Crazy for God

“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful." -1 Corinthians 1:27 Have you ever felt God tell you to do something unusual? Have you ever heard God speak to you about something that would happen, but what was spoken has not yet materialized? This somewhat uncomfortable situation happened to many leaders in the Bible, such as Joseph, Abraham, Noah, Joshua, Gideon, and Jesus. Abraham and Sarah were promised a son -- but were very old. Sarah was so old, she even laughed at the idea! (Genesis 18:12) Joseph was thrown into a pit after his dream, long before his dream w

Living from a Place of Grace

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Ephesians 2:8-9 We live in a very performance-based world. Performance can result in more success, which equals more money. And although we should be diligent and hard working, is our success or lack thereof all because of us? Sometimes we think we can earn our salvation because of our efforts. But the reality is, we received grace -- and that's it! We do things Christ would want us to do out of our love for Him, due to our revelation of His love for us, so that others might experience the same

The Living Word

"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." -Hebrews 4:12 I don't know about you, but when I used to hear the phrase "the living word" I thought it was a little strange. How can inanimate objects, such as words, become alive? As a teenager, reading God's word was dull and boring. I didn't really understand it. I read the book of Psalms because it comforted me, but other than that, it was difficult for me to read the Bible -- even though I wanted to understand it. It wasn't until later when some things happened in my life that God began to

The Mark of His Presence

"Then Moses said to him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.’" -Exodus 33:15 What's different about you and I as Christians? I think the world is wanting to know. With much emphasis on political activism in the news, many people think that Christianity has had a more negative contribution in recent years than a positive one. (See Barna report here: But God is not about political activism -- although He is about truth. He wants to know you and I. He is about saving souls, and He wants people to know that He loves them, first and foremost, before He

Love Is the Greatest Motivator

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." -Galatians 6:9 & 10 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:13 Do you ever find yourself looking for motivation some days? The drudgery of life can sometimes make us wonder why we try so hard. Even though some people may have better circumstances than we do, and others may have worse, everyone struggles with a lack of motivation at one point or another. But, what motivation can we rely on that will sustain us throug


"LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart." -Psalm 15:1-2 All throughout the Bible, the scripture talks about being blameless. What does that mean? Aren't we humans always going to sin? Living a blameless life has to do with the intention of the heart. "I will be careful to lead a blameless life - when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart." -Psalm 101:2 When we walk blamelessly before God, it means our intention is to do good, and to live a Holy life. It doesn't mean we won't make mistakes, but it means our desire is to honor Him, in everyt

Doubt: The Dream Killer

"Jesus responded, 'Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!' Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm." -Matthew 8:26 Doubt is a thing that can stagnate the best of us, or put paralyzing fear in the bravest of us. Often we think in life that having doubt is a smaller problem, but in reality, it's one of the biggest. Doubt doesn't get us to heaven. It doesn't get us to the fulfillment of God's dream for our life. Only faith does. When the disciples were in the boat during the storm, Jesus was asleep. They were enduring the struggle of the storm and were afraid. But the fact of the matter was God was with them, even in the midst of their struggle.

Our Image in Christ

"Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work." -John 14:10 Have you ever found yourself lost in something? We can often find ourselves lost in movies, entertainment, work, or other activities. It isn't wrong to be completely focused on something; in fact God calls us to work diligently and faithfully. But when something consumes us before God, it can cause identity issues, limiting us from God's unlimited power and presence in our lives. Recently I was sitting in church during worship, asking God some questions about certain things that were go

Quieting Our Souls

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." -Zephaniah 3:17 Have you ever felt super stressed out? Have you ever faced a huge deadline, or had to do something you were afraid of? The world we live in is pressure and money-driven. So, how do we find peace and rest for our souls in these types of stressful environments? I love the verse above. There is so much to soak in. The prophet Zephaniah is talking about what God is thinking about Israel. Though they have fallen away from God, He plans to straighten them out a bit, and then bring His love back to them. "He will take great

How to Stay the Course

"David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God." -1 Samuel 30:6 In the time of Israel when David was fleeing from Saul, David and his men lived in a town called Ziklag, among the Philistines. Once, they came home from going out to battle and found that their enemies the Amalekites had crushed their city and burned it to the ground, taking the women and children with them. David and his men were devastated -- in fact it says, "They wept until they could weep no more" (verse 4). David was in a precarious position as a leader -- his men were talking abo

Having Faith for Today

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. -Matthew 21:21 Faith is difficult sometimes. When we're in a tough spot or when things are hard it's challenging to have faith. Sometimes our problems look so big compared to God, although we know in our minds that God is bigger. That's because our knowledge hasn't translated into faith -- into real belief. The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is not just saying we believe -- it's having a sure c

