Welcome to my ongoing journal of my journey with God!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Have Moved My Blog to Wordpress...

If you are following my blog and wish to continue, I would like to direct you to it's new location:

I want to thank you for following me on my spiritual journey.

Thank You and God Bless!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Nourish Devotion!

If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. (1 Tim 4:6)

As time continues to sift by, I have been compelled to feed the hunger my soul longs for. There is a persistent desire to satisfy this passion through Gods word, prayer, fellowship and the reflection of my own truth. To be attentive and consistent is the only chance I have at fulfilling this satisfaction. At various stages, these devotions have the ability to expand and absorb greater significance, leading me to strive for further nourishment.

This has been the survival method that has me at peace within my settled state. My genuine attempt to apply the Word to my daily journey has brought intention to my purpose and has allowed me to see beyond my own selfishness.

I know I must continue along this devotion if I am to survive. The enemy of complacency has restrained me in the past from moving forward at times. I would reach a comfortable plateau and settle into my contentment, before I knew it, I would tumble back into the slippery arena of self-righteousness.

As I settle into my adjusted journey, it is imperative that I nourish my devotion daily. I must allow for change to occur as my vision is expanded, and seek resolution in the Word as obstacles arise and attempt to hinder my progress in times of adversity.

I pray the passion I have gained through my consistent devotion will continue to nourish my soul and grow my faith in the Lord as I turn to Him daily for comfort and guidance.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walking to the Sound of Faith

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)
To wander aimlessly through a valley will leave you stranded in a terrain of helplessness. I know this to be true because I have walked that journey to no avail. Even within my current walk, I stumble upon that path without notice and lose my footing. It seems to be the nature of my flesh to gravitate to this go-it-alone shortcoming. It is in those times my spirit yearns for guidance and redirection.
I know the Lord is the beacon that will swivel my compass back in line with His will for me. The challenge at times has been listening, then hearing His voice. There is the illusion I would prefer a direct “do this” type of message and all would be fine. The truth is; if God spoke to me as if it were a regular conversation, God-to-man so to speak, I most likely would question my sanity. So to listen with my awareness is the sound that faith makes as God speaks to me.
The sound of faith comes in an array of unlimited sources. I have been brought to light by song, the honk of a horn, the thought of someone and they suddenly appear, the flutter of butterflies, and the deep knowing that just comes upon me. There are also the times when a sensation pulls me back from an impending danger or threat. No matter the method in which the Lord chooses to enlighten my journey, it is I that must choose to walk to the sound of faith and trust Him with my steps.
To choose faith is an action step that requires complete trust. It is a difficult choice to abide by in all aspects of my walk, and I will praise the day if I am able to achieve such devotion. This failing aside, the times I hear the Lord speak, I must ignite my trust and walk to the sound of faith without reservation, knowing in my soul that He has laid solid ground under my feet and my direction is clear.
My prayer is as I walk, the sound of faith strengthens my awareness to hear the Lord as he directs my steps and to follow Him with all that I am.
May God bless you and give you Grace.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

God is Good!

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:6-7)

The query “when bad things happen to good people”, has trickled into conversation or material I have witnessed on numerous occasions over the past eight months. Even two days prior to Angel’s passing, this astute subject matter was the topic of our Sunday sermon. The message of “God is good” was preached to an audience of my wife, my dear Angel Girl and myself. Little did I know how poignant this instructed dialogue would become.

As we left the service that day, Angel had stated how she enjoyed the message given by the associate Pastor. My recollection is that I was astounded that she was paying attention at all, and was pleasantly surprised by her genuine comment. The entirety of the message announced God is good even when the trials of our lives were portrayed otherwise; and that in the face of adversity, there was an unfailing love from above, and that God is good!

As I reflect back and gather my balance on the “why” of things, there is no palpable explanation. I suspect there will be no solution to this inquiry until the time to see my Angel again is upon me. So I must go with faith and the Word to satisfy my earthly yearning to this dilemma. I do know that God is good and aches with me as I sort through my emotion…I also feel a constant pull towards Him as I seek His guidance.

