Latest Posts

10 Quotes from Max Lucado’s ‘Before Amen’


When Prayer Flows

If you want to take you prayer life to another level of simplicity and ease, “Before Amen” is for you. It is inviting and inspiring. The focus remains on the Father all through the book. In essence, that is exactly what prayer is all about.

Enjoy a few quotes that jumped off the pages:

“Before you face your world, face you Father.”

“Prayer is conversation with God while driving to work or awaiting an appointment or before interacting with a client. Prayer can be the internal voice that directs the external action.”

“Guilt leaves a tattooed heart.”

Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray”

“Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart; the willing pull; the happy welcome to Jesus.”

“Prayers are not graded according to style.”

“You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.”

“An un-prayed for problem is an embedded thorn.”

“Life is a gift, albeit unassembled. It comes in pieces, and sometimes it falls into pieces.”

“God’s goal for you is wholeness.”

An Illustration that will preach

This was a gentle, smooth read. Max’s illustration of the prayers of a 10 year old girl in Helen Roseveare’s orphanage is a powerful testament of what it really means that the “Father knows what you need even before you ask” (Matthew 6:8). How would you like to receive a timely gift, the same day you prayed, only to find out that the gift was mailed 5 months earlier?. I highly recommend Max Lucado’s ‘Before Amen.’

#brightsummerbooks

Ignite my Soul: Consume these idle sticks


“God consume these idle sticks in my life that may burn for thee.” Jim Elliot

What does the word idle mean?

It means – not active or in use.
synonyms: inactive, unused, unoccupied, unemployed, disused. It speaks of a person – not working; unemployed. Synonyms: unemployed, jobless, out-of-work, redundant, between jobs, work less, unwaged, unoccupied. It also speaks of a person avoiding work; lazy. Synonyms: lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, sluggish, lethargic, listless

It means to lack or be without purpose or effect; pointless.
Synonyms: frivolous, trivial, trifling, vain, minor, petty, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, inane, fatuous

It defines a person who spends their time doing nothing; be idle.
Synonyms: do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, take it easy, mark time, twiddle one’s thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, lounge, loll, loaf, loiter.

The Scripture warns about it

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4

And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace. Matthew 20:3

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Matthew 25:26

For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. Titus 1:10

And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11

I understand that some times, depending on where you are in life, a lack of clarity or opportunity can easily turn you into a couch potato. But that is a very dangerous place to park. If you didn’t already know, you are in big trouble if you find yourself sitting around doing nothing. Your life has become the devil’s workshop.

A slothful life can easily become a life of Spiritual Apathy. You soon find yourself slipping into a subtle love for worldly things. All of a sudden you, your life, your vision becomes dull – nothing moves you.

At this point, life is reduced to easy choices, and mediocrity. You begin to make the bed with false comforts. You are easily carried away by worldly distractions and fleshly attractions. And the things of the world are now more important than God’s mission.

What you need at this time is a dose of purpose; a watershed of passion and an explosion of persistence.

Mary O’Connor said, “It’s not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.” What’s your purpose in life?

Shannon O’Dell said, “God has so made man, that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.” What are you passionate about?

The Apostle Paul said, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward toward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” How persistent are you?

Before I close, I urge you to find those idle sticks that are slowing you down from living life persistently and passionately on purpose. My idle sticks are different from yours and yours from mine. What’s important is that we can find them and ask God – the God who answers by fire – to consume them and set us on fire.

These prayers I will pray:

Lord, consume my longing and lack of discipline for:
Too much Entertainment

Lord, consume my:
Laissez Allez Mentality

Lord, consume my:
Indifferent & Care free Attitude

Lord, consume my:
Propensity to Settle for second best

Lord consume my
Spiritual Apathy

Lord consume my
Passivity

Light a passionate fire in my soul and make me “the fuel oh flame of God.”

Recourse: Online Etymology Dictionary for idle

Soothing Consolation


When the cares of my heart, are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:19

This passage has been on my mind since yesterday morning. It not only blessed me richly through the day, but it also was a timely word for a friend with whom I had lunch. So I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few thoughts about it.

