Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Praise! - July 31, 2011

Psalm 16(New International Version)
1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”

4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay (prophecy about Jesus Christ*).

11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

* Italics mine

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Your His - July 30, 2011

Ephesians 1:13-14(The Message)
13-14It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

Ephesians 1:13-14(New International Reader's Version)
13 You also became believers in Christ. That happened when you heard the message of truth. It was the good news about how you could be saved. When you believed, he marked you with a seal. The seal is the Holy Spirit that he promised.

14 The Spirit marks us as God's own. We can now be sure that someday we will receive all that God has promised. That will happen after God sets all of his people completely free. All of those things will bring praise to his glory.

Since ancient times, seals have been used to autheticate documents and ensure against forgery, as well as to display the power of a monarch or kingdom. The seals of kings were usually born on a ring, then impressed in wax, and it signified the power of the bearer. The seal could mean that you were under protection, or it could determine another kind of fate.

The seal was also used in the early church to show the power and authority of a bishop or the pope, and it carried with it the same significance as if the official was speaking the documented words in person, and the one bearing a sealed document was entitled to all that was given under that seal. Even today seals are used to autheticate documents, or to certify the identity of the licensed professional giving certain assurances.

Paul uses such a seal to illustrate what happens to you when you become a believer in Jesus Christ. From the moment of your acceptance of His salvation, and your commitement to surrender your life to Him, the Holy Spirit "took up residence within you", as a sign of the power and authority of God. You became His possession, sealed forever in His kingdom. He has made you His and you have become a part of His kingdom. Since you have the seal of Christ, you are entitled to all the benefits given under that seal.

I am of the belief that once you are sealed by the Spirit, that seal can never be broken, even if you fall away by being disobedient to God. It is that very seal that will always pull you back into right living and right standing with Him. Once you know the truth of Jesus Christ, you will always believe, and those who claim that they once were followers of Christ, but now are not, probably never truly believed in the first place. Jesus radically changes you, and once He has, you will know it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rest In Him - July 29, 2011

Psalm 62:1-2(New International Version)
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Friday's marks the time of the week when we wind down a week of work, and begin a couple of days of rest and relaxation. God set aside a day of rest after His work of Creation, and He made the day of rest Holy. We need to take that time not only rest physically, but to also rest spiritually by placing everything in His hands.

He is the One in whom we can place all that has dirtressed us, and all that has tired us our during the week. By setting aside a time with Him, we will find that we will be refreshed. He is the One who will always be there for us, and we can count on His loving care and have comfort in His peace.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Better Than Big Brother - July 28, 2011

Psalm 3(New International Version)
1 LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”

3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the LORD,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

7 Arise, LORD!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

Everyone can remember a time when they were picked on at school. If you are honest, you all encountered the bullies in your lives on more that one occassion. Those days of harrassment seemed like they would never end, but if you had a big brother, those days soon cam to an end. It was your big brother who stuck up for you in the face of your enemies, and many of you fondly remember how you admired your great protector who kept you safe from harm.

These days, many are constantly under attack from one thing or another. At times the difficulties seem so overwhelming that you wonder if your "enemies" will do you in. If you are a believer, many of these attacks are sent by the evil one, wanting to distract you and keep you ineffective for God. At times it seems that the harassment will never end, but thank God, He stands ready to protect you, not as your big brother, but as your loving Father. If you will let Him, He will deliver you and keep you safe and secure.

If you are having trouble sleeping at night, why not let God be your "sheild"? He will sustain you no matter what comes against you. Surrender your trouble to Him, and let Him stand in place of your big brother!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Giving God the Glory - July 27, 2011

Psalm 115(New King James Version)
1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
2 Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”

3 But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
6 They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
7 They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
8 Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.

9 O Israel, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

12 The LORD has been mindful of us;
He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.
13 He will bless those who fear the LORD,
Both small and great.

14 May the LORD give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;
But the earth He has given to the children of men.
17 The dead do not praise the LORD,
Nor any who go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore.

Praise the LORD!

The Summer is ending and soon we will involved with football season! Just about everybody loves football, and in our enthusiasm for the sport we find plenty to celebrate. Many of us will probably find ourselves with throngs of other excited fans, cheering on our favorite team, and on the weekends that all will be translated to watching the sport on the largest, high-definition screen we can find. We take alot of time to make sure that everything is set for us to enjoy the ultimate fan experience.

Giving glory to football teams and our favorite players comes easy to us. No one gives it a second thought that we give more glory to an athletic event with temporary worth, than we do to our God in Heaven that makes everything we do and enjoy possible. Someday after we pass from this life, we will find ourselves giving glory to God along with the ultimate fan base in eternity. That is why we need to stop and think about where we are giving our "glory" to while we are here.

