Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Concentric Circles

In Geometry, concentric circles are defined as circles that have the same center point. You can create concentric circles by tossing a rock into a pond. After the rock hits the water, ripples or waves form and flow out from the center. These circles grow larger as they continue flowing away from the center. This is precisely what happens during a tsunami. The waves from a tsunami can travel up to 500 miles per hour and thousands of miles from the center. These waves travel out in all directions with incredible energy. I guess we will never forget the tsunami of 2004 that killed thousands of people. The power created by these concentric circles is unbelievable!

When we put Jesus in charge and at the center of our lives, many things change for the better. We become happier, live more peacefully, and gain tons of hope. Like ripples on a pond, these changes flow out from us in all directions and have the power to change others. Have you ever known someone who had such an electric personality that you were drawn to them? You can also have that kind of personality that draws people to you. And when people are drawn to you, they will see Christ as the reason. Just toss the Solid Rock that is our Savior into the center of your life. The ripples that result can be very powerful!

Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy path."

Father, I am proud to have You at the center of my life. I ask you to help me win souls for Your Kingdom, according to Your perfect will. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I used to lift weights in the gym almost everyday, especially in my 20's. I was not a body-builder, but I did envy those guys. I bulked up and got stronger. But, I wanted more. I asked a trainer about what kind of supplements I could take that would help me. He suggested several types of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. But He also told me something that I have never forgotten. He said I could take every single supplement in the world, but none of them would help a single bit unless I worked out hard everyday. Those supplements were just that, supplements. But the true benefit came from lifting the weights.

I was reminded of that last night as I strolled down the Bible isle at Books a Million. There were literally 12 shelves slammed full of Bible self-help books. I was overwhelmed. I am sure that most of those books are good ones and can help us to understand the Bible and Christian living a little bit better. But like my trainer told me, all the supplements in the world are not going to help unless you do the real thing: read the Bible. Supplements are good if we just keep in mind that they are supplements only. Nothing can ever take the place of God's Word. Read it, study it, and live it, and you will surely "bulk" up in Christ.

Psalm 119:160 says, "All Your words are true."

Father, help us to remember that although You can speak to us through other books, that Your Holy Bible is still our best source for Your perfect words. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Heavy Heart

I am writing this devotion with a heavy heart. I must admit I am overcome with fears, even though I am a Christian and have grown closer to the Lord. What aches my heart at this hour is the passing of Farah, Ed McMahon, and Michael Jackson. Not that I was a very big fan of any one of them, but it is still a shock! I don't know about you, but today I find myself questioning my destiny. Why was I placed here on earth? I love teaching, and I am hopeful I make a difference in the lives of students. I have a daughter that adores me, and I adore her as well. Writing these devotions makes me feel good...like maybe I am doing something to further His Kingdom. But knowing that I can pass away at any given breath, isn't it normal to wonder if we are doing all we are meant to do?

The solution to my dilemma is found in prayer. I have prayed many times for this, and many more times in the past few days. I feel like I am doing some of God's will, but am I doing all of His will? That may be a question we all ponder, and a question that may not have a clear-cut answer. I am positive that if I die today, I will go to heaven and live with Jesus. The thought of that is exciting! But I also have a fear of standing before God Almighty, incomplete in all He gave me to do. Again, I'm sure this is a common feeling among all of us. But I guess it is a little stronger on my heart considering the latest deaths. I so want to do His will. I have tried to put my own will aside for His. It is the hardest thing I have ever done! But I will NEVER give up trying!

John 7:17 says, "If anyone wants to do God's will, he shall know.."

Father, please help me to understand your will, and please give me the strength to do all of it. In Jesus name, Amen.

False Alarm

I got a real scare last night. As I was walking to the kitchen, I accidentally slammed my right "funny bone" into the wall. After about 10 minutes or so, I had no feeling in the entire arm. I started to panic thinking I may have jolted the disc that just had surgery. When I got the the hospital, they took xrays, which thankfully were all negative. They gave me a cortisone shot, and the feeling slowly started to come back. I was released about an hour later. Today, it almost seems funny. But it was not funny last night. I admit I am a worry-wart, but when the feeling left my arm last night, I got visions of that awful night before my surgery.

