Thursday, March 18, 2021



     When I was somewhere between five and seven years old, I had an experience that has stayed with me down through the years. I have thought of it often. It was a spiritual experience, but I had no concept of spirituality at that time in my life. I was sitting alone on the floor in the bedroom I shared with my sister when suddenly it felt like I was in another sphere. And two questions came to my mind. “Who am I, and what am I here for?” Even as a child it felt other worldly to me, but I knew nothing of the Lord. And those two soul-searching questions that most adults ask at some point in their lives were out of my childish grasp. I have no idea why that happened to me, except possibly God was speaking to me as an introduction to things that would come. Or maybe He was introducing Himself to me. I don’t know. But I do know that I was not afraid. I simply felt a strong sense of the presence of God with me although I didn’t know who He was at the time. Nor did I understand what was happening.

Ecclesiastes 3, verses 11 and 12 says, “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good as long as they live.” (Amplified Bible)

The first part of this scripture lets us know that regardless of our circumstances, we can rejoice in our God and praise Him, because we know He holds everything in His hands – and that includes you and me. So, even when difficult times arise, we can rest securely in Him.

There are times when we think our circumstances are hopeless and we feel helpless. We can’t see anything good in them or how anything good could ever come out of them. All we can see is darkness. In those times we need to wait on the Lord. We have His promise that as we wait on Him, He will renew our strength. Our focus needs to be on Him as we wait, not on our problems.

Matthew Henry tells us to “judge nothing before the time.” In other words, wait and see the end of the thing before you gauge its worth or purpose. He continues, saying, “While the picture is in drawing, and the house in building, we see not the beauty of either; but when the artist has given them their finishing strokes, then all appears very good.”

As of this writing, a friend of mine and her husband are in the process of building their house. I don’t mean they have hired someone to do it and are diligently watching over the process. They are literally building the house with their own hands. The progress is slow and they have been at it for a long time. Their progress has been slowed down by rain, cold and waiting for materials to arrive, but they haven’t quit. They continue to work. Right now the house is far less than adequate to live in because it isn’t finished. But they keep working because they know that the end result will be much different than it is while it is still in the building process. When it is all finished, they will have a house to shelter them and one to be proud of in the future. What they see right now is not the end result. They will have to wait for the finishing strokes.

When all we can see is evil, chaos and hopelessness, we can rest assured that God hasn’t put in the finishing strokes yet. He is not through. God sees the beginning, middle, and the end all at the same time. He knows ahead of time how every circumstance in our lives will turn out. And He is in control. We have His promise that He will work all things (good and bad) for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We can trust Him.

This Scripture in Ecclesiastes tells us something else that is of great importance to us and has a tremendous impact on our lives. It tells us that God has planted eternity in the human heart. It is a mysterious longing that nothing in this world can satisfy. It is amazing that most people try to fill it with things and relationships of this world. There is a longing in the human soul that searches for purpose, a chance to make a difference, and to be fulfilled. Not on the outside with “things”, but on the inside with real, lasting peace, purpose and harmony with God. God made us that way to draw us to Himself and to the wonderful kingdom we can share with Him.

So, every heart reaches out for something beyond themselves and beyond the confines of this world system. That “something” can only be found in Jesus Christ and the new life that comes when He awakens our spirit and we are born into the kingdom of God.

Those of us who know Him, and have found new life in His kingdom need to share that message with others. But it seems as if we are missing something and neglecting to share the true essence, the depth and life of God’s truth, His grace, and His teachings. And a lot of people are still spiritually starving. Some people don’t want any part of Jesus because He has been misrepresented by so many in the church.

People need to see Jesus in us in His power, His love, His teachings and His grace. They need to see the Jesus who walked the shores of Galilee and taught the people with simple, yet life-changing words. Jesus, Who spoke with power and authority. Others can only see Jesus as He works through us, as we humbly follow Him and share His teachings and show His love and His power. We all need the very essence of Jesus, not the religious piety of man or the trappings of religion. We need the presence of Jesus constantly with us. We all need the Holy Spirit of God at work in us. Those who meet Jesus face to face allow Him to change their lives so they can follow Him. Their spirits are awakened and they become brand new creatures. Those who are not changed are not in the kingdom of God. They may accept the rites of the church and join, keeping the rules, but they will lack the power of the Spirit in their lives. They will remain the same within.

If you were invited to a formal dinner, when you arrived, you would probably see the best china and silverware all set in perfect order on the table along with glistening crystal goblets.

The napkins may even be folded into the pretty shape of flowers, and the table decorations may be the most beautiful anyone has ever seen. The background music may be perfect for the occasion and all the serving dishes in place.

Even with all that has been prepared, if there is no food in the plates or drink in the goblets, the people will go hungry and thirsty. They will leave no better than they were before they came. They will remain hungry because superficial decorations could not fill them. They came and saw the beauty but did not partake, so they left empty.

