Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hide and Watch

Too often in our walk with the Lord, we (with big arrow pointing back at myself) are slow to accept His promises and guidance because of our lack of faith. I know that all too often I have questioned what God has told me concerning my life and the plans He has my journey. During my quiet time yesterday these verses, Numbers 11:21-23 NASB, really impressed me.

But Moses said, “The people, among whom I am, are 600,000 on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat, so that they may eat for a whole month.’ Should flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to be sufficient for them? Or should all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to be sufficient for them?” The Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”
(Keeping in context with what is being said, I ask that you read the all chapter 11, or for that matter chapters 10 & 12 also to get a good feel for what is being conveyed)

When I was growing up often I would ask my Dad about an event or something that was about to happen. Not wanting to spoil that happening or just because he was trying to teach me patience, Dad would tell me "hide and watch". Wait and see what is fixing to occur. The event that I was curious about was going to happen and I needed to just be patient, pay attention and watch it unfold.

We as Christians do the same thing, as we approach God with our questions and concerns. We ask, plead, and petition the Lord Almighty about many aspects of our lives and then when He answers, do we not often doubt that word or grow apprehensive thinking "is this really going to happen?". God had promised His chosen people food as they traveled to the Promised Land. They were grumbling, much like we do, and not believing in the provision that God had promised. Even Moses was not fully convinced that this was going to happen. There was doubt at what God said He would do, and God replied......“Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”.

God told Moses, "Buddy, do I not have unlimited capabilities, resources and power to do whatever I want to do?? I'm going to astound you with what is about to happen!" (my paraphrase) In other words God told Moses and the nation of Israel to "hide and watch"!

As we step into this new year with, new possibilities come along with me on this journey as we learn to follow God, wait on Him trusting Him for what He is about to do.

Saturday, December 31, 2016


As we enter into a new year I have been mulling over a couple of verses in Exodus these past few days.  I originally posted the short version of this on Facebook but wanted to expand some thoughts on these verses that I had. In meditating over these verses I realized that they have a message of optimism for those who are disciples of a loving and wonderful God.  About a week ago I began reading and studying in Exodus, specifically the life of Moses, during my quiet time.  The last few verses of chapter 3 really captured my attention and I feel God showed me something new, that I had to share.  I believe this is a word not only for me, but for many of you as you walk through your daily lives.

Here are the verses:

But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians."
Exodus 3:19‭-‬22 NASB 

I have been going through a life changing year and a half and have questioned many things that have occurred over that last one to two years, and these verses really spoke to me.   As I read these verses the words "under compulsion" caught my attention.  Websters defines the root word compel as: "to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly; to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure".

God "compelled" the king of Egypt, Pharaoh, to free the Israelites from slavery and the Egyptians, while hating the Jews, were "compelled" to show "favor" to them providing silver, gold and "fine clothing" (NLT translation) to replace their slave's rags that did not wear out for 40+ years. God pulled them out of the enemy's grasp and on to a path of redemption to a promised land. God, in essence, forced the enemy/slave driving Egyptians to "show favor" to the nation of Israel and as a result provided for them as they began their journey to the Promised land. He plundered Egypt.

Then it kind of hit me....Pharaoh, and to a lesser degree the Egyptian nation, is a picture of Satan, our enemy, and through the majesty and power of Yahweh Jehovah, he is "under compulsion" to "show favor" to us as we are God's adopted children! Satan, is and will be required to show favor to Jesus Christ, and to us as God's children, providing "silver, gold and fine clothing" for our journey to the Promised Land.

Because of who God is and who we are in Jesus Christ, the enemy is bound, by God's power to show us favor.  This is a very difficult concept for us a Christians to comprehend, especially for me.  When Satan attacks us, and we allow him to place us into "slavery", it often seems there is no way out.  Just like the Jews facing slavery, we cry out and ask for deliverance.  God steps in and "compels" the world around us, the enemy's realm, to "show us favor".  At this point, please do not confuse this word as a prosperity ideology message that is so prevalent in our world today.  It's not.  Does this mean we will not see trials and problems?  No, it won't. Just look at what happened after Israel left Egypt.  Pharaoh and his army pursued the Jews with the intention of destroying them, but God intervened here also. When we discover our purpose and role in God's plans, there will be provision for that role (and yes, I'm talking to myself here). We, and I include myself first and foremost in this process, need to realize that God will "under compulsion" force Satan to not only free us, but to show us "favor".  

God has "plundered" Egypt!  Will He not do the same fore us?

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Over the last month or so I have seen, through Facebook and other media outlets a great deal of political rhetoric related to the upcoming Presidential election.  It breaks my heart to see the divisiveness that is occurring  because someone doesn't like one candidate or another due to their personality.  Some of these post and articles reek of hatred.  Even within my circle of friends and extended family, I see several views being put forth in support of the candidate/party they support.

