Temple Renovation

“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” - Haggai 1:4

To do lists are notorious for being never ending. We check off the items on one list, only to make another one right after for the next day. Some may even have their to-do lists organized according to areas in their life!
They are essential to keep us on track for things that need to get done. After all, during our stay here on earth, we want to make sure we lived a productive, controlled life where we could fulfill all or most of the goals we set for ourselves.

We must however, be careful, to place priorities in what really will impact our life. We must be careful to consider our ways.

It is easy to get caught up on all of OUR to-do's that we may begin to put aside HIS to-do's.

During a recent Bible study, after reading the first chapter of Haggai, the youth in my class asked why it was so wrong for the people of Israel to work hard on their home. After all, they were not worshipping other idols, murdering, or stealing, simply sprucing up their homes.

The key was, they were focusing on their homes, while His home was left in ruins. It was collecting dust, with termites or rodents probably inhabiting it as their new found home.
When we picture the place where God's glory was to reside, the image just portrayed is the least image we would ever have.

Paul, reminds us that our body is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our body that he refers to here should be considered as our mind, body and soul. The whole nine yards per se.

As we look down at our to-do lists, where does focusing more on His will and on Him, stand as a priority?

Embarrassed, I will be the first to admit that I have had days where cleaning every room in the house, updating my facebook, finishing a painting (that has yet to be put up for sale), has taken priority of rebuilding His temple within me.
While I focus on my kingdom, His kingdom remains unfinished in my life.

God has already set out the part for us in rebuilding His temple that so often gets neglected. He has provided the materials, and tools. The only thing missing, is our labor to lay the foundation and the brick in building a beautiful temple where His glory can reside and through the windows the world will be able to witness the most beautiful presence ever known.

Today, I invite you to reassess our priorities where God is the main focus of our list. Where His presence can navigate our lives to begin checking off His to-do list that He has given us as His children to take on.


Dear Father, how great is your mercy that you should care for us constantly despite of us neglecting your temple. How forgiving and gracious you are to watch over us lovingly when we forget to do your will. Help us Lord to remember, the purpose for which we were created. Help us in each and every day to add to building your temple in which you can forever reside.



The moon comes up before you know it

“Following the Lord is a daily responsibility which involves the subordination of my desires and will to His. For this to take place effectively, we need daily time with Him, waiting at His throne.” Luke 9: 23

Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we forget who gave it to us... and who gave it all for us.-anonymous

A Soul without prayer is like lungs with no air.-anonymous

The sun is up on your side of planet earth. The alarm rings, you wake up, but your eyes remain closed, and you begin to utter and mumble, “Thank You, God for another day” as you run into the shower. In just another few minutes and without breakfast, you head out the door to your destination.  After a long day, you get home, and thankfully find yourself less pressed for time, but still a few things on the to-do-list have not yet been crossed off, but you begin to wonder, where is some “me time”? The couch looks inviting, and a movie with the significant other cannot be missed so you cuddle up and before you know it, the moon has switched places with the sun and now even if you want to pray or read God’s Word, your eyes are letting you know it’s-closing time, “tomorrow, I’ll wake up early to spend some time with You,” is what you say to God as you fall fast asleep.  But- The Sun comes up the next day and it starts of like the day before, the ending is up to you for He does not impose Himself on us, but only His care and love.

(Psalm 68: 19) “God is committed to our care, deliverance, and direction ( Peter 5: 6-7). He is our burden bearer, but our need is to learn to take our burdens to the Lord daily (Prov. 8:34) in humble submission to His sovereign purposes.”

Just like a person needing to make changes in their diet and activities to get healthier or lose weight, we need to make changes in our day to gain a friend who is always waiting for us all day long to speak to us, to listen to us, this friend-Jesus. Sacrifices must be made to be able to experience awesome moments with Him. He waits every day for you to come to Him and speak to Him as much as you do to your friends or relatives, and even more. He wants to guide you, comfort you, and become your daily Captain. But He will never impose Himself on You, oh, butt how merciful is He that, as you push Him away and replace Him with movies, or tasks, He still imposes love and care on you. O Father, How merciful You are, for if You treated us as we treated You, we would no longer be here.

