Psalm 51:12 Restoring the Joy

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12

It’s been awhile, nearly two months, since I last posted here. Despite the quietness here, I’ve been blessed to see God move in the lives of several people I’ve come to know over these past weeks. God is pouring out boundless love and is restoring hearts, and as a result, is restoring marriages and families! I’m continually in awe of I AM, and have been renewed in my own spirit.

A few weeks ago, I was honored and had the privilege of spending a weekend with two outstanding young men who needed that outpouring of love from the Father to bring them home and restore their hearts. There simply are no words to describe the beauty of watching God heal the pain, remove the shame, and release the burden these men were carrying in their lives. Each of these men has a testimony. They both had been close to Jesus in their lives, walking out their faith. But life threw both of them curve balls. Curve balls that would be unimaginable for me, and I think for most to comprehend. Yet despite these curves and the destruction caused in their wake, God’s love is bigger!

“RESTORE TO ME THE JOY OF YOUR SALVATION,” said David in the wake of his own transgressions. These two men have had that joy restored in their lives. “AND GRANT ME A WILLING SPIRIT, TO SUSTAIN ME.” And now, a few weeks later, these two men have that willing spirit sustaining them each day! Life hasn’t let up, but they both have a renewed spirit and freedom that has allowed them to overcome the challenges and go to the Father in prayer when they don’t have the answers.

I share this experience in hopes that it encourages you in some way. I wish I could share the full stories, as the context would be both overwhelming and uplifting. My other motivation for sharing this is to encourage you to seek out opportunities where you can be a vessel for God. I love my church and I truly believe the church is critical to our Christian life, but these types of encounters just don’t happen often inside the four walls of church. Jesus took His ministry to the streets where the downtrodden, the lepers and the sinners were, and He’s still doing it today. I encourage you to seek God’s will and direction to open those opportunities in your life. I promise you, it will not only bless you, but it will change your life.

Come as you are, because earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal…

1 John 4:7-8

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”


Image result for 1 John 4:7-8

Do you know a flawed person? I meet with one every morning in the mirror. What I have learned is that we are all flawed and broken in some way. But when we exchange pleasantries, “How are you?” The answer is often, “I’m good” or “I’m great!” or “I’m doing fine.” We put up a wall that says, “I want you to think I’m good or great,” or “I don’t want to let my guard down with you.” We put up a false front most of the time and so does most everyone else we come in contact with.

But let’s be real with one another. If we are truly going to walk out our Christian faith, we must love one another, and loving one another means we have to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable involves trust, and we don’t openly trust. Why don’t we trust? We fear if we share our struggles it won’t be held in confidence. Love involves respect. If I ask you if there’s something I can pray for you about, I am opening a channel with you of mutual respect and trust. If you choose to respond, I’m going to receive that response in confidence and thus build love through my respect for your willingness to share and my commitment that you can trust me.

“DEAR FRIENDS, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. These can be merely words that sound good and make us feel good, but taking action to love one another can be messy. It makes us vulnerable. It can be risky business to reach out to someone and sincerely ask them if you can pray for them. BUT, I have found that most people will receive your offer with a grateful heart, and you will be blessed by their reception. We need one another! I need you in my life. You are very valuable and important to me! Let’s not just feel good about these words, let’s live them! It starts with a conversation…Below is a classic gospel song I hope you will listen to and it will touch you as it does me:


1 John 4:7-8 “Love One Another”

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

We have spent the past several weeks seeing how much God loves us through the verses we’ve learned. The book of 1 John goes into great depth to explain God’s love for us. There are several verses in 1 John that would be great to memorize and put on our heart. Here are a few:

1 John 3:1 – “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

1 John 3:16 – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

1 John 3:23-24 – “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

Do you see common, recurring messages in these words? We have been made children of God! The world does not know us because the world does not know Him. If we keep God’s commands we live in Him and He in us.

We have studied and now have a glimpse into God’s love for us; His unconditional love for you and me. That should compel us to love one another, and this will be our focus in 1 John 4:7-8. Loving one another means bringing heaven to earth. Listen to Toby Mac Speak Life:



Ephesians 2:4-5 (Final post)

Today we finish Ephesians 2:4-5 with the final part of verse 5 – “IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED.” We can’t see it. We can’t touch it. We can’t comprehend the magnitude of God’s grace! Here’s a video produced by Elevation Church that may help. I posted the words below, along with a final video I hope you will watch and use in your prayer time on this verse:

This thing that is
but we often cannot see.
Too close for us to see the magnitude,
the glory of this structure.
We often see the detail
But not the stretching, sweeping scale of the thing.
It wraps us up.
Holds us.
So we consider it gentle. Warm. Kind.
We do not see, though, the violent nature.
The wrath and hate for the converse: our sin.
We do not see the scale.
We touch what is visible through our tunnel eyes and say “grace.”
But we see only a fragment of the grand, scandalous tapestry
That God has woven together over time.
The fabric of the world itself.
The very reason the stars are strung together.
When we choose to put one foot in front of the next, it’s grace.
This gracious glory buried within us,
Beating on our ribs to speak of his wonder.
With this touch, life is given.
The giver’s love is this cloak.
This sea of blue green forgetfulness. This face of majesty.
The crackling, roaring thunder.
Grace, his sound.
Glory, his bright display.
Breaks and creates. And finds us. And we’re found.
The split curtain. The opened back.
The mingling blood and water.
The flood that destroys the world we’ve built.
All the earth submitting to his power.
The Cross.
Grace wrapped in triumphant glory.
He is the eyes-shut embrace. The driving rain.
The wind blows, but only at his word.
And this same fury, this sin-thrashing storm,
Is the tempest that bows to wash our feet.
And this same fury, this sin-thrashing storm,
Is the tempest that bows to wash our feet.

And I leave you with this:


John 1:14

“who came from the Father”

John reiterates that Jesus came from the Father. He was sent on a rescue mission, a mission to free the captives, a mission to deliver the truth, a mission to show God’s unbridled love. God had a plan. He had a plan to send His son on the ultimate rescue mission for man. God sent the Son to execute the perfect, sacrificial mission to reconcile us back to Him.

Today as you reflect on these words, is there a rescue mission that needs to be executed in your life? Is there someone in your life that needs a rescue? Do you need a rescue? Jesus is still on assignment, performing rescue missions in the lives of those who are broken. He’s waiting on your assignment if you will seek Him through your prayer and worship.