If we are believers and followers of Jesus Christ, our first and primary responsibilty has to be to give God glory in all things.

Photo "A full house at Dallas Cowboys Stadium ", from Gary at PROSOCO

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Ready - July 26, 2011

Luke 12:40(GOD’S WORD Translation)
40Be ready, because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.”

Day in and day out, many of us spend alot of time getting ready. No, I don't mean to go to work or school, but we spend alot of time in preparation for what we are going to do. Athletes spend time at their sport getting ready for the big event. Musicians spend alot of time practicing for a concert or their recital. Artists and Architects do alot of sketches and preliminary work before they render their creation to paper or canvas.

Sales people practice their "pitch" to be as convincing as possible when presented with a customer. The millitary drills, drills, drills and spend alot of time on maneuvers before they go to war. Physicians spend years in school, residency and pouring through journals making sure they are prepared for that life or death case.

Attorneys study case law for years to make sure that the correct verdicts are rendered when they plead a case before judge and jury. Even ministers do alot of research into the meaning of this or that before they preach the Word of God, to accurately give their congregations the truths of God. No matter the occupation or the endeavor, we spend alot of time getting ready.

Do you make the same effort getting ready for the return of Jesus Christ? Do you take the time necessary preparing yourself and others for the coming of eternity. Are you just as focused on making sure that everyone you encounter is also ready to meet their Maker? If we are honest, for most of us the answer is "NO", yet we will spend far more time after life than before our death. And who knows, maybe Jesus WILL comeback in our lifetime.
Will you be ready?

Photo "Preparation Inspirational Picture 2" by Nabil Medawar, 11-24-2009, from

Monday, July 25, 2011

Broken Hearts - July 25, 2011

Joel 2:12-14(New International Reader's Version)

12 The Lord announces to his people,

"Return to me with all your heart. There is still time. Do not eat any food. Sob and cry."

13 Don't just tear your clothes to show how sad you are.

Let your hearts be broken.
Return to the Lord your God.
He is gracious.
He is tender and kind.
He is slow to get angry.
He is full of love.
He takes pity on you.
He won't destroy you.

14 Who knows? He might turn toward you and have pity on you. He might even give you his blessing. Then you can bring grain offerings and drink offerings to the Lord your God.

How often God pleads for us to return to Him! Throughout the Bible we read of times when despite their disobedience and gross sin, God gave them opportunity after opportunity to return back to Him in faith and obedience. He had no joy in allowing His people to go through trials and suffering, but if it turned their hearts, and helped them to once again follow God, then it was worth it.

God's desire is to be with those He has created. In His love for us, He longs for us to follow Him. He doesn't want us to just go through the motions of being religious; He expects us to be broken hearted over our disobedience to Him, and to turn back to Him. He has even taken it a step further with us by having Jesus pay the debt of our sins.

Let's face it; it is in our nature to be disobedient to God. So much so, that we have invented countless ways to justify the bad we do, taking it so far as to form "religions" that give us permission to sin. One day we will all come to the realization that the One true God is unchanging, and He expects a "contrite heart"(Psalm 51:17), a heart that breaks when we disobey Him. And in that brokenness we reach out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and redemption.

Then and only then, He will bring us back to Him. Then and only then can He bless our lives.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Rest - June 24, 2011

Psalm 62(New International Reader's Version)
1 I find my rest in God alone.
He is the One who saves me.
2 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me.
He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.
3 How long will you enemies attack me?
Will all of you throw me down?
I'm like a leaning wall.
I'm like a fence that is about to fall.

4 You only want to pull me down
from my place of honor.
You take delight in telling lies.
You bless me with what you say.
But in your hearts you call down curses on me.

5 I will find my rest in God alone.
He is the One who gives me hope.
6 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me.
He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.
7 I depend on God to save me and to honor me.
He is my mighty rock. He is my place of safety.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people.
Tell him all of your troubles.
God is our place of safety.

9 Ordinary people are only a breath.
Important people are not what they seem to be.
If they were weighed on a scale, they wouldn't amount to anything.
Together they are only a breath.
10 Don't trust in money you have taken from others.
Don't be proud of things you have stolen.
Even if your riches grow,
don't put your trust in them.

11 God, I have heard you say two things.
One is that you, God, are strong.
12 The other is that you, Lord, are loving.
I'm sure you will reward each person
in keeping with what he has done.

Photo "Oh Mighty Rock", by Urban Idealist, 10-17-2010, from flikr

Saturday, July 23, 2011

All Powerful - July 23, 2011

Isaiah 6:1-5(New Century Version)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high throne. His long robe filled the Temple.2 Heavenly creatures of fire stood above him. Each creature had six wings: It used two wings to cover its face, two wings to cover its feet, and two wings for flying.

