Monday, December 31, 2012

Faithful and True... Everything New.

The beginning of the spiritual life is often difficult not only because the powers which cause us to worry are so strong but also because the presence of God’s Spirit seems barely noticeable.

If, however, we are faithful... (and true...) a new hunger will make itself known. This new hunger is the first sign of God’s presence. When we remain attentive to this divine presence, we will be led always deeper into the kingdom. There, to our joyful surprise, we will discover that all things are being made new.

-- Henri Nouwen

The One sitting on the throne said, “I am making everything new.” He said, “Write this: ‘These words are faithful and true.’”
-- Revelation 21:5 (GWT)

Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Rescued, The Rescuers

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light. 13 For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, 14 Who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
-- Colossians 1:11-14 (NLT)

As the rescued we must now become the rescuers.
-- Pastor Jeff Griffith

Let's Rejoice!
We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness!
Now, let's rescue others by living in the Light!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

God Will Sustain Us

The old year is all but over...
A new year is coming fast...
God will sustain us as we trust Him...
His faithfulness will last and last.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
-- Hebrews 13:8 (NLT)

Deo Volente -- As God Wills!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christmas Story -- The Children's Perspective

On Christmas Eve, my friend Suzanne sent me this precious clip of children acting out their own rendition of the Christmas Story. It is inspiring. So before this Christmas season is totally past, watch the story of our Savior's Birth, yes the Luke 2 story, from the refreshing and inspiring perspective of children.

 Click here: The Christmas Story - YouTube


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A White After-Christmas (Whiter Than Snow)

Well, at our home, we are watching the snow come down pretty heavily. Yes it's going to be a white after-Christmas for sure. It is beautiful. To look out the window and see a pure, snow-laden landscape on the Day after we just celebrated the Birth of our Savior is quite inspirational, indeed.

Jesus came from Heaven to earth to wash us and to make us whiter than snow. Yes, The Christ Child came to pardon our sins -- to wash away our acts and deeds of rebellion. He also came to purify our hearts from all Sin -- to cleanse our attitudes and dispositions of rebellion.

Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.

-- Psalm 51:2 (NLT)

“Come on now, let’s discuss this!” says the Lord.
“Though your sins are bright red,
they will become as white as snow.
Though they are dark red,
they will become as white as wool."

-- Isaiah 1:18 (GWT)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
-- 1 John 1:9 (NIV 1984)

Click here: Kirk Franklin - Jesus Paid It All [White As Snow] - YouTube
Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants! (Jesus Paid it All!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mary's Boy Child Born in Bethlehem

On this Blessed Christmas Morning, one song of the season seems to be on my mind above all the others. It's a celebrative rendition of "Mary's Boy Child Jesus Christ" sung by Boney M.

Indeed, we should celebrate. Born is Our King! Yes, we can live forevermore, because of Christmas Day!

Listen to the song now if you'd like.

A holy dance would even be in order. :-)


Monday, December 24, 2012

The Incarnation Should Be Our Inspiration

Christmastime is especially a spiritual season for us to find renewed inspiration in the marvelous mystery of the Incarnation. Yes, God not only came to us, but He became one of us, that He might come to us, even reign within us. Talk about mind-boggling mercy? The Creator became One with His Creation to bring us salvation from sin and to secure our reservation with Him for forever. It's called Love. Christmas Love.

Listen to these wonderful words written down in John 1:1-14 (GWT) --  In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was already with God in the beginning. 3 Everything came into existence through Him. Not one thing that exists was made without Him. 4 He was the source of Life, and that Life was the Light for humanity. 5 The Light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it. 6 God sent a man named John to be His messenger. 7 John came to declare the truth about the Light so that everyone would become believers through his message. 8 John was not the Light, but he came to declare the truth about the Light. 9 The real Light, which shines on everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into existence through Him. Yet, the world didn’t recognize Him. 11 He went to His own people, and His own people didn’t accept Him. 12 However, He gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in Him. 13 These people didn’t become God’s children in a physical way—from a human impulse or from a husband’s desire to have a child. They were born from God. 14 The Word became human and lived among us. We saw His glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with His only Son, a glory full of kindness and truth.

Click here: When Love Came Down (Remade Christmas 2011) - YouTube

Speaking of "Love coming down?" It's Christmas Eve and a gentle snow is beginning to fall here in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Looks like a white Christmas is in the making. Marvelous. 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Where is God?

We have hardly thought through the immense implications of the mystery of the incarnation. Where is God? God is where we are weak, vulnerable, small and dependent. God is where the poor are, the hungry, the handicapped, the mentally ill, the elderly, the powerless. How can we come to know God when our focus is elsewhere, on success, influence, and power?
-- Henri Nouwen


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Holy Mystery

Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable.

Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ — that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve.

 … . If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we — captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the Son of God — must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.
-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Friday, December 21, 2012

Be Born in Me

This Christmas Season have you considered the reply given by the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to the Angel Gabriel when he told her about God's desire to have His Son, her Messiah, and our Savior to be born in and through her? Here is what she said:

“I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”
-- Luke 1:38 (GWT)

Yes, Mary essentially said, "Be born in me." Mary became the first sanctuary for the Presence of the Lord. Bethlehem's manger became the second sanctuary to hold His majesty.

Have we like Mary answered, "Be born in me?" Will we now cradle His Holiness like Bethlehem's manger did some 2,000 years ago?

The song link below was sent to me today by one of my partners in ministry, Pastor Adrian. It is very powerful. Take a few sacred moments to watch the music video, listening prayerfully and carefully to the words so you can echo Mary's answer as your own.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday Prayers -- Mayan Calendar Predictions

No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows.
-- Matthew 24:36 (GWT)

Yesterday, I received these questions from someone concerned about tomorrow, Friday, being the end of the world because of the Mayan calendar so-called predictions:

Why does everyone think the world is ending on Friday? It doesn't have anything to do with the Bible, right? All of the predictions on TV are creeping me out.

Here was the heart of my reply:

The Bible says "no one knows the day or the hour except Father God". Doomsdayers may try to rush the end of time, but loving Jesus is what matters most. I personally believe Saturday will come. Of course, Jesus could surprise everyone and come back tonight making Friday irrelevant, too. Peace. The only prayer for Peace we need to pray in times like these is the prayer the criminal on the cross prayed next to Jesus prayed when the end of his life was at hand. "Lord, Remember me when You come in Your Kingdom." (Remember, that prayer was prayed on a Friday as well. Yes, Good Friday.) 