I wonder if that is how some people feel after their sin. I wonder if some people go into panic mode thinking they have done real damage to their spiritual life. There's no doubt, sin is awful, and should make us feel bad. That "bad" feeling comes from the Holy Spirit and is meant to help us repent. But If we have accepted Christ as our Personal Savior, NO sin will cause permanent damage! I know it seems hard to believe, but the Scriptures are filled with this very fact. Because we are born-again through the Blood of Jesus, no sin will ever separate us from God. Should we feel bad when we sin? Yes. But we need to use that bad feeling to motivate us to repent, instead of sending us into panic mode.

Romans 8:1-2 says, "In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."

Father, thank you for forgiving us of our sins. Teach us to never let sin cause us to lose our joy in You. Instead, let it motivate us to repentance. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Court Is In Session

I sometimes like to write poetry. I am absolutely not good at it. I can only write when the "mood" strikes, but then when I go back and read it a few days later, it seems so corny to me. I wrote a poem once as a teenager. I am going to re-write it now, with a few changes, as my devotion. I know the writing will be weak, but I pray the meaning behind it will strike your heart.

I was sitting in a courtroom

where people were being tried

some of them looked worried

while others of them cried

We were being tried for sin

which was a terrible crime

And I knew deep inside

that it was almost my time.

When they called out my name

I walked slowly down the isle

It wasn't a very long one

though it seemed like a mile.

As I got to the front

and they named my sins one by one

I knew my life was over

for my sins were already done.

They called out my sentence

I was to be cast into a huge sea

where thousands of hungry sharks

waited there to devour me.

As they threw me in the sea

and my clothes began to get wet

I woke from a terrible nightmare

covered entirely with sweat.

I realized that God had shown me

I was living a life of sin

so I asked Jesus into my heart

and was given a new end.

This terrible courtroom will be real for all those who don't accept Jesus. But if you have already accepted Him as Savior, you will never, ever be judged for your sins. For Jesus already took the sentence that was meant for us. Give Him all your praise right now!

Roman 6:23 says, "For thes wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord."

Father, thank you for Jesus! Help us to live a life that is pleasing to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Don't Waste It

I heard a preacher this past Sunday, and I enjoyed his message very much. I want to paraphrase part of it in today's devotion.

Suppose at the beginning of each day, your bank credited your account with $86,400. You were free to spend as much as you wanted. But at the end of the day, whatever you did not spend would be debited back out of your account. What would you do? Most of us would spend every single cent of it so we did not lose it. Well, at the beginning of every day, God gives each of us 86,400 seconds to spend as we choose. At the end of the day, whatever we did not use is gone forever. But there is a difference between the money and the seconds. We may not spend some of the money, but we do spend every single second He gives us. Unfortunately, most of us "spend" some of those seconds by wasting them.

What would you consider is wasting time? There is not a clear-cut definition for that, as it varies depending on each person. I personally believe that resting is not necessarily wasting time. We all need some time to just sit and do nothing. I think that is healthy. But something I started doing while I am "resting" is praying. Praying is certainly not wasting time. But think about all the time that is wasted through the day by means out of our control. Waiting in traffic, on-hold on the phone, doctors' offices, TV commercials, and many other things really add up the seconds each day. Maybe we can be creative and find a way to do something constructive during those times. Again, I have found that praying is the most constructive thing I can do. If we prayed to Jesus every single second that we were"waiting", just think how much closer we could get to Him. 86, 400 seconds. How will you spend yours?
Ephesians 5:16-17 says, "Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. "

Father, thank you for giving us so much time through the day. Please teach us to use it in a Godly way, and to not waste any of it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Prayer Is Only The Icing

My students crack me up sometimes. As some of them walk up to me to turn in a test, I will hear them say, "God, please help me to make an A". I want to ask them if they also prayed before they took the test. Although I know God can do anything He wants to do, changing the answers on a test is probably not one of them. Now He could help them during the test. He could divinely lead them to the right answer. But after the test is turned in, I believe that is that. Sometimes I will ask them if they studied for the test. Surprisingly, some say no. And those are the very ones who prayed for God's help.

