Are You Broken?

How to get away with murder. The show. I’ve been binge watching it. Don’t ask me why. And please don’t judge. I know. I know. It’s full of scenes I don’t want to see. I started to watch the show a few years ago and stopped. Spoiler alert. They really were trying to get away with murder. I just couldn’t watch it then. But, for some reason, now I am.

A couple of the characters were abused as children. A couple others had distant fathers. One had a rocky childhood. One lost his mother by suicide. One had been in prison. Another had a criminal record. They all admitted that they were broken people.

In one of the episodes, one of the characters said they all deserved hell because of all the bad things they had done. Oh. I think he just spoke for all mankind. We all deserve hell. Because of all the things we have done. Not one of us born on this earth is good enough to escape hell on our own. We need help. We need someone to rescue us from our sins. We need a Savior.

And there is a remedy. There is a Savior. He gave his life for my sins and your sins. For my brokenness and your brokenness. For victims and victimizers. We can be forgiven and healed.

So when you think of yourself, do you consider yourself to be broken or sinful? Do you step outside yourself and look at who you really are and at what you’ve done? Do you try to soften the blow by saying you’re broken instead of sinful? Because, hey. Perhaps someone else’s sin is what broke us. And some sin has broken the one who broke you. And, in spite of all the brokenness around us, we are all sinners. We don’t have to be broken to be sinners.


If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:8-9


Maybe it wasn’t my fault at all that I’m the way I am. But I do have a choice. I do have the ability to name my brokenness. And I can name my sin. Whether it’s your sin or my sin that caused my brokenness. It doesn’t change the fact that we are all sinners.

There is the mess that life gives you and there’s the mess that you make.

Annalise Keating (How to Get Away with Murder)

If we call our lives messy or broken, it doesn’t really describe the gravity of our sins. It somehow softens the blow of sin. Oh. Our lives may be messy and broken as a result of someone else’s sin or our own, but sin is a result of disobeying God. How messed up is that? When do we take responsibility for our sins?

Just imagine standing at the foot of the Cross looking up to the One who died for those sins. We must compare our sins not to other people’s sins, but to God’s holiness. Since sin is rebellion against a holy God, it means that God can’t have any part of sin.

We cannot redefine what God calls sins and presume to identify that ethic as Christian.

Alisa Childers (Another Gospel)

Oh sure. Our brokenness may be on different levels. One person may have suffered massive loss or abuse. Another may have experienced deep depression or anxiety. Rejection by someone who has suffered at the hands of others can lead them to hurt still others. Sometimes our brokenness is due to someone else’s sin. Their sin is not my sin. But sin shouldn’t go by any other name.

Sin isn’t pretty and it isn’t helpful to soften it up with gentle words. Oh. It may make me feel better for a while, but the root of the problem is that I have sinned. Sin will separate me from God. Is that what I want?

WWJD

She says she’s a Christian. But she hasn’t darkened a church door in years.  She hasn’t read her Bible since God disappointed her 18 years ago. Her prayers are only said in desperate times. She doesn’t spend time with believers unless it’s required. 

Is she a Christian? When she is someday standing in front of God awaiting her final judgment, what will God say to her? Well done, my good and faithful servant?  Or will he say. Depart from me. I never knew you.

I’m not her judge, so I’ll leave the judging to God.  He gets it right every time. I’m afraid I don’t. He shows mercy when I might not. He intercedes when I might not.

She knows enough about the Bible to calm her nerves by reading that God loves her. Or scare herself senseless by reading about Jesus’ second coming. But is that enough?

She knows to ask believers to pray for her when she’s frightened or hurting.  Does she pray herself?

Oh. She’s a good person. She helps those in need. She’s kind. She’s a good parent and wife.

But is she living as Jesus did?  There’s that age old saying.  WWJD. What would Jesus do? Does she ever ask herself that question? Does she pattern her behavior with that question in mind? I don’t know.

What does she mean when she says she’s a Christian? Is she saying that she’s living her life as Jesus did?


Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6


I wonder. Does she ever stop to ask herself what Jesus would do if he was in her situation. I wonder. Do I ever stop to ask myself what Jesus would do if he was in my situation. How would I live? What would I do differently?

Just like her, I say I’m a Christian. I attend church regularly. I read my Bible daily. I pray throughout the day. I spend time with other believers. But does that make me a Christian? Do I have to do those things in order to be a Christian?