ALL JOY to your world. ALL PEACE to your soul.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Prayer

On Sunday, Joan and Amos Wimer lit the Advent Candle for one of our local church services. After Amos read a selection from Scripture, Joan prayed a most beautiful prayer. I asked her for a copy so I could share it with others. Here it is:

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus,

that we may share in the song of the angels,

the gladness of the shepherds

and the wisdom of the wise men. 

Close the door of hate

and open the door of love all over the world. 

Let kindness come with every gift

and good desires with every greeting. 

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,

and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. 

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children,

and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,

forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake.



Written by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Realizing Christ as Our Neighbor

As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as our neighbor, as one through whom...
(1) ...God calls for us
(2) ...God speaks to us
(3) ...God makes demands of us.
-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ALL JOY to your world! ALL PEACE to your soul!

Monday, December 17, 2012

If We Give Up On Christmas?

In the wake of these December school shooting in Connecticut, USA, some are asking if Christmas should just be cancelled? Should we turn off the decorative lights associated with these year-end Holy Days?

I say, "Please don't cancel Christmas. And please don't turn off the lights, because right now our dark world needs all of the light it can get."

If we give up on Christmas, we give up on Faith, Hope and Love.
And we will sadly give in to hate, violence, and darkness.

Father God, thanks for giving to us Your Son and for giving through Him Your Peace that is not of this world, but is for this world.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Comforting Expressions of Christ Through Art

My Friend, Bill, sent me this Youtube link below. In the wake of the tragic elementary school shooting this past week in Connecticut, USA, where 20 children and 7 adults died, these artistic images of Christ offer a measure of comfort to my own soul. I pray it will provide the same for yours: 
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
-- Words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
Comfort us, Lord...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Haiti Finale

Friday in Haiti was a glorious finale. The little mountainside country church was overflowing with pastors and leaders. The Holy Spirit within us and among us was powerful and undeniable. Encouragement filled our souls.

The highlight of Friday for me was three-fold:

Highlight #1: What wonder filled my soul when I was able to declare these words in the morning session, yes, wonder filled words once spoken by Jesus at another spiritually dark location, Caesarea Philippi and recorded in Matthew 16, verse 18, : "I will build My church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!"

Immediately the congregation started shouting "Amens" and "Hallelujahs" in reply to Jesus' words.

Highlight #2: The Haitian pastors gathered around the four of us from The States to pray a God-filled, humbling benediction over our lives as the gathering came to a close.

Highlight #3: I got to photograph little Haitian girls wearing dresses hand-sewn by a precious widow in our local church, Mrs. Shirley. It was a glorious fashion show that surely touched Heaven's heart.

And yes, one more thing to report. I finally learned my little Haitian buddy's real name. You know, the little crippled boy I lovingly named "Happy". His real name is best understood in English as "Michael." God bless that precious little soul. Keep praying for him, please.

I am sorry I posted so late today, but traveling home prevented me from getting online earlier.

Thanks again for partnering with me in prayer. I believe it is very possible that Haiti is headed for a real revival that will eventually impact the whole world. Wouldn't it be just like our God to start with the poorest of the poor in Spirit to bring a spiritual awakening to planet earth?


P.S. As we boarded our plane at Port au Prince airport, we heard of the tragic school-shooting in Connecticut, USA. Our hearts are hurting for the families of the precious victims.

Friday, December 14, 2012

"Happy, Happy, Happy" In Haiti

Thursday was another wonderful day with the pastors and church leaders here in Kenscoff, Haiti. I am so very grateful for the prayers you have prayed and will continue to pray as the gathering concludes today, Friday.

And yes, I got to encourage the people. The theme of the message the Lord gave me to share was "From Heaven, God Will Hear Us In Haiti, When We Pray." The overflowing church house seemed to be rocking back and forth as the precious Holy Spirit of Truth spoke the Good News of God's Word through me and the interpreter, Pastor Jean Alix.

Pastor James preached before me on "Walking in the Light" and Pastor Jeff Griffith followed me telling the crowd, "The Blessed, Must Become Blessers." Then, Pastor Ron Skeeters concluded the gathering by distributing new Bibles to everyone who attended. On the first day all the pastors got new study Bibles, but Thursday everyone in attendance got a new Bible in their native language, Creole.

Just before the Bibles were distributed, a precious, old Haitian man who was sitting behind me named Tyna, said, "Brother, your message made me very Happy, Happy, Happy inside. Can you please make sure I get a new Bible?" He then showed me his only copy of God's Word. It was old and worn out from much use, and the type-size was small and getting more difficult for him to read as he is aging. As soon as the cases of new Bibles came from the side room, I walked up and pulled one out for Brother Tyna and hand-delivered I to him. He was overcome with joy. "Happy, Happy, Happy!"

And yes, if you read my blog yesterday, the little, crippled boy came back my way. He was smiling all over himself as he approached me for the second day in a row. I still cannot find out his name, but I did find out that he about 6-years-old and was born with crippled legs. It has done nothing to break his spirit, however. He too is "Happy, Happy, Happy!" In fact, the backpack he carries has one word written across the back of it -- "Happy!" So for now, I have named my little buddy "Happy!"

Today's theme at the gathering will be "Surrendering to God's Plan".

Pray God's favor will prevail.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Haitian Highlights

The gathering for pastors and leaders here in Haiti began yesterday. Pastor James Spruill said it was the most people he's ever seen on the first day. The church was full. Between 200-250 coming from miles around to be encouraged in God's calling upon their lives.

After Pastor James set the tone of the gathering by speaking on "Christmas Being God's Mission to Rescue Us", my long-time friend, Pastor Jeff Griffith, challenged all who have been rescued to now become rescuers of others. Also, Pastor Ron Skeeters from Tennessee came to give new Bibles to each pastor in attendance. They came up one-by-one and received their gift. What joy was evident on their faces.

We then toured the local school here in Kenscoff and spent much of the afternoon one-on-one with the children. I gave lifesaver candy to most every kid that came my way. It warmed my heart thinking that the theme of the day had been rescue and lifesaver candy is what I sensed I should pack to bring to Haiti.

