I might be tired but I am not Done!

images-36What seemed to be so natural and come so easy growing up, now seems to be a monumental achievement. One of those things for me is when I would walk the water ditch to the intake and clear out any blockages. That was a common occurrence since we lived in the mountains and received our water supply out of the “good ole mountain crick”. Back then I would run up to the ditch with no problem, but recently when I was back home “reality hit” when I had decided to make the climb for memory sake. Well, I sure couldn’t run up anything and actually thought someone would have to carry me out on a stretcher.

In the same manner, I have many friends that have run the Christian race tenaciously much of their lives, but now they’re out of the race all together. It reminds me of the scriptural story of King David, who we all agree was an incredible


There might be bumps, ruts and even some curves but Jesus is cheering you on in your race.


example of a “more than conqueror” as we are exhorted in Rom. 8:37 to be. In this passage he was once again fighting giants, but now finds himself struggling for the victory that in times past came easily. We read in 2 Sam 21:15- 17 that Abishai, Joab’s brother jumps in to rescue the King and spare his life.

In our lives also there will be a time that spiritually and physically you will not be as strong as you once were in your journey. That can be because of a lot of different circumstances, whether because of unforeseen events or maybe because of a season of apathy in your life. Bottom line is it doesn’t have to be the end of your journey. You might be tired but that doesn’t mean you’re done! God has ordained you to finish strong and fulfill His purposes, like David did. (Acts 13:36) There might be bumps, ruts and even some curves but Jesus is cheering you on in your race. The heavenly cloud of witnesses (Heb.12:1) are some of your biggest fans and cheerleaders.

I remember my coach in high school would always say to the team “pace yourselves”. He knew the game was going to be a tough long game, therefore if we were going to finish victoriously we would have to give ourselves times of refreshing and rest.

When David and his warriors were younger and in one of the fights of their life we see a great principle that we all need to take to heart and implement in our journey. It says in 1 Sam. 30:10, “David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor”. One third of David’s mighty warriors were so physically and emotionally


You might be tired but that doesn’t mean you’re done!


weary that they couldn’t pursue and fight the Amalekites, who had taken their families captive. Yet, in the midst of this urgent dilemma we read that after recovery of their families that David stops any condemnation and shares the spoils of war with those that stayed with the stuff. (1 Sam. 30:22-24)

Paul tells the Galatians not to grow exhausted to the point of quitting, for we will reap the benefits if we stay in the game. (Gal 6:9) Paul also told the young church at Thessalonica to tenderly encourage those that were apt to quit along the way. (1 Thess. 5:14) Just like some of David’s warriors we might get exhausted and need to rest, but that doesn’t mean we will lose out of the benefits of the war. I encourage you to pace yourselves and finish strong in the faith!

What has Robbed your Passion?

images-26When the new wears off and normal comes into play many lose their passion and fire. As most of us have experienced over the years in our own lives, our passion for different things comes in and out almost as often as the Sun rises and then sets hours later. I remember my siblings and I having thoughts of making big money shoveling driveways every first snow. Yet, halfway through with a mountain of snow still in my shovel the enthusiasm and passion quickly faded and before long we gave up and were all back in our warm home.

In reading the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18 -19, we see his passion and zeal for the God he worshipped and served. He had just been used by God to turn the hearts of Israel back to Him. Through his obedience and faith, God had showed His power


Don’t run from God into what you think is a cave or safe place, when the enemy means it to become your tomb.     (tweet)


and might on Mount Carmel in front of Baal‘s prophets and Jezebel’s chaplains, as well as the nation of Israel. Elijah’s boldness and eradication of the prophets and chaplains after God worked a great victory through him demonstrated his fire for God.

But then there is a drastic shift in the story as we see in 1 Kings 19:4 where Elijah is asking God to let him die. He says, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” He compares his life with those that had turned from God even after seeing God work mightily in there midst. This mighty prophet of God goes from a mountain top experience to the valley of discouragement. One moment he has a fiery passion for the things of God and the next he is nothing more than a smoking wick of a lamp. The fire had gone out in his life and there was only a faint stench of smoke. Elijah even sinks to the depth of despair by running into the wilderness and hiding in a cave. What happened to this bigger than life passionate prophet? What made him lose the fire of God? What made Him hide in the pit of life? A cave is nothing more than a tomb waiting to be shut!

What has robbed you of your passion for the things of God! Remember back when you had your first encounter with God? It was just like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus when Jesus joined them and talked with them. (Lk 24:13-32) They said “did not our hearts burn within us?” God starts His fire with in us! But then as we go through life we allow things to quench that fire! We lose our passion for the things of God!

Elijah allowed fear to come in when the evil queen Jezebel threatened his life. He began to isolated himself and have a pity party. He believed the lie that he was the only one serving God. He forgot what God had done in his life already. (1 Kings 19:1-10) Therefore, he ran from God to a desert place, into what he thought was a cave or safe place, but the enemy meant for it to become his tomb. God never left Elijah even when he was running but sustained him, empowered him, spoke to him and guided him all the way to victory!