Make a decision right now, make a change today, that you will seek God more and more each day, for He deserves our time, and we need this time alone with Him, because there will come a day, when all this will pass away, and He who waited for us night and day, will no longer wait, for the coming of the end of days, will soon be at hand.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55: 6


Re-routing No more

' Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' Jeremiah 33:3

Recently when my family and I took a vacation to Wisconsin to visit my in-laws, we heavily depended on the GPS app found on our phones. Other than the robotic, sometimes irritating voice coming from our phone, it's a great tool for getting around areas you are not familiar with.
On our last day and heading to the Madison airport, we had left my in-laws' in Arcadia, WI without eating breakfast to avoid wasting time. Two hours later, arriving in Madison, we had three hours left to kill and the first thing to do on our list, was to eat. We were starving!
As we pulled into an Applebee's, the rain came down hard and we ran towards the restaurant's doors to only find out, they wouldn't open for another hour. After driving for another 30 minutes without a restaurant in sight, having the lovely voice state "re-routing" about five times due to closed streets and a construction zone, we were irritated to say the least.
If only that handy GPS had warned us about those obstacles beforehand!

Having a blue print of the city, knowing short-cuts inside and out, might've been the solution for my family to take care of our hunger.

On the roads of life, doesn't it sound like a familiar tale?

For me looking back, it sure does.

Many times with questions overwhelming my soul, I depended on "advanced technology" so to speak to find my destination.
It seemed like the perfect way to go, until I encountered a road-block and I had no choice but to re-route.
On that re-route it wasn't long before I came upon another 'construction-zone' and had to re-route once again. All the while, my hunger increasing with every turn.

It wasn't until I understood, that there was only one person holding the blue print to my life, that I stopped re-routing.
My Creator shouted to me and said: 'Call to me and I will show you great things that you do not know and cannot find on your own.'

Calling on Him is the key to getting your emotional and spiritual hunger fed.
He will show you what turn, what street, what highway, to take in order to reach where His will is for you to be. God in His goodness, reassures us that His will for us is a will full of hope and promise.


The more I seek you, the more I find you

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29: 13

Do you ever wonder if God laughs with us or shakes his head in sadness when we do something funny or wrong? God has been trying to get me to pray more and although I am sure I have no absolute idea if the following is true, I think He shakes his head with sympathy when I am too deaf to hear Him whispering, "Time to pray."

Remember the story of, Daniel in the Lion's Den found in Daniel 6? Well, I always used to get confused with the following verse:

"Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." Daniel 6:20

I could not believe I prayed more times than Daniel and yet the fact that he prayed just three times a day was written down in the bible as some big accomplishment! I prayed when I got up, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, and when it was time to sleep! So what was the big deal that Daniel prayed three times a day? And why did his prayer have so much power over his situation?

When I said God has been wanting me to pray more, He did not mean he wanted me to top the charts with how many times I would bend my knees and park them on my living room or bedroom floor in a day. God has been trying to teach me, what prayer really means, and that I could pray five times a day, and never really meet with Him the entire day.
You may pray for an hour and still not pray. You may meet God for a moment and then be in touch with Him all day. --Fredrik Wisloff

I believe Daniel's, three, prayers a day had way more power than my five prayers a day, because they each met God, searched God, and found Him

Think of the times when you are watching TV or on Facebook, and you start thinking, "I should go pray." Instead of leaving the TV on and closing your eyes, turn off the TV, go to your room, turn on some worship music on your phone, or computer in place of Facebook and speak to your Father. Prayer should be as important, thoughtful and detail's as a "date night," with your spouse. Think about it, we go through all these steps to make our "date night," a romantic and lovely night, so that our relationship with our spouse could stay strong and alive, but with God, we use no details or any thoughts when meet with Him. We either feel we have too or need to scratch that off our to-do-list.

There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying. --John G. Lake

I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.—John Wesley

God is urging you to meet with Him, to seek Him and He promises, you will find Him.

Lyrics from Kari Jobe's, "The more I seek you."

The more i seek you,
the more i find you.
The more i find you,
the more I love you
I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming 


Returning to the Heart of Worship

'If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to Him.' - 2 Chronicles 30:9

There's a first time for everything, and we always remember the first experience of something.
Not so much because of the actual happenings, but because of the feelings that stirred inside of us.

Whether it was knots in your stomach beginning your first job.
Butterflies on a first kiss.
The painful heartache with a first breakup or the immense joy on becoming a parent.

We never forget those feelings because they actually made the moment slightly surreal, elevating us from our comfort zone.

There are many 'firsts' in life that we have encountered, including coming to the Lord.

Take a moment to remember that time. What feelings did you have then?

God always being the same in nature, assures me that the day you came to the Lord, your heart felt joy, peace, and comfort on a level beyond what you'd ever experienced before.

On that day, as we came forward and surrendered our all, we were brought forth into the heart of worship.
There in the center of what worship truly is, stands the Lord Almighty.

He stands with a beaming smile and compassionate eyes, that welcome you despite what your life says about you. In that heart of worship, it is such an intimate place that your heart bursts with tears of joy knowing someone loves you that much.
Realizing such a place exists, there is no possibility of us leaving it. There is no other road that we would be willing to take that would steer us away.

But there is and we do.

