Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From 43,000 to 35...

About two and a half years ago, Aaron and I were asked to go on a six-month journey with our current Pastor, Tom. Tom asked us (along with 33) others to help bring to life, his and Jackie's vision of building refuge of hope. This hope was to be called Thrive Church.

Aaron and I were forced to make a difficult decision; like Orpah and Ruth, we were called to choose between going back to our comfortable and familiar environment (our home church of 43,000) or step out in faith to a new and foreign land (a church of 35). Fortunately for us we listened to the Holy Spirit as did Ruth (Ruth 1:6-17). We accepted the path God led us to, and as Ruth, we said "...I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live..." (Ruth 1:16). Ruth acted selflessly and considered her mother-in-law, Naomi's, need as a widow and she was willing to give up her homeland for a new territory that awaited her. Unlike Orpah who chose to return to her familiar homeland.

This walk of faith has helped me see what a big God we serve. From a humble beginning of 35 people to now 580 in regular attendance at Thrive. I am humbled at how God used us to help further His kingdom. For if it weren't for Tom and Jackie laying their faith, trust, and hope in the Lord, we wouldn't have had the opportunity nor the resources to share the hope and healing of Jesus Christ with so many broken and hurting sinners in the Katy/Richmond area.

Our journey of faith has also taught us to rely on God to provide for our family in everyway. It has given us a hope that when we thought we were leaving the best behind, God was just adding to our cup so that it overflows with blessings. (Psalm 23:5) We want our commitment to God and His people to be woven together so closely that they are almost inseparable.

As for Naomi and Ruth, their relationship is a beautiful example of how God can turn difficult circumstances and decisions to one of blessings. (Ruth 4). As God has used us and Naomi, he can use you too bring others to Him if you are willing to step out in faith and leave the comfortable behind.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Beloved Gem

Husband's and wive's love is like a king's signet ring. Both sign important documents with their rings. For spouses, they sign their marriage license as a declaration of their love and exchange rings. A love that should be self-less, sacrifical, unconditional, patient, and persevering--just as God's love is toward us. God promised that, we, like Him, should promise our spouses that "neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us..."(Romans 8:39) from His love, nor the love we have for each other.

I once heard someone say: "don't marry someone you can live with--marry someone you cannot live without!" Well I have to say God perfectly aligned that for Aaron and me. I do have to say that I think I got the better end of the deal. Aaron is a gem, my diamond in the rough. I couldn't have asked for a better husband. He has loved me through our ups and downs, through the calm and the storms, even the days that I have been impatient, unkind, proud, irritable, and rude. He has strived to love me as God has loved me. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) God gave His son out of love, so He wouldn't have to live without you! Read the last sentence again and ponder on what a sacrificial and loving Father we have!

"I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine." (Song of Songs 6:3) I pray today Solomon's words are etched and sealed on your heart. Honor and love your spouse as God would have you love them. I pray that your "love flashes like fire" and shines out "the brightest kind of flame" (Song of Songs 8:6) for your spouse. May you bless others with this message and inscribe it on your own heart. For as Christ's love changed the world, so can yours.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Parenting God's Way

God's guide to parenting is His word. It is an instruction manual and a road map to guide us through unfamiliar terrain. As parents or parents to be, we need to equip ourselves by consistently studying and applying His principles. When we acquire wisdom from the Lord, we can impart it to our children. "Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching." (Proverbs 1:8)

Children learn by example; therefore, not only should we learn, but we must "teach" and be a model of faith that is alive and real to them. When parents worship and revere God with their words, actions, and teaching they are instilling biblical truth into their children's belief system. The bible says, "train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

None of us are perfect, nor were our parents, but we live and learn. If we learn from God's instruction manual and teach our children to be rooted in Christ's word then we as parents, have instilled the morals and values that will guide our children to live and face this life.

Whether you are a future parent, a parent of a three-year old, a teenager, or an adult child, seek God's guidance on how to instruct them in the "way" they "should go." Maybe you are a grandparent who has gained wisdom throughout the years, you can help guide your grandchildren in the right path. Perhaps you're a youth pastor and are in need of helpful advice or the right words to reach out to a teen; seek scripture and use GOD's words to minister to them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sincere Love in Your Sweet Spot

For the past few years I have really struggled with feelings of not knowing where my role in ministry was and why it is that I haven't really found a place that was, as my pastor has said, "my sweet spot."

Before the foundations of the earth, God had a plan, one that involved His son. He sent His son to this earth, to live out a plan of salvation. One that involved Him sacrificing His one and only son to die for the forgiveness of our sins. "It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (I Peter 1:19)" that was given as a ransom for you. "You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. (I Peter 1:22)" Now that's a "sweet spot!" It wasn't an easy one, but that is the one that God chose for Jesus.

