The Man of Opportunities

"Then the Israelites threw away the foreign gods among them, and they worshiped the Lord again. So he felt sorry for them when he saw their suffering." Judges 10:16

"Fooled you once shame on him,
Fooled you twice shame on you"

God disagrees with the famous phrase above, since He breaths, eats, and sleeps, forgiveness and new opportunities, time after time.

Our sinful ways, hurt and wound his heart almost every day, yet if we turn back to him He always griefs with our pain and forgives us again.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

My four year old knows that when we go out to the store, If he behaves I will reward him with a heart on his good boy chart once back at home. When he forgets, and misbehaves, and ignores my warnings, he later comes begging for, "one more chance."

There is no better example, than the people of Israel, who seemed to have used up all their chances with God. In Judges we read about Israel and the many times they turned their back to God and worshipped other gods. We also find, ALL the many times, God's heart is found overwhelmed because of their suffering and chooses to forgive them, even if the reader knows this was their, maybe, fiftieth time running back for mercy. 

To hurt God, we do not need to worship the gods made of stone and wood, Buddah or Shiva. A simple lie, an inn appropriate thought, a small argument between you and your spouse, an out of control scream at your kids or criticism, envy, and pride, are all sins that hurt God. Even our busy schedule that not only demands but infact actually keeps us away from sitting down with our Abba hurts His heart. Whatever pushes you away from God, even if only an inch away, is evil, and causes Him pain. 

If you have allowed something to push you back an inch or two, or ten away from God, Your God, you will know because you can feel that void. He is the man if opportunities, even If it's your hundredth time coming back, He still rejoices at your return. He will still open the door and invite you to dine with Him- The Man of opportunities. 


Fearful No More

I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you ... No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Joshua 1: 3, 5-6

My two younger children do no like to go into other rooms of the house by themselves, even in broad daylight.
My requests of bringing something from their room, results in whines and pouts because 'they're scared.'
My words of reassurance that God lives in our house and that He's with them are sometimes listened too, but other times their feet won't budge from where they're standing.

Yesterday in my car, just as I was about to get out, the first line of the song drew my attention:

'We were made to be courageous.'

Such powerful words with so much depth.
Here's what that means to me: God placed us on this earth to stand up for Him and our faith.

This simply doesn't mean placing a bumper sticker on your car stating you're a Christian. It means stepping into different areas of your life where your faith and devotion for His works will be tested.
Some tests will be bigger than others, but in all of them in takes knowing that God is there in every single step of the way.
Up until about two years ago, I heard my sister's voice encouraging me to move forward though the outcome looked pretty bleak. Although her words were reassuring, when the phone call ended, I would become afraid again.
This went on for a few years filled with countless tears. When I finally let go of that, God began to use me for more than I thought I was worth.
What froze me in fear for so many years, did not even present itself as an obstacle. God was faithful to fight by my side.

What is God asking you to be courageous about?

'Let the watchers become warriors, let the men of God arise.' - the song continues.

Today stop contemplating the what if's. Step forward with faith, not only believing God exists, but believing that He can, and that through Him ALL things are possible.


Giving Glory through our Chaos

'So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.' 1 Corinthians 10:31

The alarm goes off. We hit the snooze button too many times and then jump out of bed in a hurry. From there it's breakfast on the go, traffic jams, meetings, after school activities, dinner, and bedtime routines. The list can be even more jampacked for some people.
All these things are pretty typical in our world, although, things that at first flance are not ministries to serve the Lord.

How is it then possible to give God glory in all you do?

Simply in understanding we are His creation and without Him, our life would not be what it is. The opportunities, blessings, joys, victories and even the defeats, heartaches, and disappointments that make up our life, would be non-existant.

Recognizing and acknowledging Him in our life is to glorify His name. One of the best ways to do so in a busy, self - centered world is displaying His grace.

'and tell the story of grace, in every move that you make.' is a line from Steven Curtis Chapman's song 'Everything you do.' and tells perfectly how every move we make should be in glorifying Him.

Do we show grace to our kids as they test our patience giving Him glory?
Does our tone of voice to our spouse tell of His grace?
Do we reflect His grace in a warm good morning towards co-workers instead of giving a tired scowl?
And do we quickly forgive the one cutting us off on the highway or pay them back with road rage?

Our life is filled with routines that seem un-important to His kingdom, but the truth is that every single aspect, as minute as it may seem has been orchestrated by Him. Therefore all glory belongs to Him alone.


Joseph and God

When reading the story of Joseph, one thing that captivates my heart every time, is God's never ending goodness and faithfulness towards Joseph. Yes, Joseph was betrayed in the most cruelest way by the ones closest to him. Yes, Joseph was set up and falsely accused for wanting to sleep with his master's wife. Yes, Joseph was thrown in jail for two years. And yes, Joseph was emotionally distraught by his haunting past as he had to face his brothers in Egypt. But in the gaps of those horrible moments and surrounding each one of them, is God's goodness and love for his child Joseph.

I can imagine Joseph thinking on his way to Egypt after being sold by all, not only some, but all his brothers, "O God, please at least let me have shelter, food and clothing wherever I am to go." That would have been enough for Joseph, but God went beyond "enough," and made Joseph in charge of everything that his master, Potiphar owned. God gave Joseph favor with Potiphar, in the midst of suffering and pain, God made good.

As Joseph was being accused and thrown in jail by the evil lies Potiphar's wife made, Joseph might of thought, "O God, please protect me, do not let me be harmed by the other prisoners and let my innocence be found true." That would of been enough for Joseph, but God went beyond that and not only showed Joseph kindness in prison by the other prisoners, but gave him favor with the prison warden and was chosen to take care of all the other prisoners and responsibilities of the prison. God had already planned placing two dreams in two prisoners, and the interpretation of those dreams in Joseph's mind, so that one day, one of those prisoners, could be the voice to bring Joseph out of jail and into a kingdom where he would be made ruler over Egypt, and much more significantly, restore Joseph his family, his daddy, and brothers. God's goodness never stopped at Joseph's "enough." God's goodness always went way beyond Joseph's suffering and pain.

This is our God. A God who loves us inexplicably and does more than enough for us when we go through deep waters of great trouble, through rivers of difficulty, and when we walk through the fire of oppression. We will not drown, but I assure you, God will go beyond saving you from drowning. We will not burn, but God will go beyond rescuing you from burning.

The goodness God displayed through Joseph was not because Joseph was handsome,or strong or wise, it was because Joseph always chose to remain faithful to God even during heartbreak. We see that when Joseph is taken out of prison after two long years, Joseph is still exalting God, instead of being mad at God, he exalts him.

Genesis 41: 15 "The king said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, but no one can explain its meaning to me. I have heard that you can explain a dream when someone tells it to you." 16 "Joseph answered the king, "I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams, but God will do this for the King."

When we decide to exalt God and see God's goodness in the midst of our pain, His faithfulness in the midst of our heartbreak, God will never stop at our, "enoughs," rather he will go beyond them time after time.


Measuring Success

'In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And he prospered.' 2 Chronicles 31:21
What does it mean and how do we define it?
Forbes Fortune 500 lists the most successful companies according to their net worth.

It is a pretty coveted list to be in, as it indicates to the world how your company has grown and how successful it is.
The satisfaction that a company owner must receive from appearing on the list, can only be imagined.
After all, an empire doesn't grow overnight without any effort.

The dedication, obedience to business ethics, and discipline in financials should only yield but the best results, and great success according to earthly standards.