I believe there are many factors that allow for bad things to rear up and snatch away life’s blessings. Whether by human error, chance accident, blatant attack, the enemy himself, or a blending of any or all of these factors, God is not the cause of such theft or hardship. He is a constant witness and compassionate Father who will use our adversities to draw us closer to Him for healing, comfort and growth. That is the purpose in which He allows the trials on our journey to manifest at all.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

It is our responsibility to recognize this purpose and step in faith. He will not pour it on us without our willingness to receive His compassion. I have witnessed this in my own experience. Each day that passes as I walk towards Him, He gives me further confirmation of His promise and truth.

I pray that as adversity strikes I continue to step in faith towards God for healing, comfort and resolution, and His purpose is revealed to me in such times and I follow it with reverence and devotion because God is good!

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Three Faces of Wisdom...

The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow. (Ecc. 1:18)

The wisdom I assume from the lessons I have stumbled upon has quite the pull on the direction I am heading. It is an appearance that requires a gentle touch and a humble heart. I attribute my altered perspective for my newfound outlook on my dear Angel Girl. It is she that has brought my intimate relationship with God to the forefront and has given me a trickle of purpose since her passing.

My Angel Girl now has what I have come to refer to as ascended wisdom. My altered perspective is just a flicker compared to her vast view of the truth that is. She now knows a truth that is not within our grasp as we journey along this human experience. She is at peace and peers down knowing that our earthly struggles are just an illusion poured upon us by deception. Unlike us, she now knows the simplicity of trusting solely in God.

God’s Divine wisdom is constant and pure. It is not in my ability to comprehend the depth or scope of His capacity. I can only imagine, which, in itself places limits on Him. This alone gives cause for us to purpose our life in Him through all we do. His love and Divine wisdom yearn for us to submit to an intimate relationship with him as we walk this earthly journey. It is why we are here.

The sorrow brought upon us by relying on our own wisdom rather than the Divine wisdom of God beckons us to a cherished bond with our creator. We soon realize that our previous assumed wisdom is an act of self-grandeur, which does nothing but bring separation between God and us.

I pray that God’s Divine wisdom speaks to me as I walk this journey, and I realize the simplicity of trusting His will for me as I know it will strengthen my relationship with Him.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Bolt of Selfishness!

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (James 3:16)

In my youth, I did not recognize the true purpose of reaching out or the contrary of pitching in. It is not as if I avoided or neglected such actions, it was that my motives were linked to a self-diluted intention. Even at a subconscious level, I believe there was a “what’s in it for me” gear that was tightening down the dangerous bolt of selfishness.

As time passed on, there was a shift in this process. It is not that this trait was relinquished; it just managed to change form. Through this phase, my goal to reach out or to pitch in was followed by a self-affirming “see what I’ve done” attitude, and silently sought gratification for being such a “good” person. I do not feel I did this in blatant fashion; it is just in the end, I seemed to want some sort of recognition for my efforts. This is where my human nature needed to subdue my ego and allow my reward to rest in the Lords hands.

Coming into my present journey, I have brought that later phrase into my truth. I am learning to allow my reward to rest in the Lords hands. It has been extremely healing to release my concerns and expectations of how others view the efforts or gifts I put forth. As I now move forward in faith, I relinquish my selfish ambitions and serve these and other ventures in the name of Jesus knowing my reward, if any, will come from Him.

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Mark 9:41)

My prayer is that as I reach out and pitch in, I do these things in the name of Jesus and allow my selfish nature to fall away releasing any self-gratification I may be seeking and know that my true reward will come from the Lord.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jesus Weeps with Us!

Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” (Jn. 11:35-36)

I became aware this past weekend of the tragic fate of a nineteen-year-old boy who left this earth much too soon. I did not know this young man or his parents all though they live right in my own back yard. Matthew 'Tyler' Milliken had attended the same high school as my boys and life was lying ahead just waiting for his continued impact. I know his memory will dwell in the hearts of many and drive them to achieve great things.

As this story made it’s way to me, I was struck with a distinctive sadness that was all too familiar. This emotion was suddenly redirected toward his parents and the surreal devastation that they are now experiencing. The first few days of my Angel’s fate left me in a stunned state; it was as if I was in a dream just waiting for reality to snap back into position so life would be normal again. Life has snapped back, but I am now left with a new normal that has me looking on from a different perspective.