I think there is a lesson here for all of us. We should pray before things happen and not just after they happen. Prayer should be the very first thing we do when we wake...before the day even gets started. Again, I know God can fix many things after they are seemingly broken. But heading off disaster before it even happens is wise. And just praying for things to happen may not always be enough. We also need to prepare for those things to happen. Praying for an A on a test is a good idea. But unless we study for the test, I doubt the Good Lord is going to simply give us an A. He did give us a brain, and He expects us to use it. Depending on God does not just mean blindly praying to Him for things to happen. God gave all of us smarts, talents, and creativity. By using what He gave us, that is also a way to depend on Him.
Psalm 16:2 says, "You are my Lord. Apart from You, I have no good thing."
Father, thank you for wanting to help us everyday. Teach us to depend on You and everything You have given us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

As Tears Roll Down My Face

I got home from the radio station tonight and found a Father's Day card that Bailey left for me. I opened it and started to read it. The card was sweet, but what my precious daughter wrote made tears stream down my face. My heart was instantly grabbed by her words. I just have to share it with you...I'm sure she will not mind. She wrote:

You are the best Dad anyone could possibly ask for. You do everything you can just to make me happy. I'm glad they set aside at least one day for Father's day-even though it would have to be Father's Day EVERYDAY just to show how I feel! I love you so much and wishing the best Father's Day for the best father in the world...you! I love you! Bailey.

Well, here I go again...crying! I have never been touched so much in all my life! How can I ever thank God enough for giving me such a sweet, loving daughter? I am a very busy man with 4 jobs. I love every single one of those jobs! Those jobs are my passion! But I will never love a job as much as the job of being Bailey's daddy! Tonight, God has reminded me just how truly blessed I am. There is no other love like the love a daddy has for his 13-year old little girl!

In Genesis 18:19, "The Lord says, 'I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord to do what is right and just."

Oh Father, thank you for giving me my precious daughter, Bailey. She is a wonderful little girl who brings me so much happiness! Please always help me to be the best Daddy I can be for her. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Will You, Lord?

The will of God is one of the most mysterious aspects of Christianity. The Bible has many things to tell us about God's will, but it is still hard to understand. We know that if we ask anything, according to His will, He will do it. We can all pray for His will. We can all listen as closely as possible for Him to share His will with us. But it is still hard to discern if we are actually hearing His will or ours. I used to think that praying for His will was kind of useless. I mean, isn't He going to do His will whether we pray for it or not? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

When Jesus was here on earth, He healed many people. That was obviously God's will for them to be healed. But what did it take to get God's will going? It took faith and asking on the part of those needing the healing. Think about all of Christ's healing-miracles for a minute. What was it that got each one started? They had to come to Him and ask! Do you think God would have healed them if they had not asked Him? Maybe. But Jesus did demonstrate that it took faith on their part to receive the miracle. Maybe that is why we must ask God for our heart's desires and ask Him for His will at the same time. If what we ask for is not in His perfect plan for our lives, we will not receive it. And that is a good thing! But on the other hand, if we don't ask Him for it and it is in His perfect plan for our lives, we may still not receive it. Today, let's boldly go before God in prayer, asking Him for everything we want. But then let's also make sure that we trust that what He will give us is exactly what we need.

John 16:24 says, "Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

Father, you truly know what's best for us. Please help us to seek Your will and to yield our lives to it. You are awesome, Lord! In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't Put It Off

I learned this as a student, but especially as a teacher: Don't wait too long before you start practicing the new lessons you learn. I teach math at the college on Monday and Wednesday nights. The students who seem to struggle the most are the ones who put off doing their homework until the last minute. I encourage them to practice what we go over in class a little bit everyday. Many will wait until Sunday night to practice the problems we learned the previous Wednesday night. But by waiting that long, they forget what we went over. The most successful students are the ones who start practicing immediately, and continue to practice a little bit everyday.