The cares of life/my heart

We all have it from time to time. The cares of this life is a life choker. It chokes, squeezes and suffocates the life out of you. If there is any ounce of “Word of God” in you, well, it goes after it with vengeance, leaving you full of busy, anxious, perplexing, worrying, fearful, distracting and doubtful thoughts. How do you handle vexing and contrary thoughts?

Your Consolation

I am so thankful that we (believers/followers of Jesus) have Him – the One who “comforts us in all our troubles.” I am so glad that we have the promises contained in His word that bring sweet consolation to the soul in our times of need. We are so blessed to have the presence of His Holy Spirit, who by the way, is called the Comforter, and who brings immense joy and peace to our soul. And I have to mention – His faithfulness in times past. The remembrance of His goodness brings the assurance we need to break free from current worries..

Cheer my soul

Through all these things, God strokes and soothes the troubled heart. The word cheer in this text literally means to stroke or to soothe. It is the same word used in Isaiah 66:11 of a mother quieting her infant child through breastfeeding. It is the same word in Jeremiah 16:7 where it speaks of the consolation given to mourners at funerals. In the same way, the Lord soothes and strokes us when we are bombarded with vexing and anxious thoughts.

Conclusion

Many thing about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow and I know He holds my hand.

  • Jesus promised to walk with you through every testing time in your life.
  • He sends His Holy Spirit to come alongside of you in trying times.
  • His word is “perfect and able to revive and refresh your soul.”
  • His track record is evidence that He will never forsake you or leave you.

Let us open our hearts and minds and allow these truths to penetrate the ” divided soul and Spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discern the thoughts and intentions our our hearts” so He can bring soothing consolations to our lives.

This He desires greatly to do!

Question:

Have you ever been overwhelmed with the cares of life? How did you break free? What Bible verse/s soothes you in times of worry and fear?

In Quotation Marks

Psalm 19:7; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 1:4

10 thoughts from Passion Week & Easter Sunday


I know, you might say, “too late for a post on Easter, it was two weeks ago.” Well, you might want to read till the last two points in this post to see what I have to say about that. But first, let’s get started with the first thing I learned about Easter during the passion week and Easter Sunday.

Everything I’ll ever need is already provided

“And he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all the things that are written through the prophets shall be accomplished unto the Son of man.” Luke‬ ‭18:31‬ ‭

Martyrdom – no!/ Reckless devotion – yes!

The call tho lay down one’s life is not a call to martyrdom- it’s a call reckless abandon of self… “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭

True friends are those who are around when life a hard.

We are called to be that kind of friend and hope to find one in our time of hardship. “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials,” Luke‬ ‭22:28‬ ‭

Something got to give. Sin or God.

If sin rules, the life of God dies. If God rules, sin dies. For this reason Jesus came to kill sin and deal with death. “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8

I believe God believes in prayer.

“Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”” Matthew‬ ‭26:38‬

God always finishes what He starts

He who started this good work in you is faithful. He will make everything perfect in His own time “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” John‬ ‭17:4‬

There is as much grace for healing as there is for salvation

The sacrifice of Christ isn’t cheap. It doesn’t just cover a few things that are wrong. It covers everything sufficiently. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter‬ ‭2:24‬

There is no crown without having to carry a cross

“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”” Luke‬ ‭24:26‬

Easter is for every day

Because He lives I can face each day with absolute determination, conquer every mountain with supernatural courage, live effortlessly the resurrection life as I remain in Him and await He glorious return. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans‬ ‭6:4

Easter is not an calendar event – it’s not a holiday we celebrate once a year. Easter is about the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He said speaking about the resurrection, His Words: “I am the resurrection and the life.” Resurrection is not a day or event we celebrate – it’s a person, and He calls us into a relationship with Himself.

It is my hope that some of you reading this post had the opportunity to renew that relationship two weeks ago. And still for others, my prayer is that you continue to grow in your relationship with Him

That is what Easter is all about.

Thanks for reading!

God, Time, and Promotion


The proper time for promotion

It is not my time

It is not a chanced time

It is not premature time

It is not an expired time

It is God’s time!

The key to finding God’s time is twofold:

Humility

Humble yourself under His mighty power… in due time He will lift you up!