I know that Jesus weeps along with us at the loss of those so dear to us. His love runs deeper than we know and is so powerful that if we breathe Him into our sorrow, He will bring us comfort. The challenge for us is to relinquish the illusion of our control on life and submit to His love. This is how I have found peace and eased my struggles through this part of my journey. I know it is how I must continue.

I pray that this family and others alike will find the peace I have found to rest in the Lord for comfort as the grief and struggles of life tumble into our path as we journey on from day to day.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Separation Trap!

You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. (Ps. 71:20-21)

As days go by, I settle. I settle on the fact that my days are different than they once were. I resolve and attempt to mend my anguish with prayer and reflection at the beginning and end of each day to seek comfort and understanding. It is a discipline that has caught me off guard and has also been a saving grace.

When the realization came upon me that my Angel Girl was gone, I was in shock. The distress of this surreal event poured grief on me like a syrup that covered my being. I was suffocated in the struggle of what to do and how could this happen. I will never know why this has happened in this earthly journey, but it is up to me to allow the memory of Angel drive me toward a purpose. I pray I have the awareness to recognize God’s intention for me as I move through the acceptance of my heartache.

Lately I have felt separated and somewhat trapped. I have recoiled slightly and have withdrawn back to safety…or what I perceive as safety! I continue my daily prayer and reflection, but I have become a bit guarded outside this perceived safety zone. My goal now is to expose the guarded comfort of my self imposed protective shield and find refuge in God.

In the past when this behavior would rear up, its introduction had no presumed purpose…I just felt the need to withdrawal. In the wake of my Angel’s passing, this temperament has surfaced yet again. So as I suffer through this isolation demon this time, I refuse to throw blame to my sweet Angel’s tragedy. It is my responsibility to seek God to pull me through this seclusion and not lean on the sorrow of Angel as my justification for such behavior.

I pray that I find refuge in God for the comfort and protection I seek in all my affairs, and to realize to withdrawal is to separate myself from growth and the healing I need to move through my grief and to help others do the same.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Intellectualizing God...

Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 
(1 Cor. 1:21)

I have been in hibernation in a sense these last few weeks, which has given me time to reflect on my growing relationship with the Lord. Throughout much of my early journey, I have tried to use my intellect to solve the mystery and find a connection with God to discover why life is the way it is. It is an ancient question that cannot be answered with human wisdom. Let’s face it, many wiser than I have attempted this quest to no avail.

The portion of my journey that encompassed this unattainable knowledge left me frustrated and spiritually isolated. If I could not make sense of the way things were in relation to God, I would side step the issues, and rely on God to give me a free pass – since he held all the secrets. This drove me away from any spiritual growth I would have towards Him, and allowed my human intellect to make God responsible for any difficulties I would experience on my journey.

I eventually fell out of this trap, realizing there is a responsibility factor that is up to me to fulfill. Although I had lifted the blame off of God for the trials I would incur, I failed to lean on Him in those very times. This kept me entangled in turmoil longer than necessary, leaving me to wonder what I was missing.

This yearning subdued the urge to discover God with my intellect and allowed my heart find the relationship I needed to trust in Him. God is not a discovery or a riddle that needs or wants to be answered. He is the constant that just wants us to find faith in Him in all of our endeavors. I know that when I am able to release my struggles to Him in faith, He will lead me to the other side. When I do this, I also need to release my expectation of what the other side entails.

This has been my truth as I am making my way through the loss of my Angel. As I rest my faith in Him through this chapter of my journey, I have been consistently comforted and amazed as little miracles continue to be revealed. It has given me the courage to release more of my grip on life and seek His guidance in all that I do.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why Me...?

I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lam. 3:20-23)

In the first days of my Angel’s passing, I was in a stunned somber state. It took weeks for me to settle into the devastation of my new reality, and the remnants are still coming to rest. I suspect that these unsettled moments will continue with me throughout my journey with varying degrees of intensity.