The same is true about the Word of God. After hearing a very moving sermon on Sunday, we may find ourselves reflecting on how we should make some changes in our lives. But if we don't start practicing those changes right away, we can easily forget all about the sermon. How many times has somebody sent you a touching devotion via Email that you had once heard but had since forgotten? I know that happens to me more times than it should. If we act on it right away, and continue to practice it everyday, we tend to never forget the lesson because we make it a part of us. What would God have you to start practicing right away?

Romans 2:13 says, "It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous."

Father, help us to put into practice the lessons You teach us. Remind us that if we don't start right away, we are sure to forget. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Drawbridge

I heard a true story about a man who operated a drawbridge. At a certain time every afternoon, he raised the bridge for a ferryboat to go by, and then lowered it in time for a passenger train to cross over. He performed this task precisely, according to the clock. One day, he brought his son to work so he could watch. As his father raised the bridge, the boy got excited and wanted to take a closer look. His father realized his son was missing and began looking for him. To his horror, his son had come dangerously close to the bridge's gears. Frantic, he wanted to go rescue him, but if he left the controls, he would not be back in time to lower the bridge for the approaching passenger train. He faced a dilemma. If he lowered the bridge, his son would be killed. If he left it raised, hundreds of others would die. He knew what he had to do. With tears streaming down his face, he watched the passenger train roll by. On board, two women chatted over tea. Others were reading newspapers. All were totally unaware of what had just transpired. The man cried out, "Don't you realize that I just gave my son for you?" But they just continued on their way. This story is a picture of what happened at the Cross. God gave up His beloved Son so that we might live. But most people don't give it a second thought. How about you? Are you conscious of the ultimate sacrifice God made on your behalf? Will you be sure to thank Him?

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

Father, thank you so much for Jesus! Help us to pause everyday to give our praise to You for Him. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Put It On My Tab

Back a few years ago, I had a buddy who spent a lot of time in a local restaurant. Because he was a celebrity in town, I will change his name for this devotion to Mike. Mike was such a regular at the restaurant, that he had his own personal account. I remember one day he told me while I was in there eating to just tell the waiter to put my bill on his tab. I thought he was kidding, but when I told the waiter that, he said, "sure, no problem." You got to be kidding me? That was too easy! I then knew how to get a "free" meal anytime!

That meal might have been free for me, but Mike would have to pay for it at the end of the month. The same is true about all who believe in Jesus Christ. When we sin, we have the privilege of saying, "Please put that on His account." God simple says, "Sure, no problem." What is a freedom for us, cost Him dearly! Yes, it is true that our sins are placed on Christ once we believe in Him. It is also true that because of His work on the Cross, we will never have to "pay" for our sins. But let us not forget who did have to pay, and just how much that payment cost! Don't we serve an awesome God?

Ephesians 1:7 says, "In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."

Father, thank you so much for Jesus. Please let us never forget the price that was paid for our freedom from sin. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Will Touch Your Heart

I came across this story today on the Internet. It touched me in a strange way. I wanted to share it with you. I hope God speaks to you like He did to me.

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angry, he rose his voice to his father and said "With all your money, you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt. 7:11, " If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God's blessings because we can't see past our own desires?

Father, please forgive us for not staying focused on You. Help us to put You first, then others, before our own desires. Oh how our desires cause us so much grief in the long run. Be with us Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back-Door Password

When a programmer designs and codes a new piece of software, he generally puts a password on it that only he is aware of just in case he ever needs to get back into the program. Once it is on the market and we buy it, we can add passwords to the software for out own security, but he can still over-ride our passwords with his if necessary. It's like a secret back-door way in which only the programmer is aware.

I think when God created our world, He, too, had His own way around whatever security we added to it. In the 5th chapter of Acts, Peter and some other apostles were placed in prison by the Sadducees. One minute they were all neatly packed away inside the prison, but then the next minute, they were found preaching in the Temple about Jesus. The amazing thing is that there were still guards posted outside the prison and the doors were still securely fastened. God had sent an angel to free the apostles, but instead of "breaking" them out of jail, God used another, "back-door" way. Isn't it wonderful that we serve a God that is not bound or confined by anything? I think a good lesson here for us is that we may also feel like we are in a prison of sorts in our personal lives. Jobs, money, relationships, and many other things of this world can tend to make us feel imprisoned sometimes. But never forget, even though it may seem that there is no way out, God can change that in a flash! For all we know, He is on the way this very minute with the keys to our locked cells.

Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."

Father, thank you for being able to free us from any prison made by man. Please take away our sins, sickness, addictions, hurts, and worries. Thank you for what You have done and for what You will still do. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The first Etch-A-Sketch was sold in the summer of 1960. Do you remember those things? What I remember most about them was how hard it was to draw anything with them. The TV commercials made it look easy to draw things on it. And I guess in the right hands, drawing a masterpiece could be possible. It was pretty cool, though how turning those knobs would create lines, and that shaking it hard would erase those lines. I have to admit I spent hours with those little gadgets.

I think of my life today as an Etch-A-Sketch, but I let God turn the knobs. He is the Master Artist. All I can do is mess up my drawings, but He makes some very good ones. Jesus never messes it up. As long as I allow Him to control the knobs, an awesome picture is sure to emerge. I wish I could put into words the feeling of how wonderful it is to allow Jesus to control my life. He has placed happiness where there was only sadness, joy where there was pain, and smiles where there were frowns. I'm positive He can do the same for you. There is no good reason to waste anymore time without Him. Ask God to control your knobs. Be an Etch-A-Sketch for Him.

Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths."

Father, thank you for controlling my life. Help me to always turn it all over to You. I have faith in Your drawings. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pop-Up Blocker

I used to get so aggravated while surfing the Internet. Don't you just hate those annoying pop-up ads? It only takes a second to close them, but some have become so sophisticated that as soon as you close one, another pops up in its place. Thank Goodness for Pop-up Blockers. Most are effective and free. All you have to do is download one from the Internet and then install it on your computer. Presto! No more unwanted pop-up ads!

When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He left in His place the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures teach us many different roles or jobs of the Holy Spirit. One of those roles is guiding us through our day. Like annoying pop-up ads, temptations and distractions bombard us from every possible direction. But if we use the Holy Spirit as our "pop-up" blocker, we are able to yield to all those temptations. The Holy Spirit is that little voice deep inside us that steers and guides us in the right direction. Non-Believers call that our instincts, but scientifically speaking, humans don't have instincts, only animals do. Would you like this free Holy Spirit "Pop-up blocker"? All you have to do is "log-on" to God's Internet, and install it into your daily walk. He also has awesome customer service. Just ask Him for it in prayer, and He will do the rest. Praise God!

Ezekiel 36:27 says, "And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes."

Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit. Teach us to pay closer attention to Him. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why Do You Think There Are Erasers On Pencils?

If you have ever taken a math class, you know why there are erasers on pencils. But the people who make pencils put a lot of confidence in us. They give us a long piece of lead with a relatively short piece of eraser. Now that is positive thinking, don't you think? But erasers are not just for correcting mistakes. Not only can they be used for correcting mistakes, but they can also be used for changing plans too. How many times have we heard the phrase, "pencil me in for this week?" We use this phrase because we have learned just how quickly our best-made plans can fall through. In the grand scheme of things, we are bound to change some plans.

Everyday, I am making my schedule in pencil instead of pen because I know things can change in a fraction of a second. As a teacher, I make plans every week but seldom am I able to stick to those plans to the letter. Something always seems to come up to derail even the best plan; I have learned to be flexible. If we expect the unexpected, how can anything truly be unexpected? So each day, I am making my plans in pencil but giving God the eraser. He knows what is best for me, so each time one of my plans gets changed, I will assume that the Lord had a better one. I am seeking His will for my life everyday. I don't always know His will each day, but I still must do two things: Make my plans to the best of my ability, but be willing to allow Him to alter those plans as He sees fit. Thank God for His erasers!

