My Rescuer Rides the Clouds

Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary.  2 Samuel 21:15 (NASB)

David? Weary? Hard to believe that a wealthy and powerful king could become weary, but it happened. The Philistines were at war with Israel again, and David grew weary. Their taunts had plagued Israel for as long as he could remember. The death of the giant by young David’s sling and stone only frightened the Philistines temporarily. Once he became king, the Philistines threatened and tormented David again and again.

Are you experiencing exhaustion from a constant battle? Maybe you’re not at war with physical giants, but conflicts meet you at every turn. It seems as though gray skies and clouds reign over your life. Dismal days forecast a gloomy outlook. Hope fades and weariness prevails. What do you do? What did David do?

David inquired of the Lord. That’s right. David took time to stop and ask God what to do. David listened and obeyed the Lord. And God answered him with might by defeating his enemies. 

Now it wasn’t all that easy and David wasn’t always perfect. In fact, there were times he acted without conferring with God (like when he lusted after a married woman, got her pregnant, and had her husband killed). Whoa. Who does that and how can that be forgiven? 

Yes, King David committed those heinous acts (2 Samuel 11). But when confronted by a man of God, shame filled David’s soul. Remorse brought him to his knees and he repented before God. David’s Deliverer rescued him with loving forgiveness. Because David continually repented and yielded to God, God called him “a man after His own heart.”

David peered through the clouds of conflicts in his life and recognized his faithful Lord. This man after God’s heart penned many expressions of thanksgiving to His mighty Rescuer. He declared his deliverance by God’s hand from all his enemies. His soul delighted with songs of gratitude to his Savior. 

Scripture tells us:

And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said,

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.
“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.  2 Samuel 22:1-4 (NASB)

In his weariness, David called out to God and God heard him:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord,
Yes, I cried to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.  (verse 7)

David realized that his Savior wasn’t hidden when clouds of conflict surrounded him, but that He was there in the midst of all his trouble.

“He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.
“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.
“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.
“From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.
“The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.  (verses 10-14)

And David declared who his Deliverer was:

“He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.
“They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.  (verses 18-19)

The Lord strengthened him and lit his way:

“For You are my lamp, O Lord;
And the Lord illumines my darkness.
“For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.  (verses 29-30)

The Lord was his Protector:

“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tested;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.  (verse 31)

David cried out to God in the midst of trouble. God heard his cry and delivered him from his enemies. David offered songs of thanksgiving to his Lord and Savior. And David’s strength was renewed. 

Are you weary from continuous clouds of conflict? Take time to be still and ask God what to do. Read David’s words in 2 Samuel 22 (similar words in Psalm 18). Allow those inspired words to penetrate your soul and renew your strength. Recognize your Rescuer and give Him praise. 

Lord, how I love you! For you have done such tremendous things for me.

The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where none can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. All I need to do is cry to him—oh, praise the Lord—and I am saved from all my enemies!  Psalm 18:1-3 (TLB)

Rescuer (Good News) by Rend Collective LYRICS....

Pass it on....

Are you weary? Have life’s trials exhausted you? Believe it or not, King David grew weary in his battles against the Philistines. Fighting giants can be hard, especially if they become your focus. 

When David focused less on his circumstances and concentrated more on the God who saved him, he became revived. He penned his refreshed reflections with praise and thanksgiving to his Heavenly Father.

David journaled many of his emotions, both with grievances and in joy. His honest meditations are recorded in the book of Psalms. Because his words relay sincere sentiments, readers can relate to his penned responses. God’s Word through David is relevant even today. 

Throughout generations, God has gifted numerous people who write down their thoughts in order to encourage others. Nothing can replace the Word of God. But His Word, along with inspiration through various writers, can bring refreshment to readers. 

Are life’s burdens dragging you down? Do you need spiritual motivation? Find the link below and click on it. An online magazine called REFRESH will open. It is a beautifully illustrated magazine containing uplifting inspirations. 

Various people have written from life’s experiences. I am blessed to have had one of my heartfelt messages included, entitled Pass It On. I hope and pray that you will be inspired by the insight of others, and pass it on……

Click here to view the magazine

Fearlessly Fight for Faith

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.  Jude 1:3 (NASB)

Contend earnestly for the faith? Who does that these days? Anyone who would claim faith in Jesus Christ and walk in His ways is intolerant, so says the world and even part of the church. And yet God’s Word commands us to contend earnestly for the faith.

Are Christians willing to obey God and His absolute truth? Or will we continue to make up our own truths and live by them? Who are we more afraid of offending—humans or God, creatures or Creator? In a world that accepts the faith less and less, how can believers in Jesus Christ abide by God’s Word?

Look to Jesus, not humans, for answers. Hold tightly to the faith of our fathers by reading God’s Word everyday. Stand firm on the absolute truth of Jesus Christ our Savior. With the help of the Holy Spirit, daily walk in the obedience of the Word of our Lord. And pray without ceasing.

The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right.  2 Timothy 3:16 (TLB)

Fight on for God. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you and that you have confessed with such a ringing confession before many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:12 (TLB)

Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.  Ephesians 6:18 (TLB)

Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9 (TLB)

Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (TLB)

But you have given us a banner to rally to; all who love truth will rally to it; then you can deliver your beloved people. Use your strong right arm to rescue us.  Psalm 60:4-5 (TLB)

“God loves you very much,” he said; “don’t be afraid! Calm yourself; be strong—yes, strong!” Suddenly, as he spoke these words, I felt stronger and said to him, “Now you can go ahead and speak, sir, for you have strengthened me.”  Daniel 10:19

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1 (NIV)


Hiking with God

We trekked a hazardous trail. My husband and I thought it perilous as our 60-year-old minds warned our aging bodies to take precautions. Together we climbed toward the hill’s summit through a moderately rugged forest path. God used our hike to illustrate some valuable life lessons to me. 