When I reached the first plateau of this new emotional infancy, I questioned God. My obvious inquiry was “why, how could this happen”? Strangely, I did not feel as though I was being punished. Although I had my bouts with poor decisions and sin, I had not been blatant in my transgressions; but I most definitely had not been a saint. So the question of “why” I came to realize is something my human nature would never discover or understand…I just prayed for peace in these matters.

As I became somewhat stable in this realization, I began to appreciate the plight of others that have experienced such a loss. The fact that I had not been singled out as a target somehow eased my anguish, and the thoughts of “why me” became an obvious venture into selfishness. Early on, it’s as if I thought I was above reproach from the course of life that had tackled so many. I am now aware that life’s course has a gravity of it’s own, and how it falls is a mystery that no one is exempt from.

This realization I have discovered is God’s answer to me as I raise the question of why. It does not explain the purpose, but it gives me the comfort and peace I need to continue. I came to the true awareness recently that I will see my Angel girl again; this was confirmed in my heart in a way that I cannot express. I have voiced this thought in the past, but this particular instance was a gift from God that confirmed my faith in Him.

I pray that I continue to seek God's comfort, peace and understanding as I walk with Him in this new awareness that has fallen upon me as a gift.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why, Oh Why Read the Bible?

I have never been a reader of books. It always seemed like too much work and a waste of time. I would dabble in flipping the pages on the occasional thriller, but it would take an eternity to complete. With this in mind, the thought of reading the Bible was an intimidation beyond my comprehension. Besides, I already knew the ending, which soaked all the intrigue and motivation out of this undertaking.

Let’s face it, the Bible in a sense, is a small library consisting of sixty-six books, with approximately forty authors, spanning over 1,500 years. It covers the all-encompassing elements of life from despair to love and everything in between with salvation as the conclusion. The repertoire of topics, subject matter, and the shear size of this Good Book is enough to threaten anyone’s attempt to complete such an endeavor.

The Good News (no pun intended) is I do not have to tackle this feat by a cover-to-cover approach. I realized I could break in by exploring individual books and then focusing down into single chapters. Initially, the lessons were lost in translation and at times, a re-read was necessary to grasp comprehension. I have discovered this Living Word changes as my understanding grows. As I delve into previously read books and chapters, it is as if the meaning strikes me at a deeper level, which has me striving for more.

…You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. (2 Pet 1:19-21)

It has become a habit that I would encourage for anyone. Reading this biblical narrative is not imperative for my salvation. The apostles and early church did not have this written road map steering their way to deliverance. I will say this; my daily venture into the Word of God keeps the truth of Christ Jesus fresh in my heart and is a constant reminder of sacrifice and love. It allows me to lean on a truth that I had not known before, giving me comfort in my time of despair.

I pray that God’s Word will continue to peel back the layers of my understanding exposing the love in my heart for His truth, and that I may be an encourager to His word for others to search their own path as revealed in this life saving book.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Without a Doubt...

Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. (Matt. 21:21)

There has been a pattern in my journey that has been difficult to disband. The resistance attached to this pattern has followed me and at times paralyzed my progression and altered my decision to proceed. The debilitating thought of uncertainty, better known as doubt, has hindered my faith along the way more than I care to reveal.

When I was younger, I had no care or fear of consequences, so the doubt I experienced in these times was hidden under the ignorance of my actions. My imagined fearless nature allowed me to ignore the direction in which my lack of knowledge led me. In the end, I found myself in a place I would not have chosen. I know it was doubt that left me stranded in this “how did I get here” place.

As I began to mature, there was more importance placed on the results of my decisions. This is where the hesitation of doubt began to gain momentum. The opportunity to second-guess myself became more prevalent. I developed skills I was confident in, which allowed doubt to subside in certain areas. But this just gave me the illusion that everything was fine in all areas. This unbalanced cycle needed to take a different course and the idea of faith is what was needed to break this pattern.

My recent path has brought this debilitating thought front and center leaving me to wonder what my next step should be. My revived faith has me relying on God more and more for assurance, but the pattern of doubt still lingers. It is in these times I need to allow my reliance on God to be strengthened. Just as my sorrow ignited my new found faith, it is my hesitation to proceed that beckons to have a deeper relationship with Him.