The highlight of my day happened as we were sitting alongside the entrance and exit of the property smiling at the children as they were leaving school for long walks home. I saw one little boy coming with what appeared to be extreme cerebral palsy of the legs. Our eyes met. He walked right to me and leaned his back on my chest for about ten minutes. I suppose he was giving his little bent legs time to rest and my open arms looked like a good place to let it happen. I do know my own soul found rest in his resting moments as well. I loaded his little lunchbox with lifesaver candy, prayed blessings over him, had someone take a photo of me and him, and then he was on his way again.

I hope to get a translator today so I can learn his name and maybe his story. God has a plan for this precious Haitian boy. His legs may be crippled but I just know deep in my soul that His life will bring celebration in Heaven as he touches eternal souls on planet earth.

Pastor James told me to be ready to speak today. I covet your prayers. I pray the Haitian people will be able align my life and my words with RomansTenFifteen. I want to encourage them in the Name of Jesus. Yes, I want to deliver Good News here in Haiti in the Name of The Bethlehem Boy.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Bottle of Dasani Water in Jesus' Name

Yesterday was a wonderful day for us here in the mountains of Haiti. Yes, indeed. With the pastors' conference beginning today, yesterday gave us time to go up high on the mountain to visit a school and church with Brother James Spruill, who was instrumental in planting the church and building the school there over fifteen years ago.

After meeting with the precious children at the school house, the four of us here from the States set out for a hike up the mountain nearby. In the second bend of the trail we met a young farmer man from the village. He was very kind and though he spoke broken French (Creole) and I spoke broken English (Southern), our hearts seemed to melt together immediately. He looked thirsty to me, so with the Lord's divine nudging, I gave him my new bottle of Dasani water. When I presented it to him, I said (in my southern broken English of course) "I give you this bottle of water in the name of Jesus." He accepted it with a big smile. It seemed he understood me exactly.

As we prepared to move on beyond the young Haitian man to continue our full-circle journey back to the church house, the young man delightfully reversed his direction and decided to just walk along with us. Maybe he thought we needed a guide or security along the way? Or maybe he was attracted to the presence of Christ within us and among us? Anyway, he just fell in line with us, and we fell in love with him.

Whenever we passed the humble homes of the locals along the mountain pathway, the young farmer man would politely smile and say something to cause the people to greet us with instant openness. Pastor James seemed to think perhaps the young farmer man played guitar at the local church we were there to visit. So the other three of us just took him into our circle of wonder, love, and praise like would a family member.

 For about an hour or more the five of us walked along -- taking pictures, sharing stories, and laughing aloud together. The young farmer man still traveling with us was obviously glad to meet our acquaintance. He seemed to bask in the Holy Spiritual community the other four of us were without a doubt just taking for granted as Jesus-believers.

 Finally, we all arrived back at the church house and school yard. Our pleasant, mountain-journey had reached its conclusion. The young farmer man seemed surprised when I gave him five American dollars and said "Thank you, brother!" He had, after all, taken at least an hour away from his daily duties to make our trip special and though five dollars seemed like a lot of money to him, later I realized that me calling him "brother" may have been the greatest surprise to his ears.

We went into the church house to cool off and the young farmer man just came right in with us. When we entered we asked the local Haitian pastor, Jean Alix, (who had not been with us on the hike) to help us communicate language-wise with our new-found farmer friend. We at last learned through translation that our unknown friend's name was Aristan.
Then the pastor asked him, "Are you a member of this local church?" Aristan answered, "No. I am not even a Christian." The pastor asked him, "Would you like to pray to receive Christ? Would you like to be spiritually saved?" Aristan's eyes moistened up as he answered sincerely, "Yes, I would!"
With wonderful surprise in our souls, we all gathered around Aristan agreeing together as he prayed prayers of repentance for the very first time (and in his own language). Yes, the young farmer man we had met on the mountain asked Christ to be His Savior. What a wonder-filled moment!
To use a phrase of the Haitians: "Mercy Jesus!" It means "Thank You, Jesus!"   

Though I had someone take my picture earlier with Aristan (about the same time we met him, yes, right after I had given him my bottle of Dasani water), after sharing a wonderful embrace and crying a few tears of joy with one another, we had our picture made together again. Next, I took the rubber bracelet off my arm with God's five-word promise from Isaiah 49 engraved on it, "I will never forget you" and placed it on Aristan's arm. Pastor Jean Alix translated the bracelet's written message aloud to our new brother, Aristan.

Yesterday, Tuesday, was indeed a double-blessing day for me.
(1) I realized something of what Jesus might have been saying when He spoke these words in Matthew 10:42 (NLT) -- "And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."

(2) And I was indeed rewarded. A precious Haitian soul that the Lord put on our pathway went from spiritual death to spiritual life.
Let us never underestimate the power of the Lord's presence within us and among us as we walk the pathways of this world He died to save.


Today, I am truly humbled, totally speechless... and surely...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My First Morning in Haiti

It's my first morning in Haiti.

Yes, yesterday afternoon I arrived for the first time in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Poverty is immediately evident, but the beauty of the land and the people is immediately evident as well. The ride up along the mountain road to Kenscoff was sun-kissed. Poinsettias grow wild along the roadside -- God-planted Christmas decor.

Last evening after our arrival, the pastor's family we are staying with prepared a welcome-to-Haiti supper fit for royalty. The main dish was Red Snapper, yes, baked fish. (My fisherman dad would have loved it especially.) Then there was fresh salad with avacado, potatoes, egg plant and of course the staple food here in Haiti, rice and beans. Finally, yesterday was also the pastor's brother's forty-fifth birthday, so we finished our meal with birthday cake.
The Haitians are early to bed and early to rise. Through the Haitian night, the sounds in the mountains are many -- motorcycles winding, roosters crowing sporadically, and then there are the dogs. The best way to define their hollering sounds is to say, "The dogs must be the Haitian form of fireworks without the fire!" It truly sounded like a fireworks show most of the night. Still somehow, the noises all came together in a sweet chorus that ushered in hallowed rest. 

The beauty, the sounds, and especially the Haitian people are all uniquely awesome to me.

Prayers are so appreciated as we anticipate the pastors' conference. Hundreds of pastors are preparing to join us here in the mountains. Please pray that in these mountains created by our Lord, whatever is needed will be provided.


Monday, December 10, 2012

A Wonderful Life -- Duration and Donation

A wonderful life is not measured only in its duration, its overall length, but also in its donation, it's overflowing love. While I believe -- wholeheartedly believe -- that longevity is the greatest convincer, love is surely the greatest contributor.

