Saturday, December 31, 2016


  I’ve been thinking about the New Year we’re all about to face. I know for many of us 2016 was a difficult year. Some experienced the loss of employment, others the loss of a loved one, another had major sickness.   From a personal standpoint in my life and ministry it has been a year of transition and many questions.  Some questions answered but still have many.  If it were not for the strength of the Lord, my family, friends and my church family I don’t know what I would have done.
     Well, that is all behind me now and I am looking forward to 2017!  My husband and I always do the 21 Day Daniel Fast at the beginning of the year. This year we start on Jan. 8th.   I believe I will receive greater understanding of several things during this fast. As we face going into a new year I’d like to encourage you to allow the Lord to do some new things in your life. It’s time to move forward!! Some of you might be comfortable with your life as it is. To that I say, the Lord loves us too much to allow us to remain as we are. We need to always be growing in some area of our life. Others of you may be fed up with life, disillusioned, even fearful.  For some of you there’s been a dream that you’ve held in your heart for years but you just don’t see it happening. Hold on, you might be delayed, but you are still destined!
     Now let’s look at some new possibilities for 2017.

New Pursuits

“There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the LORD'S counsel-- that will stand.”  Proverbs 19:21
     God might lead you to a new job position. He might send you back to school for some more training. Ask the Lord what he wants to do with your life.  If you’re a Christian maybe he’s calling you into ministry or to go on a mission trip. Be open to new ideas in the New Year. Get your steel-toed shoes ready…. It might be that you need to change some of your relationships that are leading you down a wrong path. In the bible it says, “Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."  1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT - You have more worth than you realize. Don’t let yourself be dragged down by those who are on a destructive path in life.

New Reputation

"Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.” Isaiah 54:4
     Perhaps you’ve failed in some area of your life.  Have you done something that brought you shame?  It can all be made new when you call upon the Lord. I could share some stories with you about how God has turned some things around in my life!  To my brothers and sisters in prison- Continue to seek the Lord he will give you a fresh start!

New Heart

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
     Has your heart been wounded, broken and shattered? Maybe your heart has been so hardened that you feel you just can’t reach out to others or allow people to reach out to you. If you will ask the Lord, he will give you a new heart.  Look at this scripture – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” - Ezekiel 36:26

New Beginnings

 “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Col 3:10
     If your life has been full of pain, abuse, addictions and failure, whatever – God wants to give you a new life, a new beginning. I can testify to the reality of having my life taken out of the gutter and being made brand new. My life was such a mess at one time that I am in awe that the Lord has changed my life as he has.
     Friend, if you have tried everything else and it hasn’t worked, perhaps it’s time to give things over to the Lord. I know He will help you live in a new way. He will give you hope. If you will just surrender to him, He has a good plan for your life.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
     Once again I must share with you one of my favorite scriptures – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17
     In my next blog we will take a deeper look at what it means to move forward in the Lord.
     Until next time, have a most Blessed New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lift Up His Name!

 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)
     We’re about to celebrate Christmas and we’re about to enter a new year that I am sure has many new challenges for us. This year has been a rocky year to say the least. We’ve had unusual, even weird weather, which has led to a lot of sickness. Many have lost jobs, loved ones, relationships, etc. throughout year.  Life just gets tough sometimes.  Whether it is health, finances, family issues or other difficulties, one thing I have learned is to call upon the name of the Lord, for it is He alone who can rescue us
     In the bible there are many references to various Hebrew names of God that point to a particular area of his care for us in our lives.   I would like to share a few of those names with you and how you can apply them to your life.
     Jehovah Shalom – “The Lord our Peace” – “So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD-Is-Peace..." (Judges 6:24)
     When life is stressful and you’re feeling no peace, run to the Prince of Peace and let him fill you with his peace that passes all understanding.  “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  (Isaiah 26:3)
     Jehovah Nissi – “God is my Banner” – “And Moses built an altar and called its name, THE-LORD-IS-MY-BANNER;” (Exodus 17:15)
     In those times when you just want to run and hide under the covers, run to Jesus instead and let him cover you with his banner of love and protection.
     Jehovah Jireh – “The Lord is my Provider” – “And Abraham called the name of the place, THE-LORD-WILL-PROVIDE; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided." (Genesis 22:14)
     This name of the Lord is a reminder of God’s promise to provide for our needs. Notice it’s our needs he provides for, not always our wants. I remember a time about fifteen years ago when my husband was in a car wreck and out of work for seven weeks. Now he had just started his new job so there were no benefits – no insurance, no vacations time, nothing. But God provided everything we need for our bills to be paid during that time.
     Jehovah Shammah – “The Lord Who is always Present – “It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. ”- (Ezekiel 48:35)
     What a wonderful promise! He is always there when we need him!  Now there may be times when it feels like he is not there and instead of trusting his hand we have to trust his heart.  We can’t always “feel” God but we know that his word is true when it says, “he will never leave us nor forsake us. “ (Hebrews 13:15)
     Yahweh Roi – “The Lord is my Shepherd” – Psalm 23
     This chapter is the Book of Psalms is probably the most read chapter of the bible. Many turn to it for comfort during difficult times. The Lord does care for us tenderly as a shepherd tends to his flock. To gain a greater understanding of Jesus being the Good Shepherd in your life I would highly recommend the book “A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23” written by W. Phillip Keller.    
     It’s amazing how when new trials come our way we quickly forget what God has done for us in the past. When I face those times of wondering what God is up to in my life, I often go back and refresh myself with some of the meanings of his name.
     My friend, be encouraged today, the Lord is for you, not against you.  Take a step in a new direction and trust the Lord with the events of your life. Sometimes we just need to stop and listen to what God is saying to us through a situation rather than grumbling because things aren’t as we would like them to be. 

