Posted in Healing, Jesus, Prayer, Worship

Urgent Prayer Request

I have some very good friends who were approaching the final weeks of pregnancy.  Yesterday, July 13, the doctor decided that a C-Section was necessary to deliver this child early as he was not receiving proper nourishment. Now that their son has been born, my friends are facing many new challenges as his health continues to be a struggle.

One thing I know for sure is that we serve a mighty God who cares for His children.  He listens to our prayers, and is compassionate toward us.  Nothing is to big for Him.  Nothing is to difficult.  Nothing is impossible.  Our God has been healing human ever since sickness has existed, and I fully believe that He will continue to do so.

The family reports that this baby:

 “is currently on a breathing tube and many other tubes that are helping the doctors give him oxygen and glucose to strengthen him. 

He needs praise and prayer for healing of his lungs and heart.  Both are very important to his health and healing. He also needs a good report on his chromosome test.  

There is of course more to all of this but that is the simplest way to explain what we know for sure he needs healed.”

Of course, please pray for the parents as well for both the emotional and the physical stresses, especially on the mother.

Thank you all.

Posted in Government, Salvation

Independence Day

H A P P Y    I N D E P E N D E N C E   D A Y  ! ! !


It has been a while since I last wrote, but I do have some things I want to say.

First, it is Independence Day, today. For some reason, I hear the name of this holiday being expressed as “July 4th” or “4th of July” interchangeably, as if that was the name of the holiday. It makes me wonder how well it would go over if on Christmas, I would start wishing everyone a happy “25th of December” or on New Year’s Day a “Happy 1st of January!” This might seem like a petty argument to some people, but, in 1776, the revolutionaries did not fight for our fourth, no, they fought for our freedom, our independence. This is something that we need to never distance ourselves from.

We need to remember the point of this holiday: we are celebrating our INDEPENDENCE, our FREEDOM! Every firecracker that is fired off needs to be done so in a mood of celebration because we are free.   Our country is so blessed, and we need to take every opportunity to thank God for it.

In the same way, we, as Christians, have obtained freedom from a life of sin. The Apostle Paul tells us: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1, NASB).

When Christ died on the cross, and rose again on the 3rd day, the power of sin was forever broken. For those who choose to accept the free gift that Christ has given, there is life independent from the control of sin. That is cause for celebration! I hear my neighbors setting off fireworks for Independence Day starting about June 30. I guess they can’t wait to celebrate. As Christians, that is the attitude we need. We need to celebrate our freedom from sin and our life in Christ. We need to celebrate it every day. We need to celebrate it with all the gusto that we can muster.

If you are not living under this freedom, do not let another moment pass you by. Ask Christ to forgive your sins and give you this freedom. Then, join the celebration.

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;   and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’…’So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’” (John 8:31-32, 36, NASB).


H A P P Y    I N D E P E N D E N C E   D A Y  ! ! !


Posted in Faith, Jesus, Prayer, Worship

Marinate in the Presence of the Lord

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
(Ps. 34:8 NASB)

This scripture is right up my alley. Talk about simplifying spiritual things to a level that we all can understand. David writes this Psalm and draws a comparison of the goodness of God to food! All of us can appreciate when good food has been in our mouths. You take a bite, and it tastes so good, after savoring it, you are ready for the next bite. No one simply says, “Well, that bite was so good, I better not risk taking another, it might not live up to that first bite.” Then you live satisfied with just the one taste. No, once you’ve tasted something good, you take another bite.

As I look at this scripture, and think of how God can use something as simple as food to evoke images of His glory, other terms come to mind. I wanted to take some time today to share what I feel the Lord was impressing on me during my prayer time.

There is a method of preparing meat in which you marinate it. The definition of “marinate” is “to put meat or fish in a sauce for a period of time to add flavor or to make the meat or fish more tender.” As I was in prayer one day, I really felt like the Lord was trying to tell me that I need to marinate in His presence. What does that mean? Well, to plug into the definition of marinate, I would be the meat, and the Presence of the Lord would be the sauce, so He was telling me to soak in His Presence for a “period of time” so that He could add His flavor and make me more tenderhearted.

