Day 1: Proverbs Challenge

Yesterday was our church family picnic at Beulah Beach, right on Lake Erie.  And, I decided it was time to be baptized.  I followed in Jesus’ footsteps and was baptized with 70+ others.  It was a beautiful and glorious day!  God is great.

So, what better way to start fresh than with the Proverbs Challenge!  I just recently heard of the Proverbs Challenge, which is reading one chapter of Proverbs every day for 31 days (31 chapters).  You can start the first day of the month, or whenever you’d like.  Then, you just share some of the verses that caught your eye.

And, I thought what better way to start fresh than with the Proverbs Challenge!

Here goes…

Proverbs 1: 2-3, 7, 29-33

For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a discipline and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.  Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.  For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. 

Do Not Repay Anyone Evil For Evil

So yesterday, I was leaving my Bible Study downtown and headed to the parking garage to go to my car.  As I was approaching my car I noticed a huge truck parked right next to my car.

Funny thing was… there were a ton of free spots open, but the driver of this big truck decided to park next to my car… and not only park next to my car, but park so close to my car that I had to squeeze my way into the driver seat without banging my door.

Now, remember, I just got out of Bible Study, but… I couldn’t help but think bad thoughts.  I thought how I would have loved to just bang my door against his truck… key his truck… even take the air out of his tires!  But, I know that would have been wrong.

You know… it really ruined my drive home because that is all I could think about (I guess that’s the ‘worldly issues’ going on in my life that I need to take control of).

Anywho, as I got home I ended up reading my evening devotional from the Duck Commander (yeah, I’m goofy like that).

What was the title of the devotional I was reading… it was Love Your Enemies with the following passage:

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” -Romans 12:17-19

Oh how I needed that!  How God listens and takes care of the ones he loves and how He speaks to me!

Instantly, my bad thoughts turned to joy.  This little ordeal was just that… a little ordeal of nothingness.

Just remember, God is always there to take care of you.  Even when evil strikes, our Father in Heaven will be there with you.

“But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” -Luke 6:27-28

Keep spreading the Word!

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

The other day I saw a post from a friend who said he just heard the Pope say not to judge and leave all judging to God.  Which, he agreed to.

Here it is in the Bible, Jesus’ words… 

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” -Matthew 7:1

But… Is that what Jesus really meant when he said not to judge or you will be judged?

Whelp, let’s read a little more of the passage.

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” -Matthew 7:2

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.  Hmm… it’s sure looking that way, but wait!  There’s more!

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:3-5

What does Jesus mean here when it comes to judging?  What he’s talking about here is the hypocritical judgment used to bring oneself up, while tearing someone else down.

One thing I’ve noticed in myself is…  When I judge someone (with the wrong motives) it’s usually me judging them about the things I hate about myself.  Have you ever noticed that too?

Now what Jesus does say about judging in John 7:24 is, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”

Even the Apostle Paul says, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.'” (1 Corinthians 5:12)

When it comes to judgment, what we are to do is confront those who are sinning, and never think that you are better than someone else.

 Just remember, be sure you’re making a right judgment while not having a hypocritical, judgmental attitude.

Thoughts?  Feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts on judging.

Keep spreading the Word!

Homeless & Hungry: Man Does Not Live On Bread Alone

As I was pulling into the Walmart parking lot tonight, I noticed a homeless man sitting at the corner with his head down while holding a sign.  The sign said he was homeless, hungry, and a diabetic.

How could you not have compassion for this guy?

As I was going through Walmart I thought about giving him food.  But then it hit me…

“It is written:  ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” -Matthew 4:4

I thought about getting him a Bible or some uplifting book with God’s Word.

I ended up picking up a daily devotional called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.

So what did I do as I picked up this devotional?  I went to today’s devotional and read what it said.   Check it out:  “Do not worry about tomorrow!”

Wow!  Here’s a man who has nothing to eat, and today’s devotional is “Do not worry about tomorrow!”

I looked across to the other page for tomorrow’s devotional and… even bigger WOW!!!

It started off by saying, “Self-pity is a slimy, bottomless pit.”

Yeah, I’m sure if you were homeless and hungry you’d be feeling self-pity too.

So, how do you overcome all of this?  

I thought this would have been a perfect gift for him, and I couldn’t wait to give it to him.