Previously I have given of my time, effort, finances, and resources to help with the needs of others; however, many times it seems I have always walked away with a sense of dissatisfaction, needing something else, as if I continued to have a void that need to be filled. In my own mind, I felt as if I was giving of myself, my time, and my efforts, but it always felt like something was missing. I wasn't fulfilled in the places that I felt I was serving.

As of lately, God has truly been working in my heart to give of my time, effort, finances, and resources, but in a new way. The exact way that He gave of His son. One that is self-sacrificial, with a sincere and "deep" love that Peter speaks about. In essence, I feel like He is saying to me "stop going through the motions" and truly put your heart and soul into anything that I set before is then that you will come upon to know the sincere love that I speak about in my Word.

Although, I am still in process of "finding" my sweet spot, I have a new found freedom that God has shown me; loving deeply and sincerely. The Lord continues to melt away the dross to refine me each day, so as to reflect His image.

I pray that the Lord works in your heart and your life. For I know that He has great and mighty plans for your life and the sacrifice of His son has shown His sincere love for you. Love others today and give of your whole self. Whether it be that you spend more quality time with your family, give a listening ear to your dear friend that is hurting, devoting time to lead a bible study, or giving of your financial resources. If it is you that is in need, give to others and see what God gives back to you in return.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Writing Our Own Story

All of us have a difficult time letting go of the reigns in our lives. We want to sit in the director's chair or be the puppet master moving our own strings in the direction we want them to go. We struggle with the command that Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us we should follow:

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.

We fool ourselves into thinking we know what is best. When we feel things should go one way our another and they fail to meet our timelines or expectations, we don't allow ourselves to trust our Father God completely and we "turn from right ways to walk down dark and evil paths" (Proverbs 2:12). We try to write our own stories.

We must learn to honor God by allowing him to "direct our paths." We must learn to be patient and have confidence in His wisdom. For "wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her" (Proverbs 3:18).

Start today by trusting Him to write your story and allow your confidence in Him to encourage others. Let him pull the strings and sit in the director's chair. If you allow Him, He will bless you beyond what you could ever fathom.

Friday, September 16, 2011

God's Redeeming Grace

Our lives were created for a purpose and God wrote our story before the foundations of the earth were created. He knew from the beginning what paths our feet would take and what sins we would commit against Him. Take Saul (later called Paul) for example, he was so zealous for his Jewish beliefs that he set out to destroy Christianity. He was so intent on “opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9) that in “raging fury,” he breathed “threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” (Acts 26:1) Here was a man who truly hated Christ and all who were associated with Him, yet while traveling on the road to Damascus, pursuing Christians, he was confronted by Christ and brought face to face with the Good News. His encounter with Christ transformed him from being a persecutor of Christians to a believer and preacher in and for Christ. Paul went on to become a great missionary that wrote 13 (maybe 14 if he wrote Hebrews) books of the new testament.

Regardless of Paul's past persecution and murder of Christians, God used Paul to spread His Word. Not only did Paul preach God's word, but more convincing were his actions of a changed life. I love this poem by Heinrich Kopka that captures the essence of who Paul had become with Christ by his side:

"I'd Rather See a Sermon" by Heinrich Kopka

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I'd rather you walk with me than merely point the way.
The eye is a more ready pupil than ever was the ear.
Good advice is often confusing, but example is always clear.

Paul says,"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody" (2 Corinthians 2:3). The Lord already knew what your "letter" would look like, for it was written long ago.

It seems that our life is a written "letter" and a testimony seen by other believers. It doesn't matter what was written down in the past, but change your ways so that God's redeeming grace may write your present and future "letters." Bring others to know Christ by the power of your testimony that led you to Him. Walk the walk instead of "merely pointing the way."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Greatest Common Enemy

Pride. In his essay, "Pride, Humility, and God," John Stott wrote, "Pride is more than the first of the seven deadly sins; it is itself the essence of all sin.” Satan fell from heaven because of pride. In Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18 it references the kings of Babylon and Tyre; however, it seems that the kings that the scripture is referring to are too powerful to be human; therefore, they may have been describing the motivating spiritual force of Satan behind these kings. Common to these viewpoints is the truth that pride, "For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’" (Isaiah 14:13-14) was what exposed Satan and led God to severely punish him, for he desired to be God, to essentially “kick God off His throne” and take over the rule of the universe.

