Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stepping Stones

God parted the Red sea to allow Moses to lead the Israelites to leave Egypt (Exodus 14). Later, Joshua was given the privilege to lead Israel into the promised land by parting the Jordan River.

When Joshua led the nation of Israel across the Jordan river it was harvest time (spring time) and the waters were at flood-level. When the priests touched their feet at the river's edge the water upstream piled up and the water downstream was cut off. By a miracle of God, when the priests walked into the river, they walked on dry ground and the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan.(Joshua 3: 8-17)

When everyone was safely across, God commanded that one person from each of the twelve tribes of Israel take a stone from the middle of the Jordan river and make a memorial from the stones. This was done to help remind the future generations of how God showed His great power to the Israelites. (Joshua 4: 1-8)

All of us have "stepping stones" in our lives that have allowed us to prepare for the next stage of our life. Think about all of the stages of life you went through in the first year of your life. You went from being a newborn, to sitting up, crawling, pulling up on things, and eventually to walking. Since then you went to kindergarten, learned to read, a few things in between, and now you are here today.

The "things in between" are the memorial stones that we have left behind to remind us of where we have come from. Many times we don't allow ourselves to leave these stones as rememberances, for many can be painful and difficult, but it should allow us to be reminded of God's faithfulness in our journey as we trusted in Him when we took our next step in life.

When you allow yourself to leave those stepping stones as the Israelites did, then you allow yourself a way to track the legacy that you leave behind. It also permits you to encourage others when they don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you are discouraged today by the promises you have yet to see pass, then I encourage you to look back at the "Jordan crossings" in your journey. Allow God to fill the places in your heart that seem void.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Never Ending Story

Many of us are intimidated by the leaders in our church, our pastors, the Billy Grahams and Mother Teresa's of the world; many times we feel as if "I can't touch lives like those people do, I don't have the ability to speak like him or her, I don't know the scriptures by heart, etc. We feel as if we can't make an impact on others' lives.

We all have things in our lives that we can improve on; however, we must not make the mistake of making excuses. Many times we don't think of ourselves as servants in Christ, but our everyday lives speak volumes to who we are in Christ. When we lead our lives with integrity, humbleness, wisdom, love, and joy, we are reflecting God's image. The bible says in
I Peter 2:12 "Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." It is your actions and behavior that serve God and these things portray your story.

Many times we do not realize that others are watching our behaviors and it is in those moments that we can give God the glory and unbeknownst to us we have served Him! We have left footprints that contribute to our life story and those will touch others' lives, and others' lives to ultimately leave a "Never Ending Story" of Christ's image. Last night as we had Worship Night at our church, I had the privilege of helping fill the little cups with grape juice (that symbolize the blood of Christ). As I stood in the room, I watched over Katherine and a little friend of hers. I was trying to make sure they didn't get into anything they could break or hurt themselves. At one point they found the battery operated tea lights that we use to light up the communion station and for a moment I almost told them to stop and put them away so as not to break them; however, I stopped myself and realized that they were serving Christ by their actions, unknowlingly, but their actions spoke volumes to many who were there last night. Someone had to turn those tealights on for service and why not them?

For our actions speak louder than our words. It may not seem that we are touching the lives of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people, but our words and actions speak to those around us. When we touch one person with our joyful attitude, our loving kindness, and our humility; those virtues can be passed on to the "next" Billy Graham, the "next" pastor, the "next" president and that is where your "Never Ending Story" begins. Be sure today that you display Christ's reflection in your life. Pass your story on to the next generation, to those around you, and trust that the little things in your life are making a difference.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Saving the Best for Last

The past couple weeks have been a bit rough for me us. I hadn't been feeling well until this week. Katherine was sick the first week that I wasn't feeling well. During that time, I noticed that I had become quite the irritable parent when Katherine was not obeying or listening. Instead of my usual verbal warning, time-out, and spanking sequence. It seemed that there were little or no verbal warnings, time-outs seemed to be a lot more frequent, and a couple of times it seemed that spanking went first. Raising my voice at her was also in the repetoire. Bath time seemed to be the most frustrating due to the nature of it being right before bedtime and of course, "No!(as she throws something out of frustration)...and my tummy hurts...I'm thirsty...and I'm not tired (as her eyes are drooping, and she is whining and crying about seemingly pretty much everything)...or we're going to go to bed later" interrupted the flow of the evening and made my stress levels even higher because I was exhausted, tired, and wanted to go to bed.