I don’t know if she has ever repented of her sins and asked God to forgive her. I don’t know if she has ever claimed to have a relationship with God. But she says she’s a Christian. I wonder what she means when she says that.

I know that I have repented of my sins and God has forgiven me. I have a personal relationship with God. I try to be like him every day. Some days I’m successful. Other days, I fail. I know what I mean when I say I’m a Christian.

But do I always do as Jesus would have done if he was walking on this earth beside me? Do I make the same decisions he would make? Do I say the words that he would say? Do I treat others in a manner that shows Jesus is the ruler of my life?

I say I believe in Jesus, so do I live as he lived? Is there evidence in my life that points others to Jesus? Do my actions say that I’m becoming more like him with everything I do and say and think? Can others easily believe that I am a follower of Christ? Or is it hard to see that what I say I am is really who I am? Who am I fooling?

Do the Word

The Bible is pretty clear about some things we should and shouldn’t do. But sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the instructions. It’s easy to disregard the commands when they aren’t what we want to do. But if we say we’re believers, then wouldn’t we want to obey what we read in the Bible? Wouldn’t we?

If I’m called to be a doer of the Word, then what does the Word say that I should do?

I’ve read through some of the commands that we should obey if we say we’re followers of God. I read them through the lens of the happenings of my week. Here’s what I discovered about myself.

Be kind. When the unexpected call came that my appointment was canceled at the last minute, I was two minutes away from my destination. I had to turn around and go home. I wanted to be frustrated, but I knew the situation was not her fault. There was nothing to do but reschedule. I told her that I would pray for her, because she was now facing some unexpected decisions. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Honor those in authority over you. Those at work who are in authority made an unpopular decision last week. Some people are reeling from the news. Trying to figure out how to move on. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I was invited to voice my opinion. My words need to reflect a heart of respect for those in authority over me. So when the time came for me to speak, what did I do? I was prepared to share my thoughts on the decision, but I felt led to keep my opinion quiet. So my conversation went another direction. I was able to end the discussion on a high note instead of dragging down the leadership. Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. Titus 2:9-10

Do good to those in need. I was stopped at a red light, and I saw the person standing at the street corner. She was holding a sign that said she was homeless. I know times have been tough for a lot of people this year, but I’ve seen her there for at least four years. What am I supposed to think? Is this a scam or are times that tough for some people? I was torn trying to decide whether her need was legitimate or not. Call me a skeptic or distrustful. I honestly wasn’t sure whether to look her straight in the eye or look the other way. But it isn’t my job to decide if her need is real. I need to obey God when and if he instructs me to help people holding a homeless sign. I ended up driving away. Was it because I didn’t feel led to give or because I didn’t even stop to pray about what I should do? Father, forgive me if I have sinned. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. Matthew 5:42

Don’t be anxious. He went to an emergency dental appointment. I heard rumblings in my head of annoyance and felt anxiety in my heart. I wondered about the cost. What is covered by insurance? What will have to be paid out of pocket and up front? I made stew with my thoughts. But I did actually pray as he walked out the door to the appointment. Then the call came. Nothing to worry about at this point. We’ll just monitor it. All the x-rays and tests showed no change from previous years. The cost was minimal. Ahh. Relief flooded through me. The stew of worry was turned to a prayer of thankfulness. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6


Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. James 1:22


I can’t say I was perfect this past week. But as events happened and words were spoken, I stopped to reflect on my words and actions. Did I respond as a follower of Christ or as one who lives for myself? As long as I have breath in me, I know there will always be room for improvement.

I find that a lot of what I do is respond to events and words I’ve heard. Do I respond from the viewpoint of a doer of the word? Are my motives pure? Do I treat others unjustly? How do I respond to negative news? How do I deal with the happenings of current events? When all the information I hear about the upcoming election is negative, how do I respond? When the pandemic shut down the world, did I shut down? Am I doing the Word in my daily life?

Because what is in my heart is what comes out of my mouth. Was the word in my heart at the right moment?

As believers, we can’t just hear the word and then do nothing. We must act on the Word of God. We must live the Word of God. Because we are deceiving ourselves, if we think we can get by with just hearing the Word. We must allow the Word of God to infiltrate our thoughts and words and actions. Oh. It isn’t easy. But if we consistently and actually open the Bible and read it, God will speak truth and correction to us. Then we are responsible to put His Word into action.