Unfortunately all of us have been prideful. I have heard one too many stories, including some of my own, that say, "I wouldn't do that" or "It will not happen to me, I won't put myself in that position" or "I know I can do this myself, I don't need help." Ouch! I know the sting of those statements and it isn't pretty. I look back at myself and think, "how arrogant of me to think that I could that on my own."

Mary Cassian in her book, "Girls Gone Wise, in a world gone wild" talks about a couple who both graduated from bible college, secured staff positions at a church and after a few years got burnt out by the grind of church life and politics. They eventually decided they needed a break, they both resigned, found secular jobs and moved away from friends and family. They soon found themselves not going to church, reading their bible, nor fellowshipping with Christian believers. Eventually they found friends that were unbelievers they knew from work and the community. One night a new couple in the neighborhood invited them to have some drinks and play cards. Eventually the card nights of poker, turned into strip poker, sexual favors and dares, and later orgies.

Mary Cassian posed the question, "if a friend in Bible College had asked Judy if she would ever participate in a sexual orgy, Judy would have scoffed at the question. It was preposterous! Of course she would never
do that! She wouldn't compromise her morals. How could she? She was a Christian. She loved Jesus." I thought to myself as I read this story, what a sad path of life this lady and her husband chose.

Well don't be so prideful into thinking that this couldn't have been you in the same or similar situation in which you never thought you'd find yourself in. Don't think that you are above our common enemy of pride and you can control your actions.

At times our actions and thoughts can be clouded by the mere circumstances in which we find ourselves and it is then that we must ask God for His guidance and strength to resist our enemy, pride. For we must avoid the temptation of becoming prideful, for "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18)." If you find yourself stumbling over and over in areas of your life, humble yourself and ask someone you trust to evaluate whether you are blinded to the warning signs that are making you stumble.

Pride takes many forms, but ultimately it ends with self-glorification. If you or someone you know struggles in this area, ask yourself/them, "is my motive to glorify myself and not God?" Help yourself and others today by helping them unmask their pride and introduce them to humility by sharing the story of Jesus with them, the author of humility.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Can I borrow your smile for today?

There are days that each of us have, where we are truly exhausted and feel like we are beat down and defeated before we even begin our day. We are overwhelmed by all of the trials at work and home, the negative thoughts that bombard our minds, the grief and suffering of losing someone, or the idea that we will be defeated yet again. Some days we probably feel as Job felt, "Why is life given to those with no future, those God has surrounded with difficulties? I cannot eat for sighing; my groans pour out like water. What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.(Job 3:23-26)" It is then that we should ask the Lord, "please, may I borrow your smile for the day?"

Once we decide to get up, we must ask for His strength to carry us forward and to prepare us for battle. Psalm 18:32-34 says, "God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow." Our Father God promises to give us strength to meet the challenges of the day. He prepares us to climb mountains and fight battles by teaching us, strengthening us, and standing beside us. Through our sufferings He prepares us for the future things that we are not aware of.

Our God is a God of intention and purpose. He doesn't always eliminate the trials of life, but He intends to use them for our good. We can rest assured that "He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Remember that God's strength never diminishes. He is always there to listen and to call upon Him; Trust in Him for He will cause you to rise above life's trials. Allow Him to be your strength and help in your time of need! If you, a loved one, a co-worker, a friend, or even a stranger that you may see in the street, are struggling to make it to tomorrow, rest assured and be encouraged that the Lord will strengthen you, just ask Him if you can borrow His smile today. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Faithful Promises

When Aaron and I visit friends that we haven't seen in a while, whether it be a month, two months, or even a year. We typically hear about how Katherine has changed (physically) so much and how she looks like both Aaron and me or one or the other of us.

As I see her from day to day it is sometimes difficult to see how much she has truly changed, but when I go back and look through pictures or videos, I am amazed at how she has changed over the past few years. Not only do I see physical changes, but I also have seen the external influences that surround her. Whether those be from mommy and daddy, friends and family, or the things that she is exposed to in this world. I will hear her say things, like, "oh mommy, you're a silly goose" (hmmm...don't know where she got that from LOL) or I will hear her sing Christian songs off of KSBJ or talk about the stories of the bible that were taught to her; even sometimes the not so nice things, like pushing or being mean to her friends or us.

I love the fact that the God of the bible created her and us perfectly in His image. He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). He created everything that we see and everything that we are; even though we may change over time, whether that be in body or spirit, our God is always the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We can always trust that He will never change. The promises that He made to Sarah that she would give birth to a son at 90 years-old (Genesis 17:17), David "that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever" (2 Chronicles 21:7), the Israelites returning to their promised land (Ezra 1)and to Hannah that she would have a son after being barren (I Samuel 1:20); were all fulfilled.