Soaking in the Presence of the Lord can take on many forms:

  • It can be prayer – not just talking to God, but talking with God. Truly listening to what He has to say instead of only taking your shopping list of needs to Him.
  • It can be worship – Singing to the Lord, Glorifying Him, Magnifying His Name, Lifting Praise to Him
  • It can be sitting quietly in His presence
  • It can be Bible study. Not merely reading the words in the book, but actually meditating on what they say. Charles Spurgeon urged his students, “Let us, dear brethren, try to get saturated with the gospel. I always find that I can preach best when I can lie a-soak in my text. I like to get a text, and find out its meanings and bearings, and so on; and then, after I have bathed in it, I delight to lie down in it, and let it soak into me.”

When I looked into the actual process of marination, I realized that it doesn’t actually change the properties of the meat. The liquid that the meat soaks in does not absorb into the meat, rather it is a process of adsorption (the marinade adheres to the surface of the meat). I thought that this kind of tossed my whole analogy out the window. But it really does not. The process is still there. We still need to soak in the Presence of the Lord. However, the result needs to go beyond what marination does. That’s when the Lord brought another word to mind.

Permeate – to diffuse through or penetrate something. Once we have marinated in the Presence of Lord, we need to then allow Him to permeate through us. Whenever I think of the word “Permeate,” I think of a Jimmy Buffet song, One Particular Harbour. In this song, there is a stanza that goes:

Lakes below the mountain
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas
They permeate through me

Applying oils to canvas is just another way of saying “painting”. When that oil-based paint permeates the canvas, the properties are forever changed. It is never the same. Now, put that in context with allowing the Presence of the Lord to permeate through you. You will be forever changed!

Ephesians 2:10 says – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (NASB)

I like the way the New Living Translation renders it – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Finally, when we talk about soaking in the Presence of the Lord and allowing His Presence to permeate through us, there has to be a logical result.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:38 NASB). The NKJV translates “innermost being” as “heart”.

Marination is a slow process. It results in tender, flavored meat. When we soak our spirit in the Presence of the Lord, and allow His Presence to permeate through every part of us, the result will be that out of our innermost being, rivers of living water will flow. This doesn’t mean that there is a pool of water that needy people can come to if they seek it out. It says that the living water is flowing from you. If the Presence of the Lord has intermingled with your soul, you won’t be able to help but put it on display.

Posted in Bible Study, Faith, Politics


In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Michelle Obama states, “Now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.” The statement seems to suggest that our hope comes from the person who has been elected President. If that was the case, then I whole-heartedly agree – I have no hope. However, it did not end with the elections in November. No President that has ever led this country has ever been able to produce the hope that any of us need.

The Bible is a great reference for telling us not only where hope comes from, but where to place our hope.

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. (Ps. 62:10).

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. (Ps. 71:14).

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Rom. 15:4).

And now, Lord , for what do I wait? My hope is in You. (Ps. 39:7).

“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” (Ps. 42:5-11).

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God (Ps. 146:5).

It’s easy to see from these few examples, that our hope comes from the Lord, and is to be placed in the Lord. The question could easily be asked, WHY? Why hope in the Lord? Well, the answer comes directly out of scripture as well:

This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lam. 3:20-24).

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5:1-6).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Pet. 1:3).

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 1:13).

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Pet. 1:17-21).

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. (1 Tim. 4:10).

Our hope, as Christians, takes shape in many ways, through Jesus. Ultimately, we look forward to His return.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Rom. 8:20-25).

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Tit. 2:11-14).

Knowing where my hope comes from, who it is in, and what it is, I do not need any political entity telling me that I have no hope. No, government does not inspire hope in me. It never has. Only Jesus has that power. He’s not running for political office, but I elected Him King long ago, therefore,

I   H A V E   H O P E ! !

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13).


Posted in Worship



Other than an annual holiday where we eat ourselves into oblivion, what is Thanksgiving? The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it:

  1. the act of giving thanks
  2. a prayer expressing gratitude
  3. a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

That’s nice. But can we get a clearer picture from the Bible? The word the Old Testament uses for “thanksgiving” means:

confession, praise, thanksgiving

1a) give praise to God
1b) thanksgiving in songs of liturgical worship, hymn of praise
1c) thanksgiving choir or procession or line or company
1d) thank-offering, sacrifice of thanksgiving
1e) confession

 The word the New Testament uses means:

  1. thankfulness
  2. the giving of thanks

So, we now know what the word means but what is THANKSGIVING? To find out, I am going to examine the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW of thanksgiving (just not necessarily in that order!)

1. What is thanksgiving?

We have already given several definitions of the word. In the Old Testament viewpoint, thanksgiving was all about giving praise. It is impossible to give praise, true praise, without a thankful heart.