The greatest illustraton ever of what I am saying is the earthly life that Jesus lived. He walked the earth for only thirty-three years. That's not that long when it comes to duration. However, when we look at the sacrifice of His life, the donation of love He made, we can surely respond with these words: "WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE!!!"


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Out-Heart, Out-Smart

Take courage believers. With our hearts purified by faith and the mind of Christ being formed within us, the enemy cannot out-heart us or out-smart us.
Dear children, you belong to God. So you have won the victory over these people, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
-- 1 John 4:4
Holiness Unto The LORD!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmastime is Giving Time

While visiting my mom and dad in November, our neighbor's home across the street was open for the sale of her personal items. Yes, Mrs. Fleita had recently passed away and now her home was being emptied for the new owners to move in.

I went into the home and looked in the many boxes of home decor, etc. It was, however, in the attic storage that I discovered dusty items that I could remember our life-long neighbor by. So, I left Mrs. Fleita's property with three personal treasures:

1. An old, empty, jewelry box. It must be 75-100 years old.

2. An aged, Italian-crafted, table-top, Bethlehem Nativity.

3. A short poem printed on very old paper about Christmastime.

Here's the short but powerful poem written by a C. Sylvester Green:

Christmastime is giving time;
When gifts would love convey.
Was ever a gift like JESUS given
On any Christmas Day?

Christmastime is giving time;
He gave for man His all.
At Christmastime, our giving time,
His gift to man recall.

I thank God for His gift that words cannot describe.
-- 2 Corinthians 9:15 (GWT)

Let's remember at "Christ is the Season, and We are the Reason!"

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Season. The Reason.

Recently, my wife and I were shopping at a craft store in the Christmas season section. Suddenly I saw that one of the decorations had this message written on it:

Christ is the Season. We are the Reason.

It warmed my soul.

And of course, John 3:16-17 comes clear in my mind:

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave  His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.
-- John 3:16-17 (NLT)


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Urge Us to Pray

The thought that God is longing to find His home and His rest in the hearts of people will urge us to pray. All the thoughts of our weakness and unworthiness will be swallowed up in the wonderful assurance that God has spoken concerning His desire to dwell in humans hearts.
-- Andrew Murray paraphrased

“This is My resting place forever,” He said.
“I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
-- Psalm 132:14 (NLT)

Jesus replied, “All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with each of them.
-- Words of Jesus in John 14:23 (NLT)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Lives Are Not Our Own

What does this verse say to you? I would love to have your comments.

I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.
We are not able to plan our own course.

-- Jeremiah 10:23 (NLT)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"God's Omnipresence is Omnipresent!"

Rev. Charlie's wife of many wonderful years, Mrs. Janelle, went to be with the Lord this past year. He recently left this joy-filled, heart wrenching, yet heartwarming message on my phone's voice mail:

"Kerry, going through the Christmas holidays without my dear wife is very different this year, but I want to report that God's omnipresence is omnipresent!"
...God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you.”
-- Hebrews 13:5b (GWT)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Why the Manger? Why the Cross?

God the Father sent His Son to Bethlehem's Manger to bring Himself to us. He then sent His Son to Calvary's Cross to bring us to Himself.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Front Yard is A' Glow. I Still Believe!

Yesterday, I took a vacation day to work on setting up the traditional Christmas decorations in our front yard.

The weather was mild for this time of the year, so I gladly got the big ladder out and began my project by first hanging our white "icicle" lights from the front porch roof. A few of the bulbs are burned out, but I think we can at least get this one more year of use from them.

Next, I set-up our wooden, silhouette, Nativity scene. We have Joseph, Mary, the Baby Jesus in a manger, two lambs, a shepherd with a silver bell in his hand, a donkey sitting off to the side, and a sign with the three letters -- J-O-Y -- painted boldly in shiny silver paint on the front.

Finally, I put our spotlight in front of the Nativity scene, and as I write this blog post it's just after midnight and let me tell you that "our front yard is a' glow again with the Christmas Spirit for another season of holy days". Yes, indeed. It's our own version of Bethlehem with the spotlight serving as the bright, Bethlehem Star.

Everyone who knows anything about me knows that I absolutely love Christmas and that includes the whole month of December as well. Today, as I was pulling out our decor for another Christmas, I must admit I seemed a little more tired than I remember being last December. I'm not complaining, just reporting. So, maybe it took me a little longer to complete the refreshing routine. Refreshing routine?" Yes. When everything was in place, it seemed my heart, mind, soul, and strength just exhaled all of the weariness and simultaneously I wondrously inhaled fresh inspiration into the depths of my being.

And tonight, we got to witness our local church's Christmas-theme, Dessert Theater. It was a very heart-warming, homegrown, Christmastime story written by a precious family in our church. The theme was about forgiveness being God's reason for Christmas.

At the end of the performance, as pastor, I came to pray the Benediction; but not before giving an invitation for those walking in darkness to turn towards The Wonderful One called The Light of the World -- the Bethlehem Boy. I reminded everyone that Christmas is God saying "I'm not mad at you. I am mad about you. I want to forgive you, pick up the broken pieces of your heart, and give you my peace."

A holy hush filled the room as we prayed. It's Christmastime again, my friends. I know that for some it's a difficult time of the year, however, if we will risk opening our hearts, I STILL BELIEVE without doubt, it can be the most wonderful time of the year and the most wonderful season of our lives to date.  


Thursday, November 29, 2012


How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing... it is irresistible. -- C.S. Lewis

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
-- Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All Heaven Rejoices

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. -- Words of Jesus in Luke 15:7 (NKJV)

This song like pasted below is sung by my dear friend, Jim Cole, and his friend, Phil Keaggy,is a classic song of rejoicing:

Let's make Heaven rejoice be seeking the lost with the Good Shepherd.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Go Out Weeping, Come Home Singing

5 Those who cry while they plant
will joyfully sing while they harvest.
6 The person who goes out weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
will come home singing, carrying his bundles of grain.
-- Psalm 126:5-6 (GWT)

Lord, do not let the temporary tears of earthly years cause me to lose focus of the never-ending joy that is mine now and forever, simply and profoundly because I belong exclusively to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.  

You are Faithful... i am..

