January 2


Testing of your faith
Passing The Test

Are we passing the test? 2 Cor. 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?

Another year has come and gone and as we look to the New Year we begin to set new goals, agendas and making New Year’s Resolutions that we very seldom keep. We avoid examining our lives from the previous year and in doing so we create a shaky foundation for the plans we are making for our future. Let’s just sweep them under the proverbial rug. What we don’t remember won’t hurt us.

We have become a society of not keeping score (I don’t get that), grading on the curve (threaten the smart kid in the class), and giving multiple choice questions that have as their standard answer; “d” all of the above (no true or false please; 50/50 is not good odds). Passing the test takes very little effort or studying on our part. If we can score a C- or even a D that is still a passing grade; let’s just move on.

But, when it comes to our faith, our Teacher is not going to settle for a C- or D. He is a God of excellence. Perfect love cast out fear and perfected faith opens opportunities for greater test. As a matter of fact, He tells us to consider it all joy when the testing comes. James 1:2-3 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. The Lord desires for us to go from one level of faith to the next. Rom 1:17 For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Passing the test is moving from one level of faith to the next.

Consider, the people of Israel as Moses is leading them to the Promised Land. For forty years the wandered in the wilderness until they all died, missing what God had promised. They continued to fail the testing of their faith and were never allowed to enter the blessings God had provided.

But, let’s examine the shepherd boy David. Being a faithful shepherd of his father’s sheep he is called to defend against a lion and a bear. He faithfully depends on his God to give him victory over these opposing threats and God honors his faith. Fast forward to the day when he is sent to check on his brothers who are at war with the Philistines. The whole army of Israel are frozen in their faith as the giant Goliath spews threats against the army of God. Remembering his previous test and God’s faithfulness, he steps down into the valley and passes another test.

When it comes to our faith, God does keep score. He doesn’t grade on the curve and there are no multiple choices to the faith He has called us to. Unlike some of our school systems who will promote kids without adequately grasping the fundamentals; the Lord requires us to pass the fundamentals of faith before calling us forward.

Before we move forward this coming year, let us first confess and repent of our failed attempts of the previous year and then fix our eyes forward to the test that await us. Phil 3:13-15 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Let this coming year be one of passing the test and moving toward the goal of our upward call of God in Christ Jesus! Don’t continue to wander around the same old mountain of unbelief and disappointment.


April 22



Since God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts we can always expect the unexpected. But, we live the majority of our lives as if we were contestants on “Let’s Make A Deal”. We come trading what we have for what’s behind door number two, only to feel duped when the curtain is opened.

Rom 1:22-23 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man… Fools will always experience the unexpected when they exchange the glory that God has prepared for them for the corruptible things behind door number two. We pursue success as the world defines it only to discover the same thing King Solomon discovered; vanity. Even though we’ve been given illustrations like King Solomon and warnings like, “you reap what you sow”; we always seem to be surprised by the unexpected harvest.

But, in the midst of all our unexpected baggage comes a God of unexpected grace and love. Consider the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and placed before Jesus for a verdict. The Law said she was to be stoned to death. Jesus does the unexpected! John 8:7-11″He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst. 10 And straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 And she said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more.”

For those of us who know of God’s salvation; God did the unexpected! Rom 5:8-9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. He is always choosing the unexpected. 1 Cor 1:27-28 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are.

God’s glory and power come wrapped in unexpected ways, in unexpected places and through unexpected people. Heb 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Faith is the assurance and the conviction of the unexpected.

So, today if you find yourself in unexpected circumstances put your faith in an unexpected God who desires to do the unexpected in your life. Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God causes the unexpected!



February 25



Finding a boyfriend! What a hot topic! Google shows about 44,000,000 searches that probably contain an overwhelming amount of differing opinions and advice, leaving you just as confused as when you first asked the question.

Now, I must admit upfront that I am dad with daughters (who are by the way all married) and while they were growing up I was not always the best at giving instruction or for that matter always good at being a dad in general, but we all survived though not without scars. So, amongst the millions of people giving advice on Google, would you give me a few moments of your time to share through our scars and tears what I believe to be a more important question.