3 Each creature was calling to the others:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord All-Powerful.
His glory fills the whole earth."

4 Their calling caused the frame around the door to shake, as the Temple filled with smoke.

5 I said, "Oh, no! I will be destroyed. I am not pure, and I live among people who are not pure, but I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful."

Have you ever imagined the God that you serve, and if you don't serve Him, have you ever imagined what God is really like? I believe that in our compalcency and pride, we have forgotten how truly "All-Powerful" God really is. We have become so self-absorbed by our own efforts, that we rarely think about who God is.

Our world has become so arrogant at times that we casually use His name to even curse people, and because of our high towers and wealth, we seldom give Him the credit for any of it. One need only travel throughout many parts of our own Nation, to see how we have turned our backs and ridicule anything He stands for. We think that we can make it without Him around, but it is interesting how often we call on Him when times get tough.

Imagine for a moment that you are the prophet Isaiah; God has allowed you to have just a glimpse of Him, because He wants you to speak for Him. None of the television preacher stuff, but really speak the words He gives you. You see Him on His throne in Heaven, surrounded by the angelic forces, and the vision scares you so badly that you feel like your going to die.

At that very moment, you realize how you have lived your life, and how it hasn't been up to God's standards, and you shake for fear that He might vaporize you. It is as if you are in the middle of a terrific thunderstorm and earthquake at the same time. You realize that you and all who have ever been associated with you are doomed, because He is so Holy and you are so Unholy that you would disintegrate if it where not for His mercy.

Now that is how we need to see God, and at the same time we need to see just how merciful He is that even though we are the way we are, He loves us. How much? Enough to come to earth and step into our flesh and into our shoes and want to get to know us. Better yet, because of His grace, He does what is necessary to make us Holy, just for believing in Jesus. We no longer have to fear Him.

Have you ever imagined the God that you serve? Maybe it's time you did.

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Simple Life - July 22, 2011

Psalm 1:1-2(New Living Translation)
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.

2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.

How great it would be if everyone would just follow the ways of God. Our world would be much more peaceful of we left it all to Him. He gives us the instructions, if we would just take them in and live by them. Then things would really be much simpler. Unfortunately, we are a stubborn and self-centered people, and the Word of God is contrary to our nature. We choose to go the opposite way, so our struggle is one of overcoming the consequence of our behavior.

Why not simplify your life? Why not choose to read and live by God's Word instead of our own nature? Why not keep the good company of He who made you, and leave it all to Him? Let Jesus Christ be your guide and your life will be much simpler.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Simple Life - July 21, 2011

Psalm 131(GOD’S WORD Translation)
1O Lord, my heart is not conceited.
My eyes do not look down on others.

I am not involved in things too big or too difficult for me.

2Instead, I have kept my soul calm and quiet.
My soul is content as a weaned child is content in its mother’s arms.

3Israel, put your hope in the Lord now and forever.

How would you like to wake up and not have to stress about what you had to do for the day? How would you like to do it before your in a retirement home? Lord knows that we would all live longer and healthier if we had a childlike, simple faith, leaving everything up to God. There is alot to be said about having the simple life; just take each day and living it to the full, content with what you have been given. Living that way takes total trust in God, and placing all of your hopes on what Jesus Christ has done.
Are you ready to live that way? Give it all to Him and you can start today!

Photo "Beach Hammock at Sunset" by Royce Bair, 1-21-2010, from "Stock Solution"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beating Sunset - July 20, 2011

Ephesians 4:26-27(New International Reader's Version)
26 Scripture says, "When you are angry, do not sin."—(Psalm 4:4) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. 27 Don't give the devil a chance.

There is a lesson that I learned long ago that is a sure remedy for anything that ailes a relationship. Yes, it would be great if we always got along in our marriages, with our children and other friends and family, but truth is that in every realtionship there will be conflict.

After all, we are all selfish human beings that have a hard time with unconditional love. From time to time, all of us take people for granted, or we do things that make other people mad. This is especially true in the home. So, when that occurs how should we handle it?

The Bible is clear how we are to deal with one another. First and foremost we need to treat each other with love, even when at times the other person seems unlovable (it always turns around). Love is an action verb, so it requires that we take action, meaning that we do things and make choices on behalf of the other person. We might not like it all the time, but in the long run, our taking the initiative of the action first will utlimately resolve the situation.

Next, if you do get mad, make sure you handle the problem right away, or at least on the same day that it occurs. Any issue that does not get handled and "festers" overnight or over several days usually is a lot harder to resolve. Take the advice that is given in these verses of Ephesians; take care of the problem as soon as possible, and that means both of you. You might even have to corner that other person, persistently encouraging them to work through the disagreement.