Monday, November 26, 2012

Made For Another World

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
-- C.S. Lewis

This world is not our Home. We're just passing through!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Remembering The Seemingly Unimportant

 “The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for Me.’"
-- Spoken by Jesus in Matthew 25:40 (GWT)

Lord, help us to turn our Christian passion into Christlike practice by remembering the seemingly unimportant ones among us and beyond us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Question of the Night

We've all heard of "The Question of the Day" but how about "The Question of the Night?"

So here's "The Question of the Night?"

When you are all alone in the dark, do you like the person you are?

It has also been said, "Character is who we are, when we are in the dark." In this world that has become increasingly lit-up and transparent 24/7, we should from time-to-time find our way to the night so we can test who it is we really are.
Lord, make us to be night lights in the dark for Your glory.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Longing After God

I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself.
-- Oswald Chambers
Lord, let's make Your Life in me irresistible to those "We" encounter.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Standard of Living, Standard of Giving

If and when my income increases, it is not my standard of living that should rise, but my standard of giving. -- John Wesley paraphrased

Today let us give THANKS and keep GIVING extravagantly.

Lord, as You continue to pour out Your blessings on me, make sure Your mind, oh Christ, continues to increase in me. Indeed, I pray that Your Christlike compassion will be the proof of a pure heart within me as I cheerfully allow You to give more and more to others through my life. In Jesus' name. Amen. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I Want (Deo Volente)

Lord help me to live with little, even no pretense...

I want integrity through and through...

Let me be characterized by unconditional love and loyalty to You, my God, and to my family, and to my friends...

I want to live with invisible faith proven by my visible actions and responses to whatever life throws my way...

Let me be loved, appreciated and respected most by the one who calls me "husband" and the ones who call me "daddy"...

I long to be real and vulnerable in the midst of uncertain times...

Always trusting You, my God, when it seems You are silent...

Let "Deo Volente -- Whatever God Wants" -- be the cry of my heart.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Unspeakable Privilege

May our hearts really feel that there is no honor or joy on earth at all equal to the unspeakable privilege of waiting upon God and interceding for the blessing He delights to give.
-- Andrew Murray

Joy. Joy. Joy.

Monday, November 19, 2012


These four words have been so real in my mind as the Thanksgiving Holiday in the USA approaches:

Our family has so much to give thanks to the LORD for. Especially, and specifically, we give thanks that on Saturday night, after nineteen days, our daughter and son-in-law were able to move back into their apartment in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The electricity was finally restored after Hurricane Sandy's devastating blow to the northeastern states.

How glad we were that the LORD saw fit to finally get them out of the hotel and into their home. Our gratitude causes us to keep praying for those still in desperate need and to keep giving to others as the LORD has been so faithful to give to us.

May God bless your life during this week with a desire to Give THANKS and to keep GIVING.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Whose Am i?

Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, Whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves.
-- 1 Corinthians 6:19 (GWT)

Lord, i want to go beyond being Your follower. i want to be Your sanctuary. i truly believe that You desire for me to go past merely imitating You in everything i do, to ever-increasing intimacy with You. More than impressing You, You want to possess me. Let it happen.

Whose am i? i am Exclusively God's! Yes, i am, I Am's! And... i am...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Peace to Jerusalem & Prosperity to You

Everyone who knows me, knows I love the Holy Land. But it's not just the land, we've got family there, too. Through the night my mind of prayer has been interceding for Jerusalem and our brothers and sisters there. Please join me in praying the prayer of the Psalmist:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May those who love you prosper.
-- Psalm 122:6 (GWT)

Peace to Jerusalem and prosperity to you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Winning the Attitude

Lord, in times when others want to tangle me up in theological debates, remind me that winning the attitude is to be desired above winning the argument. Live within me, Lord, in such a way that my life lived over the long-haul will indeed be Your winning argument. I don't always have to be right about everything, but I do long to be in right relationship with You every time, yes, all-the-time, my God.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prayers for Peace & Deep-Crafted Encouragement

I received this inspiring e-mail from a dear brother, Keith, early today:
My Friend this came to my mind this morning.

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)

Lamentations 3:21-24 - Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." (NIV)

Be with us, Lord Jesus, when we walk through the valley, knowing that You went before us. It is You who suffered and died for us, to forgive us our sins and to give us eternal life. Comfort us and keep us close to You in the days that lie ahead. Give us patience to wait. Strengthen our faith so that we may profess, even in our trials, that "Jesus is Lord".

Our God is more than able! Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Also, yesterday, I received this heart-warming message from another dear brother, Brian:
I am praying for deep-crafted encouragement for you right now my friend.
I am Grateful. Kerry i am.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Can I Be Transparent?

Let me vulnerably share a few words from my own recent journey...

It seems to always happen, but it always takes me by surprise. After I speak encouraging words into the lives of others, without doubt, discouragement ultimately seems to catch up to me unawares a few days later.

For example, last week I preached two revivals in my homeland of North Carolina, yes my holy land. The Lord was so obviously near and dear as I passionately proclaimed The Good News of Jesus Christ. The listeners were hungry and many responded accordingly.

I received a card from one of the revival attendees in the mailbox just yesterday. Here's what she wrote:

God can touch the world through a word kindly spoken,
through a heartfelt prayer.
Thank you for allowing God to use your words, prayers,
and messages to share His message of love.
Every night was so appreciated.
May His Best always be upon you.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel.
Mark 16:15

The card of encouragement was signed, Ann.
She even added a colorful sticker announcing Our God Reigns.

I am humbled that I get to represent my Lord by going into all the world to preach and to pray His Word and His words. I love encouraging eternal souls to seek ever-increasing intimacy with the Lord. I am also touched deeply by compassion-filled cards like Ann's. No doubt God inspired her to take the time to send me these kind words of inspiration.

Still, can I be transparent, very transparent? Sometime last night, waves of disillusionment crashed in on me as I was sleeping, and I awoke this morning (a few days after encouraging others) with a layer or two of discouragement dampening my heart, mind, soul, and strength.

I remember testifying aloud many times that my spiritual gift must be encouragement, because it seems the adversary always follows up the seasons I especially deliver encouragement to others with large quantities of discouragement in my own life. Yet, I will, with the help of my God who reigns within me, not cease to carry Good News to others just because heaviness seems to be included in the price-tag.

