Maybe you stumbled upon my personal blog site or maybe you visit from time-to-time. Either way, I am honored and thrilled you are spending time exploring and hopefully finding truth in God’s word. I recently published a book called The Journeyman. Please check it out on Amazon via this link: The Journeyman.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I’ve realized something these past few weeks of opening myself to hear God; I had been living life with an entitled expectation. God exposed the places where I just assumed and expected what I felt entitled to in my life. The key word there is “I”. I have discovered how feeble an attempt my life has been to dying to self and truly embracing my love for God and apprenticeship to God’s will. I’m not sharing this in condemnation but in grateful recognition!
Father God, I realize just how much you love me that you continue to teach me and reveal the areas in my life that need healing. You continue to pour Your boundless wisdom into me through your Word. Lord, this scripture from 1 Thessalonians has poured new life into my soul;
Rejoice always! I haven’t rejoiced much lately… I’m rejoicing now!
Pray continually! My prayers have been fleeting. I’m falling to my knees Lord at what You have done and continue to do in my life despite my own rebellious spirit. I desperately need more of You and for You to continue to search my heart and expose the hidden things I need to remove to receive more of You.
Give thanks in all circumstances! This Lord is where You have truly exposed me. I have projected a grateful and thankful heart but when the future I thought was mine, and I was entitled was removed I quickly took on a spirit of ungratefulness and bitterness. Lord, I know Your heart is for my best and though I don’t see or understand at this moment, I’m giving thanks to You for my current circumstance and condition. I’m thankful that I have been so blessed with good health, beautifully, wonderful children and great brothers and sisters in Christ. The things I thought unfair, unjust, unexplainable all pale in comparison to the challenges and adversities so many others face. And the reality is I know I don’t need to draw comparisons either. I just need to live each day with the thanks of knowing You love me so much You continue to speak into me and continue to hold me and heal my brokenness. for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Amen
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 John 4:15-16
I had some windshield time driving through rural Minnesota through a windy, driving rainstorm. Sounds horrendous, right? Well, looking beyond the rain pounding my windshield, I was overcome by the beauty of the landscape on either side of the road; the trees were bright green with new foliage, the farms all had their old, weathered barns, and occasional hills were pristine looking down on the farmland. I thanked God for His creation!
Father God, I want to know and rely on your love for me. My faith has stammered and I’m coming back seeking your presence in my soul. I see the places where You are moving in my life. I thank you and I’m grateful for the doors You continue to open in my life.
Lord, today I was able to sit still and take in Your beauty, the amazing beauty of your creation as it transforms and comes to life into the Spring. It made me realize how close You are. This song spoke to me. I’m grateful! Amen.
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws. Psalm 119:28-30
Father God, thank you for your grace and mercy. I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life; the things I see and especially the things I don’t see. I want my faithfulness to you to be like your faithfulness to me. I thank you for another day and I pray that I use it to glorify you.
Yesterday was a better day. But Lord I need you to reinforce my strength. I pray again today that my thoughts and my eyes be focused on the here and present and not upon the past. Continue to heal my soul. I know you are a God of restoration and I pray for Your restoration upon me.
Lord open my eyes to the truths you are trying to teach me. I prayed for revelation and I realized yesterday that you had already given me revelation to one of my next steps at work. I just hadn’t opened my eyes to it. Father, I need spiritual discernment. Speak Lord into my soul. I want to do the things that are in your will and purpose and avoid making bad decisions and repeating mistakes from the past. Lord, give me patience. Don’t allow me to act or react until I know your purpose.
Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank you for my health. I thank you for my precious children. I thank you for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I thank you for this country. I thank you for the opportunity I have to work. I lift up those who are currently suffering physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I have felt all of those pains. I will hold the specific names and circumstances here and speak them later. Father, give me safe travels as I travel across the country today. Amen
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
Heavenly Father, I want to be in Your presence! Transfer my desire to make a presence at church to a desire to be in your presence. I want to feel your embrace once again (Luke 15:20). I’m tired, Lord. I’m empty in the depths of my soul and I know Your unconditional love is the only thing that will fill it.
Father God, I’m calling to You! Open my eyes and heart to Your spirit and speak into my soul. My mind is racing with so many unknowns about my present life and where I’m headed. I know you have given me the gifts and talents to do the work I do. You have opened doors of opportunity for me to use those gifts and talents and my prayer is that you reveal to me where I need to focus my efforts and energy today. I’m calling to You for the answers I don’t know. I want to know the things I need to change in me and the details I need to work on to redirect my course and the course of my business. This is my dead reckoning moment and I seek your guidance in recalculating my course in alignment with Your will and purpose.
Father God, you have given me this day. I pray that I do not take this day for granted and that I stay focused on the present. I need your strength to discipline my heart from drifting back to the past and dwelling on what was. Don’t let my feelings control me. Keep me centered on You and to live in this moment and give me peace and confidence that You are guiding my steps. I will live this day in the words of Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Amen.
I haven’t posted on this site in a very long time. I have a lot of reasons and none of them are good. I’m starting a new direction, a new beginning and a new purpose with this site. I’m going to be real and transparent about my own walk with the Lord; my struggles, my temptations, my heartbreak, my joy and my faith. If only for me that is enough, but if it speaks to anyone who happens upon this site, I hope it gives you a place of hope that we are all fighting the good fight. You may ask why would you post your stuff for anyone and everyone to see, and my simple answer is, I can no longer keep the struggles in the shadows.