“I can’t enjoy the scenery,” I said to my husband. “If I don’t watch every step, I’m afraid I might fall and hurt myself.”

“I know,” he said, “so be very careful.” I followed close behind him up the trail.

With every step, I dodged exposed tree roots and loose jagged rocks. Our simple jaunt proved to be a treacherous trek. But we were determined to finish.

As I cautiously hiked the dangerous path, God’s world—hills, trees, rocks, roots—illustrated messages to me. Each careful step demonstrated the importance of clinging to God every single day. May your lessons, Lord, help me and others daily live the true Christian life. 

I watched my every step for fear of twisting an ankle or falling. My Christian walk requires comparable precaution. Thoughts, words, and deeds reflect my beliefs. Daily reading God’s Word trains me to avoid the traps of the devil and to follow the right path. If I fall, God through Jesus Christ graciously forgives me when I approach Him with a humble, repentant heart. What amazing grace He offers. 

Lesson learned: I need Jesus everyday in every way. 

Because I kept an eye on each footstep, I missed some beautiful scenery. I hoped a panoramic view awaited me at the top. As I strived to keep a firm footing, the Apostle Paul’s imagery in Ephesians of the armor of God came to mind. Then I remembered hearing someone describe contemporary Christianity as a cruise ship instead of a battleship. Has our modern society confused Christianity with a luxurious pipe dream? 

Sadly the church has wrapped itself up in society’s culture of gratification and entertainment. Itching ears desire to hear acquittals rather than convictions, resulting in watered-down faith from false teaching. Conditional truths normalize as followers of the latest fads believe the next best thing. A feel-good faith resembles a vacation cruise. 

But real Christianity requires battle. Believers must contend for the unpolluted faith of God's truth. We remain steadfast, persevering in our belief of the absolute truth of God, the faith handed down to us once for all through Christ Jesus. We fight the good fight of faith with God by our side.

Lesson learned: I need Jesus everyday in every way.

Eventually my husband and I made it to the top. We both gasped as we gazed at the breathtaking view. The landscape around and below surprised us—hope realized. It represented to me the anticipated beauty of eternal life at our earthly journey’s end. We hold tight to our faith with the hope of eternal glory. It’s a truth to stand firm on.                

As my husband and I carefully made our descent, I remembered life’s struggles—the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the births and deaths, the separations and reunions, the cancers and cures. We’ve all traveled these hills and valleys. Have they caused us to turn toward God or turn away? 

Your answer will determine the approach to your journey. Life is easy in the good times. Do we remember God and give Him thanks? Or not? Bad times bring pain and suffering. Do we follow Jesus and allow Him to strengthen us? Or not? It’s your choice.

With a firm footing on God’s truth and eyes focused on Jesus our Savior, hope will one day be reality. In the meantime, walk closely with Christ. He stands ready with open loving arms to be your guide. Turn to Him. He is near. 

Lesson learned: I need Jesus everyday in every way.

Do you?

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  Colossians 2:6-8 (NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.  Psalm 145:18 (NIV)

And a highway will be there;
    it will be called the Way of Holiness;
    it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
    wicked fools will not go about on it.  Isaiah 35:8 (NIV)

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.  Psalm 20:8 (NIV)

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

Be my rock of refuge where I can always hide.
    You have given the order to keep me safe;
    You are my solid ground—my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71:3 (VOICE)

Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.  Psalm 31:3 (NIV)

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5 (NIV)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”  Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Tauren Wells - Hills and Valleys.....


Currently we are not meeting regularly, but we continue to pray and encourage one another with God's Word. God's presence definitely surrounds us when we meet with each other.  

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.   Hebrews 10:23-25

A Prayer

Heavenly Father,

You are God and we are not. We praise you for who you are—our Maker and Redeemer, Provider and Sustainer. You give life and you take it away. With you all things are possible, nothing is impossible. We bow before you in humility.

Forgive us for our pride and selfishness, for greed and jealousy, for anger and guilt. O Lord, we have trusted in ourselves and not in you. We have forgotten who controls the winds and waves. Forgive us, God, for the wrongs we commit against you and against others. We are sorry, Lord.

Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for the blessing of new life. Thank you, Father, for families and friends. Thanks for the fellowship we enjoy with you and with each other. For the beauty of heaven and earth, we thank you. For the sun and shade you provide, we thank you. For rain and crops for food, we thank you. With thanksgiving, we offer our praises to you, Jesus, for salvation in your name. Thank you for abundant life in your name on this earth. Thank you for eternal life in your name in heaven. Thank you, Father God.

Now Father, we lift our fears and worries, cares and concerns up to you because we know you love and care for us. Remind us you are near. Comfort us when we are afraid. Put a desire in our hearts to draw nearer to you, bringing to mind your promises to us through your Word. May we be faithful to you as you are faithful to us. Let our lives bring you glory so that those around us may know what a mighty God we serve. 

In your precious name, Jesus. AMEN.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16 (NIV)

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

If My People: by Promise Keepers.....

Clouds Without Water

These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.  Jude 1:12-13 (NASB)

Sweltering heat. Stifling atmosphere. A parched mouth. A thirsty soul. Definite descriptions of something missing. A life-giving source desperately needed. 

Water. It’s essential for life. Water occupied a large part of earth before creation. Water surrounds a fetus in the womb at life’s beginning. Water discovered on new territory designates good land. Abundant ground results from the ideal amount of water. Semi-arid or desert land amplifies water's importance. 

Nomads know the significance of finding water wherever they wander. It means life or death. When the Israelites fled into the desert, leaving behind the lush Egyptian terrain surrounding the Nile River, they understood the necessity of water. 