2. Who do we give thanks (praise) to?

  • Christ – When we think about all that Jesus did out of love for us, how can our actions be anything but that of giving thanks. We do not have enough time here on Earth to give the praise to Jesus that he deserves, so He’s reserved a place in eternity for us to render to God what is God’s.
  • To the people around us.
  • Basically, to anyone deserving of it. My main thoughts are that of our thanks to God, but I wonder, how can we truly praise God, if we are not appreciative of those around us that help us out in this life. We have got to build a good relationship with those around us, because it is in that relationship that we find our relationship with Christ. We show our love for Christ in the way that we treat those around us, so we must render thanks to those who deserve it. The highest expression of our spirituality is not our relationship with God, but rather, it is our relationship with others.

 3. When do we give thanks?

  • Whenever we pray. Psalm 100 says:

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.” (NASB, emphasis mine.)

This should be our standard – whenever we are in the presence of the Lord, we should be full of thanksgiving and praise for Him. Sometimes we seem to labor in our prayer, and that is okay if we entered into prayer correctly. We can find peace in our sorrowful prayers if we allow thanksgiving be the cornerstone of that prayer.

  • Always, and for everything:

“speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;” (Eph. 5:19-20 NASB).

This is talking about our relationships with those around us. Our conversations with each other need to reflect our thankfulness to God for what he has done in our lives. When we talk to others, we should do it with a song of praise in our hearts. In doing so, we eliminate strife. How can we argue and fuss with each other and sing a song of praise and thanksgiving at the same time? (This not as easy to practice as it is to “preach”, but thank God for grace as He irons out the wrinkles!)

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes. 5:16-18 NASB).

It becomes easy to know when to be thankful if we make our lives a praise the Lord. When we enter into prayer, we will already be living out our thanksgiving. When we come into contact with others, we will be living out our thanksgiving.

4. Where do we give thanks?

  • In worship. – Where is a better place for thanksgiving?
  • In Trials.
    • Paul and Silas gave thanks in prison. The scriptures say that they were singing hymns. I do not believe they were singing “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.” They were probably singing “Trading My Sorrows” or “Amazing Grace”. (Acts 16:25-26)
    • When Paul was about to be shipwrecked, he called upon all the people to give thanks to the Lord and to eat. This was because he could see that even though the upcoming experience may be slightly less than pleasant, no one was going to die. (Acts 27:33-36)
  • In all things (See 1 Thes. 5:18). No matter what we face, we need to give thanks to God. It is easy for us to thank Him during the “good times”, but we should also thank Him during the “so-so times”, the “not-so-good times”, and the “hard times”. Thanksgiving is an action, not a feeling. It should be based on what we know is right, and not on how we feel. We need to Thank God at all times, no matter what.

 5. Why do we give thanks?

  • It is God’s will for us. (1 Thes. 5:18)
  • Ps. 100:4b-5 – “For the Lord is good;
    His lovingkindness is everlasting
    And His faithfulness to all generations.”

We can Thank the Lord because He is Good. No matter how we are, our God is just. When we are right with Him, He is good. When we are not right with Him, He is Good. This is a universal truth. All of us can think of many ways in which the Lord has been good to us.

6. How do we give thanks?

Is there a set pattern? It’s a funny thing to listen to people pray over food. Often times, I know word for word what some people are going to say in advance because they just repeat the same thing every time. Is this truly the expression of gratitude to the God of the universe? How should you express your gratitude, your praise, your thanksgiving?

  • With Sincerity. It is futile to give thanks unto the Lord if we do not mean it. It must be real. If we are insincere, then our thanksgiving is only a show for those around us, and God sees it too.
  • With Passion. How thankful we are shows in our expression of thanks. How would you show thanks to someone who gives you a dollar? How about a car? Christ gave us Himself. He gave us everlasting life. He saved us from our sins. He died for us. How do we find a passion strong enough to thank Him with?
  • With Celebration. Praise should be joyous. Thanksgiving should be fun to give. David realized this with all his music, and dancing.

When I look at thanksgiving, that’s how I see it. Please, feel free to add any comments, I’d love to read everyone else’s point of view.

Posted in Government, Healing, Prayer

American Politics? => A Cry For Healing

In less than a week, there will be a newly elected American President.  No matter who is elected, I can imagine that all this turmoil we have been experiencing as a country the past couple of months will not come to an end on November 8.  I would hope that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are big enough to support the other candidate should they lose, because, I do believe I can accurately make this prediction: There will be a winner and there will be a loser. What I am more concerned with is the public reaction to the winner.