     Lastly, don’t fall into the trap of isolation when you face trials. That is one the of the devil’s biggest schemes. He wants you to withdraw and be alone, making you susceptible to depression.  Instead of running and hiding, go to your local church or Christian friend and ask for prayer. There is power in the prayer of agreement with another person.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I posted this article a couple of years ago. A reader mentioned recently how they were encouraged by it, so I decided to share it again.
      When most people read John 15:1-14 they usually end up talking about bearing fruit for the kingdom of God.  That is an important principle for us to live by.  If we’re true disciples of Jesus Christ we should desire to bear much fruit for the sake of the Gospel.
However, as I read this recently I had a different perspective on it.
      In this passage in John 15 two verses in particular stood out to me. The first is in verse 5, which says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” As I read this I thought about how we all are in the “rush mode” getting ready for Christmas. The Lord spoke to my heart through this and reminded me that we must keep our focus on God, his Word and his son, Jesus -the reason for the season.  Maintaining this focus will help us be less stressed with more opportunity to bear fruit for the Lord.
     Understanding that in this passage Jesus is the Vine we’re to abide in, let’s see what we can learn about abiding in the Vine. I have made an acrostic of the word “abide” from which we can glean five principles of abiding. Apply Build Involve Deny Examine.
Apply – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15KJV - If we’re going to walk in tune with the Lord, we’re going to have to know his word. I don’t mean that you have to be a scholar or read twenty-five chapters a day. Just be consistent to read something from the bible everyday.
Build 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians  5:22-23   Ask the Lord to help you build these qualities in your life. They will certainly be helpful in the crowded stores! (smile)
Involve – 46And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47NAS  The believers in the early church stayed in close contact encouraging each other and they were committed to involvement in their local church.
Deny – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24 Again, if we keep Jesus first in our life, and think of others more than ourselves, we’ll be less apt to growl back at another tired shopper.
Examine –“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-- unless indeed you are disqualified.”  2 Corinthians 13:5 We must regularly take inventory of our lives to make sure that we’re living in righteousness.
     Earlier I mentioned two verses that stood out in John 15. We looked at verse five. Now let’s look at verse 11.   John 15:11 - "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”  “These things” refer to the scriptures Jesus just share in verses 1- 10. So, what Jesus is saying to us is that if we abide in him we will have JOY.  What a promise to hold on to for the rest of this month and next! The stress of shopping, the pain of being alone, missing a loved one, financial strain, etc.  As we abide in Jesus in the midst of it all we can still have joy in our heart.
     Be encouraged my friend.  Even in the stresses of life, even in the rush of the holiday we can call on the grace of God to strengthen us as we abide in him. If you are struggling, pray the following: “Lord, I am hurting, I am tired, I feel so alone. Please send your Spirit, the comforter to come alongside me. Help me to focus on You so that I may have joy in this season of celebrating the birth of your Son.  In Jesus name, amen.”

     Until next time, I pray that you are filled to overflowing with the joy and love of the Lord!

