Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Now we must "go"!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

As we are preparing to fly out to serve in Puerto Rico this Saturday, we have faced some personal, family and ministry challenges. We have had to rearrange team members, battle some illnesses, and even face the political shake-up in the Puerto Rican government. This is to be expected as Satan tries to derail our plans and steal our focus.

Yet we have to be prepared spiritually most of all, realizing that what God is planning is more important than any of us! We will not back down nor shy away from His calling.

We have asked God to "send" us, He has gathered the team and we have received the funding from many of you! Everything is in place to serve. Now we must "go"! 

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”(Isaiah 6:8)
 Después oí la voz del Señor, que decía: ¿A quién enviaré, y quién nos irá? Entonces respondí yo: Heme aquí, envíame á mí. 

Please keep praying.....

Thursday, July 25, 2019

God-Honoring Government

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6:1-5)
Most of us know the next thing: Daniel would be set up and then caught worshipping the God of Israel! He was accused of honoring God while serving in government! Imagine that today! With all the corruption in government and all the un-Godly activity, here was a man who was convicted for honoring God . . . but God vindicated him!
Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.Darius Honors God. And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions—them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den. (Daniel 6:19-24)
No matter the circumstance, God and His people will prevail. God rules and over-rules! Folks will receive their just due. Whether we are in the government, a secular job or in ministry for Him, let's be patient and be God-honoring in all we do! He will have HIS way!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Do not drink the kool-aid of this world!

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
 The enemy is determined to destroy us . . .  at the least make our daily lives miserable! Yet many of us can not even identify the enemy. Many times he is right where we choose to be. He is invited in or not asked to leave. We are comfortable allowing him to hang out!


You see, we get so comfortable I our world that we can't even recognize with whom we are sitting. Satan could be our business partner, on our social media hangouts, in our club, or perhaps leading the political agenda with which we align.

Be careful! Be watchful. Be discerning. Do not drink the kool-aid of this world! Stay armed and ready to attack! Do not be afraid to be just a little bit offensive at times!
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit...(Ephesians 5:18)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Now THIS is family!

Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.   (Ephesians 4:25-32)

Wow! Now THIS is family! This is how family treats one another; truth . . .no lingering anger for days . . . hard work and sacrifice . . .kind words and encouragement! This is what Paul described for the Church however, much less our families! 

Could you imagine if we could simply practice this at home how much more pleasant life would be? 

Let's examine our personal lives for a few minutes and identify our shortcomings. Are we holding on to our anger, allowing it to brew overnight? Let it go. Suck it up and take the blame. Apologize . . . FORGIVE! 

Admit faults. Tell the truth. Be encouraging. See ourselves in others and try to better understand everyone. Be less selfish. Appreciate everyone and their contributions. 

Be sure to please God rather than grieve His His Holy Spirit! Because after all, how we treat others is how we are treating God, especially when it comes to fellow believers!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Do you wanna win?

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your Godwill set you high above all nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God . . . 
Or Lose?
   “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you . . .(Deuteronomy 28:1-2,15)
God was very clear in the Old Testament: Obey and be blessed or disobey and be cursed!  Choose one and you win . . . Choose then other and you lose!

Do you wanna win?

In the New Testament there are not as many laws to follow. Jesus made it simple to win. Just believe in Him an live for Him!
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.(John 14:23-24)
It is a choice we must make in this life while we are still able. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Today is the best day to call on Jesus!!!(Hebrews 3:15)

Choose to win!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

be ready for everything in today's world

A soldier . . . Prepare for daily warfare . . . Watch for the enemy . . . Expect to fight!

The peace of God . . . Still waters . . . Green pastures . . . Rest!

These things seem in contrast yet all describe a real relationship with our Almighty God and Savior! We must be ready for everything in today's world because the enemy is still out to kill, steal, and destroy us!

Paul was serious when he wrote these words:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.(Ephesians 6: 10-13)
It is a spiritual AND physical battle daily and we better be ready. Keep you head up and eyes opened. It can come from anywhere and anyone at anytime. Expect it! Fight it! But use the weapons God equips us with, not worldly methods!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Deadly schisms

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:9-18)
Tolerance . . . Legalism . . . Political Correctness . . . Activism . . . Membership . . . Social Acceptance . . . Choosing Sides . . . .  all tricks of the enemy! He is trying to divided, persuade and create schisms sitting families, friendships and the Church!

Webster defines a schism as division, separation, disharmony. Another site defines schism as a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief. 

Deadly schisms are dividing people for sure! However, there is no room or excuse for schisms within the Body of believers! Jesus is clear. We are commanded to follow His teachings and abide in Him, not the world. There are not many truths. There is only one way to honor God. Love Him. Love people. Keep His commandments. (1 John 5:3)

Very plainly: if we as believers want to change the world and make a REAL difference than people need to see Christ and that means we must follow His ways and not choose sides. There is only ONE side to choose . . . HIS! A friend of the world is an enemy of God. 

Which group do you identify with today? Whose side are you on this day? Choose he this day whom you will serve . . . Despite the backlash and criticisms, I choose Christ! (Joshua 24:15)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

My sin hurts God and others!