Trust

Casting all anxieties on Him

We are either prideful or fearful in general when it comes to finding success, achieving our goals or reaching our destiny,

We often get in the way of the Lord by enthroning ourselves. We are impatient. So we take matters into our own hands. And instead of seeking Him for wisdom we operate on a human level instead of on God’s supernatural grace. The result is fear and frustration. The longer we stay in that state, the harder it becomes for us to step into God’s proper time.

When fear begins to rule our lives we fall further away from seeing God at work in our lives. Fear unleashes in us all forms of anxieties. We shut down, throw in the towel, and sometimes hide. We doubt out ourselves and God. We worry about everything. In many unfortunate cases, we turn to false comforts to help us cope with the fear. The result, God seems farther away from us.

Our pride says “I can do this.” But God says, “make no mistake, my hand is mightier than yours.”

Our fear says “look at the giants, they’re going to crush you.” God says, “make no mistake, I can move mountains, I can slay giants, I can cause waters to spring up in desert places and I most certainly can raise the dead.”

Our pride says, “I got this… been there done that.” God says, “trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thy own understanding- acknowledge me in all your ways and I will make things happen for you.”

Our fear says, “be God and worry about it… throw a pity party… hire professional criers to help you party.” God says, “cast all your cares on me – I care for you… I will make you walk through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil… I’ll take away the bread of anxious care and give you rest and cause you to sleep like a baby without a care.

All you have to do is humble yourself and trust in me.

I can almost hear the Lord say to us, “Behold I lay before you today the opportunity to step into my proper timing to lift you to where you belong – what are you going to do about it?

Stay Blessed!

Scriptures to ponder:

1 Peter 5:6-7

Jeremiah 33:3

Proverbs 3:5-6

Ephesians 2:10

Jeremiah 17:5-8

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BAConclusion

We see through this devotional that even though seasons occur in our lives, God is not seasonal in his love, goodness, or faithfulness. The times when we think God is not present are those very times when he had us in the palm of his hand. The question is no longer why God has not accomplished his promises in our lives but rather if our perspective of God’s promises and how he accomplishes them is renewed. We no longer measure God’s faithfulness to happy endings but we know God is faithful in the journey and through the process. We now can rest assure that God’s faithfulness is not limited to good times or bad times. He is the God who holds and control all seasons.

Amen.

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


Day 7 – The friend who Sticks Around

Proverb 18:24
3 John 15:13

Song extract “You walked with me on the rocky road you’ve never left my side”
32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BA
Few years ago, my kids introduced me to the movie the “Lord of the rings”. They were so much into that film I had to finally sit down and watch all three parts back to back. That was a test to my patience…until I fell in total admiration for one of the characters. He would have been the main character if the movie was titled “The Friend of the Chosen”.

Samwise “Sam” Gamgee, Frodo Baggins’s friend has played an extraordinary and important role in the victory over the ring. Sam was the moral, emotional and physical rock for Frodo during the difficult parts of the journey. He suffered cold, hunger, tiredness, betrayal, Frodo’s anger and rejection, but never back down from his love for His Friend. Many times He resisted the influence of the ring and took the risk of wearing the evil jewel when Frodo could not take it any longer.
I so admire Sam’s steadfast love for Frodo, especially during the last battle to victory, when he picked up a lumping and falling Frodo and cried: “Come, Mr. Frodo!’ I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get! Come on, Mr. Frodo dear! Sam will give you a ride. Just tell him where to go, and he’ll go” What a friend…

What a friend we have in Jesus, he who, like the illustration above, never leaves us. He never abandons us when the going gets tough. He never back down. He never turns away. He is not scared of your trials, he is not grossed by your mess, he is not surprised by your confusion, nor is he scandalized by your mistakes.
He is willing to take you by the hand, walk the rocky road with you, comfort and support you along the way. He will walk the long distance with you and will pick you up when your feet start to bleed. Jesus is faithful in friendship, faithful till death, death on a cross. Won’t you invite him on that rocky road today?

