Category Archives: Our Faith Walk

One Mountain Please!

On December 31st, 2011, many people made New Year’s resolutions that will guide their personal energies for the next 365 days.  One year earlier more than 90 million adults (41%)made similar personal pledges.  Goals will be careful crafted by businesses and organizations as they decide where to focus their financial and human resources.  All these efforts are designed to produce successful outcomes for the upcoming year. But in evaluation of all the resolutions and goals, I am sure, there are few that request “a mountain.” 

Caleb displayed extraordinary confidence as he requested “this mountain” for his inheritance. His confidence stemmed not from his physical strength or his capabilities as a mighty warrior.  His confidence was based on the promises of God, His faithfulness, and His sustaining grace.  Joshua responded to Caleb’s request by blessing him–setting him apart for God’s enablement so he would be enriched and successful in his task.  Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb because he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. (Joshua 14:14)
2012 will present many challenges and opportunities.  How we respond to both will depend on our “faith perspective.”  If we believe that our success is tied only to our efforts, we open ourselves to personal criticism and negative self-talk when things don’t work out as we planned.  We become victims of self-imposed pressure, resulting in worry and anxiousness.  If, however, we  trust in God and believe His promises for us, we can be assured success. (Prov. 3:5-10)  As we prepare our New Year’s resolutions, we would be wise to adopt Caleb’s wisdom and “look to the hills from which comes our help, our help comes from the LORD who made the heaven and the earth.” (Ps. 121:1-2)

A Closet Full of JOY, Week 2

 Monday , October 17th 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27:1
Oh what a wonderful revelation to wake up each day and shout this scripture throughout the house. The Lord is my light and my strength every day of my life. I need not fear because “everything” I go through He goes through with me and strengthens me.

Tuesday, October 18th 

I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.  Philemon 1:7

If there is ever a time during a difficult task or journey in your life that you feel a need to be refreshed in order to continue; lean on Jesus and God’s Word as we will receive strength and encouragement beyond our wildest imagination.

Wednesday, October 19th

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3
Tire not because we realize that all we do, we do for God. He will not give us a task that is beyond our ability to complete and He promised to restore us and God keeps His promises.

A Closet Full of JOY, Week 1

A few months ago I asked a very talented writer to develop a series that would provide “instantaneous joy” for you women on the move.  It would be inspiring yet also give the reader Scripture they could meditate on during their busy day.

And “voila”,  here you have it, “A Closet Full of JOY”.   That talented writer is Myrna Jean Hart and she is my big sis.  So we invite you to our closet, a Closet Full of JOY.  Why joy?  Because God’s Word, spoken through His Holy Spirit, will enlighten and delight you, even in the midst of your trials.

We also invite you to “hang up something cute” in our closet. (We even take other clothing pieces that might work for our ladies–shoes, hats, and other accessories.   Before you know it, we will be trading “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” (Isaiah 61:3).  I share with you three (3) garments from the closet to keep you clothed  for the rest of the week.   Help us grow our closet with God’s lovely joy.

Wednesday, October 12th 
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today.”  Hebrew 3:13
As Christians we often ask the Holy Spirit, “What can I do to indicate that You live within me and help someone today? It is as simple as the scripture says, “encourage” one another daily.
Thursday, October 13th
“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” Proverbs l:5
Have we missed an opportunity today to gain from God’s wonderful wisdom for our lives today? Don’t worry God will give us a second chance to be quite, listen and learn.

Friday, October 14th 
“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day. Proverbs 15:13
How many people have you let see that beautiful smile on your face today? You would be surprised at the life changing effect a simple smile can have in enabling others to get through a difficult day.

Numbering Our Days Since 9/11: A Dialogue

September 11 will be known as one of the most horrific days in our countries’ history.  Like the assassinations of  President John F. Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, we clearly visualize where we were when we heard the news.

Psalm 90:12 reads:  “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” With that Scripture  in mind and as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I have three (3) questions for the WordBytes audience.

  1.  What has changed about your faith walk since September 11th?
  2.  How did experiencing 9/11 affect how you ‘number your days’?
  3.  Describe your relationship with God since 9/11?

Pass the Salt – Turn on the Light : A Response to Barna Study

When Jesus left this earth, He left many things for His new found followers to ponder.  Through His Great Commission, He instructed us to make disciples.  Through His teachings,  He taught us how to live our lives until either He returns or He calls us home.  The greatest lesson, however, was included in His Great  Commandment.

First, “love the Lord with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  Second, love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) Therein lies the real opportunity for Christians, especially the church, with its spirtual and financial resources, to show our love and compassion in a world that believes only in “me and mine.” This is the opportunity for churches to contribute to their communities–communities beyond their three (3) mile radius of ther church.

As a nation, we are facing enormous financial and social challenges.  All “indicators of life” are operating at  “record” levels—the highest unemployment, the greatest number of homeless and the largest increase in crime (which includes the cost of food and gas), just to name a few.  But where is the care and concern for the needy, the weak, and the unprotected.  The proverbial “crack” people fall into is already full of the first casualities of our fragmented and fractured society.  I’m not surprised by the “society”–it’s a fallen, sin-sick place doing what it does best–endulging itself.    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHURCH, ITS MINISTRIES AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS?  Jesus told the “masses” (similar to today’s  church congregations of believers, seekers, and ‘others’)

  • Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matt. 5:13)
  •  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 5:14-16)

So what’s the problem with the “salt and the light”? What do you think about the findings in the Barna study? I really want to hear from you “good church folk!”

In His Presence

After experiencing the presence of the Lord, it is hard to return to “business as usual.”  As His truth and righteousness burn in our hearts, we leave renewed and ready to follow the path He has designed for our life. 

