Wednesday, February 24, 2010


He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.” Mark 7:6-7 HCSB

When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart. Lamar Boschman*

Every weekend, in churches all around the world, Christians gather to worship God. The parkers park, the greeters greet, the coffee brews, the music plays, the teachers teach, the singers sing, the cameras roll, the dramatists act, the videos play, and the preachers preach. However, when all is said and done, people often venture home no different from when they came. Traditions and procedures are followed and services are produced technically without a single flaw, but no one really engages in the worship of Jesus.

When we come together to worship the Lord, we should come prepared to experience the presence of the Lord. We should come ready to engage in worship that surpasses the routines and understanding of men. We should welcome Jesus as our Guest of Honor.

Lord, may our worship always be focused on and indwelled by You.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Who should I send? Who will go for Us?” I said: “Here I am. Send me.” And He replied: “Go!” Isaiah 6:8-9a HCSB

If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him. C.T. Studd*

Whenever I read the scripture above, I am faced with questions that demand answers. Here are just a few:

1. Am I really willing to do whatever God wants me to do? What if it’s not fun?
2. Am I really willing to serve God however He wants me to serve Him? What if He wants me to mow my neighbor’s yard?
3. Am I really willing to go wherever He wants me to go? What if it’s around the world?
4. Am I really willing to go whenever He wants me to go? What if it’s right now?
5. Am I willing to follow Him no matter what the cost?

Lord, help us to be willing to do whatever You want us to do however You want us to do it wherever You might call us to go whenever You want us to do so.


Friday, February 19, 2010


Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 HCSB

It’s an interesting paradox. When we are weary and burdened, we come to the Lord and put on the yoke that He has for us to wear and through that He will give us rest. But a yoke is what oxen wear when they are working in the field. That seems as if we are actually adding burdens and extra responsibilities to our already hectic lives, doesn’t it? Where is the rest in that?

Fortunately, Jesus wants us to put on His yoke so we can live and work with Him. While we want to dump our pile of trash at His feet and run away, He desires a relationship with us where we learn from Him how we can respond to our weariness through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. That is where we find rest.

Lord, Your yoke is best for me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Community Project

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 HCSB

What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful. Mother Theresa of Calcutta*

Like many Christians, Romans 8:28 was one of the first verses of scripture that I memorized after I came to know Christ. It was extremely comforting to know that all things, no matter how difficult, were working together for my good. However, after many years of following Christ, I’m finally beginning to realize that I’ve looked at that scripture from a very selfish perspective. I never realized that the good is for those who love God and not just for the me who loves God. Something I endure may be for the good of someone else who loves God and vice versa. This Christian life and ministry is not an individual test. Instead, it’s a community project.

Lord, thank You that all things work together for our good.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bright Eyes

Bright eyes cheer the heart; good news strengthens the bones. Proverbs 15:30 HCSB

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Teresa*

People are mean nowadays. They honk at each other in traffic. They yell profane words at sporting events. They say hurtful things to their family members.

People are mad nowadays. You can see it in their eyes. They’re angry. They want others to be as miserable as they are. If looks could kill, there would be dead people all over the highways, grocery stores, schools and churches.

However, smiles are contagious. They are gifts of love that brighten the room and the soul. Bright eyes cheer the heart but they also lift the spirit. Good news is heard through the ears but goes deep down into the inmost parts of the bones and strengthens them.

Some people have gone through terrible things and may not have a smile to give. Give them one of yours. Don’t worry about running out. You’ll have plenty to spare.

Lord, help me to spread Your joy to others through the look on my face.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Need Friends

So I stationed people behind the lowest sections of the wall, at the vulnerable areas. I stationed them by families with their swords, spears, and bows. Nehemiah 4:13 HCSB

Steven is my good friend. I sang in his wedding. He ushered at mine. When he developed Hodgkin’s Disease, he called me. When Kathy and I lost a baby to miscarriage, I called him. When the foster child he was trying to adopt was taken from he and his wife, I prayed with him. When I returned to my New Orleans home after Hurricane Katrina, he came with me. He’s my good friend.
Nehemiah stationed those working on the wall to stand guard by families. He knew that people needed to be with others with whom they have a relationship. He realized that it is easier for people to overcome discouragement when they know that somebody “has their back.”

Today, remember to make contact with your friends. Remember that God gave you your friends to help you go through difficult times. Remember also that God gave you to
your friends to help them go through difficult times.

Lord, thank You for the friends that You have given me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All Things

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 HCSB

God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way. The way we learn those lessons is not to deny the feelings but to find the meanings underlying them. Stanley Lindquist*

The softball was flying straight towards me. I was determined to catch it and make the final out of the game. However, I missed it altogether and it hit me firmly in the face directly above my right eye. I stammered a bit then fell to the ground. Both teams ran to see if I was o.k. Jokingly, I picked up the ball, tagged the batter out, and said, “Hey, all things do work together for the good of those who love the Lord.”

Most of the times in my life, however, I do not joke when I am faced with struggles. I whine and complain when I should be looking for the good.

Lord, help me to remember that You are always working for my good.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Whatever He Pleases

The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths. Psalm 135:6 HCSB

I gave in, and admitted that God was God. C.S. Lewis*

After all these years of having a personal relationship with Jesus, I can’t believe that I am still so selfish when I come before Him in prayer. I must seem to Him like some little spoiled brat who runs to Him and says, “Hello, God! I want these three things for my birthday and these four things for Christmas and these two things just for being me!” What must go through His mind when I’m busy praying, “My kingdom come, my will be done on earth as it is in heaven?”

He alone is Lord. He cares about my wants and needs, but it is His purposes and plans that will come to fruition whether or not they are on my wishlist. The Lord can do whatever He wants wherever He wants whenever He wants however He wants. He is God. I am not.

Lord, You are God. You do whatever You want. Help me to always remember that when I am speaking to You.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yours, Lord

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. In Your hand are power and might, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 HCSB

I learned a secret a long time ago that I’ve forgotten many times over. I learned it as a teenager, but forgot it as I was studying hard and applying for scholarships. You see, I had to make something of myself. I learned it before I bought my first home, but soon forgot it as I was saving for my down payment and touring potential homes. You see, I had to have a nice home. I learned it as I began to save for my retirement, but again forgot it as I shoved money into IRAs and 403bs. You see, I had to provide for myself.

What’s the secret that I forgot? It’s not us. It’s Him.

In You, Lord, is everything I need.

Monday, February 1, 2010


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways.” Isaiah 55:7-8 HCSB

Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed.
Robert H. Schuller*

“Pastor,” my mother said as she pulled out a big wad of folded bills in front of me. “I’ve got this extra money and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, so will you take it and give it to someone who really needs it?”

“I certainly will,” he replied with a smile. “That’s very thoughtful of you.”

Later, when we were alone, I told her, “I could have told you what to do with that extra cash. I could have spent it on jeans and tennis shoes.”

“Well, I did with it exactly what I thought God wanted me to do,” she responded. “And if you don’t like it, you can take it up with Him.”

Lord, help us to always remember that You have supernatural purposes for the resources that You have entrusted to us.