Instead of asking God for guidance on how to deal with the situations at the moment, I went straight to my own ways by raising my voice (which only seemed to make things worse), being demanding with her (which didn't make things any easier), and getting angrier by the second. By choosing my own ways at first, many of the encounters with Katherine felt like I was struggling more (e.g. the more I raised my voice, the more obstinate she became). At one point, I finally asked myself and God, "What do I do, how do I handle this?" and God said, "How would Aaron handle this situation?" I thought for a few moments and then trusted in the example that Aaron had previously illustrated. I began to tone down my voice to a loving one, relax, be more patient, more kind, and even made games out of some of the tense moments. After asking God for guidance, He showed me His ways. In Isaiah it says, "For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (55:9)"

Mary, Jesus' mother, was a guest at a wedding celebration and during the festivities of the wedding the wine supply ran out. Mary spoke with Jesus about the problem. He turned six stone water pots (back in those days the pots were used for ceremonial washing and held between 20 to 30 gallons) into wine and when the master of ceremonies tasted it he said, “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

Just as Mary turned to Jesus first about her problem, so must we. For if we "save the best for last" many times we end up more frustrated, angry, left in bad situations, we become bitter, hurt, depressed, and upset. However, when we allow Him to work in our situations, He will give us His grace and mercy.

We thank you Father God for your mercy and grace; forgive us when we don't come to you first. Give us the wisdom and understanding to do your will in our lives. We love you! Share this message with others, encourage them to trust in the Lord. Let them know when they put Him first, He will honor and guide their requests.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's interesting to me how perspective on life changes when someone you love is gravely ill or when you attend someone's funeral regardless if you knew them as a close friend or just an acquaintance. In times like these, it allows you to truly appreciate life and praise the Lord for everything that He has given to you in life. Many times, it allows you to reflect upon your ownself and it permits you to let go of all of the petty small things that are insignificant to the bigger picture in life.

Recently a friend of ours told us a story about a colonel that was interviewed after surviving a P.O.W. for seven or eight years. He asked the colonel, "How did you survive?" Was it the optimists that survived?" The colonel said, "No, it was the realists." For it seemed that the optimists would set a date, by Easter they come and rescue us, by Christmas, by such and such time, etc. and when those dates came and went; they became more and more discouraged and despondent and those are the ones that died. As for the realists, they continued to persevere. As for the colonel, he said, "It did not really matter whether or not He would be rescued because he would see his wife either way (on earth or in heaven). Praise the Lord! This colonel had his realist point of view, knowing that either way, he definitively knew that he would one day see his wife.

Each day God leaves us little reminders of Himself whether it be beautiful flowers, the dew on the morning grass, a home, friends, family, a joyful heart, a child's laughter (oh how I love to hear children laughing, it is such a beautiful song to my heart), or in the case of Houston, the seemingly long and lasting beautiful HOT and sunshiny days! Paul says this in Romans 14:17 about how the Lord always leaves us reminders of himself, "but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.”

My favorite part of this is when it says, "joyful hearts." I love that because despite our circumstances in life, adversity or prosperity, God wants us to say, "Praise the Lord, for He has provided and given us His joy." I know at times, it is difficult to see the ray of sunshine in the midst of a life or death situation, but I pray that the Lord gives you His peace dear one. Allow yourself to reflect on the great and glorious times that you have in this life. Reflect on the bigger things of life and allow the petty things to be let go. Open your eyes to all the things that you have to be thankful for. Those are the things to set your eyes upon. It is God saying, "I Love You," "I am always here in the midst of you, just look at all I have done and yet to do."

