Monday, August 31, 2009

No Fear

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and the one who saves me. So why should I fear anyone? The Lord protects my life. So why should I be afraid?
When we face difficult situations we must be careful to stay focused on the Savior not on the problem. We must not be distracted by all the voices that are trying to give us advice. We must listen to the voice of God. He will not ever lead us down the wrong road. there is no need for fear, there is a great need for Faith. Once you know what God wants you to do pursue it with all of your heart.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sticks and stones...

Psalm 141:3-4
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;Keep watch over the door of my lips. 4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice deeds of wickedness With men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.
When I was a younger I heard and repeated a little saying that goes like this..."Sticks and stones may break may bones but words will never hurt me." Well, we all know by now that is not true. Words are very powerful and do have the ability to hurt us and possibly even damage us for life. But the opposite is also true. Words may hurt but they also have the power to help and in many cases heal. Today let us choose our words carefully. Make it a point to encourage someone today, to say something positive. You could make the biggest difference in someones life. Be on a mission today, be intentional about this. I still remember things people said to me that hurt but I am where I am today because I listened to the words of encouragement from friends and from Christ. Words are the tools we will use today to be constructive or destructive. Just like Sticks and Stones.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Psalm 52:9
God, I will thank you forever for what you have done. With those who worship you, I will trust you because you are good.
We write and receive thank you notes all the time but I wonder how long it has been since we expressed our thanks to God. Oh I know we say the blessing before meals, or least we should, but just to say "thanks" for all the things God has done for us. I would like to encourage you to try something. Take a sheet of paper and write down one thing you are thankful for today. Then each day for the next 30 days write one or two things on that paper. It might surprise us how many things w have to be thankful for. Really thankfulness is a matter of perspective. It means looking at the things you have rather than longing for the things you want. I hope you will make that list.
Thank you for reading this today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who is Your Heart Doctor?

Psalm 139:23
Look deep into my heart, God,
and find out everything
I am thinking.
As God looks into our hearts today and knows our thoughts, plans, intentions, motives, what does He find? Does He find a heart full of love or hate? Hope or despair? Forgiveness or hostility? A desire to serve God or self? Compassion or confusion? The Bible says that God knows our hearts. It also says we should serve God with all of our heart. Two years ago I had a heart attack which led to a Heart Cathe that discovered a blockage. Once the blockage was dealt with I was fine, left untreated it would have led to death. As God looks in our hearts this morning and reveals to us what is there, ask Him to deal with things that need to be removed so that we can live a productive, purposeful, content life. A life where we serve God and others. God can perform this procedure right now where you are . Ask Him to remove what needs to be removed and fill your heart with love for Him and a desire to serve others. There will be no bill for this procedure. It was already paid for at Calvary.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get Rid of the Pebble

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Ever had a pebble in your show? As you walk it makes you uncomfortable. If you do not remove it your whole body starts to feel the effects, not just your foot. The pain begins to radiate up your leg. You begin to limp. Soon you find it impossible to go on all because of a little stone. I have an idea, next time that happens try removing the pebble. Sin is like that. It gets into our life and if we do not remove it by confessing it to God it begins to affect our whole life. Guilt, remorse, regret, depression. Why go through that? Simply confess the sin to God, repent and move on. You will find it so much easier to live and walk today if you remove the pebble from your shoe and the sin from your life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Where Do We Run For Help?

Psalm 17:7-8
Show your wonderful love.
Your mighty arm protects those
who run to you
for safety
from their enemies.
Protect me as you would
your very own eyes;
hide me in the shadow
of your wings.
Years ago if people needed shelter from an enemy or protection from those seeking revenge they would run to a castle, much like the one pictured here. They would ask the King to use his resources, power and influence to protect them. We too have a King who will protect us. He is not just any King, He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Many say I can not see Him how do I know He is real? After WWII some soldiers were going through a concentration camp and found this inscription on the wall.
" I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in Love, even when I can't feel it.
And, I believe in God, even when he is silent."
So, if you are struggling today and need help, or feel as though you are in a storm and need shelter, seek God. You don't have to look too far, he is closer than your next breath.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Preparing for the Storm

Jonah 1:12
He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you."
It looks as though Hurricane Bill is going to miss us but we are not going to miss him. It is amazing how good the Weather Bureau is at predicting storms, and because they are able to do that thousands of lives can be saved "if" people heed the warnings. Wouldn't it be great if we could predict all the personal storms of life. Relationship problems, car crashes, loss of job, investment futures. If we could we might be able to avoid many of the storms of life. Sometimes we are the cause of the storm as was the case with Jonah. Many times we are not the cause but still have to deal with the consequences. Hurricane preparedness is a big thing here in North Carolina. I want to encourage you to do the best you can to prepare for the storms of life.
1. Accept Christ: That is first and foremost. There is a storm called death which lurks off the coast for all of us and will one day make land. If you have accepted Christ you will be prepared.
2. Walk closely with Christ: This will help you know what to do when storms come. Christ gives us wisdom and will direct our course if we allow Him to. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
3. Share Christ with others: Help others to prepare for the Storms of life by sharing the giver and sustainer of life with them. It is the greatest thing you can ever do for someone.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quiet Waters