When they entered the Promised Land, the Israelites still required water. Living off the land as farmers necessitated water for their crops and livestock. They depended on rain falling in the right increments at the right time of year for the successful growth of potential food. They needed the right amount of rain, not too much or too little, and they relied on God to provide the rain. They believed rain to be God’s blessing.

Imagine a world without water. Human beings would die within three to five days. Vegetation and animals would cease thriving. Eventually death would consume life. Things perish for lack of water. 

Now imagine clouds without water. Is it possible? Clouds are a visible mass of fine water droplets or ice particles suspended above the earth. Even though clouds contain moisture, sometimes the condensation doesn’t fall to the earth as rain. Suppose your area of the world desperately needed water. Day after day, week after week, month after month gathering clouds hung overhead yet no rain fell to earth. If this weather pattern persisted, everything would eventually cease to exist. 

Clouds without water is a phrase used in the book of Jude in the Bible to refer to false teachers or false prophets. Jude says they sneak into the gatherings of God’s people and take advantage of the situation, caring only for themselves. They use false doctrine to sway unstable people. Anyone not focused on God’s truths are deceived by falsehoods from these clouds without water. Eventually false leaders and followers thirst for lack of the life-giving source of the truth of God. 

Through the authors of Scripture, God repeatedly informs His people about false prophets. These false leaders are described as having no roots and offering no fruit, being doubly dead. They spew lies of the devil, making promises while producing nothing. They disguise themselves as angels of light, twisting God’s true Light. They entice the interests of seekers who miss the truth of God’s Word. They are the blind leading the blind to a destination of death. Do you know any blind guides, as Jesus calls them in the fifteenth chapter of Matthew? Do you know anyone who has been misguided by false teachers? 

False teachers abuse the grace of God by corrupting God’s truths with falsehoods. They rebel against God’s authority. They focus on material gain rather than spiritual authenticity. They deny the righteous salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And they lead many people away from God’s truth into wickedness. 

False teachers permeate this world. They distort truth in our churches, infiltrate our homes through media, and occupy places in government. The flood of half-truths confuse followers. Eventually everyone does what is right in their own eyes, shunning absolute truth. Ungodliness results. Clouds without water parch souls. People parish from the lack of Truth. 

Truth is firmly rooted in God’s Holy Word, yet some people twist His words. Others attempt to wipe it out altogether. God warns us of these clouds without water. Are we heeding His words? 

God sent Jesus Christ to quench our souls from thirst and save our souls from death. The truth of Jesus is written in God’s Book of Life. Have you opened a Bible today and unearthed living water? Read the following Scripture verses, allowing them to refresh you. As you engage with the world around you, stand firm on the truth of God’s Word. 

At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved……….For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.  Matthew 24:10-13, 24-25 (NIV)

"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping."  2 Peter 2:1-3 (NIV)

He replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”  Matthew 15:13-14 (HCSB)

"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus, that spirit is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world"  1 John 4:1-3 (NIV)

“If you follow My statutes and faithfully observe My commands, I will give you rain at the right time, and the land will yield its produce, and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.  Leviticus 26:3-4 (HCSB)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14 (NIV)

Selah - "I Got Saved".....

The God of Past, Present, and Future

History repeats itself, or so it’s been stated. Over time the world has seen empires rise and fall, wars begin and end, people unify and divide. Comparable circumstances replicate on the world stage past and present. Different people encounter the same situations. And because we’re all sinners, we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. Humans struggle with sin. When will we ever learn?

The history recorded in God’s holy Word, the Bible, contains rehashed scenarios of sin and salvation throughout the centuries. People repeat sins. God repeats His message. Our Heavenly Father provides instructions for living life the way He intended and we repeatedly disobey His commands. His laws are for our good, and still we allow doubt and pride to prevent us from making good choices. Why do we continually choose disobedience?

Eve and Adam violated God’s command. God pronounced judgement while also planning deliverance from sin. Yet sin spread as people populated the earth. Satan worked to destroy God’s children. God worked out His salvation plan through them. He chose to spread His blessings to the nations through His servant Abraham. While He knew His children would continually doubt His goodness, God made a covenant with Abraham to demonstrate His faithfulness. This covenant meant commitment between mankind and Himself. Breaking the pact meant death to the traitor. Eventually someone would break the vow and someone would pay the price.

It happened repeatedly—God’s covenant broken by humanity. Rules and regulations were broken. The covenant was broken. The Ten Commandments were broken. Prophet after prophet delivered God’s warning about the consequences of sin and disobedience. People ignored it. But God loved His people too much to allow the tempter’s power to overcome them. Satan desired to destroy them. God desired to save them. 

Finally the time was right for the consequences of the broken covenant to be fulfilled. Someone would have to die. It should have been mankind, instead it was God through Jesus Christ. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Life, eternal life. God repeatedly instructed His people about choosing life. Repeatedly they disobeyed and chose death, breaking the covenant. God’s love caused Him to offer His life as a sacrifice for the sins of His people. 

Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God sacrificed Himself for the sinful world. What should have happened to humans happened to God instead. The God of the universal loved humanity so much that He willingly died for the whole world. He suffered the consequences of our disobedience. He carried the sins of the world to the cross. He died a traitor’s death for the broken covenant.

Satan thought it was over. He thought He had beaten God. But on the third day, Jesus arose from the dead in victory. Neither sin nor death could hold Him—He is God. His resurrection offers us new life.

It’s the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The God of grace offers us forgiveness for our sinful disobedience. Jesus died in our place so that we could live with Him abundantly on earth and eternally in heaven. What an awesome Savior God. 

I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that God, your God, promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (The Message)

But when the right time came, the time God decided on, he sent his Son, born of a woman, born as a Jew, to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own sons.  Galatians 4:4-5 (TLB)

"The Gospel" by Ryan Stevenson.....