Many of us stand far from what our earthly minds would think to be reachable by Him. Many of us stand there because we feel the road to go back to that initial interaction with Him requires strenght that we no longer have to make it there. But if we take a moment to recall the expression on His face when we made the decision to come to Him, we would also remember that His lips also moved as He said: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving - kindness.' (Jer 31:3)

Today the Lord invites you again to come into His presence where He can carry you, wipe your tears away, heal your wounds, and give you once again that joy, peace and comfort you once overwhelmed your heart with.


Dear Abba Father, we recognize that without you our life would have to hope. Our wayward heart steers us away from you, but when we are far away from home, we also see that the choice made was not correct. Bring us back to you, guide us on our way back home.



A Humble Heart

'The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.' 1 Samuel 16:7

Her husband had left her. She had no profession, no riches, no fancy clothes, no more than a block of cheese in her fridge at times to feed her kids with.
Many probably wouldn't have given her a second look, as nothing extraordinary stood out. Her outdated clothing hid from others the treasure that God saw inside:


How do is humility displayed?

Serving others, being hospitable, showing forgiveness - all these are examples. However, examples that are seen also by man. What could possibly then be humility only seen by Him?

Driving home one day worried out of my mind, I understood it.
In the middle of my racing thoughts of different and fast solutions to my dilemma, God stepped in and said"
'Humble yourself before me and watch me deliver you once again.'

I hadn't realized that in my worrying and seeking answers with my own strenght, I was dimming the light on Him. Trying to sway His will with my endless 'why's', belittled the fact that He's always in control.

That abandoned woman and King David had one thing in common, They both humbled their pride, and earthly ambitions before the Lord in situations others might've feared. They recognized that He is who was, is, and is to come. They held on to Hid promises of being their refuge and source of strenght. In time of trouble, they fell face down and allowed His glory to shine around. They humbled their heart and everything that came with it before the King.

Friend, let's remember each and every day, that the Lord is worthy of our humbling before Him. He knows what is to come in our life, even when our path seems to be going south.
He has promised to give us a future and a hope. When we let our fears, ambitions, and pride down and humbly come before Him, He will lift us up.


Dear God, each and everyday I have to thank you for always being my refuge. Even in the middle of a storm, I know you are near. Give me a spirit of humility so that my heart will always remember that you and noone else are my Creator, Protector, and King.


Hills melt in His presence!

“The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.”  Psalm 68: 8
Who can stand the presence of Adonai? Can depression, can anger, can fear, can insecurity, or what about worry? Can the proud, can the evil at heart, can the gossiper, or the abusive? How about addiction, disorders, or bad habits? What about broken relationships, an empty bank account, or sick loved ones?

“The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”  Psalm 97:5
Poster holding adolescent girls, and even some middle-aged women wearing "I <3 JB" t-shirts, go "goo-goo-gaga" over Teen Pop singer, Justin Beiber.  Now I know you have seen those little girls with tears streaming down their faces, screaming at the top of their lungs, "I love you Justin!" I am not a Justin fan. Don't get me wrong, the boy can sing, you just wont find me melting over this guy. Like Rabbi Freeman at my Synagogue says, "Everyone puts on their pants the same way!" Meaning, we are all human, rich or poor, famous or an outcast, at the end of the day, we are still a person.
But there is ONE that should get our hearts racing, our legs trembling, our mouths stuttering and our hands raising-up, high posters that have love quotes written on.
He is the one that can melt even the hills, shake up the heavens, and shatter to pieces whatever is bringing you pain today.
When we worry or dread over something that is hurting us and we do not invite his presence in, then we will not have peace. When you find yourself crying, frustrated, or worried, drop your knees on the floor, face to the earth, and hands lifted high. Cry out for YHWH's presence. Cry out for the Great I AM to walk in the midst of you.
There is a song we sing at Synagogue that brought me to the conclusion that all you need is God's presence to weaken your pride, to weaken her, or his pride, to heal that disease, that disorder, that deadly cancer, to kill that addiction, or that gossiping tongue, to wake up what has been asleep for so long, to bring rain to that drought, to make a sinners shout out, praises to the God most high.
One Sabbath not too long ago, we were worshiping God, and no one could deny that His presence had fallen on a needy people. We have a police officer that monitors the Synagogue since in the past it has received threats. As we were singing, the police officer, opened the doors to the Synagogue and just stood by the door, his eyes closed and his hands lifted high! No one can stand the presence of ADONAI!
There is no type of pain today that can stand up to the presence of Adonai. You do not have to wait to get to church to feel HIS presence, ask for it today, it will not be denied. I leave you with this awesome song sung by Paul Wilbur-In your Presence.
Have an awesome day filled with His Presence today.