Take on the blame even when it isn't your fault. Oh, and don't forget to apologize, because in the long run it will pay significant dividends. After all, don't you think that is how Jesus would handle it?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fair Warning - July 19, 2011

Isaiah 1:18-20(New Century Version)
18 The Lord says,

"Come, let us talk about these things.
Though your sins are like scarlet,
they can be as white as snow.
Though your sins are deep red,
they can be white like wool.
19 If you become willing and obey me,
you will eat good crops from the land.
20 But if you refuse to obey and if you turn against me,
you will be destroyed by your enemies' swords."

The Lord himself said these things.

By God's grace, we are in a time and place where we have very little to worry about. Yes, there may be personal struggles, difficulties, and stresses that we encounter, but the outcomes will in most cases be okay. That is not the case in other parts of the world; there are many that exist day to day with the prospect that it will be their last day, and there are others that each and every day suffer unspeakable troubles.

Few of us think that anything really bad will ever happen to us. Because of this, we as a Nation have become arrogant and foolish. We have forgotten and in some cases forsaken our Creator, in favor of a god of material wealth and quick pleasure. We have lost our deep reverance and "fear" of God who has made it all possible for us, and expected that because of our great blessing, we should be repsonsible to those less fortunate around us.

The nation of Israel found themselves in this very place during the time of the prophet Isaiah; God could not allow their sin to go unpunished, and Israel would soon be overrun by its enemies and conquered. Even though they had fallen to deep and had run away so far from God, He carried them through their troubles, and would later bring restoration of all mankind through them. All He ever expected from them was their love and obedience, but like many of us, and us as a Nation, a different path of indiffernce and disobedience led them to their destruction.

We stand at a crossroads, both as people and as a Nation. We have a choice that we need to make, and we have been given fair warning. We need to choose to go God's way, or we need to choose to turn our backs on Him and suffer the consequences. You need only to watch television and surf the internet, and you see the troubles already brewing. He wants to restore us and all He asks is for our obedience. What will be your choice, yield to Him, or choose the way of the world?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Keeping It Straight - July 18, 2011

Proverbs 3:5-6(Amplified Bible)
5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6(New Living Translation)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6(New King James Version)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

We really have a simple faith to follow. No, I didn't say it was easy, but I did say it is simple. God wants us to have a simple, childlike faith, that takes it for granted that as long as we lean on, trust, and have our confidence in Him, He will make sure it all works out for our good.

Everything we read about in the Bible is about trust and faith, that pure release of our own will and mental faculties and giving them over to God. It is a story about total surrender to Him, committing it all to Him before we do anything. He will promises to take care if the results.

No matter how you say it, that's simple, but again, it's not easy!

Photo "A Straight Path", Dr. Roy Winkelman, 5-22-2008, from Clippix ETC

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Deliverance - July 17, 2011

Psalm 31(New International Version)
1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD,
for I have cried out to you;
but let the wicked be put to shame
and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

There are times in our lives when we are in utter dispair; times when we are at our lowest. It is at those times that we really need to be delivered from our distress. From the depths we long for One who can lift us up, and One who can relieve us from the anguish that we are in. It is at those times that we need to commit it all to God and leave it all in His hands. Those are the times when we need to have total trust, and lay it all out before Him; God will deliver you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fortune Cookies - July 16, 2011

Psalm 128(New International Reader's Version)
1 Blessed are all those who have respect for the Lord.
They live as he wants them to live.

2 Your work will give you what you need.
Blessings and good things will come to you.

3 As a vine bears a lot of fruit,
so your wife will have many children by you.
They will sit around your table
like young olive trees.

4 Only a man who has respect for the Lord
will be blessed like that.

5 May the Lord bless you from Zion.
May you enjoy the good things that come to Jerusalem
all the days of your life.

6 May you live to see your grandchildren.
May Israel enjoy peace.

Don't you just love to go and eat Chinese food with your family? Even at a young age I remember going to our favorite Chinese restaurant and eating all of the wonderful foods "family style". Everyone would share their dishes, and we learned how to eat with those funny sticks with the rubber bands on them. The best part cam at the end, when the server passed around the fortune cookies. Each one would take their turn and read their fortune out loud. Of course they never came true, but that still didn't stop the excitement and fun of the occassion.

The word of God is somewhat like a fortune cookie. Not to diminish God's word to something so frivolous, but each and every chapter and verse opens up words of wisdom and good fortune. If we will take the advice given, and do as we are told, and accept the promises offerred, we will reap the blessings as they are written. Just like what's written in the fortune cookie, except these sayings do come true! So next chance you get, break open your Bible, turn to a good section of the Psalms or Proverbs and see what good fortune the Lord has in store for you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bedtime Prayers - July 15, 2011

Psalm 16(New Century Version)

1 Protect me, God,
because I trust in you.
2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord.
Every good thing I have comes from you."
3 As for the godly people in the world,
they are the wonderful ones I enjoy.
4 But those who turn to idols
will have much pain.
I will not offer blood to those idols
or even speak their names.