What are we offering to those who are hungry and thirsty for Jesus? Are we offering them the superficial plates, glasses and decorations only? Are we offering them music without worship and messages without Jesus’ teachings? What are we offering those who have not had the longing of their hearts satisfied?

Jesus tells us that He is the Bread of life. If we eat this spiritual bread, we will not hunger again. Jesus said that He is the living water. When we drink this water, we will never thirst again, because we will have a river of living water flowing in and through us.

When we eat the Bread of His Word and drink the water of His Spirit, we will be filled and refreshed. Our soul’s hunger will be satisfied day by day, because He is living in us day by day.

The trappings surrounding a good meal cannot take the place of the meal itself. Neither can the trappings of religion or the things of this world fill a hungry heart. We must experience Jesus for ourselves and make the choice to daily eat the Bread of His Word and drink the water of His Spirit. When we do, we can be vessels of hope and peace to those who are hungry and thirsty for more.

Let’s offer the Bread of Life to the hungry and the Living Water to the thirsty. Don’t offer them the shell of religion, but the life of the Spirit of God. The trappings of a good meal cannot take the place of the meal itself. Neither can the trappings of religion or the things of this world fill a hungry heart.

Maybe you are still searching to fill that soul hunger. What are you trying to fill it with? It can never be filled with busyness, a new house, a new car, or a new spouse. Even money, fame, honor and prestige will still leave the emptiness intact. Only Jesus can satisfy the longing soul, because only Jesus can cleanse us from sin and awaken our spirit to fellowship with Him. Only Jesus can make us truly, spiritually alive!


The pull of eternity in our hearts can only be filled by Jesus.

And when he makes us alive, we are truly alive!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021


 My new book is now available on Amazon as a kindle book or paperback. Here is little information about it.




release hold of something that was in grasp;

stop, cease or discontinue;

depart from;

give up

One day Jesus gave a strong teaching that caused many of the people to stop following Him. When he asked His disciples if they were going to leave Him, too, Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” It seems Peter had thought about the consequences of leaving Jesus. If he asked himself “what then?” that would probably be when he found his answer.

Life can be very difficult. Who hasn’t felt such despair that they wanted to quit? Yet a glimmer of hope in some souls refuses to die. They know that when they are with Jesus, they are in the best situation possible, even with the trials and persecution. When we are tempted to quit, it’s time to fan our flame of hope. We can do that by examining the lives of those who had every earthly reason to give up, but every heavenly reason to keep going. Their secret? Their relationship with Jesus.

Of course, When Is It Time to Quit? is a rhetorical question. We all know it is never time to quit serving God or to give up our faith in Him. But we have probably also felt the temptation to quit many times during the heat of the battle. This book will share some of our common battles as Christians and our common solution. 

The difference in whether we stand or fall lies in one thing that is so simple few will actually do it. It is to increase our faith and spiritual stamina by maintaining a close relationship with God and His Word. It may sound too simplistic, but that is how each of the examples used in the book prevailed in dire circumstances. Their relationship with God was carefully and consistently maintained, giving them the wisdom, courage and faith to come through the toughest of times. They knew God intimately and trusted Him against all odds. To know Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to share the fellowship of His suffering and the power of His resurrection. Just as plants with the deepest roots are the hardest to blow over or pull up, so people who have an intimate, active relationship with Jesus are those who “withstand in the evil day”.

The Bible explains the stories of the people in the Old Testament and the New Testament were written for “our admonition” and as examples for us. He knew that sometimes we need a pattern we can hold up against our circumstances to show us the way. The Bible is full of examples that were recorded specifically for that reason, and in When Is It Time to Quit? We will explore ten of those biblical examples. They dared to put their trust in God…and won!  

Monday, March 1, 2021



“And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) Jesus is Truth. He is the Way and the Life.

             Can you separate God’s grace from His truth? Don’t worry, I’m not going to delve into a theological debate bringing up all kinds of proof for one side or another, but I have seen that they go hand-in-hand. They work together to bring us wholeness and peace with God. Together they teach us to understand sin and all of its destructive power. And together they lead us to repentance and a change of heart that sets us free as never before. By grace and truth, we can enjoy the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, changing us into the image of Christ.

            Once we have become a new creation in Christ and have understanding of His grace and truth, how are we to live in this world? It is a world that is ungrateful, angry, full of rage, bitterness, unforgiveness, slander, violence - and the list could go on. The fact is we live in perilous times. And if we are not careful, we can very easily get pulled into this world’s rage, bitterness and unforgiveness.

But is the answer to our dilemma to return evil for evil? Scripture tells us it is not the answer. That would only add to the chaos around us. The Word of God tells us vengeance belongs to God. He will repay, and we don’t have to defend ourselves.

So, how are God’s people supposed to act and respond to a world in chaos? The answer to that question is two-fold – Grace and Truth. We are to remember to walk in grace and truth and extend it to others. Christ’s followers are to have no part in any ungodly behavior, regardless of what others do. We are to be people of peace, not confusion or evil.