Proverbs 16: 9 says, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

Father, thank you for Your perfect erasers. I am willing to alter all my plans based on Your perfect will. In You, I have placed my total trust. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

There's A Jehovah's Witness At The Door

Ok, it's Monday morning and I am comfortably resting at home recovering from recent surgery. I have to still wear a huge collar a few more days to keep my neck from moving around so much, so I was not able to see the two men in white shirts walking the neighborhood. They got me! Before I knew it, they were knocking on my opened front door, and I didn't even have time to fake like I was not home. You got it, Jehovah's Witness. I guess I could have simply told them the truth: I'm sorry, I am recovering from surgery and would not like any company right now. Or I could have told them the real truth: I'm a Christian and don't want to be converted to your cult beliefs. But I did neither. In just a matter of a few seconds, they were on my couch, and I was dragged into a conversation that I am actually glad I had. I will say one thing about them: They know what they believe, and probably better than "we" know ours sometimes.

On every issue they brought up, God provided me with a biblical verse that countered their false doctrine. That is, every issue except one. One of the men asked me to explain how, if Christ was God, why did He not know when He would be coming back for His disciples? (they apparently don't believe in the Trinity) Hmmm, I did not know the answer to that. I did express to them that just because I did not have an answer to their question, that did not prove they were "right" and I was "wrong". But after they left, I frantically started searching for the answer. Do you know why I did not know the answer to their question? Because my knowledge of the Bible is so weak. But God showed me where to find the answer. Although Jesus was God while he walked the earth, He purposely chose to "give up" certain knowledge and divine attributes, and chose to only do the will of the Father. Why do you think He prayed for God's will so hard and so earnestly? By Him choosing to restrict Himself from all His "God stuff", He demonstrated to us just how important it is to rely solely on the Father for everything! I may have never known the answer to that question had I not answered the door today. Proof again that God can speak to us in many different ways.

Philippians 2:6-8 says, "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death."

Father, thank you for stirring my mind today. Ever since I told You I wanted to follow Your will only, I find myself seeking it more and more. Wow! You are awesome, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Does Prayer Really Change Anything?

On August 2, 1985, Delta Flight 191 was caught in a low-level micro burst wind shear on final approach at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, and slammed into the ground killing all 163 passengers and crew. What baffled NTSB investigators is why a much smaller, lighter plane was able to land safely on the same approach just 2 minutes prior to the heavy airliner's crash. Why did one make it and the other not? Of course since then, officials have learned much more about micro burst wind shear, but in 1985, it was a relatively new meteorological phenomena.

I have always wondered why God seems to answer some of our prayers with a "yes" while others with a "no". I'm sure every Christian has contemplated from one time to another why God seems to be so "stubborn" when it comes to answering our prayers. I whole-heartedly begged Him for one thing that He did not give me, but when I asked for healing in my latest surgery, He answered yes right away? Why should we pray if our prayers won't really change God's will for our lives? Aren't we gonna get only what He deems best for us? I have searched and searched for the answer to this question. It is very hard to find a simple, one-sentence answer. But I did find a devotion on the Internet that I thought answered it nicely:

They say that prayer changes things, but does it REALLY change anything? Oh yes! It really does! Does prayer change your present situation or sudden circumstances? No, not always, but it does change the way you look at those events.

Does prayer change your financial future? No, not always, but it does change who you look to for meeting your daily needs.

Does prayer change shattered hearts or broken bodies? No, not always, but it will change your source of strength and comfort.

Does prayer change your wants and desires? No, not always, but it will change your wants into what God desires!

Does prayer change how you view the world? No, not always, but it will change whose eyes you see the world through.

Does prayer change your regrets from the past? No, not always, but it will change your hopes for the future!

Does prayer change the people around you? No, not always, but it will change you~ the problem isn't always in others.

Does prayer change your life in ways you can't explain? Oh, yes, always! And it will change you from the inside out!