As a historian, I know that while any particular candidate has a certain amount of influence over their personal agenda, the reality is, that they ascribe to and are ultimately driven by the party they represent.  That party in turn is controlled by many powerful factions that may include those with vast sums of money, unions, big business, lobbies (both private and government) and most importantly ideology.  As a Christian I know that this boils down into two view points, one that is God inspired the other is from Satan. While there are, depending on what source you see, between 10 and 20 issues that separate the candidates and their parties, it boils down into 3-4 main issues for me.

This last week while having my quiet time I was reading in I Kings 18 where the ministry of Elijah is given to us.  While reading verse 21 really hit me.  I encourage you to go and read chapters 17 and 18 in I Kings.  Verse 21 in right in the middle of Elijah's encounter with the 450 prophets of Baal at Mt Carmel.  With King Ahab, the prophets of Baal and the nation of Israel there, Elijah asked them in verse 21:  "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.".  I do not believe Elijah was asking them if they know who God or Baal was, but which one are you going to follow?

At this time in Israel's history worship of Baal was widespread.  This worship actually involved several false gods all being given the name Baal (which means lord in many of the language groups that surrounded Israel).  Worship of Baal included child sacrifice (we have abortion), deviant sexual behavior including temple prostitution of all forms (we have fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography, and promiscuity) and was promoted by several kings in Israel to the point that many Prophets and Priest of Yahweh were persecuted and killed unless they denied God and ascribed to the teachings of Baal (we face loss of religious freedom, persecution of the Church, appointment of 2-3 supreme court justices that will define our judicial viewpoint as being liberal socialism or conservative).

So as Evangelical Christians who should we vote for?  That I will not and can not tell, you, but I implore you to pray, pray, pray and seek God's guidance as you decide.  As you pray and contemplate, do not look just at the candidate and their personality but what issues they believe in and stand for.  While I also have considered a third party that closer resembles my conservative views, I also know that at this time in our history a third party will only split the vote allowing the liberal left agenda to be installed in the White House and more importantly our government.

As I stated earlier, this election cycle concerns 3-4 major make or break issues for me,  which are abortion, religious freedom and how the U.S. Constitution will be viewed.  The Democratic party and their candidate clearly support unlimited abortion, curtailment of personal and religious (actually just Christian) freedoms and limits to, if not elimination of several Constitutional amendments.  The Republicans are for the most part the total opposite on these issue along with the many more I have not included in this post.

As you finish this post and consider your choice in this very important time in our countries history, I now pose the question to you....."How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.".

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


What is in a name?  While I was sitting and watching some TV this afternoon I ran across the movie "Gladiator".  While most of the movie had already been shown I stopped and watched it for a couple of minutes.  For those who may not have seen this movie, it is about a Roman general who is betrayed and his family murdered by the Emperor's corrupt son, and his journey back to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.  The scene I watched took place in the Great Colosseum of Rome, in an area where the gladiators were housed.  General Maximus Desimus Meridius' whose identity has been discovered by the new Emperor and all of Rome (Maximus was supposed to have been killed) is wildly popular not only because of his name but by his actions as a Roman general and a gladiator.   As the general and his fellow gladiators are eating in the scene I watched, there is concern that the general's food may be poisoned, but one of the other gladiators make a statement the caught my ear as I was about to change the channel.  He said, "You have a great name.  He (the Emperor) must kill your name before he kills you."

This really hit me and I realized that this is what the enemy does to us.  Even when we do not know what our names mean, Satan does, and often even when we are young he will attack us at this point.  He must “kill your name before he kills you”.  Throughout the Bible great emphasis is placed on naming an infant and the future ramifications that name holds on that person.  Most names have positive connotation but some do not.  Look a couple of OT figures.  Abraham means “father of a multitude” and was the beginning of the nation of Israel.  On the other hand, there is Jacob which means “heal holder or supplanter”, one who lies or connives. While Jacob lived up to his names meaning, God did change it later to Israel which is “God prevails”. In the NT Jesus name means “Jehovah is Salvation” that pretty much says it all, God’s own son sent to save us and His name means just that.

Your names have meanings also, and those meaning are tied in with your personality, passions, talents and gifts making you who God intended you to be.  I have observed over the years that individuals often live up to their names meaning, whether good or bad.  My wife, Sandra is much better at digging up and looking at the meaning behind names than I am, but I am convinced that our given names are as much a part of who we are as anything else, and the enemy does the same to us as the Emperor had to do to Maximus.  He must destroy our names before he can try to destroy us, keeping us from realizing who and what we are in relationship to God.  This is accomplished through the destruction our reputations, smearing our names and making us feel unworthy as we are entangled in sin.  The enemy, in his warped viewpoint must first destroy your name or convince you that you are not who you are supposed to be, as he tries to destroy you.