While some of us may not be able to appear on Forbes Fortune 500 list in our lifetime, we can still strive for 
in other areas of our life.

Whether it be wanting to be a successful role model to our children or to our peers, following God's commandment in being a model of Yeshua will bring forth success.
If we're looking for success in our marriage, then obeying His decrees of remaining faithful as He is to us, and loving and forgiving one another as He's done, is a crucial factor in achieving it.

God, creator of this earth and everything in it, will be the one to measure our success in this life. He won't be looking for our monetary net worth, though. He will, however, be looking at the state of our souls.
By continuing to seek Him and striving to constantly do His will, He will be faithful to prosper our ways.

His plans are always to provide us the paths that will bring us closer to Him. As we walk closer to His side, our lives will prosper with success according to His wise and loving will.

That's success that nothing else can supersede.


Father, we turn our lives to you today. We want to be successful in our daily lives with our children, spouses, and co-workers. We want to be a great reflection of who you are as you dwell in us. Walk with us in everything we do, so that you may prosper us according to your will.



Drink and Be Restored

'O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.' Psalm 63:1

This summer was the hottest yet.
Triple digits, dry & dead grass, and wildfires was what summer about here.

The excitement that a few sprinkles of water produced, signaling the mere possibility of rain, was as though gold would be falling from the sky.
Rain was yearned for in a dry and weary land. Our yards were parched and amid the wildfires, the lack of rain brought forth desperation.

We're all familiar with desperation.
Something that build yup when we cannot wait any longer for what we wish for.

What must the presence of God bring that David longed for it so?
Peace. Hope. Comfort. Love. Forgiveness.

Do you desperately need any of these?
If you're like any other human on this earth - you do.

Or lives can go through some pretty rough patches that leave our soul bare, dry and weary.
Life's mishaps can leave us like a person searching for a drop of water in the middle of a desert.
At which point nothing else will satisfy.

The Lord has so much to offer for your longing soul.
Come to His table and drink from the water of His cup.
Drink and be restored.


When He Looks Down.

'God looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any that are wise, that seek after God.' Psalm 53:2

I rarely watch the news, or read about them.
Once, however, I made the mistake of subscribing to a page of a news station on Facebook. I say mistake, because for the week that the news feed appeared on my page, I became saddened. Almost ever hour, there was a new posting of something terrible happening. A murder, robbery, children being kidnapped, a mother killing her baby.
I was shocked to see how much evil there can be.
That was just one news station for one city that I was receiving news feed for.
Now imagine what God from heaven sees. The world that at one time was perfect made in His image is now corrupted beyond recognition.
He, however, looks down to also look for those that stand out. He looks for those that seek to please Him.
Are you part of those that He seeks?

In this world that is full of fear, you can offer courage.
In the midst of the darkness, you can offer a ray of light.
In the hurricane that involves tears, pain, desolation and despair, you can offer shelter.

By seeking the Lord, not only will we be a difference to offer those that hurt, but we'll also become closer to the most true and pure form of love that is God.

The world today is rough and full of hurt. We must focus on all things lovely, pure, honorable and true (Phillipians 4:8) to become a light, a helping hand, the people that the Lord looks down to find.

Don't delay any longer friend. You were chosen and put on this earth for a reason. Reach out to those in need. Be the difference in this dark and cold world. Bring Jesus to a world that needs saving.
Let the Lord look down, and smile upon you.


All I need is YOU

From His dwelling place He looks (intently) upon all the inhabitants of the earth—

He who fashions the hearts of them all, who considers all their doings.

Our inner selves wait (earnestly) for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield!

If only You could give them more money to make ends meet, then all my tears would dry and never roll back down my cheeks.

If only You could heal her, then she and we would feel free again.

If only You would break his addiction, his family would finally feel complete.

If only You would crush and renew his heart, then we could be a marriage that seeks You together.

If only You would shake her world, then she would live her life for You.

What is your, “IF?”

I know all mine. But God reminds me of something tonight as I write this devotional. All I need is HIM! All I need is God, my Help, my Shield, my Tower, my Refuge, my Strength, my Friend, my Father, my Everything. So when my “IF’s” are still “IF’s” and my hear t is tempted to believe life would be complete with the fulfillment of those “IF’s,” I need to remember, there is nothing more complete or more fulfilling then Him.

Paul could have filled a scroll of “if only’s,” but He did not. He filled up pages of how God was all He needed even when all the things around him did not seem fair, did not seem right! God used Paul to reach to hurting people like you and I, yesterday, today and tomorrow. I know it is so hard to not ask, “Why me,?” but if you restrain yourself and your heart from doing so, you will reap benefits of seeing God’s purpose for those “If’s.”

Ask yourself this, “Would you rather be complete in all areas and never feel or see how God works in these “If’s,” even if it feels it has been a long time?” Or do you love seeing how God suddenly brings a spark of light and hope time and time again to your “If only?”

All I need is You Lord!


A Victory Cry

Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. Exodus 14:27

Songs can have an amazing power on the listener. A song can transport you back to a time and/or place in your life. Some songs do that for me. They can transport me back to my teenage years, and all the memories begin to rush in.
And although I didn't live in the time of Moses, there is a certain song we sing at church that transports me back to what it might've been like.

'The Lord hurled at sea, the chariots of Pharoh--ohohoh, HEY, HEY!'

During the five or so minutes of the song's duration, I can almost feel the victory that the Isralites felt when they were threatened by their enemies. What a feeling it must've been!

After God leading them through the longer route, in an arrid desert far from their comfort of their homes, walking miles with their possessions, God displays His glory in front of their eyes.
I can only imagine what it must've been like to be among the multitude as they crossed the Red Sea.
But I don't have to image what it has been like in my life the times that God has drowned my enemies after guiding me safely to the other side.
I've experienced the victory of what it is like for God to fight my battles and witness victory.

Time and time again, God has been faithful.

Are you walking through a desert in your life? How long have you been walking it? Are you tired from it?

I'm sure you are. In this life we will all have to walk through deserts. Some deserts may seem more dry than others or longer than others. Infertility, broken marriages, loneliness, low self-esteem, the list can go on forever. There are indeed, many deserts that we walk through.
The Lord however, is eager to drown those enemies that have tormented your life. The Lord is willing to open up the waters for you to walk through, and close them with your enemies inside.
The Lord Almighty of Israel fought for His chosen people then. He will fight for His chosen people now.

You are chosen. If you are reading this, God has worked out your time today, to read that you are His people and He is your God. Therefore the Lord will stop at nothing, to drown everything in your life that doesn't let you live.

In their fear, the Isralites began to cry out, and Moses looked to God for answers.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to begin to move. (exodus 14:15)

What an eye opener! The deep Red Sea in front of them and God says to walk towards it. Amazing that when we listen to His voice and walk towards the crossing that will make us free, God is faithful to give us dry land and defeat what threatens us.

Surrender and witness the Lord's power as He fights your battles and leads you to a victory song.


Speak Life with My Words-By Sheri Rose Shepherd

This is a devotional from His Princess Devotionals .

Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus.”
~Colossians 3:16-17

My Princess,
My child, I love your mouth because it is Mine—ready to be filled with My words. Did you know that I’ve anointed your beautiful lips with the power to speak life to a lifeless world? While others are using their lips to spread worthless words, you, My princess, have the privilege of changing people’s perspectives and empowering them to make life changing choices that point them to Me. Your words will be more valuable than priceless jewels. I want you to come to Me in prayer every day, I will line your lips with love, wisdom, and encouragement and make your mouth My masterpiece for all who see you speak.
Your King and Counselor


Prayers for Women to pray and be blessed in return

I came upon the first prayer last night as I read a devotional from proverbs31.com and loved it. I thought of how amazing my marriage would grow if I prayed this first prayer each day. I want to share it with you and encourage you to pray it each day and watch what God does through this request. It inspired me to make other prayers that would also change us to a better "us" for an amazing "HIM,"-God.

Dear Lord, I want to respect my husband and build him up with my words. Help me to measure my thoughts carefully and come to You with my complaints. I want to become my husband’s biggest cheerleader and watch You do Your thing in His life. I know this is possible as I depend on You to live Your life through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Dear Lord, I want to believe more times than doubt you. My words may say I trust you but my actions speak louder and shout the opposite. Teach me what it means to have a Father whose name is Jehovah Jireh- God will provide. Remind me daily I am more important than the black raven who flies worry free enjoying the blessings you give so richly: the blue sky, the wind, and rain, the sun, the flowers; and who never ponders about what it will eat for he knows his creator- One that has never forsaken him, One that gives him to eat each moment he needs to eat, One that never forgets each need. I know I can have this "raven faith," if I continue to get to seek You as a hunter does for his prey.

Dear Lord, let your light more shine in my wounded heart, spirit come and fill me up so I can of your grace impart. Impart to my children, though at times it's so hard. When my my temper goes high and their bad behavior does not not seem to subside. Give me the strength I need to be that leader, that mother that glorifies you through her work and her duties as a mother.

Dear God, make me fall in love with You more and more each day. Wake me up with songs of love that I can sing to you my King as you breath a new day into my lungs. May I be your beloved and You mine for eternity. Amen.


Electrifying Power

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked "who touched my clothes?"  Mark 5:30

'Aah! You shocked me!'

We've all exclaimed this to someone at some point. You know the feeling too. That sudden feeling of electricity shocking you when quickly your arm or hand brushes someone else.
It's quick, but uncomfortable. Imagine that feeling 100x stronger. We'd avoid it at any cost - unless it could save our life.

She knew it could save hers. Desperate with no healing for years, she reached out for that surge of power.
Quickly and without hesitation, she touched His cloak and divine electrifying power ran through her body. It healing her physical and emotional illness.

Healing is something we all need. Whether it be emotional from years of low self esteem, stress from life burdens or physical from a chronic illness that has robbed the joy from life.

Some have tried every resource possible to no longer feel pain, but we remain ill.
We remain shamed with our head hung low, when all it takes is a touch of His robe.

All it takes is enough courage and strenght to push through the crowd and reach out to Him.
Jesus awaits for us to call on His name to move mountains. He awaits for us to call on Him to make walls fall.
He passes by each day, waiting for us to reach and touch His robe.

His power is electrifying and full of wonder. His power is above all. Come close to the Savior today and allow for His power to save your life.


Gullible in the Garden

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  Genesis 3:11

You've worked hard on a project, you stand back and smile as it is exactly the way you wanted it to turn out.
Everything is in its perfect place. The measurements are exactly right.

Then someone comes up and says something like: 'why did you do it that way? It could've been better if you had done this..'

Then you begin to have a twinge of doubt that your perfect project is not so perfect.

God's work in that garden was made to perfection. Everything worked according to His plan, everything was impecable including the human soul. No sin, no doubts dwelled in them, until the enemy's words made their way to their hearts. They know felt inadequate, and ashamed. God's perfect work had been tarnished by the enemy's lies.

Sadly it is a story that continues to this very day. We continue to believe the enemy's lies that he whispers in our ear.

As we look in the mirror, we believe that we're not pretty enough. We scrutinize our bone structure, our hair texture, our height.
We question our ability for success when we witness the success of others and how it doesn't compare to what we've attained. We feel we are not capable of doing something great and that our life's purpose may just be for something small.
In our marriage, we see nothing but broken trust, ties that can never be brought back together again. We see plain failure.
We wallow in the dark pit where we've fallen from bad choices. We continue to look at how deep we fell and feel that we could never be worthy of coming before the Lord again and the pain from it is unbearable.

Yes, we believe the enemy's lies. And when the Lord walks towards us, we hide with shame.

How wonderful is the Lord, that standing there before him in our nakedness and brokeness, sees only His work that He created to perfection.

'Who told you those lies?' He asks.

Who told you that you are not capable, strong, pretty, and worthy?
Who told you that the marriage you placed in my hands long ago, is broken without repair?
Who told you that your life does not have a purpose?
Who told you? Have you eaten up the lies that the enemy displays with so much wit?

God's work is perfect. It always has and always will be. God, when He created you, He created perfection. He created a story to give Him ultimate glory. He created us with no blemish or stain.

We've all fallen into the enemy's lies time and time again. It is time to put an end to it.
When the enemy whispers in your ear a lie that will make you doubt your identity in Christ, REFUSE his sinful fruit. Turn instead to the Creator that has his fingerprints all over your story and only believe His promises of hope, grace and forgiveness.


Father, how wonderful are your works. No one can measure your wisdom. You've created us in your image Lord. Remind us that we can never be too far from Your presence where you will make us feel whole again.
Let us walk with you in that garden you prepared for us long ago. Let us return to you.



In Ruins No More

'I will build you up again, and you Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.' Jeremiah 31:4

Life is a funny thing.
One day our life can be full of sunshine with birds chirping happily as walk by, and the next day things can completely turn upside down.

But has it ever turned so upside down that you feel you'll stay that way forever?

Some situations can definitely feel that way. Where everything is so grim and dark and the possibility of things being right again seem non-existant.
But it is that way when we hope on the emotions of our boss changing towards their decisions. It will be a grim outlook when we solely hope on the possibility of the world's medicine made by men or on the thin string a marriage is holding on to.

But it doesn't have to be that way! It absolutely doesn't have to be a grim outcome anymore since God sent His son to break us free from the darkness. He made it possible for us to trust in Him alone.
While people's emotions, thoughts, and decisions change, God NEVER changes.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Throughout His word we witness the same pattern of compassion, grace and forgiveness. He wants to lift us up from our darkest place and exalt us to dance with the joyful.

Friend, lift up your tear filled eyes. God wants to rebuild you and wipe your sins away, Virgin Israel. He desires to take you marriage and rebuild it. He wants to take your health and restore it. He wants to take your heart and heal it.

Oh Israel, look to the heavens where our Redeemer and God of wonders pours out His love on us each day!


Spiritual Spinal Cord

“Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you'll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won't get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, you’ll receive your reward; if it doesn't, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won't be torn out; you'll survive—but just barely.” 1 Corinthians 3: 11-16

I think the original author of the well-known story, “The Three Little Pigs,” must have gotten her inspiration and ideas for the story, from today’s key verse. The two first pigs, were not careful in picking out their building materials and were found out after the wolf knocked their house down. They did not die, the wolf never ate them, but they just barely survived.

When I read the key verse, I thought- God, this is good! Read it three times if you have to, because if you look closely, you will find gold in that verse.