One Step At A Time

"The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man's precious possession." -Proverbs 12:27 I love the Jordan Sparks song "One Step At A Time". Even if you're not a pop music fan the message is encouraging. When we encounter obstacles in our path, the best thing we can do is keep moving, one step at a time. Recently our worship director was sharing about how we can get overwhelmed looking at the big picture, when all we really need to do is take a small step towards our goals. God blesses our diligence; He is moved by our faith. Action accompanies faith. Matthew Barnett, author of The Cause Within You says, "Never confuse activity with impact." What step can you take t

Living with Eternity in Mind

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." -Matthew 6:20 Our lives are so short. The Bible says the extent of our lives is like a fleeting shadow. (Psalms 144:4) Even still, every life has value. And God brought you and I here for a purpose. What are we doing now that has lasting value? What are we doing to create meaning in our lives and in the lives of others? Are we living each day with an eternal purpose in mind? There was a story of a man who worked countless hours at his job. He believed in God, but his main focus was on his earthly success. He ran a very large business. When asked what people migh

Jesus Empathized with Us

"We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all -- all but the sin." -Hebrews 4:15 Do you ever have days where you feel like no one else understands? I'm sure we've all had those days -- we feel like the only one who has a less than ideal job, the only one with family issues, the only one struggling with sickness, the only who is as stressed out as much as we are, or the only one who is single or who doesn't have what we want out of life. But you know what? Our God and king has experienced all the things we go through -- and even more. Another translation of this verse says, "This High Priest of ours understands our wea

Strengthening Our Faith Muscle

"And without faith, it is impossible to please God" - Hebrews 11:6 Do you regularly strengthen your "faith muscle"? All the time, we need strengthening of our faith. Just as it's healthy to go to the gym and build muscle mass, it's spiritually healthy for us to build our faith muscle. (And, it prevents the drying of our spiritual bones, A.K.A. DISCOURAGEMENT!) (Ezekiel 37:11) But, sometimes in life our circumstances can get the better of us. When one negative thing after another happens we lose the ability to BELIEVE. When these times come, we need our brothers and sisters who do have faith for the situation to pray and believe for us. This will strengthen our faith -- even for the most disc

Waiting on His Presence

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalm 46:10 A mentor of mine who is also a counselor was sitting listening to some issues my husband and I were facing. He had a lot of great suggestions, but one in particular stood out to me. “Every morning when you wake up, don’t do anything until you sit and feel God’s presence. It’s the most important thing you can do!” he said. He wasn’t meaning to avoid making at pitstop at the restroom or getting coffee, but before getting into any activity, to sit and wait quietly before the Lord. I’ve found that when I do this, it makes such a big difference in my day, and helps me to focus on

Why God Raises Up a Leader

"And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel." -2 Samuel 5:12 Have you ever thought about why God raises up a leader? Why are leaders in positions of authority and power? Is it so they can use this power for their own gain? In David's case, God had specifically chosen him to be king over Israel. God chose a man "after His own heart" (Acts 13:22) to lead the people to Israel, to protect them, and to help them prosper. The reason God raises up a leader is for the sake of the people. In the verse above, it says God had "blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel." "The first responsibility of a l

Encountering the Sauls in Our Lives

"Don't be afraid," he said. "My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this." -1 Samuel 23:17 Have you ever had a dream or goal that someone in your life was jealous over? This could be a supervisor, spiritual leader, friend, or family member. Have you ever had a boss who may have seemed threatened with your anointing or gifting? This was the case for David. Anointed to be king when he was just a boy and serving under the reign of Saul, as he grew older, David evoked such jealousy in Saul that Saul tried to kill him! But David stayed pure in heart in spite of Saul's schemes and found strength in God even in

Thriving vs. Striving

"What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?" -Ecclesiastes 2:22 I remember being in grade school trying to beat all 6 of my classmates (small school is an understatement) by getting through my coursework quicker. We were working through our phonics books, and it was down to me and the last guy. Once he saw he was going to lose by a long stretch, he gave up. I kept on going to finish, but at that point it really didn't matter anymore. What was working through a phonics book as quickly as possible going to get me anyway? I really wasn't learning that much more by going through it at a ridiculous pace. In fact, I was absorbing less! So much of

Overcoming Negative Circumstances

"Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don't turn away from me, or I will die. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you." -Psalms 143:7&8 Sometimes life is hard. When we go through difficult seasons, we may question God's presence, His goodness, His love for us, or the dreams He placed within us. "Why on earth would this happen to me, God, if You are loving and just!?" we may ask. However, this is exactly the posture the enemy wants us to have. Whenever bad things happen, as they did to Job, the enemy wants to get in the middle and tell us God doesn't love us, He doesn't care about us, and

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