In fact, as I am writing this very blog post, God just this minute, had one of the men who prays with me every Tuesday morning to send me this text message on my phone:

Life may be hard, but Jesus is stronger. I pray that you have a low stress day! I am praying for you, brother. I love you and Jesus, both. Lee

Can I be transparent? God's perfect timing puts everything into perspective -- seasons of encouraging others and seasons of being personally discouraged. I pray the title of this Blog Site, Beautiful Feet,  will continue to characterize my life to my very final breath.

How can people tell the Good News if no one sends them? As Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of the messengers who announce the Good News.”
-- Romans 10:15 (GWT)

Can I be transparent? For Ann's encouraging card, for Lee's uplifting text message, and for the prayers of those of you who faithfully or even occasionally follow this blog, please know that forever and today I am so humbled. I am also, so very...

...Grateful to God and Grateful for you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Expect Persecutions, Anticipate Celebrations

It seems this week, the Lord has been whispering these words to my inner being: Expect persecutions, life is hard. Anticipate celebrations, harvest will come.

In other words, expect temporary troubles to come. But after that make no doubt about it, because eternal celebration will indeed happen as lost souls find their Way in Christ..

This verse has been encouraging me this week as well:
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
-- Psalm 30:5 (KJV)

And this verse of the holy hymn, Amazing Grace, convinces me to carry on until the celebration is realization:

Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Everything in Heaven and on Earth is Yours, Lord!

11 Greatness, power, splendor, glory, and majesty are Yours, Lord,
because everything in heaven and on earth is Yours.
The kingdom is Yours, Lord,
and You are honored as head of all things.
12 Riches and honor are in front of You.
You rule everything.
You hold power and strength in Your hands,
and You can make anyone great and strong.

-- 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
And I am Yours, too.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

When Life is Hard, God is Still Good!

A few years ago our local church hosted the wonderful Christian singer, Janet Paschal, for a concert. Her pianist had recently moved on to greener pastures and her accompanying keyboardist  for our evening of praise and worship was her studio pianist.

I remember he was so very humble and in talking with him before the concert he told me he was just playing for his dear friend, Janet, until she could hire someone more permanent. He also told me that songwriting was his real gift and passion.

When I asked what his most favorite song written so far was, he said, Life is Hard, But God is Good. Little did he realize his song was also a theme song for my own life. Both the songwriter and the song-listener were equally moved way down deep in our souls. It was a God-moment of inspiration.

Honestly, I cannot totally recall the songwriter's name. I want to say "Joel" maybe? He probably likes it that way. Like I said, "he is a very humble guy". Still, I have never forgotten the title and especially the truth of His song. Yes, I always remember that even when life is hard, God is still good.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Need a Life Guardian?

1I look up toward the mountains.
Where can I find help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let you fall.
Your guardian will not fall asleep.
4 Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps.
5 The Lord is your guardian.
The Lord is the shade over your right hand.
6 The sun will not beat down on you during the day,
nor will the moon at night.
7 The Lord guards you from every evil.
He guards your life.
8 The Lord guards you as you come and go,
now and forever.
-- Psalm 121 (GWT)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Oh, the Joys of Those Who Trust...

1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and He turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.

4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
-- Psalm 40:1-4 (NLT)

I will wait patiently for the Lord...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Take Heart

After the recent political elections in the USA, I sense the Lord saying to me, "Now maybe my people will quit fretting about their presidential choices, yes, stop focusing on the White House and return their passions to Their King of Kings and renew the loyalties they should have had all along for My House."

The future of our human existence as believers and lovers of King Jesus will probably not get any "easier" in this seemingly hell-bent world, however our Lord has overcome the world. I expect the hard times will lead to new persecutions for us, but also to a plentiful Harvest of souls for our Lord's Kingdom. So, let it be so. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
-- Words of King Jesus in John 16:33 (NLT)

Here's a very long and inspirational YouTube:
Click here: the Gaithers - Israel homecoming2 Jerusalem - YouTube
Let's take heart as we anticipate an eternal harvest in our lifetimes. Then, we will see Jesus!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wait for His Help

So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him
so He can show you His love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
Blessed are those who wait for His help.

-- Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)

Wait, trust, hope, and rest in the Lord.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2 Chronicles 7:14 Amplified

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
-- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (Amplified)

Let it be so, Lord! Let it be so!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wisdom Gives Life

11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance. It is an advantage to everyone who sees the sun. 12 Wisdom protects us just as money protects us, but the advantage of wisdom is that it gives life to those who have it. -- Ecclesiastes 7:11-12 (GWT)

Lord, be Thou my Vision, and be Thou my Wisdom, as well.

Lord, let me lose my mind to gain Yours. In Jesus' Name. Amen. 



Sunday, November 4, 2012

All that are Willing to Hear...

"I look on all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty, to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation”
-- John Wesley

Saturday, November 3, 2012

White House, God's House

The salvation of America does not depend on the White House it depends on God's House. -- Leonard Ravenhill

Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
-- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

Lord have mercy...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Legacy: A Flame and A Fragrance

My wife and I really like scented candles. Well, at least we like the scented candles that give off a bright flame and a pleasing aroma. In light of these thoughts, this morning I realize that our lives are like scented candles, in that, we all have a wick to be lit and we are wax that especially when heated gives off a scent.

Lord, I pray today that my life will give off a bright flame of Your compassion and that the scent of my soul will not be an odorous stench but a pleasing smell to You and to others. I want to carry within my earthly existence Your eternal flame and Your ever-loving fragrance. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reading from Mark 14 today, I realized that the lady in the story, Mary of Bethany, was a living flame for others, she left a loving fragrance for Jesus, and her story of sacrifice is still warming hearts today. On the other hand, the man in the story, Judas Iscariot, let his flame be blown out by betrayal, and left behind an odorous memory as his legacy.

1 Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. 2 “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or the people may riot.” 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” 10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
-- John 14:1-11 (NIV)

Lord, let my legacy be a flame and a fragrance for Your glory.
Your Name, my God, is Faithful and my name is...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Manhattan Rescue - "Daddy, Can You Come?"

If you read my blog earlier this week, you know that our daughter and son-in-law live in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The Lord recently saw them through the mega-storm, Sandy, as the tropical storm surge brought 14-feet of tide waters along the Battery Park neighborhood where they live. That's the highest tide in New York City since 1821.

Well, still days after the storm, there is still no power, gas, water, or transit in Manhattan. So, about noon yesterday, I texted my daughter to see if she would like me to drive the 350-plus miles and attempt to get into the city and bring them home for a few days just to get their bearings. She replied humbly, "Daddy, can you come?"