Even though our lives, our circumstances, and the world around us changes, we must continue to believe that those things that were promised to us whether they were yesterday or ten years ago that we must have hope, never give up, and keep our eyes focused on the God of the bible that gave us the promises in His word.

I am not sure the promises that you are longing to be fulfilled; whether they be that you have that perfect spouse that comes along, that your family comes to know our Father God or comes back to Him, that you get that perfect job, or that you find a loved one that was lost. I pray that you never stop hoping and that you don't allow yourself to grow cold towards the Lord because you haven't yet seen what you have been hoping for.

Read God's word today to know the promises that He has for you. Remind yourself and others of them. Look back at all the promises that He has fulfilled for you, remind yourself of how faithful God has been in your life. Always providing for your every need, even at the midnight hour. Encourage a friend or co-worker that is struggling with how their world is changing, yet nothing they had hoped for was going the way they had planned.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Turning Point

Because of sin, God used King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon to destroy Jerusalem and to hold captive the Jews and carry them away to Babylon. After 70 years in exile, the captives from Judah were allowed to return to their homeland (Jerusalem) by Cyrus, the king of Persia. This was a fulfillment of prophesy by the prophet Jeremiah, "This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 'Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,' says the Lord. “I will make the country of the Babylonians a wasteland forever (Jeremiah 25:11-12)." In Jeremiah 29:10, he says, "This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again." The prophet Isaiah also prophesied the same in Isaiah 44:28–45:3, "When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’” and "this is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never to shut again. This is what the Lord says: “I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains. I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness-secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name."

Zerrubabel led the first captives of Judah to their homeland to rebuild the temple. The Jews worked together to accomplish the task of rebuilding the temple that was first built by King Solomon. Despite years of opposition and accusations against them, they were able to complete the temple. This was a turning point for the nation of Israel and it brought hope to the people who had returned.

God was faithful to keep His promises to His chosen people. Even after being discouraged and frightened by their enemies, they continued to rely on God to give them strength. They stood strong in the Lord and trusted in His power to help them overcome the powerful forces of opposition. We too must stand strong and lean on God. No matter if it is days, weeks, months, or 70 years, we must never give up hope that God will fulfill His promises to us. For you'll never know if the turning point of your life is just ahead.

As God used Cyrus to bring His people back to their homeland, be encouraged and encourage others to continue on, for God can use others to do the same for you. It is important to recognize and help others recognize the obstacles, such as fear or discouragement, that may hinder their motivation to overcome the stumbling blocks that come their way.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


While Saul was still on the throne, David was annointed to be the next king of Israel. Later, David was invited to the palace and he comforted Saul by playing the harp for him when he was depressed, became best friends with his son, Jonathan, and was made commander of Saul's army. After being made commander of the army, David killed Goliath, the Philistine, and as he and the Israelite army returned home, the women from many towns came to celebrate and cheer for King Saul and they sang and danced. "This was their song: 'Saul has killed thousands, and David his ten thousands!'(I Samuel 18:7)". Saul became angry and jealous of David after that time; for he seemed to have won the hearts of the people. Saul put David in harms way, tried to have him killed many times, and he pursued after David to kill him. David was warned by both Jonathan (Saul's son) and Michal (Saul's daughter, David's wife) to leave before he was killed by their father.

Do you ever feel like when you are doing something good at work, through ministry, or just trying to help those around you, that the enemy tries to send others that may say "just the right thing or do the right thing" to mess up your good plans or upset you; those "things" may build up and allow anger and hatred to rise up in you and ruin the good you were trying to conduct. Or do you ever feel like when you are trying to do noble and righteous acts for God's kingdom the enemy sets up road blocks, whether it be that someone tries to sabotage you or that things aren't properly prepared as they should have been due to someone else's lack of doing their part, or it could be that you are running late to a very important meeting that will move you to the next level in life. Whatever those adversaries are in your life, remember to not allow hatred or anger to get the best of you.

For many years David fled, from Saul, in caves and the wilderness. Each time Saul was close, David continued to flee to another spot. One day "at the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! (I Samuel 24:3)" David's men whispered to him "Now's your opportunity. Today is the day the LORD was talking about when he said, 'I will certainly put Saul into your power, to do with as you wish.' (I Samuel 24:4)" Instead of killing him, David chose to cut off a piece of Saul's robe. For David said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him. (I Samuel 24:6)” After Saul left the cave David shouted to Saul, "...My lord the king! (I Samuel 24:8)" “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’ Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me. (I Samuel 24:9-11)"

Another instance in I Samuel 26 happens where Saul chases after David once again. David and Abishai slipped into Saul's camp where they found Saul and his warriors sleeping. David once again spared him by telling Abishai not to kill him for Saul was God's annointed one.