Ephesians 4:31-32 teaches us to do this. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Let’s break it down and see what that means to us individually.

·         We are to be kind, treating others the way we want to be treated. I think most people want to be treated fairly and with respect and understanding.

·         Then we are to be tender-hearted, not cold and callous to the needs of others, but looking beneath the surface of the anger and seeing the real problem. If we were in their position, we might be angry too. We need to refrain from jumping to conclusions about a person until we know the whole truth.

·         Forgiving one another - We all need forgiveness from time to time. It’s easier to see what we have done wrong as a mistake that needs to be forgiven than it is to see it that way when someone’s “mistake” was against us. Even if they do something willfully against us, we need to pray for them and forgive them. The Scripture tells us to even pray for those who despitefully use us. That may seem hard, but it is God’s way, and He will help us to do it.

·         So, why are we to be loving and forgiving? That’s simple. Because God has forgiven us. We don’t deserve it, but He loves us enough to forgive us. And He made a way for our redemption through Jesus’ sacrifice. Even when we were completely in sin, Christ loved us enough to die for us. We forgive because we are forgiven. Remember grace and truth.

So, in the middle of all this love, forgiveness, kindness and compassion, does that mean we just accept sin, cover it and say it’s okay? It’s no big deal? Absolutely not!

Jesus never backed down when it came to telling the truth about sin, yet He always extended grace to the sinner. Then it was up to them whether or not they received His grace. Jesus did not condemn people, but He spoke words that would convict them and turn them in the right direction.

Condemnation is a sentence passed on us that leaves us with no recourse – no way out. It’s a ‘done deal’. Conviction is a warning of the sentence that will be passed on us if we do not change our course. Jesus offers us a way out of the trap of sin that enslaves us. We are to offer that same grace to others. That is love.

Thank God for His amazing grace, but we need to remember the grace of God comes hand in hand with His truth. If we don’t share the truth about sin with others, and we just let them stay in their sin without knowing they can be free, we do not truly love them. Love balances grace and truth just like Jesus always does. So, what does that look like for us? How can we balance grace and truth in our relationships?

I think Max Lucado gave some wonderful examples in his book “How Happiness Happens”.

I want to use some of his examples from Scripture along with my own commentary. Each instance is an interaction between Jesus and a person who was living in sin or was still learning about who Jesus really is. They desperately needed grace, but they also needed to know the truth about sin so they could turn from it. Until they clearly saw their sin, they could not receive grace to remove it and walk with Jesus. Max used these examples from Scripture in his book.

In extending His grace to the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus said, “neither do I condemn you”. He did not pass sentence on her. Yet when He told her to go and sin no more, He acknowledged she had sinned and needed to change her course. That was the truth she needed to hear along with the grace that was offered to her. If she stayed in her sin, His offer of grace would not be effective in her life.

Jesus offered grace to Zacchaeus (who was a cheating tax collector) when He invited Himself to his house. Zacchaeus had climbed a tree so he could see Jesus go by, but Jesus stopped, looked up and told him to come down because He was going to his house that very day. That extension of grace met with truth during Jesus’ visit and prompted Zacchaeus to give half of his belongings to the poor. By hearing the truth, he was convicted to restore what he had taken wrongfully.

It was by grace that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. He took on the duties of a servant. Then He spoke truth to them. He told them to do as He had done to them. He called them to be servants and to drop all pride. They had actually been arguing about who was greatest in the kingdom. Jesus showed them that the greatest was the one who served others.

Jesus extended grace to the woman at the well when He offered her a drink of the everlasting water. He offered her hope from her hopeless life. But she knew that He was aware of the truth about her situation when He told her she had gone through five different husbands and was now living with a man who wasn’t her husband at all. She was overjoyed by the truth that set her free to reach out for grace. She immediately became a bearer of the news that she had found the Messiah.

Jesus never sugar-coated sin and never treated it as acceptable. Because the truth is, sin brings eternal destruction and that is what Jesus came to deliver us from. That is grace. But we also need to know the Truth before we can fully receive grace.

Jesus offers grace to those who will receive - grace to forgive their sins, and grace to help them walk in a new life, free from sin. If you don’t have that grace, you can have it right now. It requires acknowledging your sin. The fact that we are born sinners is the truth. Then ask Jesus to forgive you and cleanse you from your sin. He will do it if you really mean it. Then surrender your life to walk His way. You can receive His grace. You can be free!

There will come a day when final judgment will be passed on every soul. Those who have not received Jesus will be condemned for eternity. Those who have received Him will be with Him in His kingdom for eternity. But now we are in the day of His great grace. Jesus said He did not come to condemn, but to make a way for every person to come to Him and be saved. Learn the truth and receive His grace so that you can be free to enter the kingdom of God forever. Read the Word of God and ask Him to show you the Truth. He is extending His Grace and Truth to you right now.