David rejoiced in the Lord and said, "Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle...For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow." (Psalm 144:1,4).
David reminds us that the Lord gives us His strength and prepares us for this life that is short. We must make the most of the time we have, appreciate the things God provides for us, make our lives meaningful, worthwhile, and purposeful. For we are "like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone." (James 4:14)

Look for the Lord today in all the "little" things around you and will will see His work around you. Share those things with your family, friends, co-workers, and all those around you. For maybe your words can be an encouragement to them today!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Want a Promotion?

If you want a promotion in your job, typically the expectation is that you listen to your bosse's instructions and follow them, perform above and beyond reproach, your expected duties without having to be told, and be willing to accept criticism without getting defensive. All of the above mentioned requires patience and obedience.

Just as your job has expectations, God also has an expectant nature of you. He says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.(Malachi 3:10)" You are not guaranteed your promotion at your job, even after all of your hard work, but God says bring ten percent of your earnings to help advance my kingdom and see if I won't give you more blessings that you can possibly contain. When we are not obedient to the Lord's commands we are robbing Him.

I know in my own life, when I began tithing to my church (I was still single then), the Lord blessed me much more than I could have imagined. It seemed that the times that it looked like I wouldn't have enough money to pay my bills, I always had enough. Or the times I needed gas in my car and I just prayed that I would make it to my next destination even though the gas tank was already on empty...God always came through.

Another time, God out did himself, was when Aaron and I got engaged. We didn't know how we were going to be able to afford to pay for our wedding, given that we were paying for it on our own. The cost of the wedding far outweighed the actual money that we had. About that time, Aaron began tithing to the church and was obedient to God's commands. A couple weeks later Aaron had an accident that caused his jeep to flip over about four or five times; his jeep was totaled, but Aaron only came out of the accident with some bruises, a slight concussion, and four or five staples to close up a small cut on his head. I told him, his guardian angels were watching over him that day; given that they had to get the jaws of life to get him out of the vehicle. If you were to have seen the pictures of the accident, you would have thought someone would have died. Anyhow, enough of that, the awesome part of that whole story was that Aaron was okay, even though he was upside down on the jeep (he owed more than the vehicle was worth), the insurance company paid the vehicle off and gave us $20,000. That allowed us to put a down payment on a car for him and it paid for the wedding, honeymoon, and some of our bills!

Even though that blessing wasn't exactly how we pictured it, it was more than what we could ever imagined. How about that for a promotion! LOL.

When we are faithful to God and what He asks of us, we then allow Him to be faithful to His promises. We must work diligently and obey God's commands. Have you heard this scripture from Luke, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be required.(Luke 12:48)" When God sees that He can trust us with what He has given to us, He is more likely to give us a promotionby allowing opportunities and responsiblities to come our way because He knows that we can be trusted to follow through with His commands; whether that be that He entrusts us with His children, people to minister to, finances, leadership responsibilities, gifts, talents, etc.

Do you want a promotion? How are you using the resources, gifts, and talents with which God has given to you? Listen to what Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25) God is telling us that if we are truly willing to commit our whole selves to Him, we will discover the real purpose for our lives. God doesn't always show us our real purpose of our lives nor give us our "promotions" in the way we think. For us (Aaron and I), this cancer thing, has given us so many opportunities to minister to others, it has also allowed me more time to spend with Katie, and has helped me to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God, that I am able to share with others like you! If you find yourself in a place where things seem to be going down instead of up, remember God has not forgotten you! Sometimes like Joseph (in Genesis 37) we have to go through "demotion" experiences to be able to prepare for our promotion.

If you or a friend are experiencing rough times in your life, begin to ask God how you can use the resources that He has given you to further His kingdom. Maybe this is the question that you have been needing to ask? Or if you already know the answer to that question, then act on it, be obedient to God's commands.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Getting Caught Up

My friend, Diana, and I were talking on Monday (she's from Guatemala)and she asked me, "Do you suppose life is this fast-paced in Europe and other countries of the world?" I replied, "I'm not sure about all countries, but most of them aren't as busy as the United States." She answered, "Everyone here is always in a rush to do this or that and are too busy."

