Some months ago, I bumped into a dear friend of mine. It’s always wonderful meeting him. After many years as a missionary in far away countries, he is always full of stories and encouragement. When he saw me he held me in a big bear hug and said, “You know, prayer always works; always!” There was a gleam in his eyes. I knew he was going to tell me about one of his adventures and he had my rapt attention. “Jesus,” he said, “is a shepherd. He knows where the green pastures are and where the wolves hide, and we don’t. So when we need help, we need to talk to Him.” He chuckled and said, “I was in a financial pinch the other day so I entered my closet and took time to listen to the Master.” “Sure,” I answered. “What did God say?” “Teach,” my friend said. “Teach? Teach what?” “Teach Dutch.” “Huh? Teach Dutch?” I didn’t understand. I know the Lord never fails and that He’s alwaysContinue reading »

The apostle Peter panicked when he stepped out of the boat onto the lake in an attempt to walk on the water as he saw the Master do. I can see him standing there, staring at the waves with a pale face while he started to sink into the deep, dark waters. I am going to die. I made a mistake. I am not supposed to be here. But then he cried out to the Lord; helpless and lost. And Jesus heard his cry. He and the other disciples had a similar experience when they were in a shaky little fishing boat in the middle of a furious storm. With a bewildered look on their faces, their clothes soaked from the rain and the waves, and a desperate cry on their lips they stared at each other. What are we going to do? Death is imminent. We are not supposed to be here. But then they cried out to the Lord in their helplessness. And again Jesus heard their cryContinue reading »

Based on a poem A man appeared before the judgement seat of God and the books were opened. “Let’s see what we will find on the pages of your life,” God spoke to the man in a reassuring voice. The man smiled with a confidence he didn’t feel. Jesus sat next to the Father and looked down at the man with tender eyes. “Don’t worry,” God said as he glanced at the man. “Don’t be nervous. After all, I am a righteous God and my judgements are always fair and right. If you’ve done the right stuff, there’s no need for worry.” But that was precisely the problem, as the man knew all too well God would surely stumble upon a few pages of his life that he would have gladly ripped out of the book. He hadn’t been wicked in the sense that people in the world regard as wickedness, but he knew all too well he had broken the law on countless occasions. “It’s a fairly simple process,”Continue reading »

There is a sweet anecdote about a dying Union soldier during the American Civil War. The unfortunate fellow lay shivering and wounded in a ditch when a Confederate chaplain found him. He knelt down by the wounded man and asked him if he wanted to hear some comforting words from the Bible. But the soldier moaned and answered that he preferred some water. The chaplain got up and promised he would find him some. When he returned the soldier asked the chaplain if he could support his head so he would not feel the pain so much. The chaplain took off his vest and gently slid it under the man’s head. “And could you cover me,” the man requested further. “I am so very cold.” Without a second thought, the chaplain took off his own overcoat and covered the dying man. “Anything else?” the chaplain then asked. The man looked up and said with halting breath, “Thank you, Sir. If there’s anything in that book that made you do whatContinue reading »

Who doesn’t long for that eternal place where we can quench our thirst with living water and will be surrounded with nothing but the soft light of God? Heaven, the place where pain and sorrows can no longer molest and Satan is no longer allowed access. Still, it is hard to imagine what it will be like in that beautiful place. Paul said, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Right now, because we are on earth and can only truly understand earthly things, we judge Heaven by earthly standards. Therefore, the first things we consider important about Heaven are the absence of pain and stress. The things that bother us the most here on earth are our dealings with fear, desperation and misery, and therefore to us, Heaven surely must mean the absence of those things. Thankfully the Scriptures agree, as is clearly written that in Heaven all tears shallContinue reading »