So does prayer REALLY change ANYTHING?Yes! It REALLY does change EVERYTHING![ Teressa Vowell ]

Prayer changes the pray-er

Father, thank you for answered and unanswered prayers. I have faith You know what is best for me. Please show me Your will. I will do whatever You want me to do, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I wanted to update you on my recovery from disc surgery. Many of you have sent nice Emails wishing me well. I want to respond to each one, but I don't want to overdo it. I came home yesterday. It was so nice to get back to some level of normalcy. I am sore from the surgery, but it is very tolerable. The pain from the herniated disc has been 100% relieved! It truly is a miracle in my eyes. I have to wear a collar until Thursday just to make sure my neck doesn't move around too much. I am really amazed at how well I am feeling. The soreness is normal, and gets a little less with each passing hour. I actually was able to lay down in my bed last night. That sure was much better than having to sleep sitting up!

Anyway, I just wanted to update you and tell you I appreciate every single prayer and well wish from you. God continues to work in my healing, and I will continue to sing His praises. How amazing is it that the Creator of the entire universe loves us enough to help us individually? I have never been this close to God before in my entire life. It is incredible how He can turn great things out of possible tragedies. I have a new outlook on life. I find myself embracing it! I am so thankful to be doing well. I will never take the simple things of life for granted anymore. We serve an all-powerful God!

Isaiah 41:10 says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Father, I just can't stop singing Your praises. Thank you for making me a little stronger every single day. If only I would have learned to lean on you like this before! Forgive me for my stubbornness. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yes, Jesus Loves Me

When I was being wheeled down to the operating room yesterday, we passed a male nurse who was singing Jesus Loves Me. At first, it was a very calming thing to hear him singing it. And I don't know if the drugs had me imagining it, but it did sound like the lady who was wheeling me joined in singing with him. But for a brief second, Satan allowed a negative thought to go through my mind. I was thinking: Yes, I know Jesus loves me. But is He going to punish me because I have not always lived for Him? Like I said, the thought was only brief. Have you ever thought that before? Have you ever thought that God was keeping a "record" of our bad decisions?

Hebrews answers this very question. The answer is an overwhelming NO. Thank God. We have all done foolish things in spite of our best efforts. We have all done the very thing we said we would never do again. We have all had our moments when we have placed certain things ahead of God. But the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, has saved us in spite of our past, secured us in spite of our present, and settled us in spite of our future. If you ever start getting worried that your sins are being thrown back up in your face, remember that is coming from Satan, the great liar, and not from God.

Hebrews 8:12 says, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Father, thank you for truly forgiving us through Your Son's precious blood. Your free gift is just too great for our minds to comprehend. Teach us to forgive others in the same way You have forgiven us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Praise God!

It is 5:30pm Thursday, and surgery went extremely well! God did it again! He is so awesome, The Great Physician, The Ultimate Healer! The pain and numbness on my right side is all but gone. I can't believe how good I feel...well, yes I can. I shouldn't be surprised that I feel so well because I serve a living God. Thank you for all your prayers. If you don't mind, I would like to brag a little bit on Jesus!

I did not sleep a wink last night due to the pain and anxiety of today's surgery. The disc had protruded all the way past the nerves and into my spine. But last night gave me time to reflect on God. As you can imagine, I prayed all night. Actually, it was more like talking with Him all night. I think He brought me to a new level of communication with Him. By the time I arrived at the hospital this morning, I was at peace with my decision to have the surgery. I believe I got a whole lot closer to Him. Now all I want to do is shout His praises! God is Good! God is great! Please allow my testimony to give you strength if you are facing a tough decision in your life. I am living proof that if you turn it over to Jesus, amazing things can happen! I am writing this devotion from the hospital, for I couldn't even wait until I got home to tell you what Jesus has done! He has done through me, what I could never have done on my own. Praise Him!

Exodus 15:26 says, "I am the Lord who heals you."

Oh Lord, how great thou art! Thank you so much for healing my injury. Please use me according to Your perfect will. I pray for all those who need healing at the hour. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It is 9pm Wednesday night, and I wanted to update on my surgery. The procedure will be done tomorrow morning at 7. I have been absolutely in panic mode all day. The herniated disc has made my right side numb. It tingles all the way down into my fingers. I'm scared of the complications from surgery but also very afraid of what will happen if I don't get the disc repaired. The pain is unbearable! The surgeon did say that I should be back to a normal schedule in about a week. I can assure you I have prayed nonstop today.