As Matt 12:20 says, God isn’t going to let your fire go completely out even if its just smoking. He will intervene and draw near to you. But will you respond to His whisper? Letting Him rekindle your fire?

 

 

 

Stuck with a Roommate instead of a Marriage?

College was a great time of learning life and broadening my world. But wow, roommates could really push me to the limit in the stress department. Learning to deal with each other’s quirks and habits, the good and the bad, was a whole different education. I know many can relate to having roommates, whether you went to college or just had another situation. Bottom line is though they have their place, once you move forward and find God’s soul mate for your life; you definitely aren’t looking for a roommate scenario. Unfortunately, many marriages are nothing more than a roommate arrangement.

In an age where marriage is being attacked and redefined it is essential that we understand how God defines marriage. In Gen 2:20-25 we have a look at the first marriage. It all takes place in a beautiful garden at the very beginning of mankind


Many marriages are nothing more than a roommate arrangement.   (tweet)


where Adam was diligent in his job, which was naming to the animals. The account reveals there was not a companion comparable for Adam amongst all the beast of the earth. I think that point alone should align many people to the fact that your pet isn’t ever suppose to take the place of who God has for you emotionally or otherwise! Therefore, God creates a woman from Adams side as he slept. In other words God custom made a wife for Adam out of his rib that would be designed to stand by his side.

In verse 24 we read the Holy Spirit’s definition of marriage from the start. He says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” God’s principle of the first was to complete a man with


When we become married the “I” becomes a “We”, and two lives become one.   (tweet)


a wife. They were to become one not two individuals co-habituating together. God knows each of our strengths and weaknesses, giving us a soul mate that will not be a clone, but one that will help us in the areas that we need help in and vice versa. Just like the famous line from the movie “Jerry McGuire” where the husband of a failing marriage comes to his senses and says, “you complete me” to his estranged wife. That statement whether you liked the movie or not is what a marriage is all about, two completely different individuals coming together to make a complete and compatible marriage so they can fulfill the purposes of God (Matt 19:6). When we become soul mates the “I” becomes a “We”, two lives become one.

The world’s view of marriage verses God’s view can be very opposite when it comes down to it. The world offers pre or post nuptial agreements as well as, when things Continue reading

That Fragrance is Head Turning

82206053The aroma filled the room, as my wife sprayed her perfume each morning, as she would get ready for her day. The smell would change the very atmosphere in the room and catch my attention every time she walked by. There was just something special about her fragrance that represents more than just a good aroma. It represented her and who she was. That daily routine never seems to get old.

It reminds me of the story in Mark 14:3-9, where we are introduced to the women in Bethany who ministered before Jesus. We read in verse three she, “came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” This caused an outcry of disapproval and disgust from some that thought it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Yet, someone else’s head turned also.

Before we judge this as a menial disagreement about some cheap perfume being wasted, let’s look a little bit closer. This wasn’t a story of a bad practical joke that had gone bad, but was a sacrificial act with a much deeper meaning. This women we know as Mary of Bethany who we also read about in Luke 10:42 as well as in Mark. She had an Alabaster


When we minister to Him. It’s a fragrance of beauty that will turn His head and catch His attention.   (tweet)


box filled with a costly fragrance valued at a year’s wage. This wasn’t just any perfume but more of an heirloom that had probably been given and added to over time. It was much like a hope chest that is given to a daughter and then filled over time with things that would be useful for her future. It represented her past, present and future!

So in essence she was giving her past and present successes and failures, as well as her future hopes and dreams to Jesus. She wasn’t pouring out just a perfume but her life. The aroma that filled the room moved Jesus’ heart. It was much more than a temporary fragrance, but was her life’s incense that came before the one who would give His life as a


We are called to stand before Him as Priests! (tweet)


sacrifice for her and the world. Jesus took notice, standing up for her and declaring that this would be a memorial to her through out history. Mary was standing before and ministering to Jesus.

Mary’s actions were representative of what the Levites were separated to do before God. (Deut. 10:8-9) It says they were chosen to “stand before” and “minister” to the Lord. The phrase to “stand before” means to remain and present oneself and the word Continue reading

He Just Wants Us To Be By His Side

images-5My mother always had me dressed up with a little bow tie and suspenders as well as my hair being slicked back with a gigantic wave in front. I looked like every mothers dream little boy as she took me to Sunday school. I would sit on the small bench with a handful of other kids hearing stories about how much God loves me and that He had a plan for my life. Those flannel graph lessons planted seeds of faith that have grown and bore fruit in my life.

Scripture says in Rom 8:39, that nothing, “shall be able to separate us from the love of God”. Paul gives us a list of things in the earth and outside the earth that clarifies that there is nothing that can separate you and I from His love. Many years


God has always been forthright in showing His intent of being with His people.   (tweet)


later, though I might not be wearing suspenders or a bow tie with a wave in my hair, those foundational truths of God’s love have become an anchor in my life. Yet, His love is so much more than a one-time story that inspires us.