We have some Biblical answers for what our responses should be:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:1-4 ESV).

First, and foremost, we should PRAY for our leaders.  It makes no difference if we voted for them, if they are in the same political party we are in, or even if we like them, we are told to pray for them.  In fact, we are to offer prayers in 4 ways:

  1. Supplications for the prevention of evil
  2. Prayer for blessings
  3. Intercession for their needs
  4. Thanksgiving for blessings already received

“Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous.” (Tit. 3:1-2 MSG).

There seems to be a tradition in our country that runs contrary to this scripture and that is to hurl as many insulting words as possible at the Presidents that you don’t like and don’t agree with.  The Bible tells us that we are to be beyond that.

“For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.” (1 Pet. 2:13-14 NLT).

Could this be any more clear?  It says to Submit.  You may say that you obey every law, but this isn’t about mere obedience.  Submission involves so much more than just the simple act of obedience.  Submission involves acceptance.  Not acceptance because you have to accept it, but willful acceptance.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome sometime around A.D. 55. The date of this letter is not exact, but interesting considering that Nero became Emperor in A.D 54. Actually, the list of Roman Emperors who preceded Nero would never have won the popular vote in an American election, either. But, in this letter, Paul wrote:

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” (Rom. 13:1-7 NASB).

That is a difficult text to read. Difficult in that Paul is telling us that all authority is ordained by God, and He was speaking of Nero! Now, there is a lot to this. We cannot just take one section of the Bible, and say that we have to live by it and it alone. I am not saying that we must blindly obey anything and everything that government tells us. Everything we do must line up with the word of God. As an example, in the book of Acts, Peter and John were being questioned by the Council. They “commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18 NASB). After that, they were “caught” teaching about Jesus in the temple. When questioned about it, Peter answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29 NASB).

Once this election is over, this country needs a period of healing unlike any election year prior, and I’m even considering the 2000 election that saw the results contested, and recounts and lawsuits. We didn’t even know the official result for weeks! This country needed significant healing after that one, and I know we are in need of it again.

I pray for a smooth process this week. I pray for acceptance of the winner of this race, whether it is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Mickey Mouse! I pray for healing that this country needs.

If we truly want healing in this country, the formula couldn’t be more clear:

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chr. 7:14 ESV).


Posted in Faith


I think the focus of many Christians today, rightly so, is on not sinning and living for the Lord. This does not make Satan’s job very easy. “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8 NASB). “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.’” (Gen 4:6-7 NASB).

When we are alert, and watching for sin, and living for the Lord, then Satan has a difficult time digging his claws into us to try and turn us from righteousness. So, he has to get creative.

A couple of weeks back, my computer crashed. I had to re-install everything from the ground up. I do have a backup of all my important files, but I did lose some software, and I lost a lot of time restoring the whole thing. At the same time, my garage door opener refused to work one day. It just completely shut down. I had to start operating it manually. My concern became the cost if it did not start working again on its own. It eventually did, after 2 days, but I spent a lot of time and effort between my computer and the garage door opener.

Now, what does that scenario have to do with sin and the devil? I see it as a distraction. When our normal lives are totally disrupted, we cannot do things the same way we normally would. Satan tries to claim this as an advantage.

I grew up in a family with 2 brothers and 1 sister. We were all very close in age – less than 6 years separates the oldest from the youngest. When we are all together, several conversations go on at the same time. People usually don’t wait for each other to finish a thought before they start talking on top of each other. Early in life, this never bothered me. It probably still would not, but I have MS now, and my brain cannot handle the distractions.

I used to be able to read in all environments. Now, with my MS, noise impacts me terribly, and I am just not able to. I bring this up because that is just what the devil tries to do to all of us. He inserts “noise” into our lives to distract us from our normal living for the King. If our regular lives can be thrown off track, then the door is open for the “roaring lion” to enter.

So, what is the answer? How do we combat this warfare by distraction? The answer seems to be contained in this same portion of scripture expanded out:

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Pet. 5:6-11 NASB).

Here’s the formula:

  1. Humble yourself
  2. Cast all your anxiety on Him
  3. Be sober in spirit
  4. Be alert
  5. Resist the devil
  6. Be firm in your faith

I am interested in what anyone else has to say on the topic of Distractions. How does Satan attempt to steal your time to prevent you from giving it to God? What are some ways to practically combat this.