Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Worst of Times = The Best of Times?

My pastor friend Ron, has been battling cancer for nearly six years now. This week his e-letter contained these amazing words:

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support for me and my family. I am deeply grateful to be alive and blessed in so many ways. This coming February, will mark six years in this battle with cancer. It’s been an amazing journey. My doctors and friends in the medical profession say, “Ron, you should have been dead years ago!” It’s true. My early prognoses were bleak to say the least. In spite of the early, hopeless assessments that I received from some, I’m still alive and kickin’! God has seen fit to preserve my life and I am thankful. I am thankful, not just because it’s Thanksgiving and I love turkey and pumpkin pie and that I’m still alive, but I’m actually thankful for the cancer. I am thankful because through this long and difficult journey God has changed me. I know Him better and love Him more. He is SO Good and Faithful!

Pastor Ron closed his e-letter with these words and a passage from the Word of God:

Well dear ones, I’m thankful! Thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness, for my amazing family, friends and church, and I’m thankful for how He’s worked in me through this journey. Like Marvin Sapp sings, (in his song, "Never Could Have Made It") “I’m stronger and I’m wiser.” I can say it’s true! Wisdom is different than knowledge. Knowledge knows stuff, facts and figures - like the people on the Jeopardy game show. It has its place. When you need CPR, you’re glad someone has the knowledge to save your life! Knowledge is important. But wisdom knows God and His ways. It’s knowing ourselves in the light of knowing Him. And, it’s understanding life in the light of knowing Him. So dear friends, don’t resist or resent the tough times. Through them, you can begin to see everything else in the light of knowing Him. And, THAT is wisdom! Let me leave you with a passage I read this morning from The Message:

James 3:17-18 (MSG) (17) Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. (18) You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

May you be wise without being a “wise guy!” May your wisdom be humble and rooted in your personal life in a knowledge of Christ. And, may your wisdom be marked by a holy life and robust community!

Amazingly Graced,
Pastor Ron

Thanks Pastor Ron for testifying to us that The Worst of Times Can Indeed Equal the Best of Times, and we continue to plead the cleansing blood of our Jesus over your precious life, wise friend.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Lord, Teach Your Disciples to Pray...

Here's the prayer the Lord taught His disciples to pray. So, it must be called "The Disciple's Prayer?" Let's pray it together to our Father God as fully devoted disciples:

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

King-God, I Need Your Help!

These words from Psalm 5 in the Message Paraphrase of the Holy Bible really help us to cry out to God passionately and urgently:

King-God, I need Your help. Every morning You’ll hear me at it again.
Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on Your altar and watch for fire to descend...

And here I am, Your invited guest— it’s incredible!
I enter Your house; here I am, prostrate in Your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions to get me safely through enemy lines.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DEFINITELY, not Probably!

When the Lord speaks His desires for our lives, what is the immediate response of our hearts?

(1) I probably will obey? or (2) I definitely will obey!

Jesus said these words in John 14:21 (NLT): Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. (Those who DEFINITELY obey, not probably obey!)

Lord, help us to defintely obey you immediately after you speak Your desires to us, not to prove we love You, but because we love You. Amen.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Will You Be The One?

Let's allow Al Denson's song "Be the One" to inspire each one of us to say "I will be one of the ones who says a definite YES to God's Divine desires. Yes, I will be one of the ones through whom God can restore His glory to the world."

"Be the One" lyrics:

(1) In a world full of broken dreams, where the truth is hard to find.
For every promise that is kept, there are many left behind.
Though it seems that nobody cares, it still matters what you do.
Cause there's a difference you can make, but the choice is up to you.

* First Chorus:
Will you be the one to answer to His call?
Will you stand when those around you fall?
Will you be the one to take His light into a darkened world?
Tell me will you be the one?

(2) Oh sometimes it's hard to know who is right and what is wrong.
And where are you supposed to stand when the battle lines are drawn?
There's a voice that is calling out for someone who’s not afraid
to be a beacon in the night to a world that's lost its way.

There are still some battles that I must fight from day to day.
Yet the Lord provides the power for me to stand and say…

* Second Chorus:
I will be the one to answer to His call.
I will stand when those around me fall.
I will be the one to take His light into a darkened world.
I will be the one.