But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. Matthew 7:26

Don’t Lose Heart

Do you remember the day that your world fell apart? Was it a diagnosis? Or a job loss? The ending of your marriage? Or the loss of a child? Or parent? Or someone very close? Was it the last straw in a bad situation gone worse than expected? Was it the last door closing on a much awaited second chance?

Did you get a call in the middle of the night with unexpected news? Was a false accusation thrown in your face? Was your credibility questioned? Were evil people trying to ruin your reputation? Were your enemies attacking you?

What was that thing that made you wonder how life could ever be good again? Did you wonder how you could go on? Did you wonder if life was worth living? Was all hope gone?

Even the best of us are faint of heart when our world bottoms out. Being in dire straits is not an everyday event in most of our lives. We don’t live by the seat of our pants for day to day survival. Oh. Once that may have been the case for some of another generation. But today. Today, we have most everything we want. And more. Life is pretty good for most of us. But on occasion, the bottom drops unexpectedly. It’s in those moments that we can question everything or cling to the Giver of Life.


I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13


Our faith is the stronghold of life. Our faith is the lifeline we reach for when we’ve reached the end of our rope. Our faith in God can and will support us through our darkest days and nights.

I’ve felt overwhelmed when it seems my world was falling apart. I’ve worried about the future. I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered if I’ve lived my best life, and that the remaining life I have would be less than what I wanted.

Our momentary troubles today are sometimes of our own making. We drop our phone and the screen cracks. The brakes of the car are squealing and in need of new pads. The door of our three car garage isn’t working correctly. We dig ourselves into debt that we can’t climb out of. We start a new job hoping it’s the one, but instead turns out to be worse than the one we left. When we’ve worked through our self help list and finally give God a chance, God will help us. Why not go to him first?

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

If you’ve read Psalm 27, you know that David was in trouble. His enemies were in hot pursuit. They were closing in on him. No. He didn’t say a word against them. He turned to God, the only One who could rescue him. Instead of asking for enemies to be ruined, he asked for God’s grace and mercy to shine upon him.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

The goodness of the Lord is nothing to laugh at. Imagine how desperate we would be if we didn’t have the promises of God to rely on. Imagine the emptiness that must set into an unbeliever’s heart. What do they hope for when what they were hoping for falls through?

God’s goodness is so extreme, yet so simple. God is still good even when life isn’t. God never changes. He is consistent. His love endures everything and lasts forever.

God’s goodness, grace and mercy continually flow, surrounding us with his presence in the midst of turmoil. Life may not always be good. But God is good. Always and forever.

We must hold firm to our belief that we will see the goodness of the Lord. God’s goodness will be evident when we step through heaven’s gates and enter his presence.

Deathbed Wishes

Whether it’s true or not, it has been said that she spoke final wishes. She supposedly didn’t want her boss to name her replacement. Yet the fact is. She had been asked on many occasions in previous years to relinquish her post. She had said no. She wasn’t finished. So she waited. Biding her time. Hoping that luck was on her side. Well. Her luck ran out. And now the last thing she wanted was what she could have had long ago. It doesn’t make sense. But it’s too late, anyway. Her wish will not be granted. Things are out of her control.

It has been said that her progressive opinions have shaped modern American life. Her way of thinking paved the way for many who felt they had been left behind. She was a woman before her time. And her time has come.

Oh. She’ll be remembered. For a time. Her legacy will be noted in all the notable places. Her accomplishments have been documented for all of history. I’m sure there will be class lectures and assignments given in her name. In her honor, other women will tread a path not taken, hoping to make their own mark on history.

But at the end of the day. What does it matter?

Come two hundred years from now, her name will be on a long list of high achievers. Notables who have come and gone. Ones who have made their mark on history. Influencers in their day and age. But where are they now? Oh. They’re occasionally remembered. At times like this. When a new name is added to the list. But then they’re forgotten until the next name is added. And soon. Their name will be so far down the list, that there’s no longer a mention of their accomplishments.


In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds. Ecclesiastes 3:17


But just as those who have gone before her, she has now faced her Maker. She has had to give an account of all her days. Her deeds, good and bad, have been displayed in front of her as she faced God. Oh. She believed in God. But did she ever ask him to forgive her sins? Did she humble herself and bow to Him?

The judge has been judged. She has now stood as tall as she could in front of God Almighty. She has received her final judgment. What was her fate? But it isn’t fate. It is a choice she made. She has reached her final destination. There’s no turning back and there’s no going forward. She is in eternity.