On this topic of finding a boyfriend I would like for you to consider that you may be asking the wrong question. The question of finding a boyfriend seems to indicate that you as the young lady must be in pursuit of him instead of the other way around. Somewhere in the midst of all the hype on equality and women’s rights the parameters that have been established by society for dating have robbed women of their rightful honor and value within the relationship.

Value and honor are always substituted with dishonoring compromises when a woman is left to compete with other woman in the pursuit of finding a boyfriend. She finds herself doing what I call, “dressing down” in order to draw more attention to herself than the other women in the room. This is just the beginning of the compromises. As the competition heats up, more compromises are thrown onto the fire. As the fires of compromise burn a young lady’s honor and worth go up in smoke.

Its one thing to be pursued by a young man who finds you to be a woman of value and honor, but it’s a whole different story to be pursued by a young man because you have thrown your honor and worth on the fires of compromise.

May I share with you some words out of the Bible that paint a picture of the type of boyfriend you should be waiting for? Eph 5:25-29 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church. God describes the love that His Son Jesus had for the church and He compares that kind of love with the love that a man should have for his wife.

You may be saying, that you are nowhere near the age to be married. Understand, that the love a man should have for his wife should be a love that she sees in him before they marry. He should give himself up for you. He should sanctify (set apart) you as his only love with the commitment that you will always remain in that honored place. His responsibility is to honor you in such a way that the world sees you in all your honored glory and beauty. He should nourish your womanhood and cherish you as a precious gift.

What do you desire, finding a boyfriend or discovering the honor and worth that God desires for you and allowing that boyfriend to find you?

You are worth it! Don’t compromise!

January 29



In the back of my mind I have always wondered about people who make the statement; I have nothing to lose. Are there really any set guarantees in life that enable us to make such a bold statement? By the very nature of making a choice suggest that there is some risk in the choice we are making.

1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. Many people take the low road of procrastination thinking that making no choice at all ensures them that they prevent from having nothing to lose. Many ignore the need or a reason to follow after God and in the process they make choices that have no guarantees. You have everything to lose by ignoring the God who created you and sent His Son to die in your place that you might have everything to live for! To fall into the pit that lies between nothing and everything is our enemy’s darkest deception.

Mark 8:36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? The man who would gain the whole world would appear by all worldly standards to have nothing to lose, but in truth he would lose his own soul. The deception enters into our hearts when we define the two accounting terms of gains and losses by the wrong standards.

Phil 3:7-8 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ. There is gain to us or there is a gain of knowing Christ, but you cannot have both. Adam and Eve thought that they had nothing to lose, but in eating of the tree in the middle of the garden they lost everything.

Matt 10:37-39 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it. Our love for the temporary things of this world blinds us to the great chasm fixed between believing we have nothing to lose and losing everything.

The only sure way guaranteeing that we have nothing to lose is to lose everything for the sake of the gospel; of knowing Jesus Christ in all His glory. Phil 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I have nothing to prove I have nothing to lose, and in the process gain everything!

January 18



There are many forms of fear that dominate our lives within the world we live today, but none can steal the blessings and joys of life from us like the fear of failure. Our fear of failure can define who we are as we confine ourselves within the safe yet mundane areas of what we have defined as life. We build walls around us to keep the fear of failure at a safe distance and we build boundaries around our hearts to keep us from straying too far away from the things we think we can control.

Gal 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. There can never be freedom where the fear of failure exists. There is no standing firm or moving forward in faithful confidence when the yoke of fear continues to enslave us.

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We truly have all sinned and will continue to sin even as Christians. And, in our sinning we have also fallen short of the glory of God. To fall short means to miss the mark. To miss the mark means we have failed to reflect the glory of God! Rom 5:20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. Where failure increased, God’s grace abounded all the more. Its grace that sets us free, not our trying harder or doing more! Trying harder and doing more is indicative of living a life in the fear of failure.

I’m not implying here that we can continue to sin and expect God’s grace to set us free from the fear that will enslave us, but what I want you to know is that there is a God who loves you and sent His Son to die for your sins so that you no longer have to live in the fear of failure.

1 John 4:16-18 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The fear of failure is one of our enemy’s greatest deceptions. Have you come to know and are you believing in the love that God has for you? Do you realize that the God who loves you with unconditional love dwells within you and has promised that He will never leave you? He tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from His love; not even our failures. By trusting in His great love for us, His love is perfected in our hearts. This perfect love casts out all fear; even the fear of failure.