My sin problem is not so much how it affects me, but how it hurts God and other people! You see, this life is not about me! It is about my relationship to God and others! Jesus was plain when He outlined the commandments: Love God/Love people! (Matthew 22:36-40)

 Listen to it in song:

Read Paul's words to those in Corinth: 
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.  For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.(2 Corinthians 7:10-12)
Realizing my sin hurts God causes me shame. Realizing it hurts those whom I love causes me pain! It hurts! Once I realize this, I get closer to God and His heart. It changes my perspective. I am no longer concerned with how God deals with me, but how I treat Him and others! I can live boldly for Christ under His power when I shift the focusing off of me and place it upon Him and those whom I love.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Don't be skeeeerd!

Don't be skeeeerd!

“You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.(Acts 20:18-24)
Paul was not afraid of what awaited him in Jerusalem. He knew there would be persecution. Yet he counted it all joy as James would write. ( James 1:2) Paul would also write to Timothy to encourage him through tough times:

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
We cannot simply share the Gospel and teach it when things are comfortable. Illnesses, financial challenges, emergency room visits, diseases, deaths . . . all part of life and part of why we need Jesus and need to share Him! Remember, diamonds are made under pressure! We were born for times like this . . . 

Let's GO!!!! (Isaiah 6:8)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Oh for grace!

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ”  And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.” (Exodus 32:7-10)
Oh for grace!  It is so easy to be distracted. Like the early Jews, we too can worship one thing today and then say "The Lord is our God" on SONday. (Exodus 32:5) We idolize our jobs, our cars, our homes, our families, even our own accomplishments and spend the entire week focusing on serving these things. Yet on SONday, yes SON-day, we come to praise the Lord . .  well many of us do. Fact is, many professing CHRISTians are now saying they really do not have to go to Church, we can worship God right in our idolized sanctuaries, our homes! Oh really? (Hebrews 10:25)

Yet God as He was after Moses pleaded, (Exodus 32:11-14) is patient, merciful, and grants us what we do not deserve . . . chance after chance to get it right. Yet we are missing so much! How long will He relent? Are we asking for Him to step in or are we pursuing Him as we should? Do we need an illness, a death, a financial loss to cause us to return to God and make Him the object of our worship?

Will we always seek more of the world? When will God be enough? (Matthew 6:33)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Are you . . . am I . . . An enemy of God?

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?  You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.(James 4:1-4)

 There are so many movements, memberships, coalitions, factions, associations, clubs, denominations, affiliations, fraternities, sororities, political groups and more to be a part of or join today. There are even shopping clubs for goodness sakes!Which ones do we claim as members? Are we a Democrat, Republican, Methodist, Baptist, Alpha, Delta, Mason? Are we Costco. BJ's or Sam's shoppers? What is the information or our business card or membership card? 

To WHOM do we belong?  Have we checked to see if our name is engraved in His book? You see, we strive so much to qualify for this club, that membership, or another organization, that we are compromising the membership that really matters . . . God's family! 

The bible tells us that in God's eyes we are either His or we are not. There is no gray area. We are as Paul said, Jew or Greek, saved or unsaved if you will! (Galatians 3:28) In fact, Jesus was even simpler. He said "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50)

Are we trying so hard to fit in this world that we will find ourselves left out of God's Kingdom? Think about it for a minute. Consider the discussions we are having. Think about where and whom we hang out with on a regular. What does our social media page represent? 

Friend or Foe? Child of God or ENEMY of God? Be careful of associations!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,  by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayedthe place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spiritand they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soulneither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.  And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked....(Acts 4:29-34)
There is a reason why those of the early Church seemed so superhuman....prayer and unity!  Prayer was a common and everyday . . . all day thing. They prayed together and shared life together . . . even money and supplies. No one lacked anything! This was done without government programs by the way! The Church was one!

Why are we weak and ineffective today? Why are we so shy when it comes to things of God? Why do we lack confidence in Christ . . . lack faith? Prayer and unity are key! For God's power to operate in and through us, we must be connected to God and one another. It was evident within the apostles and it is what Jesus pleaded for before going to the cross. (John 17)

The world and its lusts are our kryptonite! The closer we become go the world, the weaker we become. Draw nearer to God and fellow believers. Lets once again shake this world!

Monday, July 8, 2019

fully God and fully man

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.  And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”  As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. (John 8:28-30)
One mystery of our CHRISTian faith is that Jesus was fully God and fully man! This hypostatic union allowed Jesus to be God, yet choose to remain fully dependent upon God the Father. He was modelling complete dependence upon God for you and me! We are not designed to have hidden super powers like some comic book hero. We are designed to live under the control of Almighty God . . . the Holy Spirit which indwells every genuine believer.

When we do not have the knowledge, He is wise. When we are at a loss for words, He gives us the right words to speak. When we are physically and spiritually weak, He is strong! When we go it alone, we fail. I need to remind myself of a couple of my favorite verses: 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence, a
nd do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10-11)
Jesus was  fully God and fully man, but are we fully depending upon Him? 

Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.  Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesu...