“PLANS AND PURPOSE”

 

*God will show you the way, but will not force you to take it.

 

*He will lead and guide, but you have to choose to follow.

 

*The one who is in control will only take over what you surrender.

 

I woke up this morning with these thoughts going through my mind. God, who is almighty and all-powerful allows us to decide if we want Him to be in charge of our lives. He will intervene, but not interfere. He lets us know that He is there but will only stand at the door knock and wait to see if we will answer and let Him in. For those who choose to ignore His guidance in their lives may experience success, but will never achieve their complete potential.

 

Proverbs 19:20-21 (ESV)
20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom in the future.
21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

 

God’s purpose must come before our plans. Make sure today that you’re plans have God in control so that He may lead, guide, and show you the right way to go.

“SUNDAY’S PRAYER”

Would you join me in a prayer today for those who need strength? I am referring to both physical and spiritual. As I sit with my mom each day in the hospital, there is a team of physical therapists that come in and help her with a few exercises daily to build up her strength. What was easy for her two months ago is exceptionally challenging now, so I pray for God to give her strength to walk and do many other things again that she use to be able to do. I know she’s not the only one today that is needing help in that area. Many others are recovering from diverse situations and need our prayers.

It’s not only physical strength that someone is lacking, but I believe there are a lot of people needing spiritual strength as well. Maybe their faith is weak, or perhaps the trial they’re going through is wearing them down to a shallow point. It could also be someone that has recently endured a storm, and even though they are out of that condition, it took all of their energy just to survive. There are so many things that I could write about that can cause us to become weak and weary, but no matter what the reason is, we need to pray for God to provide strength to each one in need today.

If you’re that person, let me encourage you with this. Instead of focusing on what made you weak, put your faith in the one that can lift you up today and restore your strength. It doesn’t matter how you got here, what’s important is moving away from here. Lift up your head and be inspired because somebody is praying for you and your health, energy, and strength is coming back.

 

JOEL 3:10

LET THE WEAK SAY “I AM STRONG”!!!

“PEACE-MAKERS”

Jesus said, Blessed, are the peace-makers. True peace-makers know what and when to fight. All of their efforts go into bringing peace in the midst of chaos. They don’t fight for an agenda, they fight for resolve. Doing what is right is more important to them than being right. They’re not driven by ego, they’re working for unity. They understand that God will bless those that pursue peace and harmony in their family, church, work, and relationships. For the peace-maker, the blessings of God are more important than proving a point. Imagine the change in our world if we had more peace-makers.

“SUNDAY’S PRAYER”

Would you join me today in a prayer for so many that are suffering from arthritis? I have friends that struggle with this condition, and I’m sure while you’re reading this, you are thinking of someone that does or possibly yourself. From the pain in particular joints, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion, this disorder can cause a lot of discomforts in a person’s life.

I was amazed to find out that there are over 100 types of arthritis. Even though we can’t name all of them, as we pray together for healing, we can be aware of the different kinds that people are suffering with. Nothing is too hard for God, and we know that in His name, the effects of this disorder can be driven away.

For those that are learning to live with it, and for the ones who may read this that is in pain right now, I pray for healing. As we join together in this prayer, Lord, cause the discomfort to subside and let them begin to feel relief.

IN JESUS NAME!!!

“GIVE THANKS TO GOD”

1 Chronicles 16:34

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

 

Our THANKS to God is based on who He is and not in our circumstances. So many things change in life, but two things remain the same;

*GOD IS GOOD
*GOD’S LOVE ENDURES FOREVER

Be encouraged today and remember His goodness and His love.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

“SUNDAY’S PRAYER”

Today’s prayer might be personal, but since my mother is in ICU and knowing what my family is dealing with, and watching other families with loved ones in there too, I want “SUNDAY’S PRAYER” to be for all of us. Thank God for the INTENSIVE CARE UNIT and the wonderful people that work there. However, it’s such a ride of emotions when you have a loved one or close friend in that condition. There are moments of hope, and then there are those times when things look grim.