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


Day 6- God does want you to be Happy
Nehemiah 8:10
Philippians 4:4

Song extract: “You walked with me in the garden of joy, you’ve never left me”
32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BA
Scripture clearly tells us that God is a pretty happy being. The Bible says in Zephaniah 3:17 that “God rejoices over us with singing” which literally means, God dances and spin around with singing over us. Just imagine God singing a song for you with Joy…
Not only scripture, but the nature also tells us God is a very joyful and happy person. God’s happiness is all over the place; it’s in the colors and shape of his creation. It’s in the colors of flowers, it’s in the songs of birds, and it’s in the kiss of the sun on your face.
If God is such a happy being, he wants you to be happy!!! So rest assure that God is not just that serious being somewhere frowning on you when you become loud and wild in happiness. He does not think happiness is unholy and will not leave you when you are happy.

Even though God wants us to be happy, that is not all he wants for us. God is the master of the seasons and of the seasons of our lives. More than happiness, God wants to form a character in us. Sometimes we go through difficulties and struggles, but even in the mist of those times the end result God desires is to bring us growth, maturity, spiritual health and therefore happiness.

The happiness he wants for us is not just a temporary one or just a superficial one. God wants a deep and lasting happiness for us. Sometimes that does not come without God taking certain things away from us because he has something better or because those things will provide only a surface level happiness and later cause pain. God is so faithful he watches for our joy to be perfect.

You want to be happy? God wants it for you too.
Are you happy? God is faithful to keep you safe in your happiness.
Let’s therefore have confidence that he, who wants us to be happy, is faithful in all he does in our lives.

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


Day 5 – His love is greater than your fear
Psalm 23:4
1John 4:18

Song extract: “You walked with me in the valley of death lord, you never failed me”
32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BA
Yes, just like David, there are times in the Christian walk when we find ourselves in the valley, whether it’s the valley of lack, pain, sickness, loneliness, abandonment, homelessness, or even in the valley of death.
In those times, we are confronted by the feeling of danger. We fear to lose our comfort, our jobs, our reputation, our marriage and why not. We fear to lose our lives.

David made an astonishing declaration in Psalm 23:4. He declared that even though He walks through the valley of the shadow of death, He will fear no evil, for God is with Him.
Remark that David confidence was not in just being in the company of God while he walks through the valley, but his confidence was in the character of who was walking with him. He was confident that the one walking with him through the valley loves him more than anything and will surely not let anything harm him. His confidence was in the unchangeable, undeniable and sure love of God.

How many times do we find ourselves confronted to difficult situations in life and ask if God sees us, if he even loves us. When we doubt his love and care, fear creeps in. This is because we accept the thought that there is a chance God will not come to our rescue or will not protect us from evil while we are walking through the valley.
Fear creeps in because we do not know God’s love for us. The Bible teaches us that Love banish all fear. Knowing God’s love banish all fear.
Situations will come in your life and will shake you even to the foundations of your faith; But Knowing God’s heart and love for you in those times is extremely important.

Many times in my life when my heart fainted were times when my eyes were removed from the unconditional love of the father for me. When I look back at those times I can see how God has been faithful. He did not remove the valley but he kept me through it.

Is it today the day you need to be honest with God and tell him how much you’ve doubted his faithfulness only because you doubted his love for you?
Is it today a day you need to call your fear by name and tell it how much God loves you?
Shall we ask God to reveal to us the depth of his love?

 

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BADay 4- Count your blessings

1 Thessalonians 5:18
James 1:17

Song extract “You walked with me on the mountain top lord, you’ve never failed me”

God faithfulness is a theme that seems to be of relevance when things are not going the way we expect and we are to be reminded of His faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is mostly appreciated when his intervention comes to end a season of trails. In those times, we tend to appreciate and celebrate His faithfulness. Often times, we fail to notice or appreciate the faithfulness of God in things that have never been an issue in our lives, in things are going right for us or when we are on the mountain top.
Most times though we are simultaneously on a mountain top in one area of our life and in the valley low in another area of our life. Human nature tend to focus less on things going right and we fail to celebrate God for his faithfulness in the areas of our life where we are not struggling.