5 No, the Lord is all I need.
He takes care of me.
6 My share in life has been pleasant;
my part has been beautiful.

7 I praise the Lord because he advises me.
Even at night, I feel his leading.
8 I keep the Lord before me always.
Because he is close by my side,
I will not be hurt.
9 So I rejoice and am glad.
Even my body has hope,
10 because you will not leave me in the grave.
You will not let your holy one rot.
11 You will teach me how to live a holy life.
Being with you will fill me with joy;
at your right hand I will find pleasure forever.

Remember when you were little and your mom or dad used to tuck you in and say your prayers with you? Remember how it was (or maybe is) to tuck in your own chiildren and pray with them? Do you remember what you prayed for?
Do you still say your prayers right before you go to sleep?

It is at times like these, just before we go to sleep when we trust God the most. Think about this; we are getting ready to fall asleep and leave all that happens in the waking world around us to God. Whatever happens, He is the One left in charge. He is our only sentry, that will protect us from all that happens. Imagine that; rarely do we ever trust Him more!

The psalm above makes for a good bedtime prayer. Tonight, right before you are ready to fall asleep, pull out your Bible and read slowly through this psalm. Break out each verse and each idea, and lift them to God. He will protect you this night; He will lead you and make sure that you do not get hurt. Take pleasure in knowing that He will watch over you.

Picture from Diane's Peaceful Hush, "A Mother's Bedtime Prayer"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

God's Helping Hand - July 14, 2011

Isaiah 41:10(New King James Version)
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

What can you count on these days? Who can you rely on no matter what? It is really interesting how few people seem to be around when you are going through difficulty. It's as if they sense something is wrong, so they avoid you like the "plague".

Maybe they think you will ask them for something. When you need others the most, it seems that you see and hear from them the least. No wonder that when people are asked how they are doing, most will answer in the affirmative, as if nothing is ever wrong. God help the person who would break down in honesty and tell the truth.

I know that I am talking about what many of you have encountered during times of difficulty. Whether it has been a death, or unemployment, or just rough times in general, I know that many of you feel that you have been deserted by those "friends" around you. It is easy to relate to the feelings noted above. But if you are a Christ follower, you need not feel that way. God has promised us that He will be there to "hold us up with His right hand" during those times that you need help.

I believe that whenever God mentions that His help will come from His "righteous right hand", He is speaking about Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of the Father. Jesus knows what we are going through, because during His time on earth, He went through many of the same things we did. He can relate to us; He has "walked in our shoes".

There is nothing that we can encounter that He will not be sure to help you through; He is the only One that you can really count on, all of the time. He will never avoid you or ignore you. He will be there whenever you call on Him.

2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne. Hebrews 12:2(New Century Version)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tough Love - July 13, 2011

Hebrews 12:7-11(New Living Translation)
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

During difficult times, we may not think of it as discipline, but if you are a Christian, God allows us to go through times of "Tough Love". Although it is not easy to go through, God has promised us that it is for our ultimate good. He wants to conform us to the image of Christ, and these situations are for smoothing out our rough edges.

The good news is that God does this because we are His children, and He likens it to a loving Father disciplining his child. It will not last long, and God will never leave or forsake you during the process. At the end of it our children expect a hug and comfort, and God has promised us the same thing. He has a harvest of blessing waiting for us at the end of the hardship.

Photo from Scurrilous Pamphleteer, posted 3-19-11

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Contentment - July 12, 2011

Psalm 23(New International Version)
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Meditation - July 11, 2011

Psalm 1(New International Version)
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Carry Me! - July 10, 2011

Isaiah 46:4(New International Reader's Version)
4 I will continue to carry you even when you are old.
I will take good care of you even when your hair is gray.
I have made you. And I will carry you.
I will take care of you. And I will save you.
I am the Lord.

One of my favorite memories as a Dad was when my daughter was three years old. There were many times when she wanted to see what was going on, or when she needed to feel secure. It was at those times that she would lift up her little arms toward me and say, "Carry me Daddy; carry me!" Of course I would pick her up and she would smile the sweetest smile, and bury her head into my shoulder.

It was at those times that I felt most like a Dad. Now that she is sixteen, those times have been replaced by a big hug and a sigh. Still, I enjoy being that place of security and protection for my daughter, and she still looks to me to make sure that everything will be okay..

We often have those times in life where we are having problems and anxiety, not knowing what is going on around us. We long for that sense of security and protection, and that "shoulder" that we can rest our head against, and know that everything will be okay. God offers that to us; He promises us that He made us and that He will carry us. He will take good care of us until the end of our days.