"No Other Name" by Hillsong.....

The Plan of Salvation

Caught in the act—caught red handed. Spotting forbidden fruit, she had succumbed to temptation. The pressure of her mind’s conflict temporarily subsided when she convinced herself of a must-have. Then she crossed the line. She violated a law. She committed a wrong. Now the burden of her decision increased the struggle. Consequences would now follow. And regret asks why did I do it?

Most likely we all have landed in situations where we’ve succumbed to temptation. Rules and regulations exist, but sometimes we choose not to obey them. We question authority. We believe we know best. We follow our will instead of God’s. Because we refuse to heed His message, we create a mess. 

Throughout the ages people have disregarded God’s instructions. Even though rules are meant for mankind’s protection, many people see them as roadblocks to their own objectives. Adam and Eve doubted and disobeyed God’s command. Consequences resulted. But God had a plan of salvation. The Israelites wandered in the desert and disobeyed God’s commandments. Consequences resulted, but God had a plan of salvation. King David desired another man’s wife and disregarded God’s law. Consequences resulted, but God had a plan of salvation. 

The Bible contains story after story of sinful human beings who chose to disobey God’s law. Oh what consequences they endured. Even today the human story is filled with sinful acts against God. It feels as though we are drowning in consequences. When mankind succumbs to the tempter’s power, lives are damaged and destroyed. But God had a plan of salvation. 

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Romans 5:6 (NIV)

Have you felt powerless in the struggle with good and evil? Have you yielded to temptation? Is your life a mess because of wrongdoing? There is One who can change your life. His name is Jesus. He is God’s plan of salvation. 

We deserved death as the consequence to our transgressions. But God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ died in our place. He is willing to take away our sin and clean us up with a shower of grace. He offers forgiveness. Will we accept His offering? Or will we choose to continue in our disobedience? 

Allow God to speak to you with this video about God's plan of salvation and the reversal of sin……

Open Defiance

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.  Psalm 119:60 NIV

We followed the hostess to a table in the Japanese Steakhouse. My husband and I anticipated a wonderful night out eating Teppanyaki style with our little boy and his grandparents. While the hostess turned on the iron griddle, I picked up my two-year-old son and explained how the chefs would cook our food on the table. “It will be very hot in the middle. Don’t touch!” I said. 

Before I could position him in the booster seat, he leaned over to touch the center of the table and screamed. He burned his finger. Everyone quickly set about to ease his pain, but the consequences of his defiance would smolder for a while. Disobedience comes with a price. 

Why then do we disobey? No one delights in consequences. No one seeks to suffer. No one yearns to pay the price. But when we choose poorly, detrimental consequences result. Why do we continue to make destructive choices?

The answer lies in the choices made by God’s creation in the Garden of Eden. Eve and Adam chose to disobey God, even while surrounded with abundant blessings. The prohibited tree’s fruit delightfully appealed to their sense of sight. And they figured if it yielded more wisdom as the serpent said, why not try it? Right? Wrong. Instantly they regretted their decision. Have you ever experienced similar remorse?

The allure of temptation pulls us where we assume we want to go. The stimulating sights of forbidden fruit seduce our hearts and persuade our minds. Usually on an impulse, we allow temptation to convince us of satisfaction in the moment. Once we’ve done what we knew we shouldn’t do, regret fills us. Consequences follow. Why did we do it?

Temptation causes our human struggle. Since creation mankind has been enticed by a hellish spiritual power embodied in Satan. With lies he has tried to usurp God’s power throughout the ages. He fell from heaven because he desired to surpass Almighty God. He aspired to be enthroned high above the clouds. He yearned to be God. His pride said, “I will make myself like the Most High God.”

‘Pride goes before a fall’ is an old proverb remembered for years. It actually comes from the Old Testament in the book of Proverbs. From the eighteenth verse of the sixteenth chapter it reads, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” 

Pride is a longing for unlimited glory, the glory belonging only to Almighty God, and elevates oneself above all others. The verse from Proverbs warns of pride’s consequences. It has happened to many people throughout time. It’s what happened to Satan. His haughty spirit created a disdain for God and His creatures. He desperately longed to be god above Creator God. Pride consumed him and caused his fall from grace. 

God says of Satan in Isaiah:

How you have fallen from heaven,
    morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit. (verses 12-15)

With pride Satan exalted himself in heaven. With power God cast him out of heaven. In revenge Satan wants to destroy everything God created and loves. Because of his disdain for God, the devil desires to destroy God’s children. He wants to ruin you and me.

Whatever he can do to damage us, he will do. He is behind pride, selfishness, temptation, sin, death, and every evil of the world. He is the father of lies. He wants to prevent you, your family, your church, and the world from listening to and obeying God. He is behind the struggles you daily face. 

The apostle Paul wrote about the human struggle in his letter to the Romans. He said:

Don’t you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of “forbidden fruit” out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.  Romans 7:8-12 (MSG)

Paul declares God’s law is good. God gave His law out of love to protect us from the consequences of sin and temptation. Remember what I said to my little son about the hot griddle in front of him? I even commanded his obedience with a “don’t touch” because of the possible danger to him. But he chose disobedience. Adam and Eve chose disobedience. At times I have chosen disobedience. Consequences always follow disobedience. 

Because of the human struggle, God’s law stirs up sin in us. So God planned a better way to protect us, to save us from our sins. He alludes to it in Genesis 3:15 as well as throughout Scripture. Eventually His promise of a Savior sent to save us was fulfilled. A man nailed to a cross lies at the center of redemption from temptation and sin. Salvation rests in the God-man named Jesus. 