David could have killed Saul in both of those instances out of pure hatred for Saul having tried to kill him; however, David showed his respect for the appointed king and demonstrated to God how much he loved him by being obedient to him. When our enemies come our way to destroy us, we too should allow love, generosity, and respect to reign in our lives. Hatred is a very powerful emotion that can cause us to sin and only makes us bitter if we hold onto it. Give the "Saul's" in your life grace and shower them with kindness.

I pray that the things the enemy tries to put in your way to make you stumble, be removed and that you allow those times to let God's light shine through you. Give all things to God and He shall set you free!

In the end, it seems that David continued to love and respect Saul and love his son, Absolom regardless of their plots against him.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


During our lifetime many of us face verbal attacks, gossiping, lies being told of us, and others out to ruin our reputations. All of these circumstances can leave us feeling despondent, hurt, angry, as if we have no control, and maybe feel like giving up on life, feel like life is overwhelming and out of control and maybe eventually bitter at people and/or life.

I recently met a young woman (now 31 years-old) who was diagnosed with epilepsy (later to find out it was a brain tumor) during high school. She had seizures at school and many of the students would make fun of her, mock her, point to her, and say many hurtful words. When speaking to the young lady about school, it seemed obvious that bitterness had set in about her previous experiences. Talking about them invoked vulgar words, a heightened volume in her voice, and angry feelings.

This young lady experienced a very hurtful situation in which she felt attacked from many sides. Throughout the past thirteen years, she held onto the devastation she felt in high school and appeared to continue to struggle with it.

Lions are predatory animals that are at the top of the food chain. They are armed with curved and elongated teeth; sharp claws; camouflaged coloring; incredible power, strength, and agility. One of the only flaws of the lion is their lack of stamina in chasing prey; therefore, in order to have foraging success they must hide and intently watch their prey. As their prey look away or down to eat, the lion creeps closer, for this is vital to its success in catching its prey. Once it is at a striking distance (between 65-100 feet), it pounces and ends its chase quickly.

There have been times in my life where I felt like Daniel. Because of Daniel’s faithfulness to the Lord and his honesty and integrity, he was second in command of the kingdom. The other government officials were very jealous of Daniel and set a trap for him. They knew that Daniel went into his room three times a day to pray, so they persuaded King Darius to enact a law forbidding worship of anyone but the king. The government officials had been waiting and watching Daniel praying. Then they told the king, "That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.” (Daniel 6:13). The king was then legally required to punish Daniel for continuing to pray to his God. So he reluctantly threw Daniel into the lion’s den. The next day the king found Daniel alive and unharmed for God had "sent his angel to shut the lions' mouth so that they would not hurt me...(Daniel 6:22).

It seemed because I was a Christian and very vocal about my faith, many of the people around me seemed to be watching me intently, like a lion does before pouncing on its prey, to see when I was going to make a mistake to give them an excuse to say that I was no different as a Christian because my choices were not perfect and I made the same mistakes they had or had seemingly made poorer choices than they. Have you ever felt like that? It's like a camouflaged lion waiting for you, in the tall grassland, to use his strength, power, sharp claws and teeth to get a hold of you and then pounce on you, so that they can gossip about you, point fingers at you, ruin your reputation, yell angry words or spread rumors about you. During those times it may seem that everything is beyond your control, your world is falling apart, and the foundation that you once stood on is falling from under you, but then you stand your ground, be faithful and consistent, love others regardless of their faults. Most of all remember that God is always in control and with His help we can gain a victory over our "roaring lions" as Daniel did when...the next day the king found Daniel alive and unharmed for God had "sent his angel to shut the lions' mouth so that they would not hurt me...(Daniel 6:22).

As the young woman in the story above, many of us have or will have experienced a similar situation in which it is difficult to allow God to heals us; however, we must choose to give the "roaring lions" of hurt, bitterness, and anger inside of us, to God. As David said in Psalm 22 when he felt like the enemy was surrounding him like a heard of bulls and "like roaring lions attacking their prey, they come at me roaring and tearing into their prey" (vs. 13), we must "then declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among all your people" (vs. 22). Because David cried out to God, God delivered David, and then he publicly praised the Lord for his deliverance. As Daniel trusted in God so must we, for our God is a God who will help us gain the victory!

Put your trust in the Lord today, for He can deliver you in any situation. Remind yourself that you must put your confidence in him for He is in control of all things.