A few minutes later I was on interstate 81 north in my Ford making my first trip ever to New York City. As night was falling, I reached the outskirts of the Big Apple. I had heard Mayor Bloomberg was limiting cars through the Lincoln Tunnel, my only way in. It took some time in traffic gridlock, but finally after a few attempts, I came through the tunnel into Midtown and made an immediate right on 34th Street (Yes, it's "The Miracle on 34th Street" street.) to drive towards Lower Manhattan.

After a few blocks of driving through lighted sections of the city, without warning total darkness engulfed me. All traffic lights were out. The skyscrapers were in blackout. It was Halloween.  A full moon moved in and out of the clouds to my left. It was eerie. (I never felt such deep emotion entering a city for the first time, except for my first entry into Jerusalem in the year 2000 and those emotions were much different than these emotions.)

As I made my way through the financial district, the full moon gave me hope as it kept reappearing between the tall, silhouetted, steel structures. Though I was not able to really read the road signs very well, my GPS eventually said "arriving at destination". I called my daughter's cell phone and said "I am close." The joy in her voice was unfathomable. In the dark streets we finally found each other. The journey out of Manhattan was much more delightful for the three of us, simply and profoundly because we were all together and we were all leaving the darkness in the rear view mirror while looking through the windshield towards the welcoming lights.

It was a long and wonderful ride back to Virginia. I was the only one awake for most of the trip. At 5 a.m., we pulled onto the driveway at our home. I was so humbled and grateful.

Today, has been a good day so far. And, yes, I am humbled speechless. In case you are wondering, I do indeed sense a message from God's Holy Word working through my mind in light of this experience. It feels an awful lot like The Christmas Story, actually, in that, Father God (in the Person of His one and only Son, Jesus) left his home of comfort and light and came into our dark dilemma to rescue us, His children, by bringing us out of our darkness and back home with Him.

This song is echoing in my heart as well:

Keep praying please, because in the next day or so we need to make a return trip to NYC so our daughter's and our son-in-law's life together can hopefully begin to get back to some sense of "normal". Today's news is still discouraging, saying it could be weeks before power is restored to some of the buildings in their neighborhood. However, they do have to get back to work. I rest in knowing that God is already at work.

And please pray for all the precious souls at risk in the northeastern United States. That's really what I was so emotional about when I drove into New York City for the first time last night.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bless His Holy Name

In 1975, my Grandaddy Gray went to be with Jesus. My Granny Margery loved that man so. When she came out of the hospital hallway where she had just closed his eyes in death, these words came from Granny's lips to her beloved ones in the hospital waiting room:

Let's go home my children. "...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." -- Job 1:21b (KJV)

Years later, Granny passed to be with Jesus. I envision her and Grandaddy blessing God in Heaven.

Bless His Holy Name.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In the Aftermath of the Mega-Storm? Pray!

Let us be in prayer today following the aftermath of the Mega-storm named "Sandy" that hit the east coast of the United States last evening. The storm surge in lower Manhattan, New York City, produced the highest tide there since the year 1821.

Our daughter and her husband who live in a 5th floor apartment in lower Manhattan just contacted us a few minutes ago to say the high water is beginning to recede and except for a loss of electricity they are fine. In her words, "It's less scary now."

Devastation will be assessed in many of the north eastern states as the day unfolds. Loss of life is already being reported. Also, the stubborn storm is still wreaking havoc as it continues to move inland. Especially, those in low-lying regions are experiencing hardship unique to their own experiences. Let us pray for those who await rescue and for those who will arrive to rescue.

This song link pasted below by Kathryn Scott is on my heart this morning. Maybe some in the wake of this severe weather will listen and be encouraged and know that they are loved and there is Hope..

Click here: I Belong - Kathryn Scott - YouTube

Please, Lord have mercy... and speak to us "Peace be still."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Who's Responsible for Lost People?

There are more lost people in the world, this morning, than ever there has been in history; and the Church of Jesus Christ is responsible for them. -- Leonard Ravenhill

The two saddest words imaginable have to be... too late.

“The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
and we are not saved.”

-- Jeremiah 8:20 (GWT)

Lord have mercy...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Speak to Me and Through Me

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing Lord to you and encouraging to others. Speak to me and through me, Lord, I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bathed with Tears?

When was the last time you were in a prayer meeting that was bathed with tears or someone got angry because of the devil's monopoly of the world? -- Leonard Ravenhill
Lord, have mercy...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Imprison Me

Make me a captive, Lord.
And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand,
Imprison me within Thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.

-- George Matheson

Lord, I am exclusively Yours.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Humility is...

Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble. -- Andrew Murray

You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.
This is what the Lord requires from you:
to do what is right,
to love mercy,
and to live humbly with your God.

-- Micah 6:8 (GWT)

Let us humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Why should the world take us seriously when we don't God seriously?
-- Leonard Ravenhill

Could it be that the reason the whole world doesn't turn to Jesus is because those who claim to be believers seem no different in their passions and the focus of their daily lives than the nonbelievers?

Please Love Jesus Passionately!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Holy Proof

There's only one proof of the Holy Spirit in your life and that's a holy life. -- Leonard Ravenhill
Scripture says, “Be holy, because I am holy.”
-- 1 Peter 1:16 (GWT)
Holiness Unto The LORD!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prayer is Not... Prayer is...

Our minds must be saturated by the revelation of prayer until we learn in every detail to pray in the Holy Spirit. Prayer is not an exercise; it is life.
-- Oswald Chambers
Just like breathing, we should pray all the time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Legacy of Sweet Extravagance

6 Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease. 7 While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to Him with a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on His head. 8 The disciples were irritated when they saw this. They asked, “Why did she waste it like this? 9 It could have been sold for a high price, and the money could have been given to the poor.” 10 Since Jesus knew what was going on, He said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have Me with you. 12 She poured this perfume on My body before it is placed in a tomb. 13 I can guarantee this truth: Wherever this Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
-- Matthew 26:6-13 (GWT)

Dear Lord, help us, like the worshipper at Bethany, to lavish sweet, extravagant worship on You, because surely such a spontaneous love breeds a legacy that lives on beyond our lifetimes. In Your Holy Name, Dear Lord, help us to move above sincere generosity to sweet, undeniable extravagance in our living and in our giving . Amen.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Your Holy Word, My Many Words

Lord, surely I want to be a man of Your Holy Word,
and not merely a man of many words.
Your Word, my Lord, is LIFE!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Human Performance, Holy Intimacy

Lord remind me that Holy-Spiritual success happens...
...not by human performance on my part,
but by holy intimacy with Your heart.
Not by might, not by power, but by Your Spirit, my Lord.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Eclipse My Foolishness

Absorb the aroma of this beautiful and vulnerable e-mail testimony that I received from a college-age daughter of the Living God after a Bible study on the subject of "Gaining an Audience with God in Personal Prayer":
There are still those days when I tell Yahweh-- the One who just IS, was, and will be, and the Creator of the universe-- that whatever He's doing isn't working and He's not listening! I have to give praise for His abounding mercy that eclipses my foolishness.

This is my verbal prayer in the afterglow of her written testimony:
God, I want You to be God all by Yourself. While You value me, you do not need my help to be Who You are. Please help me to trust You totally and to love You passionately for forever and today. Amen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Communion With God, Communication With People

The blessings of communion with God can easily be lost by entering too deeply into communication with people. The spirit of inner prayer must be carried over into a holy watchfulness throughout the day. -- Andrew Murray

Click here: More Precious Than Silver with Lyrics - YouTube

Lord, nothing I desire compares to communion with You.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Personal Revival

If we are living on this earth then we need revival, continually. Let's pray together that our Lord will give us hearts for personal revival on a never-ending basis. Yes, brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus, let us join together in one cry for renewed intimacy with Almighty God and for the rescue of lost souls before it's too late.

Lord, revive me according to Your great generosity.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Soul-Companion: Christ Now Lives In Me.

When the two disciples recognized Jesus as He broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, He "vanished from their sight" (Luke 24:31). The recognition and the disappearance of Jesus are one and the same event. Why? Because the disciples recognized that their Lord Jesus, the Christ, now lives in them ... that they have become Christ-bearers. Therefore, Jesus no longer sits across the table from them as the stranger, the guest, the friend with whom they can speak and from whom they can receive good counsel. He has become one with them. He has given them His own Spirit of Love. Their companion on the journey has become the companion of their souls. They are alive, yet it is no longer them, but Christ living in them.
-- Henri Nouwen

"Christ now lives in me..." -- See Galatians 2:20.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

After the Last Tear Falls

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.
-- Revelation 21:4 (GWT)

This song touches my souls so sacredly. Take time to consider the words.

Click here: After the Last Tear Falls/Andrew Peterson - YouTube

God's Love Never Fails and His Hope Surely Prevails!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vision Painting

When the devil paints you a vision of your past, simply paint him a vision of his future. (Using the Word of God, of course.)
Yes, read aloud to the ancient Accuser from the Word of God in Revelation 20:10 -- The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were also thrown. They will be tortured day and night forever and ever. (GWT)
Holiness Unto The LORD!

Friday, October 12, 2012

No Matter What I May Lose, I Choose...

A few days ago, a young lady in our local church who loves the Lord with all of her heart sent me this as her "verse for the day":
The crucible is for refining silver and the smelter for gold,
but the One Who purifies hearts by fire is the Lord.
-- Proverbs 17:3 (GWT)

After reading the verse this classic song by Steve Green came immediately to my mind. It was a theme song of sorts for me personally back in 1987 as I willingly surrendered my all to my Almighty God:

No matter what I may lose, I choose... the Refiner's fire.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Reveal the Heavenly Mysteries

The Spirit Who is in you is prepared to:
(1) teach you
(2) to lead you to the cross
(3) and to make you know something of what the crucified Christ wills to do for you and in you.

He wants you to spend time with Him, so that He may reveal the Heavenly mysteries to you. He will teach you what is meant by:
(4) the denial of self
(5) taking up your cross
(6) losing your life
(7) and following (knowing) Him.
-- Andrew Murray

Lord, please reveal your Heavenly mysteries to me and through me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Belong Exclusively to God and...

Belong Exclusively to God and be unsettled by nothing.
Look to the Lord and fear no one else.
Remember, this life is only temporary.
Eternity never ends, neither does God's Love.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Endure patiently on earth and confidently await His return.

Belong exclusively to God and you will want for nothing else.
Let God sustain you for His grace is enough.
Say to God: "Whatever You want is what I desire."
Seek to know Him in ever-increasing intimacy.
Make trusting Him totally your life's vision.  
Please Love Jesus Passionately!
So be it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Certain Expectation

We must, by faith in what God will do in us, appropriate (take exclusive possession of) the heavenly life of Christ as He lived it here on earth. We must have the certain expectation that the Spirit, Who filled Jesus with the Word and prayer, will also accomplish that work in us.
-- Andrew Murray


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Living, The Dying

A few years back as I was living a local rest home after visiting a 90-year-old widower, it seemed the Lord whispered these words deep within me:

You only love the living as much as you care for the dying.
Today, perhaps the Lord will remind us to pray for and even to contact someone who is specifically nearing the end of their lives. Let's express the Lord's compassion to all  generations, yes to the young and the aged, the living and the dying with the His holy passion to rescue the perishing in all generations.
Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
-- Ephesians 3:21 (NLT)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Yours Truly... Humbled

Today, the pastors of our local church (including "yours truly") were showered with appreciation that was truly over-the-top touching. I always sign my blog posts "Grateful". Today, another word seems even more appropriate...


I just read through many cards. One precious church member wrote,"Please never leave our church. We would surely be lost without your leadership."

Talk about "touching". I am humbled, indeed! Yet, I am keenly and confidently aware that while they might find themselves at a temporary loss if and when God ordains my departure, the local church would still be ultimately led by the True Shepherd Who laid down His Life to find His lost flock -- Jesus. After all, His name is on the sign -- Church of THE NAZARENE.

Read John, chapter 10.

Yours Truly... Humbled.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dream Destination: Happily-Ever-After

A few years ago in a magazine interview I was asked what my dream destination was? The answer was easy: "To walk my daughter down the aisle to be married someday." Today was that someday. I have been blessed beyond measure.

"Happily-ever-after to our only darling daughter, Allison, and to her beloved husband, Joshua!"

I was blessed to write their marriage vows... yes, I cried, of course, I cried... glad tears...

Humbled.... speechless...