Consider this week times of your own disobedience. Why did you disobey and how did it make you feel? No matter how bad you’ve disregarded authority and violated laws, there is a God who desires to forgive you and save you from your sins. He is Jesus Christ. Come back next week to learn more about Him. 

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.  Deuteronomy 11:1 (NIV)

"Create in Me a Clean Heart" by Fountainview Academy......

Did God Really Say?

Well then, am I suggesting that these laws of God are evil? Of course not! No, the law is not sinful, but it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known the sin in my heart—the evil desires that are hidden there—if the law had not said, “You must not have evil desires in your heart.” But sin used this law against evil desires by reminding me that such desires are wrong, and arousing all kinds of forbidden desires within me! Only if there were no laws to break would there be no sinning.  

That is why I felt fine so long as I did not understand what the law really demanded. But when I learned the truth, I realized that I had broken the law and was a sinner, doomed to die. So as far as I was concerned, the good law which was supposed to show me the way of life resulted instead in my being given the death penalty. Sin fooled me by taking the good laws of God and using them to make me guilty of death. But still, you see, the law itself was wholly right and good.  Romans 7:7-12 (TLB)

Sin is dead. Yes, you heard right. Sin is dead…..apart from God’s law. Without standards of right and wrong, there can be no perception of sin. Without morals and principles, anything goes until standards are raised and God’s instructions are heeded. Yet commands intended to decrease sin seem to increase the desire to commit those sins. 


If you’ve ever raised children or taught them in any capacity, you understand the tendency to push against authority. While some children naturally desire to follow rules and obey those in charge, other children appear drawn to do the opposite of a command. If you say don’t or no, it seems they do exactly what you told them not to do. The end result—consequences resulting from disobedience. 

Imagine our Heavenly Father giving directives to His children. Now visualize their disregard for His decrees. This indifference to authority has happened for ages. It began in the Garden of Eden and is recorded in the Book of Genesis. 

God placed Adam in a paradise of sorts—a beautiful ample garden—to tend and keep. Of all the trees given for food, only one was off-limits. God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

God then created all the creatures of the earth as well as a companion (a woman named Eve) for Adam. Even though it doesn’t appear to have been recorded, God’s directions must have been relayed to this woman because the serpent took the opportunity to converse with her about God’s command. “Did God really say?” said the serpent. 

As the serpent spoke with Eve, he challenged God’s authority. Satan, that cunning serpent, tempted Eve and she disobeyed God. Eve enticed Adam and he defied the Lord’s law. Rebellion maligned innocence. Sin originated. Consequences transpired. (Genesis 3:1-19)


Satan easily enticed Eve to do his bidding. Eve encountered no resistance in luring Adam to ignore God’s order. Sin entered the human heart. Violations became reality. And mankind needed more than rules and regulations to avoid sin. 

God gave Adam a command. How well did he communicate those instructions to Eve? Did Eve understand the seriousness of obedience to her Creator? Satan takes every opportunity through God’s commandments to produce in mankind a desire to break every law given by God. Do we truly comprehend the gravity of sin and disobedience? What can we do about sin and temptation? 

The Bible has an answer for our rebellion, a way out of sin through one Man. This mode of escape from the enticement of evil is alluded to in the third chapter of Genesis in the fifteenth verse. Who is behind the temptations we face? Who provides a way out of wrongdoing? Come back next week to find out more…….

Encouragement to Endure

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.  2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NIV)

Anguish bled from her eyes as she spoke of her daughter. “Her heart is hard, she’s deep in sin, and she thinks she’s right,” my friend said, angry with her daughter yet loving her so much. 

Her sorrow hung heavy in the air. My heart ached for her. Come quickly, Lord, I silently prayed. 

The darkness surrounding her daughter threatened to overtake us with a torrent of tears like black clouds warn of a torrential downpour. “You’ve gotta walk by faith, not sight,” I said while wondering where that perfect advice came from. 

Oh Lord God, You are so good. You show up in our thoughts, words, and deeds when we walk with You. You arrive on time when we need You most. Thank you!

“Thank you, Debbie,” my friend said. 

Her sigh expressed some relief from her pain. Love can be so agonizing at times. But there is Someone who understands us. His name is Jesus. 

Jesus knows about both love and pain. Because of His extreme love for us, He laid down His life and endured horrible suffering in order to save us from our sins. His holy Word offers words of encouragement to help us endure to the end. Did I share enough of Jesus' words to encourage my friend? I told her that together we would persevere in prayer for her child.

Are you struggling with heartache over the choices of your son or daughter? Don’t focus on the approaching storm. Focus on the One who calms the storms. Your life may be under a cloud cover, but remember—the clouds are the dust of His feet. He is near!

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9 NIV

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

Kutless - What Faith Can Do.....

Euphoric Eyes

Have you ever attended a wedding and witnessed love exchanged between a man and woman soon to be husband and wife? Their glowing, romantic love extends to the crowd of people supporting them. The unadulterated beauty scatters joy in the place as smiles appear on every face. 

I recently experienced wedded bliss at my daughter's marriage to her best friend. My heart exploded with emotion while tears threatened to spill onto my dress. Thank goodness for the beautiful handkerchief she had given me. It dried my tears while its words resonated with my heart, reminding me of an abiding relationship, through thick and thin. The letter that follows is my response to her.

My dear daughter,

Oh how he loves you. His eyes tell all—warm anticipation, tender gaze, adoring look—assurances of a faithful love. 

And your requited expression wells from your eyes—tears of expectation and excitement, perhaps even tears of doubt, wondering how can this be. Happy tears cascade onto your cheeks because reality stands before you. Your love gushes in response to his love.

The joyful smiles shared with each other saturates the atmosphere. Love is in the air on this blessed wedding day. Your beauty clothed in bridal wear takes you from rags to riches, the past forgiven and forgotten, a new beginning. Everything appears fresh, pristine like a reconciliation of sorts. Restoration pledges a new beginning together forever.