I know as I continue to place God in this position, doubt will subside and I will have the ability to move mountains without a second thought, for…I can pray for anything, and if I have faith, I will receive it. (Matt. 21:22)

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inner Exposure!

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Heb. 4:12)

I am who I am and that is me. That is who I have always been. I know this along with all of the inner dialogue and thoughts that have accompanied me throughout my journey. Contemplation, that at times, led to action, and other times settled in the comfort and safety of my own hidden intellect. My true motive and intention, rests solely on my shoulders. As long as no one discovered any negative agenda, all would be fine.

This has been the mode of operation much of my life. Nothing vindictive or wicked just unfiltered beliefs and opinions that I regarded as unfit to share, making them harmless in my mind. This was my safety net. By choosing not to vocalize them, I settled on the no harm, no foul concept. This being simply a concept, allowed for self-betrayal to escape and be exposed. This unintentional reveal would slip out by means of sarcasm, anger, or humor of the harmful variety.

No matter the method of exposure, these verbal acts were at least released, and my need for repentance became evident. It is the unrevealed instances that pose a greater danger to my spirit. These are acts that get internalized in hidden, unknown agendas causing damage in areas of faith and my relationships with others.

As I walk in my journey today, I have become more attentive to the ill will that seeps into my thoughts. I now release them to God as soon as I become aware of their presence. God has and will always know the truth as it rest in me. Early on I was entirely delusional to assume my scheme was concealed. As the scripture reveals: Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (Heb. 4:13)

I pray that my innermost thoughts find rest in peace and compassion, and if thoughts of disgrace emerge I will release them to God without hesitation.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For the Love of Sorrow...

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. (2 Cor. 7:10)

In an instant, our path can change or switch course without notice. There are joyous moments that give life a lift and bring accomplishment to its full attention. Then there is the steady as she goes even keel of life, which brings comfort and stability, yet tends to bring her progress to a stand still. Finally, there is the sudden impact of sorrow and tragedy. This valley sweeps at life’s core, longing for a light to shine and bring it back to the surface.

We all go through varying degrees of all of these life-changing moments many times on our journey. It is what we learn from and helps shape our spirit. The first of these scenarios brings our rewards into focus allowing us to relish in a job well done. The second states a business as usual attitude as life lingers on, permitting us to just settle on the assumption of peace. While the latter wells up grief, bringing the entity of God front and center, driving us to search for purpose and prayerfully lead us to salvation.

Throughout time, the valley of this latter distress has brought many a soul back to life. Whether it is the All Mighty’s way of allowing tragedy to step in and resuscitate us, or His way of revealing to us that nothing is more powerful than love. After all, it is love that empowers us to reach beyond our means to achieve what we thought to be unattainable.

With this truth, I now rest in a faith that is far deeper than I ever imagined possible. This is difficult for me to understand, and I find it impossible to explain, although I will continue to try. It is my sadness that has delivered me to this state, which is where my confusion lies. It is heartbreaking to realize that it takes such tragedy to snap us to our feet and search out our salvation; it seems to be God’s Divine plan that none of us will fully grasp until it is our due time.

I pray that I will continue to grow deeper in my faith, and though confusing at times as to the path it takes, it will lead the way to clarity and the truth that I seek.

May God bless you and give you Grace

Monday, January 17, 2011

Disciple Michael?

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matt 28:19-20)

Disciple: A follower and student of a mentor, teacher, or any other wise person. Someone who accepts and helps in spreading the teachings of another.

Up until this past year I would steer clear of others pursuit of spreading the Good News. This quest they were on would render me anxious and I detached myself from the nuisance as quickly as possible. I thought it a nuisance because they were unaware that I had my own translated version of Biblical fact, and it didn’t seem to match theirs.

My Biblical fact was set and tailored to the lifestyle I was enthralled in at the time. It was a “God and I have an understanding” kind of thing. This self-imposed, “I’m a good person” mentality ruled my devotion, and I failed to see the truth in what I was doing. I advised myself, it would all come together eventually, which required little or no effort on my part because God would take care of the loose ends.