First off, why are we being told by Paul to choose material? What are we building? We are building our Spiritual Foundation. He is warning us to choose wisely our building materials that will construct the spinal cord to our spiritual life. Why? He writes clearly, “Because eventually, there will be an inspection.” Try thinking back on a time in your life when God has allowed you to go through a rough patch, into something we call a trial or test. Like always, God stood at the end of that dark tunnel and as we were walking out of it, He had his arms wide open and said, “See, you made it,” and plants a big kiss on our cheeks and gives us a huge bear hug! But there is something that comes next, our evaluation. I Imagine God still hugging me, but with compassionate words tells me, “I love you my princess, but here is your evaluation, review it, and try working on those areas that need help.” You did not die, but you barely survived! Ouch! I barely survived! Why? You did not pick out your building materials carefully.

Before the inspection, before the trial, you did not pick out the following materials: Fervent Prayer, Daily Consumptions of God’s Word, Patience, Self-control, Faithfulness, and Praise to God.

It’s my flesh that does not agree with my desires. My flesh hears the desires of my heart cry out loudly, but it does not send messages to my brain to move my hands and feet. I want to shout and beat this carnal body so many times when I reflect on wasted days, wasted opportunities, and wasted encounters with sweet, sweet Jesus and wasted material! I feel as though,  not only does the enemy display to us what seem to be better things to do, but he also comes and steals our strength and injects a nasty dose of laziness and self-pity into our veins!

That’s what I say as I read my evaluation that reads that I barely survived. Cried, worried, stressed, and upset were my feeling through one trial. When God met me at the end of the tunnel, I felt ashamed! I barely survived I walked to meet Him with a weak, curved, spiritual spinal cord.

Hopeful, holding belief, strengthened, and wrapped in faith, she walked out of that tunnel, happy as God had her evaluation with a huge A+, and a reward sitting by His side. She did not barely survive, she survived with her head lifted high, and her spiritual spinal cord positioned firmly upright. That trial would not present itself again, because she headed to the warnings and constructed a firm foundation from the beginning.

What materials will you choose for your spiritual foundation today?


Painful Training

'The Lord has given you the bread of trouble and water of suffering. But He, your Teacher, will nto hide Himself any more. Your eyes will see your Teacher.' Isaih 30:20

I'm not a big fan of working out. The feeling of my muscles screaming out is not on my top 10 favorites.
Therefore, when I hear someone expressing their gratitude to their personal trainer for a tough workout, I secretely wonder if the comment is more on a sarcastic note. That is until I begin noticing a diference on that person's physique.

The grueling workouts and the limited intake on non-healthy choices pays off.

And then it's understood, that the affection for the trainer is not for the pain caused, but for the teaching it brings on reaching a goal with discipline.

What spiritual goals that need discipline do you have today?

For some it may be to learn patience. It may be to attain faith that doesn't falter. Others still may be to grow closer to His heart.

Whatever that spritual goal is, the Father knows it. In fact in some cases, we may not even know what our goal needs to be in order to have the character that the Lord wants from us. He, however, knows it all. He knows what our soul needs to be strong and healthy to not dismay. Because that is so, He Himself will administer bread of adversity and drink of suffering.

The trials and tests that He allows into our life, are not to hurt us, although they do bring pain during the process. He allows us to walk through fire and taste the bitterness that life can sometimes bring to only achieve a result that no one else can give us.

Who can we learn from best to attain patience, and faith from the one who is ever so patient with our transgressions and forever faithful to His word.

In that day we will meet our Teacher face to face, and express our gratitude for the suffering and trials that He allowed, in order to bring us closest to Him.


Lord, sometimes it is difficult to understand why things must work out the way that they do. In our minds, we like to believe there must be an easier way. However, help us remember that your ways and thoughts span a greater purpose and no one else is wiser than you. So take me to where you feel is best for my faith and love for you to grow.




How are you today friend? Are you hurting? Are you suffering? Are you holding back tears of pain, of an uncertain future, of regretful feelings, of damaged relationships, of never ending financial problems, or of what seem to be broken dreams? What is causing this pain you feel in your being today?

Although I do not know, and may never know, you should feel secure to know that The One who saw this pain before it presented itself into your life, also sees and knows how it will walk away from your life. He has a plan. He sat down and before your first tear ran through your cheek, he had intricately mastered out the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action and the grand resolution to the story of your sweet life. He is our Author, whose words create and whose words demolish, but whose words also restore.

Why do we allow the burdens and pain to keep us back from living a sweet and joyous life? If we know and believe that God is the Author of our life. Then why do we continue making our fears the only thing we think of and rob us of our happiness?

"Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment." Matthew 9: 20

"When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith."Matthew 8: 5-10

So it is trusting and it is faith, that moves mountains. It is believing in Him that melts His amazing heart. It's not trusting by words, but trusting with actions that makes Jesus turn around and see us touching his cloak. It is faith, that amazes him and causes Him to direct healing into our bodies.

Can you trust Him? If not Him, who will you trust? The doctors who have pain themselves, the bank  that can be there today but be gone tomorrow, the friend who can only provide limited comfort? Trust Jesus, He is reaching for you today to wipe away all your tears today, He wants to wash away all your fears. Will you let Him? Can you sing with me, "I trust in Jesus, my Great Deliverer, my Strong Defender, the Son of God, I trust in Jesus, blessed Redeemer,my Lord forever, the Holy One, the Holy One!"

Prayer: "Father God, my Strong Defender, life is hard, but You remain God in war and in peace. I pray that You would help me trust more and more each day in You. Amen!


Labor of Love

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.
I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:4

My day had started at 5:45 am. It was 9:30 pm and I had still things to get done before heading for bed. My feet throbbed, begging for rest and my back felt like it was about to break.
The worst part of it all, is I knew the next day, I would have the same routine. How I wished for someone to take over!

It is the way of life for so many f us. Many hours of work and just enough rest to go at it again.

Not too many years ago, I sat crying desperately. My heart throbbed with pain from the many hours of work that had been put into something dear to me. It was a repeated routine day in and day out with just enough rest in between. I was beyond exhausted, confused, hurt, and overwhelmed. Many times I heard His voice, but refused to listen and the promise of peace that He offered. I refused to believe.

So many grow accustomed to the routine and the hurt that comes with it, because we refuse to believe that there could be anything different than what we've already tried.
We walk repeatedly in the heat with our sight downward, afraid to look up only to be disappointed that nothing could be different, and so we continue with our labor.

Oh, but if we were to only look up long enough, we would see Him standing there with ties of unmeasurable love!

Far from a scolding for wanting to do things on our own, He instead leads us gently to a quiet place where the heat of the sun doesn't tire anymore. Where He takes our face in His hands, dries our tears and says, 'My son, I will carry your load.' There He takes our yoke that has burdened us for so long. That yoke that we've carried around making us slaves to pain that leads no where. 

When we hand over the load that He is so willing to carry for us, we will be given the life that was intended for us. A life where the only overwhelming thing is His peace and grace showering us each day. 


Father, thank you so much for noticing me when I needed you most. Your love for me I will never be able to comprehend. Thank you for giving me life and peace in knowing that you are the One that carries my load, when I can't.



Blessings Not Found in Stores

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal
Matthew 6:19-20

My son grinned from ear to ear as proudly held up his folder. His behavior clip at school had remained on the color green. It was a great achievement for him, as before this, his folder looked like confetti had blown up with the yellow, orange and red circles from weeks past.
'What are you going to buy me?' he asked
'I'm going to give you a BIG high five and an extra cookie at snack time.' I answered
The screams and cries that followed really surprised me, but also upset me.

It was crazy that he could only associate a reward with a new toy. Anything else seemed meaningless.
In his eyes he had done a good enough job to deserve something new.