I doubt that my name will go down in the history books for great accomplishments. Most people on the earth will live without knowing my name. I’m afraid my successes will never be listed in the annals of history. I will never be applauded by kings and queens and presidents. And I’m ok with that. Who knows how notable my life’s work will really be.

But what I do know is that I will stand before the One who knows my name. I too will give an account of all my thoughts and actions. I will be judged. My eternity will be determined on whether I asked for forgiveness and repented of my sins. I pray that I will not be found wanting. I pray that my life will be lived always in honor of the One who died for every last sin of mine.

It isn’t fate that will take me to my eternal destiny. I too have a choice. I pray that my deathbed wish is to be found as a good and faithful servant. I pray that I will be found worthy of entering heaven’s gates.

Bending Toward Love

I’m not old. But I am getting older. I’ve lived more years than I have left to live. And that’s ok. I’m relived to have completed so many years in my life. Not that I’m old. As I said. But I’m older. I’ve seen things. I’ve heard things. I’ve done things. But there are things I still have left to see. There are words I have left to hear. There are tasks I must complete. I’m not finished. Yet.

But as I examine my life, I find that I have changed. In some ways, I have mellowed. In other ways, I’m more vocal. At times, I find myself holding back because I know the consequences. Other times, I can’t find it in me to hold my tongue. Because I tell myself. What do I have to lose. Really. Oh. That’s no excuse for unkind words or accusations. But there are times when experience is the best teacher. So I teach. That’s what I tell myself.

But I also find that as I hear young people talk about their current situations, I recall the struggles of my young years. The fears. The uncertainty. The life changing decisions. The dreams. And I find that I can still relate to those up and coming young voices. I know that they will have to experience the highs and lows of life. The losses. The wins. The mistakes. The challenges. The victories. They will grow. And they will fall back. But life is a process.

And in the end. The goal is to be closer to God than you ever thought possible.


Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? Job 12:12


I find that I need to be more considerate of others. After all, I’ve never walked a mile in anyone’s shoes but my own. I can’t read minds and I can’t change people. I must be about my Father’s business. But in his way and in his time. I am not God.

I find that as I age, God is softening my heart to see others as he sees them. I sense the urgency to see others accept Christ as their personal Savior. Because time is short, and eternity is forever.

I find that I am bending more to love others as they are. Not as I want them to be. And it’s work. It’s hard work. But it’s a good work. To build relationships. To deepen friendships for the sake of sharing space and time and words. And to have shared experiences.

Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. Ecclesiastes 7:10

I find that the gray hair on my head is a symbol I’m comfortable with. The wrinkles and lines in my neck speak of survival. The creaking of my knees tells me that I’ve walked a lot of miles in a lot of years. The tightness in my shoulders lets me know that I’ve carried burdens for many years.

I like to think I’ve learned when to speak and when to be silent. When to stand and when to fall back. I’ve learned that winning isn’t always about getting the first place trophy. I’ve also discovered that the young must face their disappointments and losses as a part of their own maturity.

I’ve learned that accomplishments and dreams don’t have to be fulfilled in your twenties or even thirties. Life is long and must be lived. Dreams change. Accomplishments must sometimes be put on hold for the everyday parts of living. Don’t worry. Keep dreaming and planning. Life will slow down. And when it does, the dreams can be dusted off and picked up. Sometimes waiting makes the fulfillment of a longtime dream even sweeter than it would have been at an early age. Experience is the best teacher.

I’ve found that speaking truth is most important. Loving others speaks volumes. Sharing with your neighbors or those in need shows the love of God more than one will ever know. Honesty is the best policy.

Well. Now that I’m older, I can look back at the tough times with relief. Relief that they’re over. I survived those anxiety filled moments of uncertainty. Oh. I’m well aware that I’m not out of the woods. Getting older has its own set of challenges. That’s what I hear. No one knows what tomorrow will bring.

But as I move toward old age, I want to show more grace to those who are in the midst of anxious times.  I want to extend mercy to those who have taken a misstep. I want to bend toward love when pointing the finger of accusation would be easier. 

As I get older, I find that I long for heaven. In the end, that’s where I plan to be. For eternity. All life’s troubles will be over. No more worries or regrets. I will be surrounded by love, peace and reward. I will be with God. 

Life is good.

Pride Comes Before A Fall

King Saul was a hot mess. He had strict orders from God himself about the battle he was to fight. He and his army of 210,000 men were to kill every man, woman and child, along with all the animals of Amalek. Kill. Every. Living. Being. Leave. No. Survivors.