I now find myself drawn to the interaction of the Good News. The beliefs I obtain through my studies and experiences are now ever changing as I grow. If another’s view does not match my own, I am challenged to discover the truth as it pertains to the Good Book. This change of heart allows others to disciple me because I am willing to listen and learn as they spread their faith and knowledge.

The act of stepping out physically and spreading the Word on my own is more of a challenge. I am eager to participate in faith based conversation, but to initiate the Good News to non-believers is a different story altogether. I find myself frozen, and tend to reminisce about my own reluctance to such dialog. This online journal acts as a means of spreading the Gospel and my hope is that it does; yet I need to be more active in the physical pursuit of growing the faith beyond these written words.

I pray as I continue my journey, I will be given the courage to step out of myself and physically spread the Good News without reservation, and be sensitive to others and allow for patience in their acceptance of this truth.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Sinful Nature...

I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. (Rom 7:21) …Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Rom 7:25)

Growing up, I was somewhat of a wild child. I wasn’t evil in my intentions, but my sinful nature was defiantly in charge of the decision process. In some cases, I was able to steer clear of its hidden agenda, but the percentages weighed highly on the success of its destructive nature. At this point in my journey, my sinful nature was the free spirit that ruled my actions.

As I began to mature, I viewed life from a different perspective; the awareness of my sinful nature and its destruction began to take shape. It was at this time when struggle set in. This struggle consisted of the ongoing conscious knowledge of this inner transgression and whether to follow it or not. Sad to say, although lower, the percentages still weighed in favor of the self-diluted indulgence of sin.

My journey continued in this manner for miles, battling the inner dialog of should I or shouldn’t I. It became a constant conversation of how to step on the road that led to peace in this matter. I would lay awake at night thinking to myself why did I say, do, or act out the way in which left me in this desperate state. I was at a loss and could not find my way.

I have found reverence in the opening passage. The truth is my sinful nature is part of who I am. I cannot remove it or make it go away. It will continue to rear up thoughts and suggestions as to what and how I do things. It is a very cunning enemy that trickles in at a moments notice without warning. This truth is what enslaves me to sin. It is also what beckons me to lean on Christ Jesus to diminish its power of persuasion.

The Holy Spirit also dwells within me and is the advocate with the power to keep my sinful nature in check. As I continue along this path, I find the more I rely on this truth, it lessens the ability my sinful nature has to steer my thoughts. This in turn strengthens my relationship with the Holy Spirit, allowing for greater victories in this ongoing battle.

I pray that I continue to strengthen the relationship I have in Christ through the Holy Spirit and He continues to deliver my ever-growing victories against my sinful nature, as I am a slave to sin.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Gal 6:4-5)

Whether it is human nature, the culture I live in, or a little of both, the act of comparing myself to others has been a subtle theme throughout my journey. At times, I felt I was owed something by the achievements of others. This usually followed my own failings of some sort. Whether it was jealousy or envy, this scavenger hunt attempted to deliver satisfaction from outside myself.

“Turn envy into inspiration” is a so-called profound statement I would use at times. Rather than be envious of others success, I would try and let their success inspire me. This didn’t work! It placed my attempted accomplishments in their hands, and when I failed to match their stature…envy would return two-fold. This would lead nowhere until I set out in another direction, usually with discontent as my motive. This cycle followed me for some time, pushing me to strive for a more simple solution.

My renewed faith and self-reflection has become the simple solution that answers this calling. This path has me settled in the direction of following God. It has taken others out of the approval role, placing that designation firmly in the hands of the All Mighty. This simple solution requires consistent reflection to remain renewed in my faith. As I read the Word daily and apply it to my journey with truth in my heart, the satisfaction I seek falls into place, and my faith becomes renewed with each day.

My accomplishments are now centered in my faith, and the need to compare them with others no longer exist. I am responsible for this truth, and pray God will continue to lead me in this way.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tumbling Guilt?

Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:20)

There are times my daily circumstances can be difficult for me. I have found peace in my renewed relationship with the Lord, but my joy becomes complicated, and fails to take flight. The peace I sense is God’s comfort allowing me to be secure in my conviction of faith, while Joy brings the tumbling sensation of guilt. There remains resistance in my heart to allow the emotion of joy to settle in my soul.