But…  Unfortunately, the man wasn’t at the corner as I was leaving.  I looked around for him but didn’t find him.  I guess God had bigger plans for him that I’ll never know.  So now the only thing I can do is pray for him.

Now there is a lesson here.  It’s about GOD.  It’s all about our Lord and Savior!

We must feed and meditate on God’s word day and night.

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.” -Joshua 1:8

How are you meditating on God’s word?

Feel free to share you thoughts below.

Keep spreading the Word!

Give Thanks In All Circumstances

While I was at work on Thursday we had two struck thunderstorms come through.  I haven’t seen them that strong in quite some time (though they only lasted about 15-20 minutes).

Well, I got off work and went home.  As I walked into the house there was a smell.  A… poopy smell.  First thing that came to mind was one of the dogs got really scared and maybe they pooped in the house (though I can’t even remember the last time one of the dogs had an accident).

Anywho, I looked around and didn’t see anything.  Then I thought… oh no!  Not the basement.  I open the basement door and see water.  Ugh!  Why me?!  

As I went downstairs I noticed that the water was only where things were off the ground.  Where I had my weights and other storage on the ground there was ZERO water.  Bone dry.  So, was giving thanks to God that it didn’t reach the things on the ground.  Hey, there’s always something to be thankful for, right?!

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -2 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

As I was cleaning up I couldn’t help but think about doing it for the glory of God.  So, there I was cleaning up this nasty water and you know what… I wasn’t grumbling or anything.  I didn’t mind it at all.  As I finished sucking up all the water with my wet-vac, I got a fan turned on and then mapped with clean water.  A couple hours I went back to check on the basement and the floor was almost completely dry.

But, not only was it dry but it was the cleanest I’ve ever seen it since we painted it many moons ago.

You see, God can turn anything around and bring out the good in all things.

A great saying I love is, “See God in ALL things.”

Oh, and don’t forget to give thanks in all circumstances!

Now keep spreading the Word!

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31


Humble Yourselves So God May Lift You Up In Due Time

It’s never easy to let go, but sometimes you have to humble yourselves and know that God is ALWAYS in control.

For about a year and a half, I’ve been doing my own ‘thang’ with business.  So I wasn’t working under anyone.  But, every month was different.  Some months were good and some were bad.  I finally decided if I want to really grow my little business I’d need to go get a, gulp, J-O-B.

So, I ended up getting a job.  At first I felt like a failure, but then I realized I needed to humble myself and know that God is in control.

A funny thing happened when I realized that… about 30 minutes later I went to go read my early evening devotional, from The Duck Commander, and the title of the devotional was Let God Take Control.  And the passage they gave was… 

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7

Absolutely amazing.  I knew right then and there that God’s plan for my life is bigger than I can even imagine.  He knows the ultimate plans for my life.

It’s hard for us to see the future.  All we can really see is what’s going on in our lives right now… the short term.  We can’t even fathom the future and what God has in store for us.  His ultimate plan.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Just remember:  Humble yourselves so “…he may lift you up in due time.

Keep spreading the Word!

What’s The Context Of That Passage In The Bible?

Yesterday I saw some atheists complaining about a man preaching the gospel in a subway car.  One commenter said when she sees these ‘street preachers’ she always hands them a little note with this verse of Jesus speaking that leaves them speechless:  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1, NIV)

Now does this verse mean you can’t publicly preach and display your faith?  If you read the rest of the passage you’ll see that Jesus is talking about hypocrites who speak loudly about their good deeds.

These people are doing it for their own benefit like, “Everybody!  Look at me!  I just gave to the needy.  Praise me!”  Now that’s wrong.

So, if this man who is preaching on the subway car was doing it for his own gain, then yes, it’s wrong.  But, if he’s doing it for God and the benefit of other people, then who’s to say it’s wrong?  Who are we to judge another man’s heart?  Only God knows what someone’s ‘real’ motivates are.

Today, as I was reading a devotional from Walter Henrichsen, I came across this… “You should read and study God’s Word like you read the morning newspaper.  The context gives you the meaning of the words.  Let the text make its case.  Don’t try and be cleaver by seeing any more or less in the passage than what the words warrant.”