God gives us this earthly yet glorious image of a wedding in order for us to grasp His love for us, His bride. He, the Bridegroom, adores us to the nth degree and infinity. He stands before us, waiting with bated breath while deep affection spills over into our souls. His eyes, His smile—all exude a love story bursting with devotion. It’s such an abiding love that He gave away His life for ours, exchanging His riches for our rags. He restores us from our sinful ways to His virtuous ways. He loves us.

When we approach Him, offering our earthly mess with regret and apology, He forgives freely without judgment and full of mercy. He sees us righteous because of His love. He’s longed for this renewed relationship—now live in His grace. Oh how He loves you and me!

Daughter, you are blessed beyond measure. Your Heavenly Father loves you and so does your earthly husband. Run to them, receive their love, and return it with an adoring, thankful heart. You are loved. 

With a loving and grateful heart,

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving us all. Thank you for my daughter and her husband, my son-in-law. Thank you, God, for answered prayer. 

Won't you glorify God with me through these beautiful songs of praise? And I would enjoy reading your thoughts about our God-given emotion of love in the comment section below......

Aaron Shust - Ever Be....

Hillsong - Forever Reign....

*Wedding photos by Jenna Joseph

Unity or Division

Unity and division—two words worlds apart. Because of the world, these two words immediately become word pictures. And the images are as different as night and day. 

Unity is a beautiful concept, rarely seen. Division and strife frequently surrounds us. Television supplies a host of images of a divided world. Arguments, fights, and war daily fill news reports with horrific depictions. When you look around your sphere of influence, do you see conflict and discord? Whether I view social media or my surroundings, I see disunity. 

The United States seem hardly unified, beginning in the government and extending out into the streets. Countries around the world experience hostility within and without. Churches break ties because of religious teaching. Even within a single church, dissension exists. Couples divorce and families split up. Human hearts are confused and torn asunder. Individuals are alienated and isolated. The struggle is real. 

Why do humans strive so intensely? We’ve been given good godly principles by a good and loving Creator. But since the beginning of time, we’ve questioned the Maker of heaven and earth. Instead of following God’s way, mankind chooses the human way, resulting in strife.

I believe discord occurs when people don’t stand firm on godly principles. If we don’t stand up and stand firm for something (I would suggest that something is God through Jesus Christ), then we fall for anything. 

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.  ~Peter Marshall

And, of course, falling creates an image of being out of control. Out of control conjures up images of strife, isolation, discord, separation, and breakups. Our world is suffering immensely from the fall. Can we bridge the divide? Will the people of the world ever stand united and live in peace together?

No, it won’t happen until the whole world has heard the gospel and Jesus has returned. And even then, some will choose not to believe. Christ told His disciples that His name would divide. And yet He is the only One who can unite. In His Name people come together in agreement and cooperate with each other. A union of solidarity with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit happens in harmony when our lives focus not on our ways, but the ways and will of our Heavenly Father.

Are you living with division in your family, church, community, schools, and/or government? Do you desire to heal those broken cords by uniting in love? Turn to Jesus—He is the solution. Read our Lord’s holy Word and hear Him speak to you. Give Him your broken heart and allow Him to mend it. Live lovingly in union with Him and with others.

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.  Mark 3:24-25 (NIV)

They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.  Jude 18-19 (NIV)

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:1-6 (NIV)

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:3 (NIV)

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.  1 Corinthians 1:10 (NIV)

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.  1 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV)

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV)

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.  Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!  Psalm 133:1 (NIV)

Christian Unity I Can Believe In........

Mission Statement

We are a group of mothers 
who humbly, yet boldly go 
before the throne of God, 
placing our children 
in His care.
Wearing the armor of God 

and taking up the 
Sword of the Spirit, 
we persevere in our belief 
that God’s promises 
will be fulfilled 
in their lives.

Mothers for Prodigals is a ministry from God and to Him be all praise and glory! Many thanks to Austin Weatherspoon for setting up this God-inspired blog design. He created a perfect design for us that absolutely represents the heart of this ministry. I also thank his mother for her input that has been a blessing. Thanks to all of you MPs who have impacted this ministry, supported me, and helped me in getting this blog up and running.

Austin's portfolio link - 

The MP logo beautifully depicts this ministry and God’s Word defines every detail. Each piece of the design is given below with a Scripture reference beside it, along with a detailed explanation of each image.

MP's – The apostrophe caught my eye and I remembered one of the meanings of an apostrophe in the English language: possession. Possession means ownership. I began to think of parents and children. Even though we mothers give birth to our children, are they really ours? God is the Creator and He created us all. We don’t possess our children; He possesses us all. 

Clouds – Nahum 1:3 – Clouds reveal the glory and might of our Savior and yet they conceal the part of God too awesome for our minds to understand. That’s where TRUST comes in. It is in the clouds that the Holy Spirit teaches us how to walk by faith….Hebrews 11:1

Shield – Ephesians 6:16 – The Roman shield covered most of the armor and flaming arrows couldn’t penetrate it, if fireproofed. Satan’s assaults cannot pierce the heart of the believer who places her faith in God.

Swords – Ephesians 6:17-18 - The Sword of the Spirit is used to fight our Enemy; with it we fight for our prodigals. The Sword represents the Word of God and when applied to life’s situations, it may be the whole Word of God or a specific word that needs to be spoken in a specific situation.

Ring – Luke 15:22 - The sword with the ring represents the redeemed. In ancient times, a ring bore the family seal. When the father put a ring on the finger of the returned son, it signified the son’s acceptance back into the family. The son’s confession brought full restoration, thus the redeemed.