June 13



With all the advancement in technology and the abundance of information floating around on the internet it is becoming increasingly difficult for most people to answer the question what’s the truth?  I just typed in the phrase, “what’s the truth” into Google and in 4.2 seconds it revealed about 288 million results.  Hope you brought your lunch for the next fifty years!

Should we wonder why there is an increasing amount of anxiety medications being prescribed within our culture?  Trying to determine who’s truth is the right truth is like walking through a maze of mirrors without an exit.  Without absolute truth for a foundation we will build our lives on the quicksand of assumption and speculation.  So what’s the truth?

Truth is not a what, but a who!  Matt 16:13-15 …He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Many people today have a distorted view of who Jesus really is.  If we are still asking the question “what’s the truth” we have revealed that our truth is not as absolute as we would like others to believe.

We have many professing Christians who have memorized verses of Scripture with little to no lasting change in their lives or evidence of genuine freedom from the bondage of their sin.  They speak words of truth, but their hearts are still asking the question what’s the truth?  The mind has memorized, yet the heart is slowly being sterilized by a deceptive truth that has taken up residence within our hearts.  Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.  The heart becomes sterilized to the Person of truth when we have exchanged the truth of God for the truth we want to believe.  Truth is about worship.  When we worship someone other than God we must create a truth that fits our object of worship.  What’s the truth?  It is whatever we choose to worship.

Ps 51:6 Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.  What’s the truth?  It is the personal relationship with the One who has become the reality of truth in our inner man.  Eph 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation —  having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.  If you have listened to the truth and believed that truth for salvation He has sealed you for His own possession.  And the result?  Worship!  To the praise of His glory!

May 21



As I reflect on the power and majesty of God and those six days of creation; heaven must have stood still with eyes wide open and mouth’s hushed with reverence and awe!  God always seems to save the best for last and when he made man He not only said it was good, but it was very good.  He did not speak man into existence, but reached down and took the dust of the earth in His hands and fashioned man in His likeness.  And with a final touch of His glory, God breathed into His creation the breath of life.

If life is not God breathed it is not worth living!  When we attempt to live outside of the God breathed life we breathe in the pollution of the world which brings forth death.  Rom 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  The pollution of lust, pride, arrogance, unforgiveness, ungratefulness and self-righteousness permeates the God breathed life like a cancer until there are no signs of life what so ever.  Sin pollutes the God breathed life!

What are you breathing in?  The answer is obvious if you examine what you are exhaling out.  God breathed into you the breath of life and His life exhales out love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  This life does not come by our efforts or accomplishments, but is God breathed.

If you have ever had the wind knocked out of you, you know the only thing you want at that moment is air.  When you come to the place where your sin has you gasping for air and all you want is the life that comes through Jesus Christ He will breathe out His forgiveness and grace and give you the God breathed life!

Rom 5:20-21… but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  When the sin in our lives has increased leaving us hopeless and helpless God breathes out His life giving grace all the more.  Where our sin ruled our lives bringing nothing but death God breathes His righteousness giving us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ezek 37:1-5 He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 And He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, Thou knowest.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 “Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life.  Can these bones live?  Can you live again?  I will cause breath to enter you (God breathed) that you may live!

April 15


Clear ConscienceThe most prescribed medicines in our society today fall under the category of anti-depressants.  The anxiety level in the lives of Americans is staggering considering we are the most free and wealthy country on the face of the planet.  Maybe the only freedom we do not possess is that of a clear conscience.

Anxiety finds its stronghold in our lives through the varying degrees of fear that we attempt to cover up and justify away.  The fear of being exposed or found out muddies the waters of our ability to maintain a clear conscience.  We redefine truth in areas of our lives that we may maintain a clear conscience before God, but God is truth and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If truth is not clear than our ability to have a clear conscience is futile.  1 John 3:19-21 We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him, 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.  Confidence before God assures our hearts and minds to be free from fear and anxiety and to enjoy a life with a clear conscience.  

Think of the very first sin committed by Adam and Eve in the garden.  When they heard the sound of God walking in the garden they hid themselves.  God called out to Adam, “Adam where are you?”  Adam responded that he heard Him walking in the garden and was afraid so he hid himself because he was naked.  God asked Adam another question.  “Who told you that you were naked?”  The one who told Adam he was naked was his own conscience.  He knew God’s command not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden and yet he ate anyway, condemning his own heart and violating his own conscience.  When sin is clear in our lives we cannot live with a clear conscience.