What perfect timing!  🙂

I’ll admit, when I first started reading the Bible, I’d take things out of context.  I’d even use verses to make my case (out of context) and listen to other’s quote the bible out of context (and I believed them).  Now I’m always looking for the whole verse and passage.  I’m looking for the context of what is written before setting them in stone.

Just remember, taking verses and passages out of context leads to errors and misunderstanding.

Keep spreading the Word!

Pray and Do NOT Give Up

The past couple of weeks at church we have been going over a series called, Conversations with Jesus.

Yesterday’s lesson was titled Conversations About Prayer.

It goes hand-in-hand with my previous article about feeling disconnected from God (You can check out the article by Clicking Here).

Here’s the passage from Luke 18:1-8 (NIV).

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said:  “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming.'”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

The first sentence of this passage explains it all, “…to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

It’s about always praying and to never give up… NO MATTER WHAT.

When you’re feeling down, pray.  When you’re going through a trial, pray.  When everything is going good… You know it… Pray!

Here are the ‘takeaways’ from yesterday’s notes:

  • Remind yourself each day who you are, and who He is.
  • See prayer as an ongoing conversation with the Lord.
  • God’s delays are opportunities for faith to be deepened.
  • Faith is not so much trusting God for something.  It’s simply trusting God.
  • Pray with others.
  • Remember that this is the only chance you have to live by faith.
  • Accept the invitation of Jesus:  “Always pray… don’t give up!”

And that’s the most important one of them all, “…they should always pray and not give up.”

Keep spreading the Word!

Feeling A Disconnect From God

On Sunday I got back from a 4 day trip down to VA Beach with my uncle and grandpa to visit my dad.

I love seeing my dad and spending as much time with him as possible, especially since I only get to see him a few times a year.

But one thing I notice is whenever I go out of town or have a really busy day I feel like I’m disconnected from God.

I then feel blaaah.

And, I always wonder to myself why is that?  Why do I always feel disconnected from God when I go out of town and I’m away from my normal routine?

It then hits me.  There’s a key word in the sentence above.  Can you guess what it is?

Whelp, if you guessed ‘routine‘ then you’re correct!

Whenever I’m out of town it gets me out of my routine.  I end up having to rush through my devotionals or put them all off until the end of the day where, again, I rush through them.  Not really grasping what God wants me to hear.

Also, while I’m out of town I feel like I put God in second place when he ALWAYS needs to be number one in our lives.  I just never give him the time he deserves.

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Joshua 1:8

So how can we combat this disconnect?  Whelp, one way is to meditate on God’s Word.  Read it often.  Memorize the words.  This way, when you’re out of your routine you can meditate on God’s words that you already know (this is why it’s so important to read the Bible daily).

Also, if you have to, set an alarm throughout the day to remind you to stop what you’re doing and pray.

Remember, Jesus regularly went off on his own to pray and commune with God.

You’ll always be able to find time for God.  Just don’t get caught up in the world and put him on the backburner where you’ll feel the disconnect from him.

Just don’t forget to meditate on his word day and night… otherwise it’s easy to become disconnected with God.

Now keep spreading the Word!

“Though the rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.  Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.” -Psalm 119:23-24


Goals Set In Faith

A couple weeks ago I received a daily devotional from Rick Warren in his Daily Hope teachings.

It was about goals.  And not just making up goals, but setting goals up in Faith.

Rick Warren says, “You exercise faith by setting goals. You set a goal when you say, ‘God, I believe you’re telling me that you want me to accomplish this by a particular date. It’s really going to stretch me to do it, but I believe this is what I need to do.’”

“According to your faith will it be done to you.” -Matthew 9:29

So, what are goals set in FAITH? 

  • Focused: It’s specific, something you can measure.
  • Attainable: It’s possible and practical. If you set an unrealistic goal, you won’t accomplish it.
  • Individual: It’s personal. You can’t set goals for other people. You have ownership over your own goals, not someone else’s.
  • Trackable: Your goal needs a deadline on it. Without a date on it, it’s not a goal.
  • Heartfelt: Never set a goal you’re not passionate about, because you will never accomplish it without the desire to do so.

I just love it!

If you have dreams, then set make them GOALS in FAITH and let God do wonders with your life!

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” -Luke 14:28

Keep spreading the Word!

*You can get Daily Hope devotionals with Rick Warren delivered to your email box everyday by visiting*