I’m not only requesting prayer for my mother but let’s join together in a prayer for others that are currently in the same condition. Let’s, not just pray for the one in ICU, but also the families that are connected. We pray for the will of God to be done, and we pray that He would give strength to those who are losing sleep, possibly missing work, and just trying to handle each wave of emotion that is hitting them.

I had a close friend contact me yesterday and let me know that his mother was in the ICU as well, and she was unresponsive. I immediately started praying for his mother and the family, but I know there are others in the same condition and I want us to combine our prayers today for healing.

My mother is about the same, but the truth is, she needs a miracle. I’m sure we’re not the only family in this situation. As we join together in this prayer, I’m believing for God to lead and guide all of us through this valley and reveal His will.
IN JESUS NAME!!!

“CURRENT CONDITIONS”

The last couple of days have been a blur for our family. My mother was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, and after a few hours, I knew I needed to travel to Bristol to be with her. She’s been in the ICU this entire time, and if you’ve followed my updates on Facebook, then you know she is making some slight improvements, but certainly not out of trouble yet. Naturally, most of my time is here at the hospital going back and checking on her. We’re not sure what the next day will bring, but we remain hopeful and optimistic.

Because of the crazy schedule, I haven’t had a chance to sit down, collect my thoughts and write. I somehow find myself sitting in this waiting room trying to fit in with those around me. So many people in different situations pass by, and you can’t help but notice and wonder what their situation is as you look around. Some are crying, others seem frightened, and now and then you’ll hear the sound of laughter. It’s not a familiar sound, so the oddity does get your attention. As you blend in, you smile and nod, then eventually meet people and find out why they are there too. It’s quite a group that is gathered, but the truth is, none of us wanted to meet like this. Life happened, and here we are.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad, in fact, we all cheer when a young couple walks by with a brand new baby. For a moment, we forget why were there because new life brought unexpected joy to the room. After a while, we go back to praying and believing God for a miracle. For us and many others, we’re seeing the hand of the Lord work and start to turn things around. To what degree, we don’t know, but we’ll take anything positive and hold on to it with everything we have.

You might be wondering what the point is in all of this or when will I reveal a topic for this blog. Honestly, I just started writing. I didn’t know where I would end up, I only knew, all I have is where I am, and that’s the point. I know it sounds a little strange, but sometimes you just have to write about where you are. As a minister, songwriter, and writer, you’re always looking for the next thing to write about and share. Sometimes where you are and how you’re handling things is the most relevant. We’re not all in the same place, but we’re all sharing the same life. Though we might be at different stages in our lives, the pain, joy, or hope seems to connect us to common ground. You can’t always find answers, but I can guarantee you’ll find someone going through something similar to what you are.

So, if you need a sermon, song, or something to write about, pay attention to where you are. What you’re doing now could be very helpful to someone needing encouragement. That’s all I’m doing today. I’m drinking a lot of coffee, being completely honest, and letting you know; I still believe in a God that heals, and until He says something different, I will keep anticipating a miracle.

*Here is my current condition
*These are my surroundings
*Hope and trust are my closest friends

I hope God does, and I trust in what God does. 

“IT ONLY TAKES A FEW”

Have you noticed that it doesn’t take but a few words to cause something to happen? It doesn’t matter if it’s a conversation in real-time or a post on social media. I’ve seen few as two words and even one stir up a firestorm, and I’m not even referring to a presidential election year. From politics, religion, and sports it’s incredible what a few words can cause. We all have strong opinions on so many topics and doesn’t take but a small spark to ignite that flame.

This is one of the reasons I started blogging. I know I’m just one small voice in a noisy world of opinions and beliefs, but if I can bring a light of encouragement in someone’s life, it’s worth it. Paul said for us to provoke one another to love. Hebrews 10:24 There is enough provoking of negativity and divisiveness going on, but if a team of us would join together in promoting encouraging and positive words, we could make a difference, one word at a time.

