and the glory of the Lord comes through knowing Jesus Christ.  However, victory, just like knowing, is the result of a choice.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Great Void

 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.   Hebrews1:3

O, how we long to bask in the joy and glory of the Lord!  His presence in our life brings peace and comfort, joy and fulfillment, wholeness and beauty.  No thing or person can fill the spiritual void created within us, by God, for the Lord.  His perfection is our pursuit, all the while knowing we will fall short, and knowing too, that He is there to pick us up.

Spiritually inclined living is grounded in the pursuit of His presence in our daily lives.  We are sustained by the expressions of God, through His word and His loving Son, so that we may be a light amongst the darkness.  In these troubled times of uncertainty it is comforting to know that it is well and will be well with the presence of the Lord.  The Great Comforter is available to all who ask Him into their lives to fill that void and bring new life to their spirit.  Seek Him today.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Broken Promises

What would our world be like if every politician kept every promise he/she made?  I can say this, it would be a lot different than it is now.  Not necessarily better or worse, but definitely different.  And what about the promises that we make to one another that aren't kept?  How would life be different if those promises were kept?  I am certain there would be less heartache and pain if that were the case. 

A promise is "an expressed assurance on which expectation is to be based" according to  Okay, so that means that when I am promised something, I expect the result to be just as I was told it would be.  That makes sense to me.  Why, then, is it so easy for us, humans in general, to make promises but hard to keep them?   I believe it is because we think we have more control over life than we really do.  When we promise an outcome that we truly have not control over achieving, the odds are stacked against us pretty heavily.  I also think most people know this, too.  It's crazy to think about, but, why then, if we know when someone makes a promise, the likelihood of it being upheld is minimal, at best?  And along with that, why does it hurt so much when a promise is broken or not kept?

For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.   Galatians 3:18

A promise is built upon, solidified through and accepted based on trust.  If you trust the one making the promise, then the result expected based on that promise is more likely to occur.  If there is no trust, then there is no faith in the expected outcome.  Therefore, if a person consistently makes promises and doesn't keep them, their credibility or trust level goes right out the window.

We have all lived with broken promises.  The bad news is that as long we continue to hang out with people of this earth and this life, we will have to live with broken promises.  The good news is that God keeps his promises!  We can overcome this world of sin and broken promises through the gift of faith in Jesus Christ.  That is the promise that God gave; the one promise we can have faith in that will not be broken; the one person we can have complete, unending trust in. 

The Medieval literal translation of the word "promise" is "to send forth."  God has made a promise.  He has sent us his son, who has honored his promise and left us his Holy Spirit as a great comforter and friend.  You can be sure that this is one promise that will not be broken.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Road and A Bridge

I share with you today a video that kept me up until the wee hours of the night last night contemplating my life, it's meaning, my purpose and my daily motivations.  The story presented here is timeless and transformational.  Everyday we are here, on Earth, we are being prepared for our Eternal experience with, or without, God. The choices we make today play a part in what that eternity looks, feels, sounds, smells and tastes like.  There are no mistakes in the universe.  Our existence is purposeful and powerful when we make the right choices....

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is road that leads to destruction, and many may enter throught it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

Notice that Jesus says here that "only a few find it". To find something means that you were looking for it. He wants us to pursue Him, daily. Find Him today and begin your walk down the narrow road.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Take A Drink

There are some days where I just get it and I see the Spirit working in my life.  Do you know what I mean? Some days I just feel totally inspired about life, excited about all of my roles as a Dad, a doctor, a businessman, a friend, a mentor, etc. and "life" just comes effortlessly.  Similar to playing Scrabble and high scoring words just pop out of your tiles. 

Then there are the opposite days when simple things like taking a shower or doing homework with the kids is just down right difficult.  Every step forward you take, you end up 3 steps backward.  Some days it feels like I just spin my wheels and should have just sat on the couch all day because every thought, task, chore and duty is so challenging and difficult.

