The other day I came across an inspiring anecdote which illustrated the workings of prayer in a refreshing way. Once, a man woke up in the middle of the night and was overwhelmed by a deep sense of dread and danger. However, the feeling had nothing to do with the man himself but concerned his friend, a missionary who was working in the heart of Africa. Although it was dark, his bed warm and the man tired, he forced himself out of bed and made intercession for his friend. The foreboding feeling of danger did not leave immediately, but this prayer warrior did not yield to the temptation to give up and he fought in prayer like Jacob wrestled with the angel. Finally, as it was already getting light, a great sense of peace flooded into the man’s heart and he went back to bed. A month later he received news from his missionary friend and learned what had happened the night of his prayer. The missionary wrote: “On oneContinue reading »

Once upon a time, a mother was walking down the street with her little boy. Not anything unusual, except that the little boy had had polio and could hardly walk and was struggling along with his iron braces. A pitiful sight, but not to the mother; she was full of radiant joy and encouraged her son to keep going. “Good boy…It’s going so well,” she exclaimed jubilantly. Then the boy looked up and said, “Maybe, I can still learn to run after all! Would it be all right if I try?” A difficult question; of course that boy couldn’t run. Anybody could see that. He would fall and hurt himself. But the mother was confident and encouraged her son. “Come on son… give it a try. You can do more than you know.” The boy sighed and then took a few steps forward. He didn’t in any way resemble a seasoned runner, participating in a trial, but the boy did move, and for a few steps, it went well. ButContinue reading »

There is an inspiring anecdote about two men who were boating on a foaming river. The two, however, were not very experienced and somehow they did not steer their boat properly. At one point, they took a few wrong turns and landed on a tributary and lost complete control. They were now being swept to a roaring waterfall and were in danger of losing their lives. But, there was hope. A man on the shore saw their desperate plight and got out a rope and threw it to the struggling friends. The first one grabbed the rope and was pulled to safety. But, just as the second man was about to grab the rope, a tree trunk floated by and that seemed to provide more security than the rope that was attached to the shore. The man made his decision. He jumped to the tree trunk, but he had made a deadly mistake. Only minutes later the screaming man disappeared with his tree trunk over the edge of the waterfallContinue reading »

Ah! The joy of mornings – Freshness in place New expectations arrive – The treasures of alertness reward Sunrise splendor invites our gazes Once again, it shines vibrantly providing warmth, vitamin aid and more Farmers rise early to work what they’ve sown – They’re out and about feeding and tending their livestock – Roosters crow announcing the approaching of daybreak – It’s morning again, y’all — whoopee Birds fly, chirp and sing as they soar in the open fresh air They play and inspire up in the morning sky Ah! New beginnings in the mornings – What new adventures await us? What new things do we have to be thankful for? What new ways shall our Lord manifest? Ah! Morning expectations indeed Numerous times in the bible we read where folks rose early in the morning – At places, it mentions very early in the morning We read in Psalm 139:9 that the morning has wings – Psalm 90:6 says, “In the morning it flourisheth and growth up” – PsalmContinue reading »

Millions of folks marveled at the strength of character demonstrated by Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for twenty-seven years as a political prisoner. In 1985, he was offered a conditional release, which, on grounds of principle, he refused. His unconditional release was announced in 1990. It was indeed a grand view to see Mandela humbly but confidently walk outside to freedom for the first time in twenty-seven years! Globally, we profoundly admired the African man who went from prisoner to president. Mandela didn’t re-enter society with bitterness as an emotional attachment. He was firmly for reconciliation in his region, a region that had long been one of racial and economic turmoil and unrest. Worldwide, Mandela spread his message of the need for reconciliation. Yes, certainly, he made an international impact. Millions of folks hold deep love, respect and gratitude for the man, Mandela and the love, humility, respect, wisdom, and knowledge that he shared and demonstrated. Folks who haven’t lived through such circumstances have no in depth awareness of whatContinue reading »

I need a moment to think. I need a moment to consider. I am a Christian. What do I have to surrender? The money in my account is my own. I have worked too hard to give someone a loan. The car I drive is a classic. New paint. No scratches. Good deal. Need a ride? Who’s asking? My home is top on the market. Cobblestone driveway New appliances. Swimming pool. Video entertainment system. For me, not you. Everything I have God has given to me I am a blessed man. Most envied in the land. So why do they question me So why do they judge I’m going to Heaven And you are not

What does submission look like? What does it feel and sound like? Women in this country have been told for so long that they are in charge and no one has the right to control them. Submission is not control, it’s God’s way. He is over all of creation and husbands are over their wives and families. It’s not oppression; it’s safety, and one of the ultimate protections wives have. If you know you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, then you already have an example of this principle. Hopefully, when you hear the Holy Spirit of God prompting you and guiding you, you obey. You say this is not the same thing, but it is. If you obey the Holy Spirit, then it should be safe to say you trust Him, right? So you do what He says because you know He is looking out for you. That’s submission. We submit to Jesus as our Lord and Savior and follow where He leads. (Read on for some qualifiers)Continue reading »

If you have given your life to the Lord, He gives you a heart transplant. He gives you His heart and then you have Jesus in you; you have His heart. The Bible says the heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), but the heart of Jesus is magnificently loving and gracious and long-suffering. How can we live the Christian life and love like the Lord does? In the flesh we cannot, but in our spirit, as we yield to the Holy Spirit, we can. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) Click on the link to read chapter 43 in its entirety. It’s amazing. Is a Christian’s heart deceitful and desperately wicked? The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) In researching this, I found anContinue reading »

Well, I had done it again, got busted with whatever lie I was telling at the time. Sometimes all it takes is one phone call or letter in the mail to bring down the house of cards. Why do I lie? I want to blame it on my extreme aversion to conflict. Of course, you know there really isn’t a valid reason to break a commandment no matter how you slice it. Deception often begets deception, and soon you have to be trying to see around corners and get to the mailbox first just in case, blocking unknown (or unwanted) phone numbers, and, above all, always answering the question “is everything okay? Everything paid up?” with words of affirmation, “oh, yeah, everything is fine.” All the while you are hoping to change the subject. It’s exhausting. In some cases, the obvious happens and you get caught, but sometimes you are working hard to correct some of the mess before it all blows up and you succeed; however, sometimes you justContinue reading »

The atheist and the believer were walking down the street one day and as usual, the atheist did his very best to discourage the faith of the believer by sowing doubt and bringing up all kinds of questions. “There’s never been a good proof for the existence of God,” the man scorned. “Where is that God of yours? In fact,” he sneered, “There’s no difference between you and me. You believe and I don’t, but we are still the same with the same troubles and difficulties.” The believer just shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what to say. Faith is a personal matter.” “That’s so typical,” the atheist continued. “You just don’t know what to say. But even that beggar over there can’t see any difference between us.” The believer looked up and indeed a few yards away a beggar was asking for alms. A sly smile appeared on the face of the atheist. “We will put it to the test,” he snickered. “Let’s see who he asks for moneyContinue reading »

Ah, the splendor of jewels opals, diamonds, and rubies galore – Pearls, garnets, emeralds, Oh my, the jewel cases are replete with precious goodies So much pulls at our heartstrings and pleases our eyes – Rich treasures abound in the splendor of the gifts from God’s earth Alas, though, our Lord gives us jewels that we embrace from within – Love, joy, peace, faith, and goodness Yes, oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Magnificence shines and glows as we inhale the resplendent beauties of God Almighty – Precious awareness that our Lord outshines ALL – Yes, the Master Jeweler arrays in the heart spaces much that delights, heals, comforts and instructs Brilliance at its best!