Because of this it is so important that we know who we are in God's kingdom and what our names denote.  What is in a name?  Find out, know who you are and who you were meant to be and represent.  If you have been redeemed by Christ, you already have a new name/title!  You are a Prince or Princess, a child of the Most High King!! That is a very powerful name to have.  Claim it!!

Friday, December 4, 2015


Mark 2:21-22 NASB
21 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. 22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
Jesus Christ came to re-establish God's Kingdom here on earth, based on grace and the desire to have a relationship with man, not a religion. This new covenant will not fit into the "old" framework of religion (wine skin) without bursting it, but must be a "fresh" relationship (wine skin) so it has room to expand.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Everyone has events in their lives that shape us into who we are.  Some are minor, other are major and life altering, but they all make us learn.  Whether it's is washing a red t-shirt in a load of whites, or the loss of job, birth of your first child, or a life threatening disease they all will teach you something.  How we react to that teaching often determines the outcome of the lesson as bad or good. 

God's allowance of both good and bad events is often how He chooses to teach you and me.  Is it pleasant?  Some times...but sometimes (and often) it is not.  Even in the bad, or even evil events we face God is present and using these events to make you grow. We see this in John 15;1-6

 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 

Pruning is how a plant is made healthy, allowing it to grow to be bigger and more fruitful.  Now I know plants can't talk but what if they could.  Would they tell us it felt good being pruned? I thinking no, it hurt, but what about one, two or three months later at Harvest time? Hey vine now that you have an abundance of big, juicy and sweet grapes as a result of that pruning back then, was it worth it? YES.

God it that way with us!  Trimming not only the dead but also the good "branches" to make us better fruit bearers.  We as Christian know that the dead (evil, non-producing, sin...) branches need to be cut but what about some of the good branches.  Sometimes the "good branches" things like a job, health, money, and family cause us to not grow the "fruit" we are intended to produce.

As I have been reading a book "Jesus in the Present Tense: The I AM Statements of Christ" by Warren W. Wiersbe.  This morning I was reading his words on this chapter in John.  Here is what he said about pruning;

"Fruitless branches prove they have no living connection with the vine and they must be cut off, and fruitful branches must be pruned so they produce more and better fruit (15:1-2.  Please note that when the vinedressers prune the fruitful branches, they cut away living wood, not dead wood, so the branches will produce better grapes.  The vinedresser must know what wood to cut, how much to cut, and at what angle." 

Another passage from Mr. Wiersbe..."As your read Scripture, note how the Father had to prune away good things from some of His servants so their ministries would be more fruitful and glorify the Lord in a greater way."   And God does this to us, sometimes cutting things that are, or seem to be good in order to bring us back to full fruitfulness in Him.  I know I'm being pruned during this time of my life!!

So hang in there during these times, It hurts, but I know the outcome will be great!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Have you ever read something several, maybe even five, six (or in this case least 20) times and all of sudden a different viewpoint or realization of what is said just come seeping into the old noggin?  This happened to me a couple of days ago while having my quiet time.  I was reading in Mark 4 and verses 21 through 25, and God showed me something new.

In this chapter Christ had just finished telling the parable of the sower/seeds and followed it up by explaining this passage to His disciples.  At the end of explaining the parable, Jesus told them the following:

 24 And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.     

As Christ told this parable to the crowd and He begins with "Listen to this"  and ends with  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  He later tells the disciples of the lamp and basket/bed ending with the same statement, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”, and now in versed 24-25 we see “Take care what you listen to." Hear, Listen...Take care what you listen to!  Am I listening to God as I need to be?  Or am I listening to myself or the world?  If I am listening to God and what He is telling me then the more that will be revealed.  The more God wants to talk to me and the more I will benefit!  Other similar verses (Matt. 25:14-30) deal with using your talents, money, skills and abilities for work in God's kingdom. However these verses in Mark deal with listening to God and His words. The more time I spend in prayer and meditation allowing God to talk to me, the more I want to delve into the Bible and my prayer life.  If I don't listen to God then I lose out. 

Don't misunderstand me, studying and meditating on the Word of God is paramount to our growth as a Christian, but as I worked through these verses I discovered there are many more verses in the Bible that tells us to listen/hear vs study/read.  Are we too absorbed in reading (Christian books, study guides, devotionals etc..) to hear Gods voice as He speaks to us? To me these two verses are telling me the more I apply myself to prayer and listening, combined with a daily walk in His Word, the more He is going to say.  If I stray and pursue false or misleading teachings then God's blessing, and if I understand properly, even His word "...shall be taken away.".  

Also tied into this is the warning to "Take care what you listen to".  I believe Christ was warning His disciples to be careful to what and who they listened to.  The religious leaders of Christ day were willing to "bend" God's word for their benefit, and later in the 1st century church many heresies were being introduced. I see the same thing spreading like a cancer through the church today. Jesus was warning His followers to listen to His truth, not the world's.  Jesus wants us to listen to Him!