The simple pleasure of laughter at times can bring the after effect of guilt, rearing up my wallow of grief. Then there is the idea of moving forward with the plans of life – this ignites an ambush of uncharted emotion, which paralyzes the ability to enjoy life’s progression. It is difficult to find God’s purpose in this portion of my journey. I realize time and continued prayer will bring this answer to the surface in this challenging matter.

I tend to believe this is Gods way of showing me there are more essential things in this physical state, than even happiness. I also believe that the instant I realize this in my heart, I will be flooded with the emotion of joy and it will flow freely throughout my remaining journey. I know my Angel Girl would want the joy to continue in my life. She is the one who brings the evidence to my heart revealing the necessity for me to discover such things.

As I work through this battle of emotion, I know that God sees my heart. There is purpose attached to my journey and I pray I have the awareness, courage and wisdom to reveal my heart to Him as He wishes it to be, and that I fulfill my purpose that He has laid before me.

May God bless you and give you Grace.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Choices We Make...

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (Rom. 6:16)

I want to preface this entry that upon completing the last sentence, I realized I had written from this passage once before. I was astounded and began searching out another scripture to write from. I then realized this passage has layers of depth for me that need to be explored. And so I continue…

Through my journey, I have battled a number of desires, temptations and several bouts of misdirection, which have altered my course and caused me to stumble many times. I could claim the illusion that these encounters were thrust upon me, removing all accountability for the sinful actions that inevitably followed.

The truth is, whether thrust upon me or the choosing of my own free will, I am ultimately responsible for the choices I make. It is just the way things are. Some of these decisions come with little resistance, and require a simple sidestep one way or the other. Others are attached to greater adversaries and are overwhelming to conquer alone. Yet In the end, it is I who has to make the ultimate decision as to which direction I choose. This scenario could play itself over and over again, and with each roll of the dice there is no guarantee of the outcome.

I now choose to pray and obey God in this process. This has removed the guesswork of my old tendencies and has brought clarity to the direction I am headed. It leaves no room for indecisiveness when it comes to vital choices of faith and the path I should follow. With God as the lead, it clears the pull of temptation and allows them to fall away without a second thought.

The choices I make can either enslave me or set me free, and by choosing to obey God, freedom and righteous living are at hand.

May God bless you and give you Grace!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I am a Christian!

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Eph. 3:17)

I have always considered myself a Christian. It was a label I assumed at a young age attending church and Sunday school. It became the auto response when the question of faith was presented…“yes, I’m a Christian…” I would say. Reflecting back that is all it was, a label. I had no true concept of what it meant. In fact the main value I attached to this was that I was a “good” person. It is a bit chilling when I think of it now, but Christ had little if nothing to do with this self imposed Christian label.

This being my Christian concept, when I encountered people truly convicted in their faith, I thought of them as occult. This is to say, my perception was they were too enthralled in Jesus, and were not in touch with reality. I would steer clear of these “bible thumpers” for fear of entrapment or exposure.

Early on this past year I began a different perspective on my Christian concept. I was hearing a different message in sermons and other faith based discussions. The truth is I was beginning to listen rather than just being present in these encounters. I began to allow the fear of letting go dissipate, and began to tune into the truth of the message…and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). The truth is Christ died for my sins, and now makes His home in my heart as I trust in Him. There is more to this truth, but this powerful beginning hooked me, once I grasped the depth of this reality.

When my Angel passed away several months after this change of perspective, I was shocked and overwhelmed with confusion. I most definitely had my questions of why, how could this happen! It was a surreal state that is impossible for me to convey. In this state, I never blamed God or became angry. I attribute this to the new relationship I had in Christ. My Angel Girl now knows a deeper truth in all things and I believe that Christ is using her to grow my faith in Him.

I am a Christian because Christ makes his home in my heart as I trust in him. He died for my sins and will continue to wash them away as I release them to him with true repentance. I will be bold in my convictions of Him trusting His light will shine from me. I am a Christian!

May God bless you and give you Grace!