MP – Isaiah 43:26 - The sole function of military police is to police the armed forces. To police something means to monitor or keep watch. As MPs we are to police the Word of God. We are like the “watchmen on the wall” who kept eight-hour shifts guarding the city walls. We are intercessors who bring our petitions before the Lord.

Purple – 1 Peter 2:9-10 - Purple is majestic; it’s the color of royalty.

Pink – We girls love pink and we’re believing that God is operating in pink

Banner – Song of Solomon 2:4 - The banner represents God’s encompassing love. It’s like a standard (Numbers 1:52). The standard was a flag with a symbol that represented a certain group of people; at times it was carried into battle. The standard-bearer was the leader, holding up the standard (flag or banner) for all to see and follow. Christ is our standard-bearer. He loved us so much that He gave His life for us. We are to follow His example of love, and always remember, fight the good fight of faith….1Timothy 6:12.

Love from God – 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:7

Love for each other – Philippians 2:1-4, Colossians 2:1-3

Our Scripture verse – Isaiah 43:5-7, which is below.

“So don't be afraid: I'm with you.
I'll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.
I'll send orders north and south:
'Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one.”

About Me

History of MPs
Mothers for Prodigals is a God-given ministry that flows from my healed heart. Through painful experiences with my own daughter, I fully understood the father’s heart in Luke 15:11-32. The father of the prodigal (or lost son) waited expectantly for his son’s return to the family. Scripture says when the son came to his senses……he arose and returned to his father. Even though distance separated them, the father, filled with compassion, ran and fell on the son's neck and kissed him. That Dad must have been watching, waiting, praying, and believing that his son would come home.
Anxiously awaiting the return of our daughter to her senses, the love of our family sustained us. My network of friends reminded me to trust Jesus while praying with me and quoting His Words from Scripture. Even though darkness enveloped me, God strengthened me.
Because of the loving support given to me by friends, God impressed upon my heart the need to minister to mothers dealing with the pain of their children's reckless choices. I envisioned myself wearing a black band around my arm enhanced by the letters MP. A flurry of meanings entered my mind: military police, guarding people, enforcing laws, watchmen on the walls, and intercessors. I soon realized that MP represented mothers and prodigals. Thus began a journey to blanket hurting women with the compassionate comfort of Jesus Christ.
As we mothers pray for our children, may we also lift up the hurting fathers. No matter whose heart is aching, distress affects the whole family. Fortunately there are some who haven’t experienced much pain with their children and we give thanks to God. Regardless of circumstances, we mothers desire the redemption of all our children. As they turn to Jesus, we ask that He guides their steps along the way. We eagerly wait for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to fulfill His promises.

Deborah Crawford
My passion is writing, and after having experienced life with a prodigal daughter, I wish to encourage parents (especially mothers) with the promising words of our Heavenly Father.

Gifts of a Good Father

A month ago we celebrated mothers. Last week we celebrated fathers. Today and everyday let's celebrate our Heavenly Father. Not only does He offer eternal life through His name Jesus, He extends blessed gifts to us for our daily journey. Will you receive them? All you need to do is ask.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NASB)

If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for fish, will he be
given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if you hard-hearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them? Matthew 7:9-11 (TLB)

“Look, there, see it. It’s what I’ve been wanting for so long. Can I have it, please, please, pleeeease? 

Children aren’t shy about asking. Their approach is simple, honest, and heart-felt. And parents truly desire to fulfill these wishes for their children (but good parents use wisdom when answering their pleas). Love is the reason. A parent’s love for her child pours out in many ways. Good parents train children properly, blessing them with good gifts. 

True love causes one person to want to give another person the shirt off his back (this American phrase means to give anything that is asked for, no matter the sacrifice required). Most parents give generously to their children, even being willing to die for them. Loving parent-child relationships beautifully illustrate the attainable bond between us and our Heavenly Father. 

Whether you’ve experienced a devoted earthly parent-child relationship or not, God offers you the opportunity to experience the heavenly one. Your Heavenly Father, who created you, yearns for a loving relationship with you. He desires to bless you with good gifts, and yet He’s already given you everything because He laid down His life for you (John 3:16-17). With His sacrifice comes gifts of gracious forgiveness, peace on earth, life eternal, and more. Now if He is willing to die for you, which He did, won't He give you these good gifts, if you ask Him?

Go ahead. Ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7-8). Expect Him to answer (Psalm 5:3, Galatians 5:5). In faith, believe (2 Corinthians 4:13) you have received.

What good gifts does your Heavenly Father offer?

He gives forgiveness…..Matthew 26:28
He gives mercy…..Psalm 6:9
He gives grace…..Ephesians 2:8-9 
He gives peace…..Numbers 6:26
He gives strength…..Isaiah 40:29 
He gives comfort…..2 Corinthians 1:3-4
He gives joy….. Psalm 16:11
He gives assurance of His presence.....Hebrews 13:5


As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
Psalm 103:13 (NET)

See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are! 1 John 3:1a (NET)

Enjoy Chris Tomlin's "Good Good Father"......

We Need You, Lord

Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee. Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers. Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them. If they say—“Let’s go out and raise some hell. Let’s beat up some old man, mug some old woman. Let’s pick them clean and get them ready for their funerals. We’ll load up on top-quality loot. We’ll haul it home by the truckload. Join us for the time of your life! With us, it’s share and share alike!”— Oh, friend, don’t give them a second look; don’t listen to them for a minute. They’re racing to a very bad end, hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on. Nobody robs a bank with everyone watching, Yet that’s what these people are doing— they’re doing themselves in. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens: the more you get, the less you are. Proverbs 1:8-9 (MSG)

God, do you weep
As you look around your world?
People everywhere, seeking anything,
Attempting to fill the barren hole 
Created by Your absence.

