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Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Let's Make A Deal"

Given January 26, 2006


God has been speaking to me recently about patience. As I was listening to FamilyTalk on XM radio the other day, the speaker was talking about how God usually wants us to wait for something He's going to give us. It reminded me of the old game show, "Let's Make A Deal". Do you remember that?

Here's the situation: God says, "I've got this great blessing, (deal), I want to give you but, because you're not ready to handle it yet, I want you to wait awhile. You'll see, it's going to be worth the wait!"

Now, on the other side, you've got the devil saying, "Don't listen to that!" (Genesis 3:1) I've got some great things, (prizes), waiting for you behind door number 1, 2, and 3. And, you don't have to wait! You can have it right now!" Wow, that sounds good, doesn't it? He'll even give you a glimpse of what's behind one of the doors to entice you. And the crowd, oh my goodness, the crowd. These are usually your friends, family, and co-workers and most of them are cheering you on to take a door. Get it now!

Then, again, you hear the small, still voice of God saying, "What I've got for you Bill is unimaginably good, but you can't have it now." What are you going to do???

"Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it." Psalms 37:34 It happens all the time. This situation presents itself to you and me. Don't deal with the devil, wait on God. He guarantees it will be worth your wait!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Step Out

Given December 14, 2005
God has made many promises and provided many things for us that we haven't taken hold of yet. Why is that? I'm reminded of when God told Joshua, "Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses." Joshua 1:3. God had said, Moses is dead, the time of mourning is over, now get up and go take possession of what I've given you. But what had to happen before they could "take the land"? Joshua, as their leader, had to take that first step! And that was probably a scary thing. Moses had been leading all this time and now Joshua had to take over and step into the unknown. But God said He would be with him just as He was with Moses.

God has made similar promises to you and me but we can't take possession of them standing still. We have to step forward, in faith, and trust that God is in control. He is you know.

I think of this many mornings when I get out of bed. As I take steps around the end of my bed, I'll think of "taking ground". I'll say things like, "Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4, "I have been made the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ my Lord.", 2 Corinthians 5:21, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philipians 4:13. Every step I take, quoting these scriptures and some others, makes me stronger in the Lord. "Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7. Devil, get outta my way! And he does.

Don't be afraid to step out into the place God's calling you to. Memorize some power scriptures and take that first step. Man, what a wonderful land is waiting for you. Step into it!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

You're The Only One

Given December 29, 2005
Audio Version
Have you ever thought that you're not worth much or that you can't make any difference in the world. Well, I have. You see these well-known preachers, famous people, or even people in your community doing things you can't do and it makes you ask, "What am I doing here?"

But, I want you to know, everybody has a purpose, everybody's got something God wants them to do. There's something you can do that no one else can. You are important! "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." 2 Timothy 1:9

Think about Noah. He was one man and look what he did. Nobody else could do what God wanted done except him. And what about a basketball team? You wouldn't want the post player bringing the ball up the court, that's the guard's job. And you don't want the little guard playing down low trying to score over someone a foot taller than he is. Each one has his own job and purpose that only he can do. BUT...they work together for success!

There's something God wants you to do in your family, at work, in your neighborhood, on the golf course, wherever you are that only you can do. You have influence with some people that no one else has. And I'm the same way. So, if we take care of our own areas, our unique assignments, God's work on earth will be successful. And we need to join together to do God's work and not let the devil keep us separated.

Pray and ask God what He wants you to do that no one else can do. He'll tell you , then...go do it!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Updates Available

Given December 29, 2005
I work with computers in education and frequently I'll receive a message that says something like this, "New updates are available. Click here to download." If it's from my virus protection or spyware detection software, the operating system or a program I use frequently, I'll readily click where it says and get the new files. The company has made their product better and they want to give me the updates. That's good! I'll take it!

I think God does the same thing. "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lamintations 3:22-23. Each day, God wants us to renew the Spirit within us because He knows we probably used up our supply for yesterday and we need to be refilled. He sends out His mercies, His Word, His love for us every day but we have to receive it. We have to get with Him, talk to Him, connect with Him, and He'll fill us up to overflowing!