But a lot of people are wired that way. We believe that as long as we live by the book, that we should be showered with constant blessings. And blessings are great to receive, however, the problem is when the blessings we expect to receive are those that are material possesions.
When those blessings don't appear in our life, we sulk and throw a tantrum beginning to wonder why God doesn't send more money, a new car or the ability to travel like the neighbors or co-workers. Especially when with our earthly eyes, we see them dishonoring the Lord. And we begin to associate blessings with material possessions.

So this begs the question of God's prescense in times of need? Is God absent when our car battery dies and money is tight already? Has He stopped blessing us when we can't seem to catch a break from our constant sicknesses? Has God withheld His blessings when months pass and your loved one seems to stray further away?

Although the answer is no, some may believe that He's not choosing to bless us. We may even begin to wonder what we are being punished for. We expect to see our life easy going if we're abiding by His word.
But God's true blessings are those that you cannot swipe your credit card for. His blessings are those that are eternal.
God showers us with blessings that will produce patience, virtue, faith, wisdom, courage and perseverance.
These are the kind of blessings that God showers with, when to the world we seem the least blessed. These blessings do not rot or fade away. Instead they bring us closer to the Father, which is the great reward of all.


Lord, I am humbled today by your presence which never leaves. I thank you for all the blessings that you pour in my life, and I pray that you open my eyes to recognize each and every one of them. Thank you Abba Father for how much you love me that you would give me something that never fades away but draws me closer to you.




"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

My four year old wowed me yesterday. He made a very mature decision for his age and I was very impressed. Last week, Sebastian's principle moved him to another classroom with a new teacher. According to the principle, it was to improve his communication skills and get him to get out of his shell. She said Sebastian was very shy and quite in his previous class and she thought it was due to the fact that this was Ms. Bussy's, his previous teachers, first year teaching Pre-K, and therefore taught at a very strict and rigorous level. However, she said, "Ms. Collins, has been a Pre-K teacher for years and is known to help shy kids, become more social and open up to the class more.

Sebastian hated the change! He cried all week hoping to get moved back to Ms. Bussy's class, however, that was not an option. I asked him all week if Ms. Collins did anything fun and asked what was he learning. His reply would always be, "she is not fun, and I learned nothing!"

At the end of the week the principle asked me if Sebastian was enjoying his new class and teacher. I told her no, in fact he cried every morning on our way to school, he wanted his old teacher back. She was surprised and said he could decided where to go and she would move him back if that was Sebastian's choice. All weekend he told my husband and I that he wanted Ms. Bussy back and did not wish to stay with Ms. Collins. Monday as we were headed to school and ready to talk to the principle about moving him back, out of nowhere, he said, "Okay, I'll stay with Ms. Collins!" I stopped and asked if that was what he truly wanted. He said yes, He explained that Ms. Collins was actually a lot of fun and she taught them with songs, and stories, and Ms. Bussy did not.

As I drove back home proud of how mature my son was becoming, I thought of how we, as adults hate change so badly. God acts like Sebastian's principle at times. He sees a better opportunity for us and decides to move us from where we were comfortable at. He knows it may take sometime for us to adapt, but knows all the benefits that will come out from this change. We all wish things could stay the same. We wish we could always stay at the same comfortable job with co-workers we've learned to work with, we wish our salaries never decreased and we could remain at least stable forever, we wish our kids remained innocent and little, we wish our place of worship never had any changes like new leaders, or problems, we wish our life could sail smoothly with never a change of direction. However the God who sees it all. The God who knows your yesterdays, your today, and your tomorrows, knows what is best for you. O but how we act like the four year old child who prefers to stay where it feels safest.

You know the changes you have been trying to avoid. You know what you have been ignoring and not wanting to make a leap for it. What is that change God has been trying for you to make in your life? Has he been nudging something for you to do differetnt with you children? With your job or career? With your ministry? With your dreams? With your time? With your money? What is it? Ask God to reveal it, He will. "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 Be mature today like Sebastian and surrender your comfort zone and obey those gentle nudges He has been giving you. I like what Oswald Chambers say's, "When you agree and obey with God's puposes, He will bring not only your conscious life, but all the deeper regions of your life which you cannot get at, into harmony."


Worshipping in Darkness

'Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.' 2 Samuel 12:20

Growing up my mother always used to stress giving God thanks in the good and the bad.
'We have to give Him thanks for our hard times.' she would say and I would stand confused.
Why on earth would we give thanks for bad things that happen to us?

Getting up after a bad fall with a smile on our face, is not typical. We are in pain, bruised and bleeding. The last thing in our mind is to jump up with joy and begin walking with a spring in our step.
So it is with our spiritual lives.
One day we are walking ever so joyously with everything  going well within our jobs, marriage, or families and out of the blue, things go south.
I'm not talking about a flat tire making you late to work, or leaving your credit card at home, here. I'm referring to way south, where things seem hopeless and no way out.

I've been there. Tired of trying. Desperate for an answer. Seeking an easy way out. Wanting to disappear.
Many of us have too. At that point the last thing I thought of doing was lifting up my hands to worship God. At that point all I wanted was for Him to take me out of my misery.
Stopping yourself in the middle of your hurricane is a difficult task, but a must when standing between your spiritual life and death.
It is stopping to realize that no matter which way we turn, we are NOT in control. Only God is.

However, letting go and letting God, may even make the task more difficult when we don't fully know the God we are handing things to.

He is a God that has saved us from the death penalty and given us life should we accept it (Romans 6:23). He is God who is patient and kind with our transgressions (2 Peter 3:9). He is the Almighty who holds our lives in His hands(Isaiah 49:16). He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelations 22:13). Nothing can't stand against Him and nothing can make Him fall (Romans 8:31). His love towards us cannot be measured and wants to mold us through these transgressions to be more like Him.

Understanding this and accepting it, is what will help us get back up bruised, and hurting but with peace in our hearts that we are not alone. David although, his son had been taken away, got up and worshipped the God that was and is still in control.
 This battle is not ours, but more importantly it has been won.
If your down in the deepest and darkest state one could be, worship. When things don't turn out the way you expected, worship.

Worship because He is good and His love endures forever and ever. Amen.


The door

"For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16: 7

I have been dreaming about a red wooden door since I moved back into my childhood house, about three years ago. The door of my house is solid wood with simple rectangles positioned across each other. Before we moved in though, my father had rented the house out to a women who did not take care of this home as we would had liked. That solid wood door, was ugly! The stain it once had, had been scratched off, the gloss that was once there was dull, the wood felt rough, and it was desperate for some TLC! A few guys we hired came and renovated that ugly door. It got a brand new stain coating, gloss, and all the rough edges were buffed away. To a passerby my door is now, nice and in good condition, however, only I who live inside this house, know that it still had a few glitches. Sometimes it feels that we should just get a new door because as we fix one thing, something else happens to it. Now my door is not opening smoothly, it gets stuck as we try opening it, so we must either, find someone to repair the root of the problem or just take that door out and bring in that red door, I've been dreaming off.

Rabbi Freeman, at the Synagogue I attend, spoke of our hearts this Shabbat. "Our hearts have doors and doors serve two purposes. One, they let inside what is wanted, and two, they keep out, what is not." He continued, "If our doors are malfunctioning, like most of our heart-doors, were or are, we must not continue to try to repair them ourselves, we must ask the Meshiac (Jesus) for a new door, that only he can give us."

If the doors to your hearts, are not closing correctly and allowing the unwanted to come in, do not try to fix it yourself, call on Jesus, and he will bring you a brand new door. He will bring you a door that closes when temptation or evil knocks hard and opens when God is knocking mercifully.