 It was a harsh command. But God had a reason. 400 years earlier, the Amalekites had attacked the Israelites out of greed. With God’s help, Israel won that battle. But God didn’t forget how his chosen people were attacked. He vowed to pay back the Amalekites. And he took his sweet time in doing it.

 Now that Saul was king, God wanted to test Saul’s obedience. And wow. Saul failed miserably. He partially obeyed God. He killed all of the Amalekites, except for their king. And he killed all the weak and useless animals. But he kept the best animals as plunder. Saul was proud of his accomplishment.

And after he did that, he rewarded himself by setting up a monument in his own honor.

When the prophet Samuel confronted him about it, he proudly announced that he had carried out the Lord’s commands. Then why do I smell and hear animals? Samuel asked. 

Have you ever disobeyed God and then have someone else point it out to you? Has another believer confronted you about the smelly plunder that you have brought into your life? And you deny the sin?

Saul was dumbfounded to learn that Samuel was accusing him of disobeying God. He had killed people and animals. He had won the battle. What had he done wrong? He couldn’t believe that Samuel thought he had tried to play God.

Here’s the thing. A partial lie is a full lie. A partial disobedience is a full disobedience. A partial sin is a full sin. It doesn’t matter if you’re King Saul or John Doe. 

Saul was more willing to offer a sacrifice to God than to obey Him. Sure, it’s easy to perform a legalistic ritual than it is to obey God’s command. But what does it get you? It’s still disobedience. It’s still sin.


Do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8


But Saul. His heart had grown cold. He lived as though he was his own god and only needed to follow his own decisions and plans. He cast God aside and replaced Him with Saul as god. This battle was not his to win. This was a battle that God had planned and prepared for. It was retaliation on a country who were sworn enemies of God and Israel. There were to be no survivors of any kind.

Did Saul forget that he had disobeyed God’s command? Did he not hear the words spoken to him to spare no life? Human or animal? Pride comes before a fall. That’s what they say. And oh. When the mighty fall, they fall hard. Because of Saul’s lack of obedience and respect for God’s command, Samuel told him that he would lose his kingdom. His family line would not inherit the throne. No son of his would ever be king of Israel. Oh. How the mighty have fallen.

Once we start living with lies, we become immune to right living. We get to the point that we have lived in lies for so long that we no longer recognize the truth. We dishonor God by continually denying his existence. We reject his invitation to join in his family of believers. Saul was blind to his sin. He acted as if he was obeying God. But he either failed to realize, or ignored the fact, that partial disobedience equals full disobedience.

God says he wants our full obedience. He says if we aren’t hot in love with him or cold disobeying him, then we are lukewarm. We aren’t God’s children if we are lukewarm. We can’t be half in a relationship with him. It’s all or nothing. God wants our full heart. Our full allegiance.

Sure. It will be a sacrifice on our part. It will be an intentional act of walking away from behaviors and activities that seem pleasant, but are out of line with God’s commandments. It will mean that we say no when we’ve said yes in the past. Or perhaps, we say yes when we’ve always answered no before.

Has your heart grown cold toward God? Or do you recognize that you’re in a lukewarm state? God wants your whole heart. Obedience at all costs. Let’s do what is right. Let’s love mercy. Let’s walk humbly and obediently with our God. We won’t regret it.

God is Worthy

We’ve come to dismiss the worth of God in our lives. We ignore him. We pretend he doesn’t exist. We want nothing to do with him. So maybe he’ll just go away and leave us alone.

After all, he doesn’t answer when we pray. We say we don’t see the good he does. We don’t believe he hears our prayers. We wonder if he sees our suffering. Does he even exist? So we block him from our lives. We turn to other things hoping they bring fulfillment. They become our god. 

We often disrespect God by using his name in vain. We use his name as a cuss word instead of a word of reverence. We dishonor God by disobeying him.

We don’t read the Bible, so we don’t really know God. We ignore his warnings. We refuse to listen to the still small voice of reason.  Our conscience dies a slow death. We become numb to evil. We’ve lost sight of eternity.

 All for the sake of pleasure. For the fulfillment of our twisted desires. Nothing is off limits. Because in our minds, God doesn’t matter. We wonder if he even exists. We give ourselves over to moral filth.  Because we’ll be the boss our of own lives. No one will control me. We say.

