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.