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
Sheep are very timid and frighten easily. That is why the Shepherd leads them to quiet waters. In our very busy world wouldn't it be nice to spend an hour or so in this picture today. Maybe having a lunch that you packed or reading a good book or just thinking. Right now you must be laughing to yourself wondering what kind of fantasy world am I talking about. Your day probably probably does not resemble this picture at all. In the Bible we are compared to sheep. Maybe the reason we suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and anxiety is because we do not spend any time beside quiet waters. If you get the chance today change the routine. Go and sit by the water for at least 15 minutes and let God speak to you. You might be amazed at what He has been wanting to say but, we were too busy to hear.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Choose it or Lose It

Joshua 24:15"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Each Sunday when I preach we offer what we call an invitation at the end of the service to Choose to accept Christ or not. In 30 years of ministry I have seen many people make that choice and I suppose many left and chose not to accept Christ, at least not on that day. The good news is that with each new day comes a new opportunity to Choose Christ, or at least that is what the Bible says. However one day that opportunity will be lost forever. So while you have the chance why not make that choice. Paraphrasing Joshua....Choose it or Lose it!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Buckle Up

Matthew 19:26
And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
There are times when we find ourselves in very difficult circumstances. A good example would be the the guy in this picture. When we find ourselves in these spots we have several choices about how we can react. We can worry, or stress, or ignore, or blame, or ask "Why me", or... we can realize that there are NO impossible situations with God and put our trust in Him. It may not be an easy ride and there may be some difficult consequences but in the end God is in control. Now someone may say "That's not true, I have had friends that died in their troubles." Haven't we all? But for the Christian God has also taken care of that outcome. We all die 100% of us. The question is, what then? For those of us who know Christ we go to heaven and are reunited with loved ones who have gone before. So, buckle up. Sometimes the ride will be rough and sometimes very smooth and enjoyable but you will never encounter an impossible situation where God does not know what to do. Trust Him now, He will not fail you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's All About Trust

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Years ago I actually had the opportunity to walk on a real tightrope 40 feet above the ground, with NO net. It was at Circus World in Orlando Florida. They would let volunteers try it and friends of mine volunteered me. (Some friends) Now I know you think I am joking but I am not, I actually walked across it. However there is an important detail you need to know. I had a safety harness on and two people holding the rope to it below. So even though I was 40 feet up with no net I had someone holding on to me. It was all about trust. Did I trust these people not to let to let go. We often find ourselves in similar positions. We are walking a balancing act in life sometimes and the way gets very scary and narrow. But, in those times it is reassuring to know that GOD is holding on to us and He will not let you go. So, no matter how tense the situation is today just remember you are in good hands....with God.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Break The Chain

Luke 10:41
But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;
Many Churches use what we call a prayer chain. When there is a prayer concern, in the church, members will call one another and ask them to pray about it. I believe it is what the Bible has called us to do as we pray for one another. However, what most people participate in is a Worry Chain. When they have a concern they tell everyone they know about it so they can help them worry. Because as we all know worry always solves the problem. The other benefits of worry are better health, deeper sleep, and a positive outlook. Obviously all these things are not true. If we prayed about things as much as we worry about things our lives would be much better for it. So, next time a friend calls you as part of their Worry Chain....break the chain, and tell them you will pray for them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Will Praise You in The Storm

Acts 27:20
The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone.
How would you like to find yourself thrown into this turbulent sea with no life vest. How long would you survive? Each week I talk to people who feel like that has happened to them. Storms come in all shapes and sizes. Job loss, sickness, divorce, family problems, debt overload, addictions, depression, ageing. The people going through these storms may not look like it on the outside but on the inside they look like this picture. What can we do? Well, we can point them towards the one who has the power to calm the storm...Jesus Christ. When Simon Peter was walking on the water he was fine as long as he focused on Christ but when he turned his focus to the waves and wind he began to sink. Our job as Christians is to help people refocus. Help them not to look at the problem but rather problem solver. It's a choice just like everything in life. Choose Christ.
Listen to the song by Casting Crowns, Click on link below

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If You Aim at Nothing You Will Probably Hit It

2 Thessalonians 1:11
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.
In order to achieve great things we must attempt great things. What is it that God has called you to do? Is there a dream or a vision He has given you yet unfulfilled? Read today's verse again. Has God planted a seed in your heart and mind to attempt some great thing? If He has He will give you the ability to accomplish it. It is important to remember where the power comes from though I read a story about a mouse riding on an elephants back and they were crossing a rope bridge. When they got on the other side the mouse looked back and said WOW WE really shook that bridge didn't WE? If you have a dream planted in your heart from God pursue it with everything you have.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Are You Planting Today?