Think about that tomorrow morning and, "click here" to receive what God has for you and be renewed; "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." Ephesians 4:23

Plead The Blood

Given Spring 2004
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;" Revelations 12:11 I heard someone speak on, "pleading the blood" over their kids each day for their protection. That sounded like something I should be doing too. During prayer that morning, I was doing just that, not really knowing much about it except that there is power, protection, and life in the Blood of Jesus.

But I was reminded of the time in the Old Testament when God instructed the elders of Israel through Moses and Aaron to apply the blood of a lamb to their doors so they would be protected. "Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." Exodus 12:21-23

Now, the way I see it since that day, is that I am the elder of my house. I plead the Blood of the Lamb over my family for protection each day. By doing that, I see myself standing at the door with the Blood on it, directing my family inside. I call them by name as each one comes in. I include everyone; my immediate family, their spouses and kids, my Mom, my brother and his family, my wife's family, anyone I consider a part of my family. And you know, I even include the girlfriends of my unmarried sons. If they're with my boys, they can benefit from being a part of our family! I usher them all in and close the door! Inside, we are safe and protected from whatever bad stuff that's going by outside.

I don't really know what has "passed over" us while we were inside but I do know that God is watching over us and we are in His hands. What a comfort!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

We Need Help

I'm experimenting once again. Today, I'm posting a regular Revelation but I'm adding a link to an audio version as well. I find I like to read blog posts but sometimes I'd like to hear it too. We'll see how it goes. Please comment below with your thoughts. God bless you!

Given September 1, 2002 (Audio Version)
I stepped out on my porch on this beautiful Sunday morning and the birds and squirrels scattered and I was reminded that they share “my property” with me. God made it all and the animals have had use of the property since the beginning. However I, through Adam, was given dominion over it and over the animals too, (Genesis 1:26)

God takes care of the animals, (Matthew 6:26), by providing food and shelter on the land but I can help by planting nut trees, setting out bird seed, and building bird houses. When I jotted this revelation down on that day in September, I also made the note, “I’m not sure what God is telling me about this.”

This evening, I asked God what He meant when He showed me that revelation. After a few seconds, this is what I got:

God made the earth and everything in it and He takes care of the animals. Even though I can help by providing some food and shelter for them, they can get by fine without my help. They, can I say, automatically enter into and follow God’s plan for them. But mankind isn’t like that. We don’t automatically fulfill the plan God has for us. We have to choose.

Now granted, we have a much greater reward and God’s plan for us is better that His plan for the animals but we have to decide to take it. And that’s where each of us come in. Even though the birds and animals don’t need my help, my fellow human beings do. Some of them won’t make it if I don’t help. Some of them won’t know about the love of God if I don’t tell them or show them. And you know, some of them live on my property or the property next to mine. And some of them live on your property too.

You know, it’s easy to put some birdseed out but the birds don’t really need it. Your family, friends, and neighbors do need you though. Look around and see who you can “feed”. You probably already know.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

First Podcast Try

Well, here we go. Try this audio post entitled, "I'll Clean You Up".
The recording is not to good but I'd like to know what you think in the Comments section below. Any tips on podcasting would be appreciated as well.

The End Of Your Rope

Given December 31, 2005
I've heard the expression, "I'm at the end of my rope." for years and know it means someone's about to give up or can't go on. But recently, God showed me another way to look at this expression.

If you feel you're at the "end of your rope", which end are you talking about? In gym class, (I barely remember back that far), if you expended much effort and reached the TOP end of the climbing rope, it was a good thing. People cheered for you and you got a good grade. If you're at the BOTTOM end of the rope, well, just let go and stand on solid ground.

I remember a similar time when I was a teenager at a local swimming lake. Part of the lake was set up for public swimming with sand and everything but the outlying areas were just lake, mud, weeds, etc. A kid's beach ball had gotten blown into the outlying area and I went into teenage hero mode and swam to get it. But as I got closer, my wake pushed the light ball farther away and I had to swim some more to try and retrieve it. This happened sevral times and I was getting exhausted but couldn't quit because it was too deep, I thought!

About the time I felt I couldn't go on and was getting worried for my safety, forget the beach ball, I accidentally hit my foot on something solid. It was the muddy bottom! The darn water was only about four feet deep! How embarassing!

The point is, sometimes we struggle greatly with something when God wants us to abandon our own efforts and put our feet down, (or let go of the rope), and let Him take over. So, at which end of the rope are you? It could be that either end can work out well for you if you "let go and let God". "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule." Matthew 5:3 The Message

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Don't Answer It!