Monday, October 31, 2016


 This thought has been rolling around in my spirit for the past few days so I finally decided to share it. It’s about a particular word and its definition is often not fully understood. This word often became a subject of strong discussion, especially in our Ministry or Biblical Leadership classes when I was an instructor at a Bible college. The word? INTEGRITY…
     One question that kept surfacing was, “Why is that so many pastors, church & ministry leaders are lacking in this area?”  By the way, my former students agreed that integrity should be a strong character trait for any Christian, not just leaders.  Another question asked was, “Why do so many people not follow through with doing things they said they would do?” That leads to distrust.
     The dictionary definition of integrity is: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.  SYNONYMS: honestyrectitudehonor, good character, principle(s), ethics,morals, righteousnessmoralityvirtuedecency, fairness,scrupulousness, sinceritytruthfulness, trustworthiness.  "I never doubted his integrity" "He is known to be a man of integrity"

     Look at Proverbs 11:3 -  The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

     Dr .Richard J. Krejcir says “The (character of integrity exhibits the obedience and practice of the moral code of ethics, morals, values, and precepts from God's Word. In practice, integrity will produce honor, truth, and reliability. It will allow one to keep his or her word and do the best even when no one else is aware. This is essential for deeper relationships, and of course for developing other people's confidence in you and Christianity.”

     I totally agree with that statement!       What does this look like in our everyday lives? Here are a few things to consider:

·         Do I follow through with what I say?

·         Do I keep promises I’ve made?

·         Does my character line up with biblical attributes?

·         Does my language sound redeemed?

     Am I saying that we have to be perfect, that mistakes never happen? No. But as Hebrews 12:14 says: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”.

     Now that you know a little more about the word integrity.  Make sure you can follow through with the promises you make to others before speaking them out.

     This post is by no means a complete study on this subject, rather just a little something to chew on, especially in light of all the political promises we have been hearing about for months now. One thing we know, Jesus never fails and He keeps ALL His promises!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Guard Your Heart

    “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  As I pondered this scripture my thoughts turned toward on of the promises Jesus made. The promise is that he is coming again for those who have believed his word and accepted him as Savior and Lord of their lives - "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:3)
Recently the Lord took me back to Proverbs 4:23 which says
     However, while we know that he will return, the time of his return is uncertain - "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (Matt 24:42)  No one knows the exact time of the return of Jesus Christ, but we can recognize the times we’re living in.  With all that is happening prophetically all around the world it’s obvious that the time is short. I often challenge myself with this question; “What do I want to be found doing with my life when the Lord returns?’ This helps me to keep my life and priorities in perspective.
     Looking back to the verse I started out with, Proverbs 4:23. How do we guard our hearts? Let’s look at a few thoughts on keeping a guard in our lives.
     Guard our Attitudes – “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23) We need to make sure we’re building these characteristics into our lives on a daily basis. This will help us to walk in the Spirit rather than in our flesh, meaning our own thinking.  See Galatians 5:16
     Guard Against a Deceitful Heart - 9"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings”. Jeremiah 17:9-10 
     Daily ask the Lord to show you what needs to be purged from your heart.  Remember, as believers we are in the world but not of it.
     Guard Your Tongue“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”  (Proverbs 21:23) and  "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. (Matthew 15:18) Check out Matthew 15:18 in the New Living Translation – But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart.”
     Guard Your Family – “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”  Psalm 127:1 – As the verse clearly shows, without the Lord leading us in our homes we will not do the best we could do.  There is so much in the world today that wants to tear apart families and best protection against these evils is the presence of the Lord in our lives.
     Guard Your Testimony –“… so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.” Philippians 2:15 NLT
The bible talks a lot about living a holy life separated from the ways of those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ.  As Christians we are to be different than the world, not like them.  My husband often says “ No matter where you are you’re being a testimony for either God or for the devil. You make the choice.”
     Guard Your Love“So he answered and said," 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27)   We must love God with every area of our lives. Remember, he loved us enough to send his son to die on a cross for our sin, so that when we come to him in repentance we can be forgiven and spend eternity with him in heaven.  Let’s not be like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4 who bore the indictment of leaving their first love. Let’s love God and those around us.

     In closing, as you see we have much to guard in our lives. So, until next time think of your life in the light of eternity.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Getting God's Attention

The other day I found myself singing this song to the Lord. “There is none like you, no one else can touch my heart like you do. I could search for all eternity long and find there is none like you.”  Oh, how I found that to be true in my life. The flip side of this is when we get impatient, expecting God to do something great in our life.
     Upon reading the bible we see some of the great feats God did for his people and find ourselves wondering why we don’t see things like that in our lives.  When we don’t see God doing spectacular things we tend to think he isn’t with us.  Take for instance, Abraham. He has some great victories, but do you realize that God only “showed up” about every fifteen years in Abraham’s life?  Or look at the life of Joseph. He was falsely accused, thrown in prison. Forgotten by key people, yet he remained faithful to God. Yet look what Genesis 39:21 says, “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” The Lord was with Joseph through all his trials.
     Let’s look at another perspective of God being with a person.  There was no doubt that God was present with the Psalmist David.  He had won many battles personally and on a national level. But when you read 1 Chronicles 14 where David has an opportunity to go defeat the Philistines again. He doesn’t just go up in his own strength, or with the attitude “I beat them before I’ll do it again.”  No, David inquire of the Lord if he should go to battle and asks the Lord to go with him. (Verse 10 & 14)  David didn’t rely on past methods/traditions of victory. He wanted God to move in a very “present” way.
     My question for us today is do we really believe God wants to touch our lives and are we willing to build godly characteristics that will draw God’s attention to our lives? Let’s briefly look at three things we need to trust God’s presence to be with us in everyday life.


     Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: "Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” 2 Samuel 7:18
     We must build an intimate relationship with the Lord. It begins the moment we accept Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of our life. Then like any relationship we must nurture our relationship with him. Here’s another example from David’s life.  We may not see the tings happening “we” think should happen right now, but let’s not forget the blessing we’ve already received from the Lord. Look back on your life and see the progress you have made with the Lord’s help. Then be encouraged to know that he will continue to help you make progress in your life. The key can be found in Matthew 6:33.


     3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
 Psalm 37:3-5
     As parents we experience a special joy when we see that our children delight in being blessed by the things we do for them. God is no different. He takes great joy when we appreciate the blessings he brings to our life. And it makes it a joy for him to bless us again.


     "Therefore You are great, O Lord GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” 2 Samuel 7:22
     We must recognize God for who he is and what he has done for us. The question now is are we able to sing to him from our heart “There is none like you. No one else can touch my heart like you do. I could search for all eternity long and find, there is none like you.”  Take time today to reflect on God’s goodness in your life. Think of the time he protected you from danger, the time he came through with finances to pay a bill, the time he kept you from getting involved in the wrong things, etc.  He loves you and has a good plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) But he won’t force himself on you; you must invite him into your life.
     In closing, I haven’t arrived to being all I know God wants me to be, but I do know that no one can touch me like he can! How about you?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Empowered by the Spirit


     In thinking about the Easter once again and the power of the Resurrection, it is my prayer that we ALL be more empowered by the Holy Spirit to do what God has called us to do as individuals and within in each local church fellowship.  That took me to Acts 2:37-42, one of my favorite passages of scripture which says; “42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

     If we allow ourselves to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in 2016, I believe we can have the following six characteristics personally and corporately in our churches.

We have a Sanctified Hunger in our lives - v42 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship…”  These early Christians were devoting themselves to the things of God. There was a hunger in them that fed on Spiritual things. Things pertaining to the Kingdom of God held the biggest priority in their lives. What about us? What’s ruling our lives? Where do we spend most of our time and resources? What is really important to us?

We have a Powerful Presence – v43Then fear came upon every soul...” They were focused with a sense of awe as miracles, etc. were happening all around them. Actually if we just stay in awe of Jesus, these things will naturally flow out of our lives. It’s one thing to be in awe of the things God does for us, but quite another to be in awe of Him!

We have Intimate Fellowship – v44 – “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common.”  The fellowship of this early Church was extraordinary. They didn’t just worship together they cared about each other, they spent time together, they shared, they prayed, ate together. There fellowship was much more than just a “Sunday thing.” These are the signs of healthy faithful group of believers.

We Have Real Worship – v46“Day by day continuing with one mind in the Temple”. These folks loved to worship. They loved to spend time in the presence of God through worship. They were hungry for the fellowship of the word, and worship. Today church has become one responsibility among many. When our lives are filled with the Spirit – worship is not work it’s what we live for.

We have an Impacting Testimony – v47 – The testimony of this church was making an impact on their community.  If your church doors closed, would the community miss it? How about your personal life? Is it making an impact for the Lord? The people in your workplace, in your neighborhood, at the gym… Do they know that you are a Christian? Do they know that you are about the Father’s business?

We Have True Growth – v47b“And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” That is the true focus of the Christian life. We have come to believe that Church is about us – We’re supposed to about winning the lost, bringing people to understand that they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is true church growth, when we see many souls coming for salvation.

    If we’re allowing the Holy Spirit to empower us our lives we will demonstrate

more fruit of the Spirit. We will be more and more conformed to the image of Christ. Our prayer life and study of God's Word will become more meaningful. We will experience greater power in witnessing. We will be prepared for spiritual conflict against the world; against the flesh; and against Satan & his evil spirits.  And, we will experience Holy Spirit power to resist temptation and sin.

     In closing… Just think; if every born-again believer in our city would become more Kingdom focused and Holy Spirit empowered;  things would forever change in all of our communities, churches, schools, etc. I am ready for the challenge, how about you? Brothers and sisters, let’s go for it!