Church members and ministers should be careful what they say and what conversations they allow themselves to be drawn into. More than ever, we must show the world that we are a loving and united group of people. Let’s come out from among them and be separate, SAY’S THE LORD. When trouble comes, people will run to where there can find hope and safety. That’s who must be in these last days, and our words should send that message.

Why not put some words of encouragement together for today and post it…IT ONLY TAKES A FEW!!!

“HOW ARE YOU DRESSED?”

I woke up this morning, started my routine, and after I poured my first cup of coffee, and sat down to start writing. That’s when I realized, I had left my laptop in my car from the day before. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but I don’t function well until after one cup of java has kicked in. I tend to wobble a bit and have been known to walk into walls and trip over objects. Not only was I not good and awake, but I stepped outside with just a thin shirt, jogging pants, and crocks on. I didn’t realize it was thirty-one degrees outside. After a few steps, I quickly concluded that I wasn’t dressed for the conditions. With high speed, I hurried down the steps of the deck, opened my car door, grabbed my laptop, and swiftly ran back inside. I got in my chair, turned on my electric blanket, and started sipping my nice hot cup of coffee.

After the trembling subsided from the shock of cold weather my body endured, I said to myself; WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? It is November, and you’re dressed like it’s still August. The seasons have changed, but I haven’t adjusted for it. Here I am in no coat or socks, and I can’t blame this on anyone but myself. If I’m going to survive and be productive, I’ll need to dress for the current conditions and season I’m in.

I couldn’t help but think that the same thing happens to us in the seasons of our life. Sometimes a new season comes, and we’re not dressed for it. The conditions have changed, but we haven’t adjusted. Throughout our life, we will experience many transitions and seasonal changes. We don’t always know what is going to happen in the next season, but we have to prepare for it the best we can. One thing is sure; you can’t wear in the new one what you’ve been wearing in the old.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with people in the last few months that are having a difficult time with the change of seasons. For some, it’s ministry or a job position, other’s it’s the transition from high-school to college. No matter what it is or even the age of the person, the struggle is caused by the same thing, a failure to dress for the new season. We like talking about what is coming, but too many times we haven’t adequately prepared.

A new season requires new disciplines. This means I have to get ready for the things I will start doing, but I also have to figure out the things I need to stop doing. A lack of discipline in this area will result in frustration. Without it, you can become overwhelmed and even have thoughts of quitting, when in reality you’re not being disciplined as you should. You’re still trying to dress for the season that has ended. If you don’t mentally make this change, then physically you will never adjust. You have to remind yourself several times a day of these things until you’re finally in the routine of what you need to do to perform well in the new season.

If you’re discouraged and have even thought about quitting, take a little time and check your passion. If you still have a love for what your final goal is, then make the necessary adjustments in this season so you can one day meet that goal. I can promise you this, nothing you do will be easy. No matter what path you take, you will have to endure difficult times and seasonal changes. So why not stay on the road where you’re the most passionate?

For now, maybe all you need is a nice warm coat to help you start the transition. Take it from me; you’ll be able to think a lot clearer when you’re appropriately dressed for the conditions you’re walking in.

“ALIGNED”

Colossians 3:2 (ESV)
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

This scripture is a reminder that our thoughts should be on things that are eternal and not temporary. Nothing on this earth will last forever, but what is above it will. Our hope is not in this world but far above it is a place Jesus said He was preparing for us.

To set your mind means to have it aligned with something. Paul is telling us to have our minds aligned with what is above and not on the earth. He is encouraging us to align our thoughts and plans with what will last forever and not fade away. Be aware of where you are, but stay aligned with where you’re going.

So what are you aligned with today? Are you living on the earth, or have you aligned yourself with it? Is all your affections and plans wrapped up in your life here in this world? Let me remind you that those who are in Christ Jesus are not at home on this earth. We are aware of where we are, but we are aligned with where we’re going. Maybe you’re out of alignment and need to be reminded of what is above. Take some time today to make the necessary adjustments to get your thoughts back on track.