Because we can't see Him, it is hard to realize that God really is there, but if you will diligently seek Him in His word and "reach out" to Him in prayer, He will bring us the relief and comfort we need. He has made us, and God will save us from whatever we are going through.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

God's Treasure - July 9, 2011

Proverbs 2:1-8(New Living Translation)
1 My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.

2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

3 Cry out for insight,and ask for understanding.

4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.

5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

8 He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

What if you were told that you would have the opportunity to discover a hidden treasure? Most everyone recalls the stories of pirates and buried treasure, and even the Indiana Jones movies that follows the tresure hunter on his quests. We may have even played pirates as children, and drew treasure maps for our friends to find something that was hidden. Treasure hunting carries with it a sense of excitement that we will have a chance to find something that will make us rich.

God has given us the opportunity to find hidden treasure. He has placed instructions and a guide of how to find this treasure in His word. Once we learn to read and understand where we are being guided, we will find riches and treasure that will be beyond measure. The wealth of what He gives is beyond worldly comparison. All we have to do is to accept His book of instruction, open it, and begin our search. Once you do, you will never be poor again, because you will receive riches for your soul.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Purpose - July 8, 2011

Ecclesiastes 2:22-25(GOD’S WORD Translation)
22What do people get from all of their hard work and struggles under the sun? 23Their entire life is filled with pain, and their work is unbearable. Even at night their minds don’t rest. Even this is pointless.

24There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God. 25Who can eat or enjoy themselves without God?

For most of us, Friday marks the end of another work week. We have spent forty or more hours working; to what end? For what purpose? Work for the sake of working really has no purpose at all, so our work has to mean something.

The richest man on the planet in his day, King Solomon, asked this question. He wondered why he was doing his work. It frustrated him to think that he would do all this work, only to have someone else to come after him and reap all the reward. After his death, the one who inherited the benefit of Solomon's labor would not appreciate what it took to get there.

What Solomon soon realized was that without God as the focus of our work, the work would have little meaning; it would serve no purpose. God is the one that first enables us to work, He is the One who gives us something to work for, whether it be our families or another, and He is the One who tells us to work as if we are doing it for Him. Our ultimate purpose in our work is to serve our God, and in doing so we serve our families, others and ourselves as well.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24(NIV)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

David's Prayer - July 7, 2011

Psalm 20(New International Version)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

5 May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now this I know:

The LORD gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 LORD, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

He was a "man after God's own heart"; he made the main focus of his life to be fully devoted to God. Not that he was always obedient, and not that he never suffered from human failures, but in all things he was totally devoted to God. That is why there are many Psalms from David. He spent his time seeking and crying out to God, and when he was rescued by God, he would give him praise.

I call this psalm "David's Prayer", because each of the first five verses are prayers lifted up to God. These are prayers as simple and substantive today as they were over 3000 years ago when they were written. They are prayers that we can pray for ourselves or for others.

After these prayers, David tells us what he knows about God; he simply states why he has trust in God, and he compares it to those who don't do the same. He tells us that God does good things for His people, and because of this we can ask Him to hear our prayers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Walking by Faith - July 6, 2011

2 Corinthians 5:7(New King James Version)
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Romans 8:24(New American Standard Bible)
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

Hebrews 11:1(New International Version)
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

These days its really difficult to know what is going on. Every day we are reminded by one thing or another that these are tough times, and it seems as if they will never end. You wonder at times if God is paying attention to your difficulty, and you wonder what you may have done wrong. Why does it have to be so hard? What can you do to overcome what your going through?

If you are a Christian, it's times like these that you can really get close to Jesus, because He has walked through some of the same things we have. What can give us confidence that things will be better is that He has gone through every type of emotion that we have. He knows how we feel.

It's at times like these that you need to understand that blessing comes from having faith, total trust, that although you cannot see what will happen, God will take care of you. Yes, you don't know how what your going through will end, but God does. He has given you His promise that He will never leave or forsake you(Hebrews 13:5), and that everything that you go through will be for your own good(Romans 8:28).

Because of His promises you can have confidence, that although you cannot see where you are going, He is leading you where you are supposed to go. He knows what you need, and He is into the details. So what should you do? Totally trust God. Seek Him continually in prayer and ask Him to help you in leaving the results to Him. It is only in total faith and trust that you can truly be at peace in all that happens around you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One Nation, Under God, Indivisible? - July 5, 2011

Matthew 12:25(New International Version)
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."

Luke 11:17(GOD’S WORD Translation)
17Since Jesus knew what they were thinking, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined. A house divided against itself falls."