You may look good from the outside, polished and renewed, but only you who know what lurks inside your heart, know if today you need to call on Jesus' helpline and request a free evaluation for a new door. There are no gimmicks, and it comes with a 100% guarantee, that the new door, will change your life for the best.

Lord, help us to realize, when the doors of our hearts have glitches that need your help. Help us to run to you and not try to fix things on our own but always rely on you to give us new doors to keep out all evil and temptation that waits to creep in through broken and damaged doors. We love you. Amen


' I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Isralites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.' 2 Samuel 7:6-7

Moving I dislike. Not moving around, but moving to a different home.
It'd be great if someone else could come in and do the dirty work for me. Moving, however, entails cleaning, finding long - lost forgotten things, organizing, and packing.

There's hard work involved that cannot be avoided when that move is necessary. Hard work is needed when it needs to be done right. Hard work is needed, as it is with our hearts.

God sees it. That move-in that's necessary and doesn't waste time.

In all His glory and majesty, He chooses to dwell in our heart, among us. He's never required for us to clean it, adorn it, or build it ourselves. He sees the desperate need to move in and move us to a better place.

As soon as He steps in the door, His grace cleanses us completely. He cleanses our tear stained cheeks. Removes all the rubble from the time after time, our heart has been broken.
He scrubs away the stains that our mistakes have left.
He comes in to organize our emotions which have all been scattered around, leaving us confused, with feelings of fear and unworthiness.
As He does this, He begins to find that long - lost forgotten smile that used to light up our eyes. He finds that warm spirit that longed to help others with kind words, acts of goodness, or that powerful prayer.
Finally, he tosses all the things in our life that are an obstacle in reaching Him, those things that keep chains on our feet from running to Him, into a box. He seals that box shut and tosses it as far as the east is from the west. (Psalms 103:12)

From the beginning of time, God has moved from heart to heart making changes within us to find reconciliation with Him.
He doesn't require that we travel thousands of miles to a place where He would be found. He comes to us. He hears the calling and moves right in.

There are thousands of hearts that need to make Him a home to dwell in. There's immense work to be done and He continually moves among us looking for an additional place to call home.
Will you open the doors to your heart today, and let Him do His work?
Will you tell others about His desire to dwell in theirs?

Allow for Him to come in and cleanse you. Allow for Him to organize your thoughts and ways. Allow Him to help you find that light that burned with passion once. Most importantly allow Him to erase your sins that torment you.
Allow Him to dwell with you.


Father, come into my heart. I've needed you since time begun. I need you now, and will need you forever. There are many things in my heart that need your grace and forgiveness. I acknowledge you as my God and the only one that can do so. Take me in today and allow my heart to be a dwelling for you, O Lord.



Suddenly not speedily

I smiled when I saw the bag of chips on the counter top yesterday. Lay’s Kettle Cooked, Original Flavor. I saw my dad grab the bag and offer Yasser, my husband, some. He then, closed them back up and took them to the pantry. My heart was full of joy to see that bag of chips, so unimportant to anyone else, but to me, knowing what I knew, filled my heart with gratitude.

Not too long ago, times where so hard. Not too long ago, my faith had run out. Not too long ago, I was in a constant state of sadness and my heart longed to laugh and smile. My heart ached for the pain people dear to me faced.

“Suddenly, not speedily,” the Rabbi at my Synagogue always says as He talks on God answering prayers. Suddenly, not speedily. I hanged on to that phrase and would try to believe that yes, suddenly, God would respond, God would wipe our tears away, God would bring out the sun again and God,  God would reach out His hand from the heavens and reach down to help our needy situation.

Oh how sudden it was. Not at all speedy.  Just sudden. Close to four years and it is still a work in progress but we can begin to see its fruit. We can begin to reap some harvest from all the work we had been sowing. It is extremely hard to sow time after time, and not reap any harvest. We get tired, we get doubtful, and sometimes we get angry. But God motivates us by promising a promise that I can testify to, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

My sweet, God-filled daddy, firmly held on to this promise, and as others and myself at times suggested him to give up and look for something else to do, look for another dream to work towards to; he never gave up. He believed in the promises the Almighty wrote to him, thousands of years ago. When his business seemed to take away, rather than to give, he believed, when his business caused stress and tears, he believed, and when hope seemed lost, he still chose to believe.

Not too long ago, a $2.75 bag of chips never made it to the shopping list or the shopping cart. It was not a necessity, it was not an option, it was a, “not today, item.” So when I saw that bag lay on that counter top yesterday, and saw the abundance of food there was in the pantry and refrigerator, my heart was extremely happy and moved with joy and gratitude, to the Man who makes rainbows out of rain, and light from darkness, and joy from brokenness .

So when the rain is pouring down on you, and you feel like giving up, when you keep toiling over a field that seems to give no fruit, when you wonder if the sun will ever appear, remember, “suddenly, not speedily!” Remember the Exodus-suddenly, not speedily. Remember Sarah and Abraham-suddenly, not speedily. Remember- Yeshua’s return-suddenly, not speedily!!
A man wanting to get a tattoo described the story behind the tattoo. He had four beautiful daughters, the youngest had about 20 seizures a day and maybe an hour out of the entire day, she was stable. He talked about how he questioned God for the pain and why the rain would never seem to seize. Until suddenly, God begin to relieve the seizures, the pain, the brokenness. She is now 7 and a miracle daughter, she was given only 3 years to live. His tattoo was God's hand stretching out from the sky reaching out to the dads hand that stretched out from the dirt, the ground- where he fills God pulled him out from.
Believe today, God is stretching His hand out from the heavens to yours, reach out and grasp His hand for in due time, you shall SUDDENLY see the miracle God will perform in your life.


In a State of Emergency

'If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.' 2 Chronicles 7:14

My daughter had been in pain for a couple of days and was now running a high fever.

Taking her into the doctor's office, I hoped to get reassurence that taking medication, she would feel better in no time. The doctor instead informed me that it would get worse before it would get better.
The virus had spread and it would have to run its complete course for there to be complete healing. Healing meant no pain, no sleepless nights, and a bright - eyed child bouncing off the walls again.

Healing is what restores back to its original state.

God being creator of all, defines an original state of purity -- without blemish, intact from any kind of virus. Night and day from the world we have made for ourselves.

It is evident that evil is fully present in this life and it is rapidly spreading. Just like any disease, we are blind to the progress. It runs its course without us being able to stop it. As we watch the news, we witness devastating stories that will involve innocent lives at the hands of immorality, selfishness, and greed.
But if we think about it, we might be able to see that same sickness closer to home.

Although it's my prayer that your lives and homes are virus free, it does not exepmt us from the dangers that lurk nearby.

God's antidote is not an expensive one that your insurance company might not cover. His antidote for our healing is pure, constant, fervent prayer. The kind of prayer that brings us to our knees humbled before the Healer or all healers.
The world is in a state of emergency. Our families and homes are in a state of emergency.
Today is not the time to wait it out and let the virus run its course. Today is the time to call on His healing.
Healing for starving children. Healing for those at war. Healing for a prideful spouse. Healing for your angry child hiding layers of pain.

Pray that God may show us what wickedness we have and that He may begin to heal our land, our homes and our hearts. We are in a desperate need to be restored to what He created us to be - an image of His love, forgiveness, kindness, respect and selflessness. Pray today. Don't delay. Pray to the One that has our healing in the palm of His hands.