We’ve gotten to the point that we are lawless. Everything is acceptable. So we live for the moment. With no thought of eternity. Because what if eternity doesn’t exist? What if this life is all we have?

Maybe we believe God exists. But he’s not my type. Oh. I’m a good person. We tell ourselves. And that’s good enough.  But is it really?

For those of us who say we’re believers, we don’t act like it. We don’t spend time in God’s Word. We don’t pray. We don’t set aside time to worship with other believers. We think we’re not worthy of God’s love. We’ve forgotten, or perhaps we’ve never understood, that God is worthy. We are unworthy. But his love and forgiveness and sacrificial gift made us worthy. 

God is worthy. Why? He is our Creator. The Giver of Life. The Prince of Peace. 

Peacemaker, Fear Taker, Soul Soother, Storm Smoother, Light Shiner, Lost Finder, Cloud Lifter, Deliverer, Heart Toucher, Truth Lover, Who other could be Fear Taker, Peacemaker to me, 

Mind Clearer, Sigh Healer, Hand Holder, Consolor, Wound Binder, Tear Dryer, Strength Giver, Provider, Heart Healer, Kind Father, Who other could be, My Savior, Peacemaker to me

Greg Ferguson

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power. Revelation 4:11


Glory. God deserves our praise. He is our Creator. Our words and actions show whether our lives are centered around God. We are on full display for God and the world to see our opinion of Him. All we have to do is speak. Or act. Or think. God does know our thoughts. Are our motives based in love?

We give glory to God when we have faith in his promises.

God does not need us, and still, in all His self-sufficiency, He wants us. He is independent of His creation, yet His desire to be united to that creation shows His genuine and unmatched love for us. A love that is worthy of all glory forever.

Christina Patterson

Honor. God deserves our adoration. He deserves our respect. When we admire someone, we place them in a position of honor. We are happy to serve them and give them our best. Do we ever stop to think of doing the same for God? He is our creator. He is our strength. He is our redeemer. All we have comes from God. Nothing else deserves top billing in our lives over him. Nothing.

The Bible says every knee shall bow before God. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I try to envision myself in that moment.  What will it be like? This small, imperfect person bowing to the Creator of Life and King Eternal. Who am I to think I’m worthy to be in his presence? But I will stand there receiving my eternal destiny. How humbling. I’m brought to tears just thinking of being in God’s presence. And then he reviews everything I’ve ever done and said. My lifetime performance review where nothing is hidden.  But mercy and love have been offered. How well have I honored my Lord? How will I be judged?

Power. God deserves our trust. He receives power when his creation honors him. We give power to the person or thing where we focus our time and energy. Imagine the power He could use if only we placed our full trust in him. If we honored him the way we were meant to. Just imagine what God would do if our hearts were turned toward him.

God is inviting us to know him. He wants to have a relationship with each of us. We can choose to accept his invitation. He is worthy of our allegiance. If we don’t recognize God’s true worth, how can we ever truly worship him?

Be On Guard

Have you ever read something that just seemed like good practical advice? It was words you could live by without giving much thought or effort? Until something happens and you find those words aren’t as easy to live by as you thought. Then what? What do you do when you find yourself caught in an unexpected situation? How do you handle it?

Sometimes we just have to go back to the basics of living and follow sound advice. It always helps if the advice we look to is solid biblical teaching.

The Bible is full of sound teaching. Plain old good advice. Verse after verse tells us that we must live godly lives. It also tells us how to live a godly life. We must put away childish behavior and grow strong in our faith. Some of the advice will convict us to change our words, behavior and attitudes. There are the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). And the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). The book of Proverbs is full of encouraging, challenging and rewarding words.

Be on guard. Be alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Is evil present? Should you walk away? Be aware of your weaknesses and temptations. When in doubt, don’t. Watch out for the enemy who prowls around watching for someone to devour. Put on the full armor of God, so you can stand against the devil’s plots.

Stand firm in the faith. Don’t budge when tempted to do or say something you know is wrong. Sin will take you down a path you never meant to walk on. So put on that full armor of God every day. Tighten the buckle of faith. Don’t be wishy washy with your beliefs. Know your convictions and hold to them. Don’t be bullied into something without weighing the cost. Don’t fall prey to watered down spiritual teachings. Know the truth and live it.

You have the Host of heaven’s armies on your side. He’s fighting for you. So fight for him. Fight for truth and honor.

If you are a child of God, then you are a soldier. You are fighting an enemy who wants you and all of you. Can you identify the enemy?


Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. Do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14


Be courageous. Heroes are bold and strong. They stand for what they believe. Say no to the enemy of your soul. Just be warned. The enemy may look beautiful at times. Or taste very sweet. The enemy may flash dollar signs and promise untold wealth. Speak boldly the words of truth and correction. Don’t be shy about saying hard things. Be speak kindly. Act mature. Don’t be foolish in the things you say and do. Don’t be a wimp when someone insults you. Be bold. Take responsibility for your words and actions. Just grow up in your faith. Don’t become stagnant.

Be strong. Strength takes work and effort. Perseverance. Strength is born through consistent training. Anyone can be weak. Most are. But true strength comes from battling your worst enemy and conquering your temptations. Satan himself is the enemy of your soul. If someone can learn to bench press 250 pounds, then they can learn the word of God. Nothing is impossible with God.

When your faith is tested, stand strong. Speak words of truth. Don’t fall prey to the enemy’s advances. God is an ever present help in times of trouble. Trust him and hold tightly to his mighty hand.

Do everything in love. Treat others like you want to be treated. Be kind. Don’t cause trouble. Speak truth but speak in love. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try walking their road of life. Lend a hand. Smile at a stranger. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but be kind when there are differing opinions. Be respectful. Honor those who have gone before you. Be attentive to those who come behind, for they are watching and listening.

God’s Word is a useful tool for everyday living. Spend time there every day. You will be surprised at some of the historical events. But lessons can be learned from all situations in life. God is faithful. He will direct our lives if only we allow him. But first, we have to know him. We must take the time and effort to build a close relationship with him. Let’s be uncommon people in a common world.

Peace in Tough Times

These days are tough times for many people.  Some are afraid to leave their homes.  Others are now homeschooling their kids. People have lost their jobs.  Numbers are going up. Numbers are going down. Patience is running thin. Some are wondering when this craziness will ever end.

Someone in my family was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery is being scheduled. Another family member has family members who were impacted by the explosion in Beirut. They are safe for the moment, but daily provisions are uncertain. Another family member is recovering from major surgery and doing well with her daily physical therapy.  And she’s seven years old.

There are people who are coping with this pandemic crisis by drinking daily. When that wasn’t a normal thing for them. They’re trying to cope with the unexpected changes in life. Because life isn’t going so well this year.

There are businesses that had great plans for the future but now find themselves in bankruptcy.  There are families who find they can no longer meet their monthly payments.  There are people who qualified for unemployment benefits but haven’t received a check. 

Oh. These are troubled times. 

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston

There is a presidential election in less than three months.  The results could send this country and the world into even more chaos. Regardless of who wins. It’s a wait and see kind of year. Everyone is holding their breath and can’t seem to exhale.


And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15


These are indeed troubled times. 

Sports seasons have been canceled. School semesters have moved online. Church services are streaming live. High school seniors feel their senior year has been stolen from them.

People are searching like they have never searched before. But what are they looking for?

Peace. Freedom. Calm. Structure. Contentment. Understanding. Patience. Relief. Normal.

People want their lives to be normal again. But what does that even look like anymore? Are we looking at a new normal that we just keep fighting?

Have you found what you’re looking for yet? Are you looking in the right place? Do you that know peace can be found?

Did you know that peace is a gift from God? And he is the source of all peace.

What does the peace that comes from Christ even look like? What does that mean?

Imagine if we lived in a world where peace reigned instead of chaos and confusion. Imagine the life we could have. I have to ask myself. Does peace rule every one of my relationships? Do I think peace before striking the first blow of revenge? Or slinging the first word of accusation and judgment? Does the thought of peace guide my conversations and actions? Does peace rule my emotions?

Oh, troubled soul. Peace is a command that God speaks to us. We are called to live in peace with each other. Peace can only be commonplace if it comes from Christ. Nothing else gives lasting peace. Nothing. If we can’t find peace in these troubled days, then we’re looking for peace in all the wrong places.

Because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Philippians 4:7

Yes. These are troubled times. But peace is possible in the midst of the storm. Spend time with God. Actually, open the Bible and read God’s word. Let it saturate your heart and mind. Trust God. Don’t just say you trust God. Actually let go of your need to control everything and let God do his job. Oh. It isn’t easy. But it is possible. God will give peace in difficult times. He may not do everything the way we want, but His will and ways are perfect. So let’s trust him. And dare to see what happens in our hearts. Even when life isn’t perfect.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16