I looked at the twelve story building, silhouetted against a grey sky and I shivered. “Look at that hospital,” I told my wife. “It looks so big and ominous. I hope I’ll never be in that place.” “Don’t worry about it.” My wife smiled reassuringly. “God is stronger than a mere hospital.” *** It started with a slight pain in my stomach. I figured it was due to something I ate and tried to push it away. But the pain didn’t go away and soon became stronger. “I sure hope this pain is leaving soon,” I murmured. But it didn’t. Then the fevers came. High fevers that left me soaked with sweat. I prayed for healing, quoted scriptures and ate all the right foods, but the fevers didn’t go away either. Again I hoped for a change for the better. But it got worse. Then the doctor came. He shook his head and for awhile said nothing. I looked at him from my sweaty bed with anticipation. I hope he doesn’t send me toContinue reading »

I called But You didn’t answer I reached for You But You didn’t extend Your arm I cried for help But You didn’t dry the tears I pleaded with You But You stayed silent still The hurt was deafening The pain only increased The pills added to my sorrow No signs of relief I turned to doctors The best there could be Examinations to MRIs Then, Chemotherapy Nothing seemed to help The hospital walls Were closing in on me Desperation set in Turned to despair Depression looming Does it mean You don’t care? Heaven’s Gates opened wide You called to me, finally I heard Your voice so clear Now, I am here My family, my friends All ask how could this be I see their tears Broken smiles Questioning… But I look into Your eyes At last to see Just because You didn’t Heal me Doesn’t mean You don’t Love me

I have often found a deathbed salvation hard to accept, especially those who have spent their earthly life doing every kind of evil, even rape and murder – even against those who are helpless and have no avenue of escape like children, but why? Well, they don’t deserve it. We feel superior to those hopelessly embroiled in lifelong sin. BUT. When we received salvation, carrying our (at the moment) lifelong sins, in that moment of admitting, Jesus pardoned all of our sins, wiping the slate clean as if we’d never sinned at all. Once we have been saved and made new, we no longer bear these crimes against God. We may still feel the weight of them, but we needn’t. How about the sins we commit after we have been pardoned? Do we treat them as the former – already forgiven? Surely not! Although we have been cleansed from the former, we now bear the current sins. We still have to ask, but it will be forgiven. What about theContinue reading »

Is it true that forgiveness can have levels and stages of processing? Is it fair to say that some things are easier to forgive than others? I believe so. Indeed, forgiveness, in some instances, can be more than slightly challenging. We have seasons when we engage in “wrestling matches” within ourselves concerning the matter of forgiveness. We’re prone to take up resistance stances, despite what we know the Lord instructs. The Bible clearly tells us about forgiveness and that we are to do it. In truth, there are occasions when it’s easier said than done. The forgiveness journey comes in various shapes and sizes. We know of marital infidelities, family betrayals, financial cons, workplace back stabbings, etc. And then there are some folks who live in false states of reality who tend to believe that they don’t need to seek forgiveness. We find it “best” relative to our “comfort” levels to forgive folks who seek it. But we’re not so comfortable when we know that we need to forgive, yet,Continue reading »

Alrighty now — we’re at another beginning. Super love extends to our Lord with gratitude galore for how far we’ve come and how we were here to welcome in the year 2016. We have much to look forward to as we approach new days, new spiritual and physical seasons, pleasantries, rewards and challenges. Indeed, jubilation is in order for the manifold wonders of God, and how we live according to pure precepts. Certainly, the joy of the Lord is our strength and assurance. Leviticus 25:12 – KJV For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

I wonder how often folks pause to do introspection. Isn’t it more likely that people “inspect” the conduct of others more quickly than we do introspection? Self-evaluation is indeed necessary to tune in to where we need to adjust and alter what is within us. Yes, sometimes spiritual “housecleaning” is something that we should do. When we engage in that healthy exercise, it not only benefits us but also those folks with whom we engage and encounter. Certainly, we do well to make changes in our personal and professional lives. Regular quiet time with the Lord sure helps us to recognize, understand and to know what’s necessary to address. God reveals what best pleases him. When we line up with the guidance of our Lord, such wise choices are always a plus. Years ago, I worked with a guy who regularly complained about the conduct of others. One day as we rode the bus, seated next to each other, he proceeded to inform what, in his estimation, was wrong withContinue reading »