My heart, His Home

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Have you ever heard or read a quote, preaching, or quick conversation that you wish someone else should be listening to instead of you? You think to yourself, “Why are they not listening to this, they so should!” I confess, I am guilty of this! Actually, I have done this many times. But then, if I allow God to, He shows me why it was I who heard/read it and not my friend, husband, or co-workers. 

Recently I heard someone ask, “If someone would give their family all their time and energy, would their job suffer?” The answer is obvious, yes, it would. He then asked, “What happens when we give our job all our time and energy, would not our family suffer as well?” I already had the perfect person in mind that needed to listen to this, and well, I hate to admit, but yes, I let the person know.

As I sat listening to a beautiful song by Watermark, called,“My heart, Your Home," my eyes filled up with tears thinking how I have placed so much time on other things. Instead of making my Heart God’s Home, I had cluttered my heart with a list of all the things that I needed to do before inviting God in. I thought about how much time is enough for God and how much time for the other stuff? It is so sad to say, God is usually the leftovers of my day. After I’ve invested countless hours on other, “important” things, and my energy is gone, I lay in bed and come to the Father.  How is that making my heart a home for God? There’s a verse in the song that hit home most, it says, “Let everything I do, open up a door for you to come through, and that my heart will be a place where you wanna be.” I lingered on that last part, “Is my heart a place where God wants to be?”

Then I thought of that question I heard earlier that week. If all my time and energy is wasted on one area of my life, what else in my life is suffering? Again, the answer was so clear; my relationship with God. Investing all your time and energy on things you call important, will leave you with no time and energy left over for God. In consequence what suffers? That line of love and passion with The Majestic Holy One.

Today as you run errands, and check of chores or activities on your mental “To-Do List,” ask yourself two questions; “Are all these things, leaving me any time and energy to give to when I meet with my Heavenly Father?” and “Am I making my heart, a place where God wants to be?”

As we remember September 11th, let’s remember the moral of all of this suffering, “Your time on earth, is not guaranteed, it is not promised!”  Let us get moving to building a heart so welcoming and inviting for our Savior to come in, because if His return is not today, or tomorrow, your life is not guaranteed, one more day or one more tomorrow.

May our hearts always be a place God wants and desires to live in, now and till the end of our time.


Beauty in Unworthy Contents

"Who am I, Oh Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?" 1 Chronicles 17:16

We all are familiar with the saying: 'don't judge a book by its cover.' It cautions us to not make assumptions on people before reading their contents - getting to know them.

If we were a book, what genre would we be?

Some would be a suspensful mystery, others an inspirational book. There may be othes that could fall into a romantic-comedy genre, or perhaps a horror-thriller.
If God's grace depended on our contents, how much more or how much less gracious would He be?

King David, must've looked at the contents of his book over and over to help him understand what God must've seen to place Him in a position that in his own eyes, did not deserve.
Looking at his contents, there was murder, adultery and selfishness. Surely these characteristics could only have gotten the Lord to shut the book in anger and disappointment. Instead, God far from placing the book back in the shelf, kept reading. He in addition picked up a pen and added chapters to David's book to fulfill what God had prepared for him.

In a mere human sight, there was nothing attractive or impressive that David had done. His physique alone, disqualified Him to be a ruler. His actions did not show the integrity people would want in a king. His cover and contents were enough to put him in the back of the bookstore shelves. God's grace however, is what led Him to the very back of that bookstore. In his repentance and humility, David learned to listen and acknowlege God as the author of life.

No, there isn't anything about us that is impressive or attractive to the mere human sight. Most of our contents too would make a reader blush or become outraged. Surely contents that do not deserve an abundance of blessings that the Lord pours out each day, much less the priviledge of being called His own.

Yet God takes our book in His hands and pens new chapters with beautiful contents waiting to be lived out.
We may look at ourselves and see nothing that God can be pleased with or be able to use, but the wonderful truth is that God sees us differently. It was through those merciful eyes that He saw desperate souls in need of a Savior. It is through those eyes that He sees blank pages that need a happy ending.

Many times I've asked King David's question: What do you see in me O Lord, to be this good to me?

His answer: 'Your overwhelming need for constant mercy, forgiveness, and grace.'


Father, it is true. Nothing can even begin to measure your love and compassion. Your concern for us is beyond human understanding and there is nothing I can ever do to repay you. Allow me to forever be in your presence where Your abundant grace unfolds and reminds me that without you, I am nothing.



Big and Tiny Messes

“But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love (you had) at first.” Revelation 2:4

I love to purchase cleaning supplies that have just come out on the market. If the product in the commercial seems like it really works, it becomes a must have on my grocery list. For instance, I love cleaning wipes, and not too long ago, found some that have an amazing citrus scent, with an abrasive side that scrubs away tougher messes, plus each wipe has a spritz of Clorox, which won my little housewife heart over. The first few weeks I had these wipes, I used them on everything.  At first it did not matter if the job was tiny, small, medium or really tough, I just loved the smell and the final result it delivered.  It made even my husband happy to walk into the kitchen or restroom and smell a clean-lemony room, not to mention how my countertops and sinks looked.  Then, one day I didn’t use them, as well as the next few days, until my little four year old, decided it would be a good idea to put his already open juice box inside his lunch bag and leave it on the seat of the car while we drove to school one morning. This was a big mess and a big mess called for these tough wipes. By the way, I would like to add, I was not cleaning the car seat with a smile like the mom’s they show on the Bounty commercials, but that’s another story.  I put the wipes back inside my cleaning supply caddy, and are only, “in use,” when I have Big messes.

Do you remember a point in your life, when your relationship with God was exciting and always “IN USE”? Do you remember loving to use His word to clean up tiny, small, medium and tough messes? Do you also remember when you started to use Him and His word only when you had big messes?

Some people say they have hindrances that do not allow them to keep a passionate, “IN USE,” or alive relationship with God. However, I have been thinking that the biggest and maybe only hindrances each one of us have in our lives are, “The Daily routines.” We are focused on waking up no more than 10 minutes past our alarm sounding, avoiding another tardy at school or work, making sure the house is clean, smelling clean, food is ready, laundry folded, homework assisted with and completed, and so on, that we leave God out. The daily routines do not let us pick up God and His word to maintain a clean spiritual life daily, it does not let us use His word to wipe away tiny or small messes anymore.  We only break the daily routine when we are presented with a big mess, then we look into our caddy and pick up one of the dusty bibles that abound around the house. We remember that our knees were not only meant for walking but for kneeling to pray as well, and He, our Glorious, merciful God, produces an amazing result when we do, He cleans up the mess. But He must feel so used.

The key verse is found in Revelations when God is telling the church in Ephesus that yes He is happy with a few things they have done correctly, O but one thing He is so upset about is that they do not seek Him and love Him like when they first found Him. Are you there today friend? The verse continues by God declaring, repent, and do the works you did at first, repent. Come back to that time in your life when you were so excited you had discovered an awesome love that could wipe away any type of mess, from the tiniest to the toughest, a mess growing inside your heart or a mess around you.


My Beloved You are

Today on my way to work, I listened to a song that touched my heart. I want to share those lyrics with you today, as it reminds us of the passion behind God's love for us. God is not only our Savior, but our friend, Father, and beloved.