Drugs, disaster, death, devastation,
Stolen souls and wounded hearts.
Pride, lust, glory, money,
Hurting people hiding behind society’s trappings.
It’s fleeting, Lord, the worldly goods,
Perishable stuff.
Selfishness in overload,
Poor choices significantly vast.

Sometimes I can’t bear it, Lord,
Bad news voiced.
Heroin overdose, a captive life dead,
Teen suicide, why Lord?
A mother with empty arms wails for a child,
While a father silently sobs.

I meditated on the love of my Heavenly Father
And I knew He wept.
Death brought tears to Him
When He stood at a friend’s gravesite.

But He overcame death!
Through a miracle and resurrection,
Life returned.

And I ask—
Father God, what can I do?
Jesus, how can I help?

Be a light, He said to me, show the best way.
Proclaim My love and grace to all people.
Shout out good news of forgiveness and restoration,
Tell My truth, speak of My peace.

I bring freedom and favor,
I supply strength and beauty,
I bestow blessings of gracious mercy.

I desire to fill deadpan souls, 
Chosen hollow holes.
Lost mortals drifting through life,
Searching, striving.....

Come to Me, just as you are!
Come to Me, all you weary ones!
Come to Me, if you desire rest!

Give them assurance of My love,
Its lavish scope,
My life given for everyone.
The stripes inflicted upon My back,
Bled forgiveness for the sins of all people.

Blame and burdens,
Offer up to Me.
Trade them in for My righteousness,
For deliverance and freedom.

I yearn for relationships with My creation,
Repent and turn to Me.
I desire to be known in your hearts,
Repent and turn to Me.

I’ll wait as you labor 
For My kingdom here on earth.
Heaven finds Me interceding, daily on My knees.
Will you bow before Me and intercede with Me?

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (MSG)

People Need the Lord.....

Casting Crowns - Until The Whole World Hears.....

Pictures and Praise

Sometimes life speeds by us like a fast moving train. It may seem as though no one cares whether we move forward or fall apart. Someone cares and His name is Jesus. Lean on Him. I sure am. 

Life’s struggles are surrounding me and threatening to take me down. You may be wrestling with a similar fight. Don’t give up. 

Trust Jesus. Be still and rest in Him. The God who suffered and died for you won’t let you down now. If you can do nothing else, worship Him with songs of praise. 

Gaze at His beauty. He created the earth and everything in it. Even if the world has damaged His creation, look through the destruction and find His grace.

I’m a visual learner. Possibly you are too. I remember words when connected with images. God’s Word speaks to me through His creation. Seeing His beauty raises up praises in my soul. And then I sing. 

Pictures and praise—some of my favorite things. Use your senses of sight and hearing to find the peace that passes all understanding. Rest in the presence of the God who loves you dearly. And sing. 

Here I am to Worship.....

How Great Is Our God.....

                Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty .. [Agnus Dei].....

How Great Thou Art from Vocal Majority.....

Cling to Hope

I glanced heavenward early one morning as I drove to work. The unusually dark sky appeared ominous. Black clouds held more than just the possibility of rain. Stopping at a red light and glancing left, I noticed a small opening in the gloomy sky. Light broke though the area, revealing blue-gray yonder. Gazing around the heavens, I saw more bright spots throughout space. And God said to me, “Hope!”

Driving on, I considered the God-given notion of hope. When I stand in a turbulent existence, where is my focus? Do I stare at the ominous threat or gaze at the ray of hope? At times life situations certainly threatened to unravel me. The hopeless darkness overshadows the will to move forward. Disheartening circumstances put at risk my ability to focus on the God of promise who says, “Hope!” 

What can we do when facing unfavorable situations? How can we seize the day that signals negative news? Is it possible to remain secure when life’s difficult conditions toss us about like a storm?

God provides answers in His holy Word. Like an anchor in the storm, He stands ready to steady us, if only we’ll grab hold and focus our thoughts on His promises. 

God says through Paul in Romans 5:2-5:

……rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God? Okay, God, I can do that. But rejoice in my sufferings? Really, God? That’s the path to hope? Yes, His words reveal the path may begin in suffering, but by holding onto hope, we can persevere. Walking in perseverance brings forth character and integrity. From such moral strength we decide to hang onto hope. We hope in God who has poured His love into our hearts. 

One of the many stories of hope in the Bible lies in the book of Job. It’s about a godly man named Job who suffered tremendous pain, losing everything but his life and wife. He did not sin in his sorrow but worshiped God instead. 

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Job 1:21

Even though Job persevered, his wife did not support his strength. She said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”  Job 2:9

But Job said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” And the Word goes on to tell us in all this Job did not sin with his lips.  Job 2:10

Later three of Job’s friends showed up to help him flesh out his pain. And he said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”  Job 13:15 

At some point as he determined to persevere, Job experienced a weak moment. All humans do. He said, “Where now is my hope? And who regards my hope.”  Job 17:15 

Was he losing hope? Maybe for a moment. Yet throughout his own doubt and despair, he continued to place his hope in God. He declared, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  Job 42:2 

After years of clinging to hope, God blessed him with twice the blessings he had lost. Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.  Job 42:16-17 

Did Job grapple with his hope in God? Of course he did. Everyone contends with weakness. But as he traveled the path of suffering, God poured out His love into Job’s receptive heart. His pathway led to perseverance, growing his character, and out of that character came hope. And God did not disappoint him, but graced him with His presence and many blessings.

Have you lost hope in the middle of your situation? Let the word of God through King David and the apostles Paul and Peter infuse strength within your heart. Then resolve to hope in God.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.  Psalm 39:7 (NASB)

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.  Psalm 71:5 (NASB)

...rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer...  Romans 12:12 (NASB)

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.  Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3 (NASB)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 (NASB)

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less Worship Video....