I pondered over that conversation yesterday and thought, "Yes, we are way too busy...(I should just moved to Costa Rica! That's definitely the answer to that problem...LOL); then reality set in, we really are too busy (as sadness enters my heart and tears come into my eyes) because there have been many a days that I have told God, "I'll get to you later and later became tomorrow, and tomorrow became a week, etc)." I wonder how we would react if we sacrificed our one and only son for someone that they may have life and then they put us off, day after day, week after week. I'm not so sure that I could say that I wouldn't be angry or bitter at that person.

All God wants is our time and attention. He wants to give us His guidance and wants us to focus on Him. Joshua was a man that was a faithful servant of the Lord. He helped the Israelites cross the Jordan river to conquer their promised land. Before leaving to cross the Jordan, the Lord instructed Joshua to tell the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!"(Joshua 3:9-11) and he obeyed. God prepared and instructed the Israelites along the way and they conquered their promised land.

In our fast-paced society we can get "caught up" into our business before taking time to focus on God. God does not want us to plunge into our day without consulting with Him on our activities for today. It's like saying, "Would you go into a battle without your armor and weapons?" The likely answer to that question is "no." Be sure today that you don't get "caught up" into your own mission, so that your focus will stay on God and He can get you "caught up."


Monday, August 15, 2011

Receiving God's Guidance

Many times when we have important decisions in life, it can be difficult. We have to learn to lean on God's wisdom and His truth. We must also carefully think for ourselves, and at the same time, be willing to listen to the wise counselors that God has provided to speak truth into our lives. We must, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil." (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Asking God for His guidance and trusting Him in all of our decisions can be an arduous process; however, you must be patient and make Him a vital part of your decisions. Whether or not you want to hear what He has to say, you should listen, but ultimately you must determine which path you want to follow, God's or yours. God's word says, "Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver,and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand,and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly." (Proverbs 13-18).

Using "Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths." (Proverbs 2:12-13) Allowing God to permeate into every area of your life, whether it finances, work, or relationships, shows God that we are working to accomplish His purpose for our lives.

God knows your situations, the decisions you must make, and the knowledge you need to follow His path for your life. Allow wisdom to guide you and have faith and patience, knowing that God will provide all your needs. His word says, "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Joshua 1:5)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Spirit Within You...

As Christians, we often times forget, because we live in a fallen and broken world, that we aren't in this life alone. God gives us the resources we need to cope with our day to day, week to week, and even lifetime problems. We often times are overwhelmed by the fiery darts that the enemy sends against us. There have been many days that I have felt helpless and in need of the "right" words to pray ;this scripture is one that I truly love, " And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." (Romans 8:26) I love that I can be sure that the Holy Spirit will intercede on my behalf and I can trust that God will always do what is best.

I pray that today you can trust the Holy Spirit to speak to the Lord on your behalf when you don't have the words to say to the Lord. There are times in life when we are truly distressed, heart broken, and even seemingly lost in this world and we don't know where to go. Choose to lay your life at the feet of Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to God on your behalf. I pray that if you are going through difficult times today or a friend is, that you remember these words and/or encourage your friend with the Lord's word. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Horton Hears a Who

Have you seen this cute movie? If not, here's a basic summary. Horton, who is an elephant in the Jungle of Nool, is splashing in a pool and finds a flower with a small speck on it. He figures out that there is a place called "whoville" that exists on this tiny speck. Horton makes it his mission to place this speck in the safest place (on the top of Mount Nool); therefore, keeping the citizens of Whoville safe. During the course of his journey up this hill, he encounters setbacks, but he promises the citizens of Whoville that he would place them safely on top of Mt. Nool. Horton tells the mayor of whoville, "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant
An elephant's faithful, One hundred percent."

Those words made my eyes tear up, as I sat and thought about how faithful our Daddy is to us. Moses tells us, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 31:8). He tells these words to the new generation of Israelites that are about to enter into their promised land (like the citizens of Whoville who were about to be in their promised land at the top of Mount Nool). The Israelites were about to encounter battles to encounter and overtake the land that was promised to them. I am sure like the citizens of Whoville, they were afraid of not being able to make it through all the encounters that they would face. Like Horton the elephant, God goes before us in all situations and reminds us that He will never leave us. He will always be in our midst.