So I begin with this passage from Romans 8:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:1-13
My Prayer Today:
Father God, I’m praying today for your revelation in these words. I am guilty Lord of living life in the flesh and not in the spirit. I have made choices of my free will to follow the desire of the flesh and of the world instead of giving myself completely to You. Lord, please forgive me for my rebellious spirit and my pursuit of the things of the world. I have allowed the powers of Satan to guide my thoughts and my actions. I have succumbed to the spirits of deception, accusation, and temptation. And in every instance, I have brought pain on others, damaged and destroyed relationships and brought guilt, heartache and shame upon myself.
Father God, I lay it all at the foot of the cross. I prayer your redemptive spirit of healing upon me and those who I have hurt along the way. I ask Father for your forgiveness, and your grace and mercy upon me and that you rekindle my heart with the Holy Spirit so that I can walk a new life. A life void of my selfish desires. A life open and willing to your purpose. A life completely turned over in unconditional faith in Your promises for my life and for those I hold dear.
Father God, as I embark on this new journey, I pray for your strength and guidance. As your word says in Proverbs 3:5-6, I will put my trust in you and lean not on my own understanding, despite how tempting it is to try to gain that understanding. Father, let me have the innocent faith of a child in you. Father, I pray that I will submit to you in all things, and give up my selfish control so that you will guide my path. Father, let me put my trust in you in guiding my daily life moving forward.
Father God, I thank you for your many blessings in my life. I am grateful. So let me go forth with that spirit of gratitude as I approach each day, recognizing it is a gift from you. Father, through that gratitude, fill my spirit with an abundance of joy and light and protect me from falling aimlessly into darkness. I pray the words Jesus taught us to pray;
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for yours is the Kingdom and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Another verse that we as Christians should embrace and hold firm. God only wants the best for you. There are times when you may question, “How does this situation work for my good?”. I get it. I’ve had some difficult moments in my life that just didn’t make any sense. I’ve made some boneheaded decisions that lead to a lot of problems. But over the course of time, I’ve witnessed how God used them for my ultimate good. I left a very successful career and significant income at the young age of 27 to open an ice cream store. Looking back, probably a boneheaded decision at the time… However, managing that ice cream store and working side-by-side with teenagers who I employed ultimately lead to my passion for youth ministry. I may have given up a lucrative career, but I have been immensely blessed by each of you and all of the other youth I have grown to know and love over the years. In all things, God works for the good of those who love Him…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
This is one of the core verses of the Bible every Christian should not only know but hold in their heart. It speaks to the core of our new life in Christ. When we accept Christ (salvation) we have a heart change. Our old life in terms of how we live is dead. The spirit of Adam (sinful nature) we were born with has died, and the spirit of Christ now resides in us.
That new life of Christ is the beginning of our eternal walk with the Lord. We aren’t waiting for the day we die to live an eternal life, we are living our eternal life now through Christ! Our transformation as a new creation starts as we begin to die to our old selfish life and begin a new life focused on living this new eternal life with Christ at the center. We develop a new lens in how we view things. The temporal things of the world become less and less relevant. The pressures of the world don’t go away, but with an eternal lens, our view and response to those pressures change, because through Christ, He carries our burdens. An eternal lens casts a light on the short-term perspective of our problems. An eternal lens awakens us to the fact that we are not defined by our problems, our rejection, our struggles, our work, our finances, or the world’s attempts to say we are not good enough. An eternal lens changes our perspective of time because God doesn’t wear a watch. An eternal lens gives us an x-ray like vision into the inner beauty of everyone around us that we likely have never seen before. An eternal lens sharpens our focus on the character of Christ, the work on the cross, and God’s true purpose for our lives. It all starts with grace. When we bring God’s grace down from our head to our heart, we can begin the process of bringing heaven to earth. This is our new creation in Christ Jesus!
Here Now is a powerful song by Hillsong United that speaks to the transforming power of God’s grace. Listen to the words. I hope it speaks to you:
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“I am with you.” There’s just something reassuring when we know there’s someone else willing to go with us and support us. We don’t particularly like going to the doctor’s office alone. We sure don’t tend to go see a movie alone. When I’m traveling for work, I don’t necessarily like having dinner alone.
When we especially face big decisions in life we don’t want to face them alone either. We want and need support. Many of you are facing some decisions about what you are going to do after high school; am I going to college, if so where am I going to go, who else is going to the same school, what am I going to study, etc. These are all big questions as you enter a new season and a new journey of life, and I know there are not always clear answers.
But in this verse from Isaiah, we find assurance that God is with you. He’s available to help you clear out the clutter and give you clarity if you will seek His wisdom and guidance through prayer. You may feel overwhelmed with being overwhelmed, and God is saying “don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.” We don’t have all the answers, but He does. So go to Him in prayer and seek His will and let Him guide your direction.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 (NASB)
Most of you should recognize this verse. It was the closing verse for the four years of Sunday worship services at Metro as Pastor Kirk blessed the congregation. I saw Pastor Kirk, Laura and Lauren at Mount Paran North last Sunday. It was great to see Laura doing so well and also great to see Lauren who I know is missed in our youth group.
That visit also brought this verse back to me. We should always desire to please God, but as we go through the day-to-day of life, do we take to heart the words in Psalm 19:14? We recognize our heavenly Father knows all our words and all of our thoughts and I truly want my words and my thoughts to be acceptable and pleasing to Him. Yet, I do fall short of the mark and it’s the remainder of the verse that gives me strength – “Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” I need that rock all the time and I find incredible joy in reflecting on the redemptive blood of Jesus. I hope and pray you do as well…