From the front cover to the end of the Bible we see God’s intent and love. In Gen 3:8-11, we read the first story of mankind where we see God walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the midst of the garden. It was a perfect scenario, God wanting to commune and be with His creation. Then at the back of the book in Rev 21:3 where John’s revelation of Jesus gives us a picture of the end of the age we read, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people”. From the beginning to the end of time itself, along with thousands of years in between God has always been forthright in showing His intent of being with His people.

But unfortunately, when sin entered the world through the disobedience and self-will of Adam and Eve in the Garden it separated us from God. Sending all of mankind in a tailspin in need of a redeemer. At the end of this story in Gen 3:21 we see


One of the greatest truths of Scripture is the fact that God desires to commune with His creation.   (tweet)


God’s heart in the midst of mankind’s epic failure by His immediate covering of them with the animal skin, foreshadowing the shedding of Christ’s blood for our sin, as they were banned from His presence. God began at that very moment to passionately Continue reading

We have a Good Shepherd watching over Us!

Daily life in the highest village of AzerbaijanDavid brings his resume up before the fearful King of Israel in 1 Sam 17:34-35. The young shepherd boy responds to the king’s question saying, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth… and struck and killed it. We also read that earlier David was nearly passed over by the prophet Samuel as a prospect to be anointed as future King because he was out tending the families’ sheep (1 Sam 16:11). The Reality is that David had much experience as a shepherd in his life.

Later this shepherd turned king pens the twenty-third Psalms. Where he articulates with great experience and understanding of the paradigm of God as the good shepherd. As David painted this word picture of God as shepherd he drew from


The Good Shepherd has promised His sheep, His Presence, Provision Protection and His providence along the journey. (tweet)


the many hours and days that were spent with the sheep; whether fighting off predators or calming the sheep with his singing, he could see God’s workings with His people.

Jesus Himself declares in John 10:11-16 that He is the Good Shepherd and that the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. In contrast to a hireling who doesn’t take ownership and has no personal connection to the sheep and does only the minimum for a pay check. Jesus goes on to say that when the ravenous wolves come for the sheep the hireling turns and runs for his life, where as the shepherd gives his life to protect them. In Ps 100:3 we read, “we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” The Bible is full of references of how God as a shepherd will watch over His people and guide them alone life’s journey.

I grew up with friends that were from families who raised sheep for a living and therefore was able to get a glimpse of the life of a shepherd. Once the snow would melt in the high mountains in late spring they would herd their sheep up into the mountain’s to graze in the lush green meadows for the summer. The journey would take them through the varieties of terrain; valleys, mountain peaks and meadows,


I can trust the Good Shepherd with my Life    (tweet)


rivers and more. The shepherds would have to protect the sheep from the wolves, bears and different predators that loomed close by. Making sure that those that had a tendency’s to wander off were kept in the fold, as well as mending the hurts and keeping the tormenting bugs from harming their precious sheep. In turn the sheep would get used to the shepherds calming voice as he lead them to their destination.

The renowned Psalm “The Lord is my Shepherd” is sandwiched in the middle of Continue reading

When the Chocolates Box is Empty

o-empty-chocolate-box-facebookAs the sun comes through the kitchen window with rays of hope for another day, the wilting roses and empty boxes of chocolates are being filed away with memories of yesterday. It’s almost with the same intensity of coming off of a sugar high that the week of romance and love comes to a close. If we think that a card, some candy and maybe a dinner all by itself will carry our relationships through another year, we will probably be rudely awaken in the coming days. The sad reality in many relationships is that over the course of time things have slowly deteriorated to the point of needing a “Urgent Care” for relationships to get them going in the right direction again. And


Maybe we need to build lasting marriages instead of a day of fleeting emotionalism.   (tweet)


even worse are those couples that were swept off of their feet with only emotional infatuation and no foundational principles for a lasting relationship of any kind.

If the piles of chocolates in the stores and truckloads of flowers aren’t evidence enough. The consumer reports from previous years let us know that people are totally committed and consumed with this day of love. Could it possibly be that our strategy for a loving relationship might be wrong even though our motives are commendable. Maybe we need to build lasting marriages instead of a day of fleeting emotionalism.

Our marriages and different relationships can be like the mountain paths I grew up hiking. Many of them would cut through different terrain and gradually climb up towards their destination. Yet, many times you would come across windfalls, which


God must be intertwined in our Marriage!     (tweet)


are trees that have fallen over the trail because of different circumstances such as lightening, wind, disease or brittle with age. Whatever the reasoning, these windfalls ultimately hinder or even stop the journey. In the same manner many marriage relationships are also hindered from getting to the top of the summit because of windfalls.

Let’s take a look at some windfalls that can have severe consequences in our relationships. There can be many, but some of the most common ones are; lack of communication, strained trust for one another, life-controlling problems, unresolved Continue reading