I super love the account in the Bible in 1 Samuel 16 – KJV. God instructed Samuel to go to the home of Jesse with the purpose to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. Samuel thought that surely Eliab was the anointed of the Lord. The Lord told Samuel that Eliab wasn’t the one. Next was Abinadab; he wasn’t the one either. Then came Shammah, again a son who wasn’t the one. “ . . . Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.” 1 Samuel 16:10 – KJV. The Lord spoke these words to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 – KJV, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” What comforts to know that God looks on the heart and that it pleases theContinue reading »

How inspiring it is to read, in the Bible, assorted accounts of courage. Great reading indeed. Of course, one of the all time favorites is what we read about the showdown between David and Goliath. From a natural standpoint, the odds were against David. Goliath disdained him. Yes, he underestimated the small in stature young man. Obviously, Goliath had more in height and in his experience as a warrior. David, though, had power from Almighty God, who no foe can defeat. David was confident that he’d gain victory over his giant foe. The lad, David, was certain that he had, in his spiritual arsenal, the ultimate reinforcement. How impressive is it that he hasted and ran toward his enemy – 1 Samuel 17:48- KJV? David didn’t hesitate, cower or retreat. He went full throttle to handle the business of his God. Goliath uttered threatening declarations about his perceived triumphant posture. Yes, he talked the talk, but the Lord saw to it that he didn’t “deliver the goods.” David was theContinue reading »

How often are we enriched by teachers? Countless times, of course, is the answer. What they contribute cannot be adequately measured. How often, though, are teachers underrated? Excellent teachers superbly share from their rich hearts, and skill sets. They have tremendous impact in the molding and building up of students. In the Bible, we read of how Eli took Samuel under his wing and taught him about hearing the voice of the Lord and other valuable lessons. Samuel became a prominently loyal man of God. His impact was enormous. He was used in the life movements of Saul, and the Lord sent him to anoint David as king. We read where Samuel was consistently in tune with God and his guidance. Yes, indeed, he was a profound inspiration. The apostle Paul was one of the greatest teachers who we read about in the bible. In Acts 9, when he had his experience with the Lord on the road to Damascus, Paul began his journey of becoming one of the mostContinue reading »

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT) Samuel told King Saul that God said to attack the Amalekites and completely annihilate them including the women, children, and animals. The battle was waged and the Israelites attacked the Amalekites, just as God had commanded. Unfortunately, they also kept the King of the Amalekites and the best of the animals. As a result, God sent Samuel to deliver the message to Saul that since he had not obeyed, God was removing him from the throne. When Samuel calls Saul on the carpet about not destroying everything, Saul claims he saved the best animals to sacrifice to God. So first he partially obeyed, which is basically saying “I will follow Your instructions, but only the part I want to.” It is the same as the temptation of Eve. God saidContinue reading »

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Friendship Delights

In the Bible, I so admire the love and friendship of Jonathan and David. We read of the loyalties demonstrated in that treasured relationship. In 1 Samuel 20, we read of the loyalty that Jonathan held for David, a man who Saul, Jonathan’s father, grew to intensely dislike. Jonathan defied and challenged Saul about his unjust treatment of David. He says to him in 1 Samuel 19:4,5 – KJV, “ . . . Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?”

The bond between Jonathan and David was impressively solid. Reading about their united brotherly love is heart stirring indeed. Yes, their soul ties yield great admiration. 1 Samuel 20:17 – KJV says, “And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.” How swell is that? And in 1 Samuel 20:15 – KJV Jonathan says to David, “But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: . . .”

After Jonathan met his demise, David continued brotherly love actions in Jonathan’s bloodline by welcoming and caring for his son, Mephibosheth. 2 Samuel 9:1 – KJV says, “And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” David said to Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9:7 – KJV “. . . Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.” He goes on in 2 Samuel 9:11 – KJV to say, “. . . As for Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons.”

Ah, that Jonathan/David bond, and bloodline love and loyalty journey is a favorite read of many folks indeed.

It’s a super relief to know that God doesn’t superficially judge by the outer images of people, but by the content of our hearts. Yes, the heart is the center of our beings and much is weighed from that central location. We live in a society where, for the most part, outer image is given major importance. The state of that is of deep concern because so much superficiality dominates. Desperation is the “order of the day” for scores of celebrities who feel pressured to meet beauty “standards.” They nip, tuck, alter, succumb to eating disorders, obtain unnecessary surgical procedures, and other means with aim to satisfy the industry trends for outer beauty. It disturbs me that pressure has so many folks inclined to chase the fads and, often, unrealistic expectations of others. Truly, it can become a vicious cycle of not measuring up according to what’s been instilled in the mindsets of so many celebrities and those who aren’t celebrities, as well. Insecurity levels are huge on a globalContinue reading »

Perky Simone is on her honeymoon with Kirk, the man who she met in church a year ago. She married him even though more than a few signals came from the Lord that it wasn’t a God-approved union. Simone convinced herself that it couldn’t have been the Lord who’d advised her against Kirk. The two of them have had nothing but pleasurable times since becoming a couple. Kirk is tender, respectful and considerate of Simone’s needs and desires. He wines and dines her and gets on swell with her family. They love him. Day three of their honeymoon, Kirk’s true colors surface. After a late night supper, the newlyweds return to their hotel room. Out of the blue, a piercing slap lands on Simone’s cheek. Stunned, she places her hand on her face as she backs away in fear. Tears leap to Simone’s eyes. She screams out, “What’s the matter with you, Kirk?” He snarls, “I saw how you looked at that man at the table next to where weContinue reading »

The God who girded me with strength and kept my way unerring- 2 Samuel 22:33 In the words of King David we are offered hope and comfort in, what can be, a confusing and complex world. These words were spoken and written toward the end of David’s reign, and life. They speak to a power that was given to David from above and beyond our physical sphere and limitations. David was granted the permanent “charisma” or endowment of the Spirit of the Lord (1 Samuel 16:13), which was the cornerstone and catalyst for his glorious Kingship. In a show of humble acknowledgement, David gives the reason for his success against his enemies, establishing Jerusalem, and being given the Eternal Kingship which would culminate in the Messiah; God or, as he would say, YHWH. Herein we see the power from which David was given his triumphs. It is a keynote in the “Song of Thanksgiving” providing a summary of the power which was already described and looks ahead to the personal giftsContinue reading »

Ever since mom passed away a couple of years ago, I’ve had these nagging feelings of guilt. Wishing I had been a better daughter haunts me. As you may know, guilt is an emotional experience that a person realizes or believes (accurately or not) that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct. Also, guilt is closely related to remorse. Fortunately, psychology doesn’t have an answer or cure for guilty feelings. Even Sigmund Freud, father of psychology, stated: “guilt is the most powerful of all obstacles to one’s recovery”. And, yes I said ‘fortunately’ psychiatry isn’t the cure because there’s a better way. Let’s take a peak at the best solution for guilt by looking into the life of Israel’s most famous King. We read in the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel about the exposure of David’s adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. For sure, this was a dismal period in the life of King David. By divine commission, the prophetContinue reading »