We know when we have violated our conscience for it will become evident by the distancing ourselves from others.  We distance ourselves from God by not being in His word, our lack of prayer and fellowship with other believers.  It will be seen by our increasing judgmental attitude toward others.  We will become critical as we evaluate the motives and intentions of those around us.  Just as Adam and Eve tried to cover up their nakedness we attempt to cover our violated conscience.  God still sees it by the way.  We are unable to hide anything from the righteousness and holiness of God.

There is always hope for a clear conscience and it has nothing to do with you making up for your mistakes or trying harder; it has everything to do with the blood of Jesus!  Heb 10:19-22 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Come in confession and repentance, with confidence into the presence Jesus our Savior and have your hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and find times of refreshing that you may live today with a clear conscience before your God!

April 6


RESURRECTIONOf all the power that God has put on display for the world to see, the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead has brought about the greatest expression of His love that we will ever know.  This same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that gives us new life and the power to live that life to the fullest!  Rom 8:10-11 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. God has placed within us the resurrection power of His Holy Spirit, giving us life; raising us up out of the deadness of our sin into a new life and loving relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! So, where is this resurrection power that our gracious God has given us?  Where is the evidence of this new life of freedom and victory?  If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells within us, where is the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?  If the Spirit is the One who raised Jesus from the dead and the Spirit is the One who dwells within us; where is the power; where is the fruit? The answer to these questions can be found in Philippians chapter three.  Phil 3:10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  We must be conformed to His death.  We must die to the flesh that the power of His resurrection may work within us and through us.  The more we know Him and His love for us the greater the resurrection power we will experience in our daily lives. Phil 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.  This is not about us giving up in order to get; that would be about us, but it is about desiring to gain Christ more than anything else in this world and receiving as a result of this intimate relationship, the indwelling power of His presence.  We should never seek the power, but the relationship. Eph 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. To know Him is to be rooted and grounded in His love.  To be rooted and grounded in His love is to be filled up to the fullness of God.  To be filled up with the fullness of God is to live in resurrection power.

March 3


GOD'S PLACEWhere is God’s place?  We believe that God is omnipresent; meaning that God is everywhere at the same time.  So, by faith then we believe that God’s place is every place; right?  Ps 139:7-8 Where can I go from Thy Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Thy presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there.  There is no place to hide!

The question in this blog is not where is God’s place, but are you in God’s place?  This question is not referring to location but relationship.  Though God is everywhere we are not necessarily at every moment in fellowship with Him in the place He has designed for us.

In reading the story of Joseph we find an interesting conclusion to all of his disappointments in Genesis 50:19-20.  But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? 20 “And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.  Joseph never evaluated God’s place by whether things were fair, difficult or painful, but he found confidence in the midst of his difficult circumstances for he saw God’s hand bringing glory to Himself as His grace impacted the lives around Joseph.

Many times we find ourselves living our lives like those who wandered through the wilderness for forty years; mumbling, grumbling and stumbling.  No, that’s not a new dance step.  It is living life missing God’s place in our lives.  Looking at our lives as our lives is our problem.  Its God’s place not our place!  When we see our lives in light of what we would like them to be, we place our own expectations on them missing God’s expectations altogether.  We hear our hearts express life in these words; “I’m not in a safe place.”  “This is not the best place to be.”  “I’ve been in better places before.”  “This is the worst place I’ve ever been in.”

We will never experience the glory of God as long as we live in our own fairy tale land of make believe.  In our make believe world we have to deceive ourselves into believing life is all about us; that Jesus died on the cross so that we could live a better life.  Life is better with Jesus, but He didn’t die so we could be better people, He died because He loved us and we were hopelessly lost and helpless without Him.

Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.  If Christ is living in us and if the life we are now living in this sinful world is by faith in Him; then our desire should be to live in God’s place, even if that place is not what I would like it to be!  Faithfully living in God’s place changes our whole perspective on every circumstance that comes our way; for God is faithful and He is about to perform a wondrous miracle.

Are you in God’s place?  Then stop your whining!