On June 16, 1858, at the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention, Abraham Lincoln gave what was thought at the time to be a very politically incorrect speech in which he referenced this statement from Jesus. In the speech, where he was rallying his fellow Republicans to not give up in the battle to resolve the slavery debate, he stated that "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

He was speaking about the confusion that existed about whether a new state should be admitted into the Union as slave or free. His statement was meant to say that in one way or the other, the debate would somehow be settled. In a few short years from this date, the United States would be embroiled in the Civil War that would cost hundreds of thousands of lives to finally settle the issue.

Over the last few decades, there has arisen a split in this country over a secular government that dismisses any government intervention in the morality of its citizens, but promotes the government interference in the economic freedoms of the people, versus a government that allowed its citizens freedom to pursue economic and personal freedom, within the moral limitation of government as allowed by the conscience of its citizens.

For example, those who are pro-abortion want total freedom to allow unrestricted abortion, yet it would have the government force citizens to have to pay for everyones access to abortions. On the other hand, the otherside feels that no citizens should be forced to have to pay for abortions if they are not willing, but feel that the unborn child has the right to life that should be protected by the government.

We live in a Nation that is very divided these days over many issues concerning economic and moral issues, and I feel that the divide is getting wider. These are issues of right and wrong, and you have to be on one side or the other. There really is little gorund for compromise, because what middle ground is there in whether or not a baby should live? And, what middle ground is there between whether or not you have economic freedom rather than the government dictating what you can do and what you can earn? As in Abraham Lincoln's day, our National issues will be resolved one way or another. It is only a matter of time.

And what has caused our great National divide? My belief is that at one time in our history, moral and economic issues were settled based on what God's word found in the Bible said about a particular issue. The same was true for the issue of slavery. True Bible believing Christians were against the enslavement of men, because in Jesus Christ there was "neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free"(Galatians 3:28). All were equal in the eyes of God. Others tried to twist Scripture to make a defense for slavery, but there was no room for the middle. You were either for it or against it, and the Bible was clearly against it.

I believe there is hope for our Nation that can be found in our Pledge of Allegiance as approved by Congress in 1954. We can only hope to settle our Nation's ills and issues by being citizens that are united as "one Nation, under God", and can only be a Nation "indivisible" if we commit ourselves and our allegiance to our God. Through Jesus Christ we are truly able to live lives of freedom, and only through God can we truly survive as a Nation.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day? - July 4, 2011

Psalm 33:12(Holman Christian Standard Bible)
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD—
the people He has chosen to be His own possession!

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

And so began the Declaration of Independence that was unanimously signed by 56 representatives, who were lawyers, doctors, merchants, farmers, landowners and preachers from the 13 English colonies on the North American continent on July 4, 1776. After stating thier grievances they concluded the declaration in this way:

"We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.

And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

Now it doesn't take any thing more than a grade school education to realize that they relied on God to help them through this dangerous endeavor, and it is very evident that they committed their course of action with their solid reliance upon "nature's God, "the Supreme Judge of the world", "Divine Providence".

They pledged themselves under God to follow a course that would create the greatest nation that ever has been founded by mankind upon the earth. It is not arrongance for us to believe such, because along with that standing in the world comes great responsibility.

If we are true believers that God is in control of all things, then we are to believe that He had a special purpose in allowing our nation to be founded, and to survive the many difficulties that we have encountered over 235 years. And because He has protected and preserved our Nation, we have to measure up to the great responsibility which He has placed upon us.

What is this responsibility that we are called to? It is first to seek and uphold Him in all we do; to commit ourselves to His work of helping our fellow man, to being good stewards over all He has given us, to render justice to those who are oppressed, to proclaim His truth to all, and to insure liberty for all who seek it.

The true happiness of the citizens of our Nation can only be guaranteed if we will commit our lives to serving God and each other. There is no room for selfish pursuits and pettiness. This "Grand Experiment" as it was called was for the benefit of all mankind, and only if we commit our endeavor to God, can we ever hope secure the freedoms that we have been granted.

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?"
- Thomas Jefferson

(Do you see any "separation of church" and state here? Wasn't it Thomas Jefferson that supposedly created the separation that exists today? I don't think so! Make sure you and those that come after you understand the God-given principles upon which we were founded.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Character of a Nation - July 3, 2011

Proverbs 14:34(Holman Christian Standard Bible)
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a disgrace to any people.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."(From the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776)

Tomorrow we will celebrate 235 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed, proclaiming these United States of America as a sovereign nation. Since that time, we have undergone huge growing pains and enormous struggles to maintain our union. What stood out in good times and bad was that our citizens embraced a country founded on Judeo-Christian principles, that knew that we were a Nation Under God.