Again, I ask for your prayers. I have faith in God, and now it is time to step up to the plate. I know He will go with me into the operating room. I know He will guide the surgeon's hand. I know that my God will heal me. I thank Him that surgery will correct the problem. I am very scared and nervous. I probably won't sleep a wink tonight. But I know that there is nothing that Jesus can't do. In Him, I have placed my faith!

Father, I feel very anxious at this hour, though I'm sure that is a very normal feeling. I ask you to heal me of my injury and help me not to worry so much. Help me to rest tonight. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Ask For Your Prayers

I had to go and have another MRI today. It showed that my herniated disc is much worse. The entire right side of my body is numb. Tonight, I ask for your prayers. I will have surgery to repair the disc on Thursday. Needless to say, I am scared half to death! I have put it off since last November, but now it is much worse. I ask that every single person reading this devotion say a prayer for me, especially Thursday morning. I believe God will heal me. Through this surgery, I have an opportunity to show my faith and to Glorify Jesus. He healed many people while He was here on earth. I have faith that He will heal me too. But please say a prayer for me!

Psalm 30:2 says, "O Lord my God, I called to you for help, and You healed me."

Father, during this time, I ask you to be with me. Although I am very scared, I do have faith in You. Your Word promises healing. Heal me Lord, and I will be healed indeed. In Jesus name, Amen.

Death By Chocolate

A friend of mine was telling me about a recent lunching she and a few coworkers went on. They had a nice meal and some friendly conversation. One of them decided to get dessert. After looking over the choices, she decided on a nice piece of chocolate cake. After a bit, the cake arrived. My friend said it was the biggest, thickest, and richest piece of chocolate cake she had ever seen. Every body's mouth started watering. She asked if any of her friends would like a bite. All at once, each woman picked up a fork and took a swipe at the chocolate heaven. As soon as my friend got a fork-sized piece of cake to her lips, it was apparent that something was wrong. Her big piece of chocolate heaven quickly turned to a piece of stale hell. Between the 5 of them, they could not stomach that one piece of cake.

Some of us are like that piece of cake. On the outside, we look awesome, like we got everything under control. But on the inside, we are not doing so well. We can mask our hurt from a lot of people, maybe even our closest friends. But God has X-ray vision, and He can see what is on the inside. It may be alright to try to hide our inner most feelings from people, but why would we try to hide those feelings from God? He wants to restore our inside. He wants to transform our inside to be even better than our outside appears. If you feel like that piece of chocolate cake, take your cares to the Lord. He is willing and able to fix the inside. He will mend our broken hearts and spirits and restore our "happy". Won't you let Him work on your inside today?

Psalm 30:2 says, "O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me."

Father, please taken my broken heart and spirit and mend it. My hope and faith is totally in Your hands. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Play On Words

This morning, I saw a sign at a doctor's office that cracked me up. The doctor's name was Juno Wyatt Hertz. Get It? Juno Wyatt Hertz ( do you know why it hurts). Maybe I am easily amused but that is funny to me. I always enjoy a good play on words. If it is a business, such as that doc's office, it makes it easier to remember. Advertisers have been using that sort of thing forever. How many of them can you think of?

When it comes to our Salvation, God did not use any plays on words. He did not use any spoonerisms or puns. He did not use any confusing parables. He simply said in order to receive eternal life, all we have to do do is believe in His Son Jesus. The Bible is God's Word to man. It is filled with great advice, hope, and true inspiration. But when it comes to Salvation, it really boils down to one verse: John 3:16. Think about it. Reflect upon it. You already have it memorized. Why do people want to put conditions on it? Why do people want to add to or take away from it? Have you accepted John 3:16? Have you accepted Christ? As car dealers say in their ads, "There's never been a better time than now".

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have Eternal Life.

Father, thank you for Your Son Jesus, and thank you for giving us a way to eternal life. I accept Your awesome gift. I pray that You will lead those who are not saved to Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.