Given December 27, 2005
When the devil calls, don't answer. You see his name on the caller ID. You know who it is, don't answer! He wants to tell you some more lies and drag you down again; to get you off the path of light and into the dark places. Don't answer! Quote the Word of God and just let it ring. It will stop. Keep doing this and the calls will become less and less frequent.

Don't answer!

"And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, (she answered) and I ate." Genesis 3:13 (Amplified Bible)

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Great Exchange

Given August 10, 2002
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10. This verse used to bother me. I know we're supposed to be holy and righteous but this verse seems to say none of us are. What's the deal?

God showed me, through a minister, what it means.

Picture God and Jesus in Heaven looking down on earth. God says, "Look at those people we created. The devil's really messed them up. Here we are, totally righteous, no evil in us and there they are, totally evil, no righteousness in them. We need to do something." God thinks a minute.....then says, "We need to go down there and make things right." And Jesus says, "Father, I'll go."

So Jesus goes to earth and stands majestic and tall before man, you and me. He has on His beautiful, shining, white robe of righteousness and there we are, bent over with filthy rags of sin on us. Jesus says, "Here Son, I want to make an exchange with you. Take my robe and give me your rags."

He willingly takes off his white robe and hands it to us and puts on our filthy rags. When He does, He becomes bent over and burdened down under the weight of our sin. But, when we put on His robe of righteousness, we raise up strong and tall! The point is...we are not righteous in and of ourselves, no not one of us. But we have been MADE righteous by the exchange of robes! "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21.

That's the answer! We're not righteous in ourselves, Jesus made us righteous! Thank God for that exchange. Don't stay bent over under the weight of sin. Take the robe, He's holding it out to you.

The Last Drop

Given November 23, 2002
"....my cup runneth over." Psalm 23:5. God spoke to my mind this day concerning our prayers. We may pray for something day after day, week after week and not see any results of those prayers. It may be for someones salvation, a healing, or victory over some stronghold in our lives but nothing seems to be happening. I'm telling you DON'T GIVE UP!

God showed me our prayers are like drops in a vessel. Each drop raises the level in the container a little higher, and a little higher, but we don't realize it. Eventually, on God's schedule, that last drop, that maybe, hundred & forty-second prayer is the one that causes the vessel to overflow! Then...we see the results, the answer, to our prayers. Each drop, each prayer, is doing something. They're going toward the fullfillment of what we're praying for.

Oh brothers and sisters, how many times have we stopped praying in frustration when we were only a few drops away? God, forgive us for our lack of faith! Whatever it is you've been praying for, don't give up. You may be one drop away! "....my cup runneth over."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Are You Offended?

Given September 4, 2005
We've been watching this great DVD series on Wednesdays at church by John Bevere called, "The Bait Of Satan". The bait is offense and we've been looking at many ways the devil uses offense against us. The study has been great!

On this night, I got the image of Satan using someone to do something that offended me. This person did his thing and the devil stood by watching with glee expecting me to react as usual. But instead of getting mad and striking back or talking about 'em...I blessed them! "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Matthew 5:44 Hey, that's what Jesus told us to do.

When I did this, the devil didn't know what to do next. He said, "Hey, wait a minute! That's not what is supposed to happen! That's not what you're supposed to do!" Then he got mad and left. It reminded me that I'm supposed to act like Jesus and not be offended. With His help, I'm making it!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Be Prepared!

Given September 18, 2005
My job in Instructional Technology occasionally requires me to do presentations before groups of educators locally and around Virginia. Every time I do one of these presentations I spend many hours preparing so that what I say and what I show is relevant and useful to those who will be listening. We all would do that. If we have a scheduled presentation to do, we'll prepare like crazy.

But what about an UN-SCHEDULED presentation? What about when we have an opportunity to do a "presentation" of the Gospel to someone who asks? Are we prepared or do we have to say, "Wait, I'll go get the pastor." Shame on us if we're not prepared to give an answer at any time. Peter said, "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," 1 Peter 3:15

Now, it takes some work, some prep time. But, we'll do it for any other presentation. Make a decision today to "be prepared" to tell what God has done for you if someone asks. You'll find that you'll be blessed with confidence, peace, and all kinds of other good stuff just because you've prepared.