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Writer, Facilitator, Teacher, Author, Minister of the Gospel, Soft-skills Consultant

Saturday, December 11, 2010

“Beware of doubt; it’s the hole in your bucket”

I remember a whimsical song from my childhood that said there’s a hole in the bucket dear Liza, and it told the story of a man who wanted to complain about the hole in his bucket but had an excuse for everything related to fixing it.

It is simular of the way we are sometimes during our Christian walk. Praying out of need but doubting out of lack of relationship. Believing in God requires that we spend enough time in study and prayer to develop a foundation that will support our belief.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”  James 5:5-8

 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11: 22-24

It doesn’t matter what the request is because God allows us to petition Him for the desires of our heart, however the qualifier is that the request be void of doubt. Doubt is the hole in the bucket of faith which creates a zone of weakness.

The word teaches us that each of us is given “the measure of faith” which would imply that we’re all given the same level of faith. Why then can we find ourselves questioning the depth of the faith that we possess? I don’t that there is one complete answer to that question but I do however believe that trust has a lot to do with it.

How can develop a deeper level of trust in God? One way would be to spend time reflecting at the end of each day and use that opportunity to reflect on the things that God has done for you. Know that there’s no such thing as luck! Review that accident you almost had, two seconds more and it would have been fatal.

The promotion? God’s favor!
The person you ran into that set the stage to open doors for your business? God!
That friend that came your way to give you an encouraging word when you were feeling down, alone, or out of it? God!
That person who came your way just when you were about to blow up and stick your foot in your mouth, who distracted you long enough for you to calm down? Definitely God!

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4: 13-18

What’s the best way to fix the hole in your bucket? Trust in the Lord with all your heart!

“Go out and feed some sheep today!”

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Hear Voices

How many times have we gone in the wrong direction because we listened to something or one who sounded convincing but was filled with tainted information?

The spoken word released into the atmosphere has the power to persuade, direct and call into existence many aspects of life. It is important that we are careful not only of what we speak but also what we listen to. The things that we listen to get into our spirits and eventually will come across our lips.

Looking through scripture at Israel and their journey there is one lesson that we see occurred in almost every aspect of every segment, it was their propensity to listen to the wrong voices. God would answer their cries and show His sovereignty, and Israel would become complacent, finding themselves indulging in the habits of the lesser gods of the occupied land. Even Saul who was appointed king by God Himself lost his position of honor, disobeying God because he was afraid of what the people would say.

Then there’re those who held on tightly to God’s word in spite of all that went on around them like three men named Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. We’re probably more familiar with the names given them by King Nebuchadnezzar which were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three refused to bow before anyone but their God, The Great I Am, and were thrown into the fiery furnace which was made ten times hotter than it ever had been.

Two things about this story make my hear jump for joy every time I read or think about it. The first is the fact that God allowed Nebuchadnezzar himself to look inside the furnace and see the miracle of His faithfulness to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So much so that Nebuchadnezzar was able to identify the fourth person who was in the furnace as looking like the Son of God! Now that’s amazing when you realize that Jesus had not come yet and Nebuchadnezzar worshiped a false god. This means the one true God had to remove the scales from his eyes on behalf of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were the believers so that Nebuchadnezzar would know the true power of their God.

Then there’s the second half when God allows Nebuchadnezzar to call them out of the furnace so that he may examine them close up making sure that there was no mistaking His handy work! Nebuchadnezzar saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Praise the Lord!

Which voice will you listen to today?
Psalm 37:23 " The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord..."
We can’t respond to the Lord’s order if we're not listening to Him!
Go out and "Feed Some Sheep”

If you wote God a psalm what would it be?

David was a man after God’s own heart, he loved to communicate through poetry, and music. No matter how perilous his circumstances, he never lost faith. His psalms are a rock of inspiration to all of us. Though he was wandering alone as a young man, word of his special harp playing became known far and wide. Eventually, it reached the ears of the servants of King Saul.

“Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."  I Samuel 16: 14, 15

As I began to review many of the things that David wrote about, I came to realize that the writings helped to keep him focus on who God was and what He was to David. No one has to tell you how much you love and trust God if you make a habit of telling yourself. This prompted me to write a psalm of my own to God, and I was amazed at what came out of me. However it was wonderful to look at how far I’d come in my relationship with God. Please allow me to share the Psalm of Jerome with you.

My God, You allow me to awaken each day with the gentle breath of life.
My spirit arises in your Grace.
I worship you and I feel the glory of Your Essence as it fills the tabernacle and the heavens bow before you.

You alone are my God and my keeper. My soul rejoices at the mere thought of the sound of Your name. I am grateful for you honor me with a cool drink in a thirsty world.
You stilled me during the billows of my storm; you were my judge in the trials of my enemies.

In my joy I have loved you.
In my weakness I have loved you.
In my laughter I have loved you.
In my tears my love for you overflows Oh Thou Great Jehovah!

Behold the wonder of the Lord in all the earth, the splendor and majesty of the world’s colors testify with boldness to His greatness. I shall bow before His throne and sing of my love for Him, for He is worthy of all I have to give.

I am forever yours; mold me Father for Your purpose and glory that I may be a testimony to your greatness. In you alone I trust.

What if you wrote to God? What would it look like? Try it; write a love letter, poem, sonnet or song to God today. It will bless you!

“Go Out and Feed Some Sheep Today”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
We work so hard trying to make a living that we forget to live. More, more, more, always needing something more. The more we make the more we need things which are just out of reach. God tells us where our focus should be, for only that in which He’s given us will we find  joy and satisfaction.
Let’s look at what Paul says that we should focus on in Philippians 4:4-9;
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
What peace can we find when we sit back and share family and laughter, or a sense of accomplishment when we complete the things God has placed in our hearts? Maybe our joy is in feeling the earth in our hands, putting up that shelf, or the uncontrolled laughter that comes from a well-tickled child. Whatever that Joy is, will always fall within the measure that Paul describes as true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. If it's excellent or praiseworthy you'll find the joy which lies within!
Perhaps the time has come when we need to re-evaluate what’s important in life that we may live it rather than exist in it.
“Feed Some Sheep!”

Monday, December 6, 2010

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?

One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 6 because it speaks to who God is and who we can become in Him. It reminds us of God’s majesty as it describes Him as being high and lifted up with a flowing robe that fills the temple. As I close my eyes I can picture Him sitting on the throne as the seraphim enter and cry out “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” What a glorious sight that must be.

I can’t speak for anyone else but when I look over my life and all that has happened, I often find myself tearing up because I can identify all too well with Isaiah’s statement “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips” But the one thing that causes my emotions to rise is the fact that God loves me enough to sanctify me so that my guilt is taken away and my sin is atoned for, in spite of my past!

So when God asks the question “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” I can honestly have but one answer “Here am I, Send me!”

What will your answer be?

“Feed Some Sheep”