Proverbs 24:14
In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now." We can do nothing about the past but we can do something about today. The world of regrets is a sad place to live but you don't have to stay there. What are you planting today? The Bible says we reap what we sew. So today plant good, forgiveness, compassion, trust, encouragement. If you plant these things they will produce good fruit. The giant redwoods in this picture were once small saplings. But with time and nourishment they have grown to be very strong and so will you. We do not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Choose Your Attitude

Proverbs 15:30
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.
I once read a small little book called "FISH". If you have the opportunity find it and read it, The book is an easy read and was life changing for me. In the book there were four principles that every person should try to adhere to. One of them was that each day you choose your attitude. Think about that. Circumstances do not have to dictate mood. For are going somewhere you really don't want to go so you are in a foul mood. Why? Your going anyway why not make the best of it. It is healthier for you and more enjoyable for everyone else. Try it today. Decide right now I am going to have a good attitude and be a person you would want to be around today. As a Christian we have the Joy of the Lord in our hearts, we should show it on our face.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Opportunity Knocks

Colossians 4:5
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says when an opportunity comes the handle is on the front of it for when it passes it can not be grasped. God presents us with opportunities and when He does we must decide if we are going to be motivated by Faith or Fear. The Children of Israel were faced with that decision when they stood on the threshold of the promised land , the first time. But, because they listened to the ten fearful spies instead of the two faithful ones they wandered aimlessly the rest of their lives in the wilderness and never took advantage of the opportunity God gave them. Don't let that happen to you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keep Asking Good Questions

Proverbs 4:1-2
Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you'll know how to live.I'm giving you good counsel; don't let it go in one ear and out the other.

It is not enough to think we have all the right answers. It is important to keep asking the right questions. I remember when I used to teach I would ask the students if they liked opera, or ballet. many times they would quickly respond NO. Then I would ask how many operas they had heard or ballets they had seen. I was surprised to learn that most of the time they had not experienced either. I suggested to them that they attend a couple of operas and ballets so they could make more of an informed statement concerning both.

Many people treat God the same way. They make all sorts of uninformed statements without ever having any experience with God. I would suggest to them that they explore the idea. Read the Bible, attend a few church services, interact with some Christians and then make more of an informed decision. To be wrong about Opera or Ballet is one thing but to be wrong about God is something else entirely with eternal consequences.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Live Life to the Fullest

Ephesians 3:18-19
Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
First, I am not promoting an existential philosophy in this devotion, I am simply saying we should enjoy life more. A good book to read on this subject would be Ecclesiastes. Much of what we do, in the end, really does not matter. We spend a great deal of time majoring on the minors. I saw a bumper sticker once that read, " The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." The main thing is our relationship with Christ and after that it is our relationship with our fellow man. Many of the things that occupy our time are things that in the end just do not matter. So today try and enjoy your life a little more. Use your imagination, try something different, do something new. If you are not sure how then spend a day with a child and they will show you. They are not yet consumed with the mundane and still see the wonder in everything.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How Do You Know the Voice of God?

John 10:3-4 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
A friend asked me the other day, "How do you know when it is God speaking to you?" This is a very good question and one I have heard many times. I suppose I would ask how do you know when it is your wife, husband, friend, child, speaking to you? Because you are familiar with the sound of their voice. As our relationship with God deepens it becomes easier to discern God's voice when we hear it. Now I have never heard the audible voice of God but He has spoken to me many times. Remember " God is not the author of confusion." So, if the voices you are hearing are confusing to you I would wait until I knew it was the voice of God. How do we develop the ability to recognize God's voice? (Good question, that is why I interjected it here) By reading His Word each day and having a healthy prayer life. By that I mean to practice the presence of God in your life each day and have a continuous dialogue. As we do these things it becomes much easier to know when God is speaking. If you would like to contribute any thoughts on this subject I welcome your comments at ( There is an underscore mark between the
nc and Jeff........nc_jeff)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Change is Constant

2 Peter 1 1-2
I, Simon Peter, am a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God's straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
Many times people, including Christians, spend their time complaining about the problem rather than trying to find a solution. Why invest most of your time and energy in worrying about things you can not change. Wouldn't it be wiser to invest your time and energy in things you can change. Change is going to happen in the natural course of things. We need to consider HOW we are going to change and WHY. What can you do today to help change your present circumstances for the better? Think about it for a minute and once you have the answer get busy.