And as Horton promised, he delivered the citizens of Whoville to the top of Mount Nool safe and sound (oops, sorry for those who hadn't seen the movie and didn't want to know the ending...I think I just ruined it for you...LOL). Our God is the same way, the promises that makes us are never empty promises. Our Daddy cannot fail toward us and will continue to always help us in our time of need.

I pray that as you read these words, please remember that no matter what your path in this journey we call life, leads you down, God is always there, ready and will to give succor to those in need. He loves you so dearly. Share His love with others today! Let them know of God's promises to them. Let them know that He is an omnipotent and omniscient and can supply all of the needs, heal their hurts, and give them peace in the midst of their storms.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Broken Jar

As a child I remember both my paternal grandmother (who was from Mexico) and my father (until recently when his was accidently broken) both used clay jars to store money. I am sure that way back in the day that was one of the places that many stored their money, given that it was a common ordinary "staple" in a household. We are just like that fragile jar; we can all seem quite ordinary, but once broken (on many levels) we are able to see the treasure that lies within. We can see the "jar's" priceless contents. In the next scripture we are compared to the clay jar (meaning that we are fragile, weak, earthly vessels); however the focus of this next scripture isn't about the earthly vessel, but about how He uses us the power to do His work and uses us to spread His word. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

These next few verses Paul reminds us that at times we may feel as though we are in such deep despair, that our world has fallen in on us, and that we are at the end of our rope; however, we always, always have hope in Jesus. Christ has won the victory over any trial, tribulation, or distress that we are going through. As difficult as it may seem, during these times, we must focus on using these troubles as opportunities to minister to others. For when we do this we allow the "riches" of our clay jars shine through our "brokeness" for Jesus. "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:7-18)

Just as my father's ordinary clay jar was easily broken and crushed; you may be feeling that same way in your life. It may seem like there is no light at the end of your tunnel. It seems like those around you like family or friends that you felt would always be there for you have turned their backs on you or maybe your co-workers began gossiping about you and it seems as though your reputation has been destroyed. Maybe it is that you or a loved one are having earth-shattering health issues that seem devastating in the moment. Know that even though darkness comes through the light, know that joy comes in the morning!

Share with other believers, that you know will help speak into your life, your struggles, heartaches, and true and honest feelings. Or be that listening ear to a friend that may need your compassion and uplift them with God's life giving words.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


As most of you already know Aaron and I have gone through the ups and downs of several MRI scans and doctor's appointments...each in anticipation of hearing "your cancer is gone." In between each of these appointments we have had to stand on God's promises of healing for me. I will be honest with you, there are somedays in between of not allowing God's Holy Spirit to take over me in order to have a supernatural peace. It hasn't been that in my heart, I have ever doubted what God has revealed to me, but I allow the lies of the enemy to get a hold of my thoughts to the point of doubt in my head. Some days I feel like Sarah (Abraham's wife), who had repeated promises, a visit by two angels, and an appearance by the Lord himself that she would one day have a son. When Sarah received her promise she declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!” (Genesis 21 6-7)

Sarah allowed doubt, worry, and fear to overtake her; therefore, she forfeited God's peace she could have felt during her time of waiting for the Lord's promise to come to fruition.

By focusing on God's promising, you will allow the Holy spirit to give you God's supernatural peace. If you are having a difficult or stressful day, week, or even months allow God's peace to fill you. Trust in God's promises today and give your worries, fears, and anxieties to Him.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


God's mercy is so vast and amazing. I am in awe everyday of what a merciful God we have. I was just thinking about how many of us have been granted mercy by barely missing having an accident because we were texting on our phone, speeding, being wreckless or inattentive.