So many times I failed to recognize how God has kept me up on the mountain in many areas of my life. I would thank him for the day and thank him for my life but I would then focus on those areas where it seems I’m not having winnings. I failed to celebrate God and notice his faithfulness in many other aspects of my life.
When we take time to intentionally acknowledge and celebrate God’s faithfulness when things seem to be going « naturally right », it does not only glorify God, it unlocks faith and strength in us and reminds us that God who accomplished those things in one aspect is not blind to the other aspects of our lives.

Would you take some times today to acknowledge God’s ever presence and faithfulness in your life? Would you take some time today to count all your many blessings? Would you name them one by one and see what God has done?

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


Day 3- When you don’t understand God
Esaie 55:9

Proverbe 3:5-6

32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BA

Song extract: «Even in times when I don’t understand, I know you are on my side »

Have you ever been angry at God? Did you ever felt God told you one thing and served you something else? Or felt God has NOT kept his promise to you? Or start doubting if what you heard really came from God?
Maybe God promise to give you a child but has never given you a husband or a wife.
Maybe you received the call to serve God in a specific area of ministry but God has led you in contradictory circumstances you had no power to change. Did God promised to do something in your life and you waited and waited and it just seems like time is running out?
Have you ever come to the conclusion that God has “deceived” you?
Relax; you’re not weird. Many other believers today in the Bible have felt that way. It took me lots of prayers lots of tears and lots of surrendering to realize that God has never ever changed his mind about me.

When God gives a promise, he’s as much interested in the end result as much as the process. He’s concerned about delivering the promise, as much as getting you to the promise. God is not just interested in giving us gifts; He’s even more interested in making a gift out of us.
See, a promise is always about an action in the future… “I promise I will…” Between the now and then, lots of things can happen, and God would need to lead us through the distance between the “now” and the “then”. God is interested in getting us ready for the promise. God’s accomplishment of his promise in our lives is never disconnected with his strong desire for us to become a promise for others. Often times we are not ready to handle what he promised, and he needs to get us ready for it.

We usually form an idea of how God’s promise will look like, but when God make a promise, the way he accomplishes his promise may look quite different than what we thought. The Bible teaches us that God’s thoughts and ways are far away from ours,; and His ways are indeed far better than our ways.
Believing that God of the promise is also the God of the journey to the promise is the key to not lose hope and faith in what God is trying to accomplish in our lives.

When you don’t understand…
Trust in the God who chooses to wonderfully clothe the fields of the grass which will be thrown into the fire.
Trust in the God who could have prevented Lazarus from dying but chose to raise him up instead.
Trust in the God of the promise to change your life rather than trust in the promise to change your circumstances. He is faithful!

You’ve Never Failed Me Yet


32580254-6861-46F6-B73F-8D5ED87106BADay 2
My Hiding Place
Psalm 32: 7
Psalm 27:5

Song extract: “ Storms of life come rushing hard oh God, in you I can hide”

The word of God throughout the scripture talk about times of trouble, and Sooner or later everyone experiences those times. As we can observe in our lives, those times come often.
Now more than ever our world is conditioning us to hide and loose consciousness of the trouble. We seek refuge in things that num our conscience but cannot save. Work, busy lives, friends, projects, friends, alcohol, drugs and list goes on. David declares “ The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.”
When we seek refuge in God, he does not just momentarily make us feel better. He is a resting place. He protect us from danger while we keep consciousness of the trouble.

At some point in my own life I thought to myself, it seems like the times of trouble outweigh the time of peace and tranquility. I’ve come to realize that The lord is not surprised by the frequency of my troubles, nor by their nature, nor intensity. He is not surprised, or overwhelmed by our circumstances. He delight in being a refuge for the oppressed.
Often times we find it fairly easier to run to God when the trouble we are into is not caused by our own actions. It becomes more difficult to run and hide in God when we’ve sinned against him. God encourages us to run and seek refuge in him regardless of what caused our trouble. David’s life is a wonderful example of this truth. David’s guilt over his sins has always drove him to runnand confess his sin to God and plead for pardon. He could hide in God no matter what the storm is. What ever the cause or the source of the storm you are facing today, God is a constant and sure refuge. He will cover you with his wings, if you would just run and hide in him.