I pray on both kinds of days, but it seems that I pray harder, longer and more intensely on the "off" days versus the "on" days.  Hmmm....

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, " If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."  John 7:37-38

There must be days when my thirst is greater than others as a result of the spiritual battles in my life.  It's up to me, when I am thirsty, to drink.  The Spirit won't make me drink.  It's up to me to do it.  I must go to Him.  Just like thirst in the human body is a sign that you are lacking water (and in fact, if you don't drink until you're thirsty, it's too lat, you are already dehydrated!), so too are "off"days reminders that we haven't fed the soul with enough Spirit.

I know this to be true: there are days when I am rushed and don't put all my focus into my time with the Lord and there are days when I simply sit and enjoy Him, without interruption.  Contemplation of this observation of "off" days versus "on" days leads me to understand that I should not judge myself, or take responsibility for the ease or difficulty of each day for I, alone, do not have that much power or control in my life. What I should be focused on in either situation is my time with the Lord. 

Dang, it's hard to be human!  Praise God for His goodness and mercy and the grace He has given me to be able to fall short, so often, and to remain with Him.  His love is unending, forever enduring and completely available, just take a drink.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

His Absence

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Today, for some, may be the day.  Today might just be the day they surrender their life to to Christ, realizing that the burden of life is too heavy to bear alone. Today may also be the day, for some, that they get to experience the splendor and glory of the Father in Heaven, first hand.  And, yet, for others, there will be no glory, no splendor and no rest because Christ is absent from their life.

Individually, we have a decision to make that affects not only this Earthly life, but more importantly, our eternal life.  Will we live in the presence of God, or, will we live in His absence?

The absence of God from one's life may have subtle, and, dramatic consequences while here on Earth.  Subtleties of His absence might include holding on to the thought of "as soon as I get ________, then I will be happy" and "life is a b*%$@ and then you die." The absence of the Lord in this life, the one we are living now, in the present, results in a life of spiritual and emotional turmoil which may, or may not, be evident to those around the Godless. Sometimes it is only an internal battle that is being fought, while the outside world sees a "perfect life."

Sometimes, though, the absence presents as glaring and obvious circumstances and struggles. Lives can be destroyed and people can be wounded severely in His absence.  I have myself been, and have witnessed, life in His absence and it is "hell."

I have seen some of the most remarkable turn-around stories because of someone seeking His presence and finally finding rest.  His absence from your life is easily resolved with a simple a invitation from the heart and a persistent pursuit of Him and getting to know Him.  Just as darkness is the absence of light, a life of burden, struggle and turmoil is the result of the absence of Him.  Seek Him today and find rest.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do not be afraid

"Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scoripions."  Ezekiel 2:6

Fear can have a paralyzing affect on an individual, even someone that has faith.  More than that, fear and worry can become the controlling factors in life.  I've met individuals who's lives were dominated by fear.  A quick example, I have a friend who is deathly afraid of flying.  Because of that fear, he is limited in his ability to experience life.  It is challenging for us to get together at work related classes or seminars because of that fear of flying.

Although there are many types and degrees of fear, the fear I believe the Lord is talking about in this verse is a fear of public judgement or discrimination, which I believe affects even the strongest in faith.  Public opinion, or what others think about me, is a huge motivating factor IN the world today. 

The Lord tells us in this verse that even though we live among scorpions, life threatening and venomous creatures, we are not to be afraid.  Even when those around us are causing pain, causing humiliation and public disregard, we are to remain steadfast in our faith, confidence and belief in the Lord.  He is our rock, our shelter, our great protector and has brought victory over the enemy and sin.  To be in fear is to be out of Spirit, for the strength of the Spirit always, not sometimes, always defeats the enemy.  Jesus went to the cross to ensure that we would always win.

When the enemy is engaged in a full out attack, remember these words of the Lord to Ezekiel, Do not be afraid.