In His presence, Peter, James and John experienced the transfiguration of Christ. (Matt. 17:1-13) They were so astonished with what they saw and heard that they desired to build a tabernacle to glorify the Lord.  These disciples came desiring to be part of Jesus’ “in crowd” but left instead as witnesses of the Christ.  (Acts 1:8) 
In His presence, the Samaritan woman found the chance for a new beginning. (John 4)  Often ostracized and demeaned by both men and women, this woman was offered refreshment that satisfied the soul’s true thirst—unconditional love and forgiveness.  The woman at the well came desiring physical water but found instead a Savior and everlasting life. (John 4:14)   
In His presence, Zacchaeus initially came as a seeker. (Luke 19:2) He hoped to merely catch a glimpse of this great prophet.  Imagine Zacchaeus’ (and the hypocritical observers’) surprise with Jesus’ invitation to “abide” at his home.   Zacchaeus came to observe from a tree but became the object of Jesus’ attention and the “poster child” for true reconciliation. (Luke 19:9)
We often come into God’s presence unknowingly like the woman at the well.  Other times, we are like Zacchaeus, very intentional in our desire to see the glory of the Lord. Regardless of how we come into His presence, it is important that we leave changed for the better and ready to accomplish the purpose He has established for our life. 

Are You Playing Hide and Seek with God?


God does not play “hide and seek” with His children.  He desires to “be found” by all.   If we desire to find God, we need only “search for Him with all our heart.”  Jeremiah 29:12-13 holds the key.

“Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”

The first thing God directs us to do is to “call upon the Him.”  This required awareness of our personal brokenness and total dependence on Him.  God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)

God then directs us to “go and pray unto Me.”   It is here that connection with God is established.  It is here we begin to understand God’s purpose for His people—a future with hope. (Jer. 29:11)

And how will God respond? “I will hear you.” (Jer. 29:12) God hears us when we prepare our hearts and minds to receive Him.  When we seek God first (versus our will) He will hear our prayers and “show Himself strong on our behalf.” (2 Chr. 16:9)

In the final verse of our text, God shares with us the ultimate secret to finding God.  “When you seek Me you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13, NIV) How do you search for God with all your heart?

    1. Make Him the priority of your life.
    2. Actively pursue Him.
    3. Stay in His presence.

Hide and seek really is a child’s game.  Trade up to seek and find God?

Is It OK to Be Weak?

Is it OK to be weak?  2 Chronicles 16:9 (KJV) gives great insight into God’s heart for weak things.  “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward (committed to) Him.

Why would someone choose weak things?  Do you remember childhood games that required you to “choose” your teammates?  Do you remember the kid that was not the first choice?  They were too slow, too small, or simply not good at the game.  Sometimes that kid was you.  Do you remember how humiliated you felt as you were the last to be chosen?  But God chooses differently.  He looks beyond our faults and weaknesses as He chooses us as instruments to accomplish His purpose. (2 Tim. 2:21)

The world sees weak things as objects of scorn and distain.  Therefore, it disregards and marginalizes the old, the poor, and the disenfranchised.  But God, increases the power of the weak. (Isa. 40:29) His grace is sufficient for His strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9) Sometimes we forget that fact and try to do His work in our own strength.  But God, after several unsuccessful attempts on our part, gently whispers in our ear, “You can do nothing without Me.” (John 15:5) 

God Speaks But Are you Listening?

When you rise in the morning, do you expect to hear from the Lord?  As you walk into the office, do you look for signs of His presence? Let me tell you that God speaks each and every day.  The question is, “are you  prepared to hear Him?”   If you haven’t heard from Him lately, ask yourself these questions. Be brutally honest.
  1. Have I spent time in reading and meditating on God’s Word?
  2. Is there sin in my life that I refuse to confess?
  3. Have I placed other priorities ahead of God?
  4. Am I harboring bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness for someone in my life?
  5. How much time do I devote to prayer?
  6. Am I grieving the Spirit by being willfully disobedient?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have found the source of your communications breakdown with the Lord.  We are told to constantly examine our Christian walk  (2 Corinthians 13:5)  What are questions you ask yourself when you feel God is silent?

Pray Without Ceasing

The first Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer.  While millions are asked to unite in prayer on that one day, Christians are admonished to pray continuously…to pray without ceasing.  (1 Thess. 5:17)  What exactly does that mean and how do you do it?  To me, praying without ceasing is an attitude we adopt as part of our Christian life style.
To pray without ceasing is
Purposeful.  We come to hear from God.  Our motivation to pray may vary—upon reading His Word, facing a problem or in anticipation of a particular event.  While prayer is initiated by believers, we must also be “eager listeners” as God responds to our petitions and supplications.  He desires to act on our behalf. (2 Chron. 16:9)
Relational.  We spend time with God.  It is here that we begin to understand His nature—His ways and His works.  He is Abba Father, so we approach Him as the
loving nurturer and protector of our soul and life. In prayer we can be “totally transparent” showing Him all our faults and flaws.  He knows our heart. (Ps. 103:13-14)
Dynamic.  We can come to God in the morning, throughout the day, or at the close of the day.  Our prayers should never be “repetitive babblings” but genuine expressions of our needs and concerns.  We often do not know how to pray about a particular situation or for a person.  We can depend on the Holy Spirit to guide our petitions. (Rom.8:26-27)
Inclusive.  We are sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He identifies the needs of those around us.  Prayer is not just about us.  God will send people through divine appointments who need our prayers. We are to pray for those God “puts on our hearts”—our leaders, our nation, even our enemies. We are to pray for all saints. (Eph. 6:18)
As we pray without ceasing, let us take a KISS approach—Keep It Simple Susan.  Let us come to Him with a contrite and humble heart, ready to hear and obey. Never stop praying.