Since George Washington, all of our Presidents have acknowledged that we are led by the Sovereign hand of God, and until recently, most leaders in our country knew that if they sought God in humility and reverance, that His guiding hand would preserve the Nation. We used to stand for and fight for what was "right", and could always be the moral compass for the world. The "Greatest Generation" was called that because as a Nation, our pursuits were noble and our causes were right, and inspired by our beliefs in God.

Unfortunately, today it is a different story. The God of the Bible has been replaced by a marshmellow, universal god, that is only called upon if it doesn't get in the way of our material goods or personal pursuits. In so many ways we have lost our way as a nation. No longer does God have a pre-emenence in the lives of our citizens, and secularists, other religions and cultures would rather dilute the influence of our God, in favor of someone of a very different character than what our founding fathers followed and embraced. The nations god has $$$ signs and exports a culture that embraces much of what is wrong in the human character.

No longer do we often call upon our God for the preservation and the strength of our nation. It is as if He has been pushed aside, to make room for worldy pursuits, pursuits on a global scale, seeking a god of wealth, ambition, power and influence. We have lost the character of our Nation, and no longer do we stand for the things of God that we once used to. No wonder our children of today rarely have knowledge and respect for the principles upon which we were founded, because over the last few years we have forsaken those principles, to our detrement.

This July 4th, we need to not only remember our founding, and the just battles that were fought to maintain our liberty, but we also must remember the truths of God upon which we were founded. We need to call on our God and Creator, Divine Providence, to once again restore the principles upon which we were founded. We need to pray for a revival in the land, and proclaim "liberty for the captives" of this fallen world.

Our goal needs to be to restore the character that once made us a great Nation, because it is the character of the Nation that preserves the Nation. Without the God of the Bible we will NOT survive, and we owe it to those that come after us to leave something that looks like the Nation that our forefathers founded.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Psalm of Restoration - July 2, 2011

Psalm 80(New International Version- Italics mine)
1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock.(The Nation of Israel, descedants of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph)

You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.

Awaken your might; come and save us.

3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

4 How long, LORD God Almighty, will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people? (God becomes angry with Israel for its sin and disobedience)

5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.

6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.

7 Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

8 You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. (A picture of when the Israelites came into the Promised Land)

9 You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. (God's chosen people brought the belief in the One True God to the land He had chosen for His people)

11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.

12 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes?(Israel's enemies invade and continuously steal it's wealth)

13 Boars from the forest ravage it, and insects from the fields feed on it.

14 Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!

Watch over this vine, 15 the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself.(Even today Israel is tormented by its enemies!)

16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish. (The destruction of the Nation of Israel)

17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. (Israel will be only be restored by the True Vine, Jesus Christ)

18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. (Salvation can only be find in the Lord Jesus!)

In the verses above, the psalter writes a lamenting prayer for God to bring restoration to the Nation of Israel. It is interesting that he not only speaks of the history of the nation and God's favor with them, but through the inspiration of the Spirit of God, he speaks of things to come. It becomes a true picture of a Nation once blessed by God that has fallen away and is suffering God's withdrawal of blessing.

As we remember the 235th birthday of our Nation, that was founded on the principles found ONLY in the Word of God, let us lift up our prayers for God to restore the land and save His people. Only through the True Vine can our Nation also be restored. Pray that He will bring revival throughout the land, and that our Nation will remain under God.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tongue Tied - July 1, 2011

James 3:7-10(New Living Translation)
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

One of the biggest problems among Christians I "hear" these days, is what we say to or about each other. Granted, the world hurls alot of insults and gossip back and forth, and many are professionals when it comes to "dissing" one another, but this shouldn't be the case for Christ followers. Unfortunately, their are many in the church that need their "tongue tied"!

Why has it become so easy for Christians to speak badly about another? There was a time when those that claimed the mantle of Jesus Christ were considered to be above that sort of thing. Anything bad and evil thing said to another would have subjected that person to severe punishment from other Christians around them.

In fact in Romans 1:29-32, the apostle Paul compares those who speak evil, slanderers and gossips, with murderers and worthy of a death sentence! Pretty strong words for those who engage in something that we hear each and everyday. Why do so many relish their time saying things about other people? Why are they so casual in allowing another to be destroyed by what is said?

Instead we need to be about lifting each other up as fellow believers of God. Jesus died for each and every one of us, both Christian and non-Christian, and we have no right to do such things to any other person. If God thinks so highly about those He has created, who are we to think any less? Who are we to say anything bad about another?

If you find yourself participating with those who do such things, it is time you confessed your sin and asked for God to help you. Maybe it is because you never really thought about it in this way, so starting today, why not start anew? Train yourself to always try to say something good about every other person, or if you can't, at least remain silent.

And when you hear others engaged in such things, be sure that you are the one to approach them in love and turn the conversation to something positive. You will find that you will bring blessing to all those around you.

Photo of "Oscar: Letting Go",8-14-2010. post from