God's mercy is His compassion and leniency; it is when we are spared from judgement, harm, danger, or trouble. He basically doesn't give us the punishment that we deserve. I know that God's angel's have worked overtime in my life extending His mercy upon me. I lived a pretty rough party life when I was in college. I know there were many a nights that I was so inebriated to the point that I would wake up in the morning not knowing what happened the night before. Time after time, I know that God kept me safe. However, one thing I always did was give someone the keys to my car so I wouldn't be tempted to drive and if I needed to get home, I would call someone to take me home.

Grace (as I talked about yesterday) and mercy are like a coin, they are on the flip side of each other; they go hand in hand. J. Hampton Keathley III wrote, "grace stresses God's character and man's sinfulness while mercy stresses God's strength and man's helplessness."

Paul was a murderer of Christians and was known as Saul before God saved him. Paul says of himself , "even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."
(I Timothy 1:13-15). We see Paul as this great and mighty man of God who wrote most of the old testament, yet he himself did not see himself as that. He became aware of God's mercy upon his life. It seems that the more he served Christ, the more he humbled himself to the Lord.

Be to others as God would be unto you. Don't be like the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35, "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from the heart.

At times we need to know that God gives us "another chance" many times throughout our lives. Although the deeper and more aware you are of the truth, God's mercy begins to leave you and He calls you into obedience to Himself. Remember today what an awesome and merciful God that we serve. For His mercies are vast, but know that we must not put ourselves in the midst of danger and think that God will save us everytime.

Today, be merciful, compassionate, and lenient on others as God does for you everyday.


Monday, August 1, 2011


Webster's dictionary defines grace as" unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God."

Strong's Greek Dictionary defines it as "graciousness of manner or act; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude."

In the bible there are a few biblical usages of the word grace.
1) The Greek word "karis" means "grace and favor" and "well being, pleasant, delightful; a derivative of karis also means "giving thanks."
2) The Hebrew word "hen" means "favor, mercy, kindness, and graciousness. This is derived from hanan which means to "favor, to grant mercy.
3) The Hebrew word "hesed" means "loving, kindness, mercy, and pity.

I know that all the definitions of "grace" may be a bit much, but I wanted to convey the fact that the bible uses this word grace in many ways.

Have you ever committed a sin over and over? Greed? Pride? Lust?Stubborness? Disobeying God's commands? I know I have so many times. Some days I have to truly work really hard to obey God's commands especially when they are particularly embarrassing or out of my comfort zone.

It seems in life when we are having a difficult time and struggling in life, whether it be our finances, problems in our marriage, disobedience from our teenagers,or health issues; we tend to be closer to God in those moments. Just like the Israelites in the times they needed rescuing from others during battle or when they needed food out in the wilderness; they turned to God to help rescue them. Every single time after they repented and asked God for His forgiveness, He forgave them. Just as in Hosea it says, "Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have brought you down. Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises." (Hosea 14: 1-2)

Grace is unconditional, unconditioned, and is not based on our works. We receive God's grace through the Holy Spirit's work. God's grace is his showering kindness upon us. This is his voluntary and loving favor given to those He saves. We cannot be saved without His grace. We must believe that we can't save ourselves and that the only way we receive His favor is through faith in Christ. John 3:16 says, "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. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."

This morning I listened to Katherine, my three-year old, say to her Daddy," but daddy it is dead and broken (referring to her play cell that did not have batteries). That just reminded me of how sometimes we can just feel that same way; we feel dead and broken inside. Perhaps it is because it is the consequences of our own sins or maybe it is due to others' actions toward us, but regardless we can't believe the enemies lies about us staying in the "dead and broken" places. God word says,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)God is saying to us that his power displayed in our weakness should give us courage and hope that as we recognize our limitations we can rely more on Him to rather than ourselves. Realizing that we can't do it all, allows us depend more on God and deepens our relationship with Him.

God's grace is upon you! Remember that He loves you so much, there is nothing you can do that He cannot forgive. Know that mine and yours' sins are forgiven because Christ died for them on the Christ. Confess your sins today, ask God to heal your brokeness, and remember His grace is sufficent for you. Receive God's karis, hen, hanan, and hesed. As Christ has done for you, I pray that you too do the same for those around you.