Monday, October 26, 2009

My God's Love Never Quits

Psalm 118 reminded me this morning that my God's Love never quits. This is my heart's cry in response:

Dear Lord, I know Your Word is true, in that, God's love for Kerry never quits! Let it be true that Kerry's Love for God never quits, either! In Jesus' name. Amen.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Offerings Our Almighty God Deserves

Hear these beautiful words of worship from King David preserved in 2 Samuel 24:24 (TLB): I don’t want to offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that have cost me nothing.

Hear these blunt words of wisdom attributed to King Solomon in Ecclesiasties 5:1 (NLT): As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut! Don’t be a fool who doesn’t realize that mindless offerings to God are evil.

Hear these personal words of invitation written by the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 (MSG): So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.

Hear these sobering words of instruction that I heard God speaking deep within my heart last night as I crossed Virginia's Afton Mountain in my Ford following a heart-wrenching, pastoral visit at the Trauma Center at University of Virginia Hospital where a precious, young life -- *a 19-year-old -- is in a seemingly fragile state: In the very worst of times we cannot afford to approach God with less than our very best.

Please pray for *Chandler at UVA's Trauma Center and pray for his beloved family, too. Also, please consider with me the kinds of offerings our Almighty God deserves.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Need a Ridiculous Miracle?

If you haven't read 1 Samuel 17 lately, go ahead and read it now. It's a simple yet profound story of faith that inspires hope for those who worship the Lord of Lords.

If you need a ridiculous miracle, 1 Samuel 17 will heighten your trust and help you to know that God wants to partner with you in a ridiculous miracle for His glory, for your good, and for the good of those around you.


Friday, October 23, 2009

The Lord Knows Those...

The Lord knows those who are His... 2 Timothy 2:19 (NIV)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Witnessing the Glory and the Agony of Jesus

Today in my devotional reading I was reminded that the three, inner-circle disciples of Jesus --Peter, James, and John -- witnessed not only the glory of Christ during His Transfiguration, but they also witnessed His agony in Gethsemane.

Surely, because our Lord is present, whether we are surrounded by light or engulfed by darkness, we are blessed. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 23, Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Psalm 117

Psalm 117 is, I believe, the shortest of all the Psalms, but it is powerful. I invite you to saturate in this two-verse Psalm along with me:

1) Praise the LORD, all you nations.
Praise Him, all you people of the earth.
(2) For He loves us with unfailing love;
the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Faith! Hope!! Love!!!

Great Faith inspires Greater Hope and Greater Hope heightens the Greatest Love.

I pray that your day will overflow with Faith, Hope, and Love that only Heaven can afford. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Read 1 Corinthians 13 for reinforcement of the Great, Greater, and Greatest -- Faith, Hope, and Love.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Request for Right Relationship

Dearest my Lord God Almighty:

I pray that your Holiness will be my wholeness and that I might share Your Spiritual Health to those I encounter. Lord, I give You my heart. Make it Wholly Yours and Holy like Yours. I want to be in right relationship with You, my Lord, and I want that right relationship to be a prescription of peace for others whose souls are seeking for Your touch.

In Jesus' name.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oneness With God Equals Rest That Ministers

My dear friend in Jesus, O.C., writes this commentary based on 1 Corinthians 1:30:

The broken and the jaded and the twisted are being ministered to by God through the saints who are not overcome by their own panic, who because of their oneness with Him are absolutely at rest; consequently He can work through them.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Perfectly Balanced Life

Spirit of the Living God, please reign within us and give to us The Perfectly Balanced Life. Only You, Sweet Spirit of Truth, can give us from within a God-ordered simultaneous balance that imparts to us a blessed overlap of adoration, occupation, recreation, and restoration. Yes, we cry out to You, our Loving Lord, to be our Peace and so engineer our lives that we might be the opposite of driven people. We want to be perfectly tuned by Your indwelling presence in the areas of worship, work, play, and rest. In our lives Lord Jesus be glorified, be magnified, and be satisfied. Amen.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Share the Gift

Lord, help us to be faithful today and day-after-day to share the Gift of Your Good News with others. Help us to be God-owned and others-focused. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Monday, October 12, 2009


Where there is no vision, the people perish.
-- Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
-- Dallin Forgaill, 8th Century Hymn


Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Quarterback's Message

The University of Florida Gators' football team has a quarterback named Tim Tebow. Recently, after overcoming an injury and returning to the field of play where he led his team to a hard-fought victory over Louisiana State University, I noticed this "Scripture reference message" written clearly in the "football war paint" under Tim Tebow's eyes: 1 Thess. 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) says: No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

What an awesome attitude, whether playing a game or living a life.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Hearts, Heads, & Homes

Oh, Loving Lord: Please be Lord of our hearts, in our heads, and inside our homes. Give us Your presence so that we might have pure motives, Christlike minds, and Holy Spiritual families. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Have Mercy

The word "mercy" is on my mind today. Here's what the dictionary gives us for the word "mercy":

"mer·cy" Pronunciation: \ˈmər-sē\ Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural mercies
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, price paid, wages, from merc-, merx merchandise; Date: 13th century
(1) a : compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment b : imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder

(2) a : a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion b : a fortunate circumstance
(3) : compassionate treatment of those in distress

This song is also quite loud in my heart today:

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy on me...

Psalm 119:41a (NKJV) -- Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord...


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do We Want God's Will?

1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NKJV) says, For this is the will of God, your sanctification...

God wants us to be One with Him -- Holy. Do we want what God wants?


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


In John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus said this about Himself to Thomas, one of His original, twelve disciples:

Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is not a way, but HE IS THE ONLY WAY of (and to) the Father. He is not some truth, but HE IS THE WHOLE TRUTH about the Father. Finally, HE IS THE ACTUAL, ETERNAL LIFE of the Father.

In two words? JESUS IS! One of His names? I AM!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Holiness is not about what we put on, but about Who God puts in us -- the Spirit of Truth.

John 14:16-17 (NIV) -- (Jesus speaking...) (16)
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—(17) the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know him, for He lives with you and will be in you.

Lord, we do not want a humanly manufactured self-righteousness of our own. We do want a holy manifested Holiness that is Yours.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Shine Like Beacon Lights

Consider these words from The Living Bible, Philippians 2:14-16a...

(14) In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing (15) so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights, (16) holding out to them the Word of Life.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our Living and Loving God

Reading Hebrews 11:6 we discover that our God lives and our God loves. Let us pray that our faith goes far beyond believing that our God exists to the sacred grounds of knowing that our God cares, too. Yes, our God reigns and our God rewards. Indeed, He is our compassionate Creator God.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) -- So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prayer for a Pure Heart & The Mind of Christ

Pray along with me these soul-searching words in Psalm 139:23-34:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (NLT)

Lord, I want my heart in your flame -- yes, a pure heart -- and my head in your game -- yes, I desire the mind of Christ. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Friday, October 2, 2009

The Peace Speaker

One of my favorite songs is sung most beautifully by a dear friend, Tina. The song is titled "Peace Speaker." I believe the songwriter is Geron Davis.

This week I am in Wisconsin, alongside the western side of Lake Michigan, where overnight a mighty storm has blown onto the shoreline. From the hotel window, huge waves are crashing over the rock jetty and beating fiercely against the inspiring Mantiowoc Harbor Lighthouse.

In the midst of this lakeside storm, the lyrics of the Peace Speaker song are on my mind. I share them with you, reminding you that whatever storm you might find yourself in, Jesus is the one who says, Peace be still, not only to the storm but also to those of us who look to Him to make us storm survivors.

Here are the lyrics:

It was such a lovely day and the sun was shining bright.
A gentle breeze was blowing my way, not a storm cloud in sight.
And suddenly without a warming, a storm surrounded my life.
But even in the storm, I can feel the calm, and here´s the reason why.

I know the Peace Speaker, I know Him by name.
I know the Peace Speaker. He controls the winds and waves.
When He says "peace, be still", they have to obey.
I´m glad I know the Peace Speaker, yes I know Him by name.

There´s never been another man with the power of this friend.
By simply saying "peace, be still" He can calm the strongest wind.
So now I´ll never worry when storm clouds come my way.
I know that He is near, to drive away my fear, and I can smile and say:

I know the Peace Speaker. I know Him by name.
I know the Peace Speaker. He controls the winds and waves.
When He says "peace, be still", they have to obey.
I´m glad I know the Peace Speaker, yes I know Him by name.

Peace, peace, wonderful peace. Coming down from the Father above...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to Die Blessed

Then I heard a voice from Heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." -- Revelation 14:13 (NIV)