Tenth Avenue North "Beloved"
Love of my life
Look deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need
Give me your life
Lust and the lies
The past you're afraid I might see
You've been running away from me

You're my beloved
Lover I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
Our Love it unites us
It binds you to me
It's a mystery

Love of my life
Look deep in my eyes
There you will find what you need
I'am the giver of life
I'll clothe you in whine
My immaculate bride you will be
Oh come running home to me

You're my beloved
Lover I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
Our Love it unites us
It binds you to me

Well you've been a mistress, my wife
Chasing lovers it won't satisfy
Won't you let me make you my bride
You will drink of my lips
And you'll taste new life

Cause you're my beloved
Lover I'm yours
Death shall not part us
It's you I died for
For better or worse
Forever we'll be
Our Love it unites us
& it binds you to me

You're my beloved
Forever we'll be
Our love it unites us
And it binds you to me
It's a mystery
It's a mystery


I need a Savior

"Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.You do not want a burnt offering.The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God." Psalms: 51:1, 16-17

Isn't that the truth. No one can be saved without mercy and no one can have mercy without a Savior. But the world will try to tell you, but most of all show you, you may not need not one nor the other. The world will convince you it is not important. You can live your life like the rest of the human population free from ever calling on a Savior or calling out for Mercy. You can prove it yourself until God's grace steps away from your life. Then, when faced with trouble,disease, heartbreak, divorce, bankruptcy, does the world realize having a Savior to call on is not such a terrible idea, and needing mercy will be a must to get aid from that Savior. Remember 9/11? What did America do as they gathered together in Time Square? Prayed, called on a Savior. We all need a Savior, but without Mercy, we cannot come to that Savior. The awesome thing is He gives it so freely, no need for sacrifices, just a broken spirit.

So do you wait to be humbled or do you humble yourself before the Humblest of all humbles your arrogance, ignorance and pride?

I do wonder if not ignorance and pride, what keeps away my ex- Yeshua follower friends? What can be so exciting that needing a Savior is not a priority?

Sin=freedom. Ive heard it to many times, however my ex-believing friends do not call it Sin, they call it freedom from rules and regulations. I laugh because I know the only rule is found in Deuteronomy 6:5; to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength., and that's not a hard thing to do when You invite Him in your life. Next, you do everything for love to the Savior you called on in your time of need and obeying does not feel like following a bunch of rules, it feels like honoring a Savior who showed you mercy when you did not deserve it. So the" rule excuse" only sounds valid to the unbeliever.

Do you need a Savior? Do you need mercy? This is not a rhetorical question and the answer is yes to every living human in this planet. Even to me, even to Moses, or David! They all made mistakes and needed mercy. David writes in Psalms 51; "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." We were all born sinners, but the greatest gift from our Savior was that gift of mercy that He offers for free, no sacrifice needed. Come, come and receive His mercy, He waits for you each day to understand a Savior you need, and Mercy you can receive.


Blow Your Horn For Victory!

When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the  wall collapsed. Joshua 6:20

Through my tears and heartache, the situation seemed impossible. I was spilling my heart out to my mom for what seemed like the 100th time. The pain, however, cut like the first time.
Her words were the same: 'Don't just believe in Him - Believe Him"

There's a difference. One is believing He is existent. The other is believing in the promise that doesn't fail.

Joshua and the Israelites faced a situation where just believing in God's existence would not have been enough. They needed to believe God and His words. Believing that He IS able.

It was that conviction in knowing God never fails, that they marched full of determination and passion. With their trumpets' sounds the entire city's walls collapsed.

What a sight it must've been! Walls about seventeen feet wide made of stone, falling as if made of paper.
They believed God and the walls came down JUST as He had said. At the exact moment, in the same manner He had instructed.

Believe. A simple word that sometimes entails the biggest leap of our lives. To believe, however, is to attain freedom!
Freedom from the walls holding us back in a broken marriage, a drug/alcohol addiction, a never ending pile of debt, or that unexplainable empty feeling within.
It is true that the walls look pretty high and intimidating when standing right in front of them, but today the Lord calls us to believe Him and His word when He says He is in control. That powerful word that tells us He will never forsake us. Listen today when He says to hand your problems over to Him. Take your horn, blow it loud, and stand in awe as those walls that have held you back for so long, collapse at your feet.


Heavenly Father, how majestic is your word, that encourages us to trust in You. Throughout the ages, you have proven your faithfulness for your children. Remind us to be strong as we step forward to face the walls that keep us chained and prevent us from witnessing your power.
I bring everything to you, knowing that you already have an answer and is paving the way for my victory.



When His "No" Brings Pain.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

They had built up high hopes. They'd made a list of projects that they would implement and as the days passed, the vision grew and the passion inside began to burn. The plans were lifted up in prayer for many weeks, and then the day came to reveal God's answer.

His answer was No.

It hits you like a ton of bricks, and the answer can sometimes be bewildering, and painful. Our prayers are always towards good. A mission trip,. A new ministry. A good job. A loving companion. Healing for a loved one. When God answers with what we expect the least, it hurts.

Hanna knew this pain all too well. Year after year, her womb remained closed. God had answered no. It was a pure prayer. Wanting to be a mother had no wrong in itself. But God, although, hurt inside to see His daughter cry bitterly, He knew it was best to tell her no year after year - until the time was right.

Her son, Samuel played a very important role in history. He was used by the Lord to counsel the first two kings of Israel. It was his hand that anointed God's beloved King David, whose lineage our Saviour, Jesus in the form of man, belongs to.
Samuel's birth was placed perfectly in God's timeline for greatness.

We are not exempt from the greatest story the world will ever know where God is the screenwriter and director. Sometimes standing backstage we'll rehearse our lines over and over in our head. We'll want to jump out into the stage when we feel it's time. God, however, will pull us back and hold us there until it's the perfect timing.
We can rest assured that every detail of our lives has been planned out by our wonderful Creator.

When God says no it may hurt. But know this. When God says no, it's Him saying: 'My beloved, I have something beyond your imagination for you. This is not it. Trust in Me.'


Heavenly Father, how great are your works that our minds could never wrap around them. Your ways are beyond what we could ever comprehend, and it is knowing that you love me so much that gives me comfort in your plans for me. Remind me each day that my days are covered by your grace and mercy.



Vanishing Distance

"When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?" Psalms 8: 3-4

Sometimes I find it hard to imagine how much God loves me. I find it hard when I have distanced myself from Him. I do not necessarily have to stop going to church and start going to clubs to feel some type of distance between Him and I. I simply just need to stop calling and/or listening to Him and that cold distance appears. Can you relate? Have you found yourself feeling guilty for not seeking God like you have in the past? Number one rule: Do not try to make yourself feel better. Sounds harsh? Well, yes, we are all humans, we all make mistakes, but a mistake is a wrong action proceeding from inadequate knowledge, and we are to try to never make the same mistake twice! Second, recognize that this feeling of guilt may just be the Holy Spirit nudging your heart to make a change. But third, remember that God still loves You.

I came across Psalms 8 when I was asked to choose a Psalm in church one day, and read it aloud to the congregation. As I read it, I felt God pour out His love on us, reminding us what He has given to us as symbols of His deep love. Linger on the third rule, that God is so in love with us even when we make mistakes. Even when your actions place distance between your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Remember that there are greater things than us humans, like the stars and the Heavens, yet God remembers us everyday, blesses us everyday, protects us everyday, loves us everyday.

And the fourth rule, do not delay your return. As soon as you run back to Him, that distance will vanish and your relationship with Him, will begin once again to grow and grow! And when you find yourself once again feeling guilty with distance on the way, start back at one!