Forget Karma: God is Watching (1 Samuel 26:23)


If the Lord gave you what you really deserved, would you be ready for it? Would you look forward to it with joy or does the thought frighten you? What we fail to recognize is that it is not just a hypothetical question. 

The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: (1 Samuel 26:23)

These were words spoken by David when he interacted with King Saul who sought to kill him. He knew that God was sovereign and would return upon men that which they have rendered to others. The same still holds true today. The New Testament describes the principle as sowing and reaping. What you sow, you will also reap. It may take some time before it arrives, but it is coming. Just like it takes all summer for apples to grow and ripen on a tree, it may take most of a person’s life before they reap what they sow, but be sure, they will reap.  

Much of this principle concerning sowing and reaping is in relation to how we treat other people. If we sow righteousness towards others, then we will get righteous treatment back, but if we sow wickedness then wickedness awaits us.

Some may ask, “What guideline could I follow that would aid me in sowing righteousness?” The answer would be to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39). If you allow your actions to be motivated by what is best for another person or make decisions that enable you to meet the needs of someone else instead of focusing on yourself, you will most consistently sow righteousness. This doesn’t require you to give all of your money to the poor or even to live a dejected life. It only requires you to start focusing on others instead of yourself. Give somebody recognition. Show patience and mercy, try looking at situations from the other person’s perspective or even take time to listen to people and their problems are opportunities that each of us have to sow righteousness. It will not cost you one penny, but it will be an investment worth millions of dollars.

For you, the world of people is a field ready for planting. What kind of seeds will you sow?

Advertisements

Be What You Were Meant to Be



There are times when all of us feel have felt left out.  Each of us have faced times when everyone else seemed to have it together as we fumbled through life.  Do others see us in this same manner?  What does God think?

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. (Isaiah 43:7)

Believe it or not, God has a completely different view. He created you for his glory.  All of your abilities and especially the ones that you lack are all part of the make up that is you and God has a plan that utilizes you to fulfill this plan and for his glory.  Nobody can take your place.  Your life is like a key that opens doors for God’s power to work and fulfill his will.  

Don’t waste your life trying to live up to what others are.  Instead allow God to live through you and be the person that he created for his plan and purpose.

An Ornament for God (Psalm 78:61)



At Christmas time, many people look forward to decorating their tree.  For some , it is a family gathering where decorative ornaments are placed by the hands of young and old.  Some families have retained ornaments that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Not only are they beautiful, but the memories that they carry are much more ornate than the item itself.

And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.  (Psalms 78:61)

God has declared that we are his glory or as this word many times refers, his ornament.  He places you and me in the midst of a troubled world.  Our lives are intended to shimmer and shine of the love and reality of God, just as a ornament shimmers and shines on a tree.

Make it a point to understand your purpose in life and then shimmer and shine as a testimony for God.  You can only accomplish this by getting close to God.  As you walk closely to him, you will reflect him to all those around you.

Wonderful Works (Psalm 40:5)

God works many wonders in our lives.  However many of the blessings we seem to forget and merely focus on current circumstances.  I decided to list 100 of God’s workings in my life.  I know that I probably have missed more blessings than I have counted.  I encourage you to do the same and then share them.

Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psalms 40:5)

Many of these are very personal.  I ask that you be quick to read and slow to judge.  God bless.

1. He saved me and all the work that brought it to pass.

2. He removed me from ungodly influences.

3. Gave me my son as a direct answer to prayer.

4. After salvation, he led me away from paganism and settled my feet into Christianity.

5. He gave me my first house.

6. He gave me work in the midst of the extreme recession in the early 80’s.

7. He delivered me from a being killed in a steel mill accident involving a locomotive. 

8. He relieved the financial burden as the recession increased and everything in my life began to crumble.

9. He provided housing in a very desperate time.

10. He comforted my wounded heart.

11. He empowered me to minister to hurting people.

12. He blessed my ministry involvement.

13. I grew in grace.

14. He brought friends into my life to support and help me.

15. He led me to advance my education.

16. He provided transportation.

17. He provided a car.

18. He answered prayers for food and finances.

19. Unemployment was extended.

20. He blessed with me getting called back to work after 20 months of being laid off.

21. He enabled me to by my truck.

22. He guided me through some legal turmoil and enabled me to escape the attack.

23. I moved to my new apartment in Spring City.

24. God blessed my work, ministry service and life.

25. Anthony memorized Psalm 23 before he turned 4 years old.

26. God continued to comfort my wounded heart.

27. He strengthened me to stand strong and live for God.

28. He helped me pass my Greek classes.

29. Helped me through a terrible sickness.

30. Found a better place to live.

31. He caused a person to fall into the pit that they prepared for me

32. Was able to leave the steel mill and be off work on Sundays.

33. Found a new job.

34. Learned maintenance skills that I would later use in God’s work.

35. Received a great promise from God.

36. Graduated from college.

37. Received another great promise from God that would come true seven years later.

38. Married Beth.

39. Signed a lease for an apartment two days before the wedding. (That was close)

40. Lost my job.

41. Found a deer that had recently been hit.

42. Able to sell my truck to pay the rent.

43. Picked up extra electrical side work.

44. Exhaust on car fixed for free.

45. Transmission went, got many rides to work while hitch hiking and had to walk much less.

46. Somebody gave us a station wagon.

47. Found a place to live closer to church

48. Refrigerator broke and someone bought another one.

49. Did not get to adopt my niece and then Beth found out she was expecting just several weeks later.

50. Marybeth Princess was born.

51. Strength as we faced uncertainty with Marybeth’s heart condition.  God gave strength.

52. Somebody gave us a car after the engine seized in the wagon.

53. Anthony enrolled in Christian school

54. Moved to Font.

55. Great ministry days with hundreds of kids attending church

56. Marybeth’s open heart surgery was successful.

57. Injured ankle and out of work for months.  Secured a new job.

58. Promoted at work

59. Went full time into the ministry

60. Able to get away with the wife for a three day vacation

61. Honey bucket of blessings dumped over on us at Christmas

62. Became principal of Landmark Christian school

63. School enrollment increased the next year

64. Bought a house with $1down and 120% financing.  Yep, $1 down and extra cash for renovations.

65. New roof, bathroom, carpet and tons of paint along with residency inspection in 30 days.

66. School enrollment increased by 150% from my first year.

67. Able to buy my first computer

68. Bought a car instead of having one given to us.

69. School increased by another 40%.

70. Moved the school to a larger location and added a library.

71. School maxed out at 257% larger than the first year I became principal.

72. Many learning disabled children helped at LCS.

73. Able to visit the Dominican Republic

74. Able to visit the DR again.

75. Senior class trip to the DR.

76. Able to return to Northeast.

77. Mentored by Dr. Bish…what a guy.

78. Permitted to create the special education curriculum for Northeast

79. Invited to speak on special education issues at Ocean City, MD for the Delmarva Christian school association

80. Big personal setback, but the Lord gave much grace

81. God’s hand of blessing on me

82. Everything began to crumble around me, but God continued to bless my life.

83. Strength to work two full-time jobs

84. Expose to the mental health industry

85. Relief from financial setbacks and back to one job

86. Wisdom, patience and guidance were given

87. Able to go back to school again

88. Leadership to leave Northeast

89. Comfort through disappointment

90. Three meetings on the calendar. No job or money.  God filled up the calendar and met our needs.

91. God blessed to help countless people through speaking engagements as I traveled around the country

92. My wife and daughter were not killed in the auto accident

93. Grace through the painful months

94. Medical insurance obtained

95. Secured work at Devereux

96. Promoted to Treatment Manager (thank you for the financial trouble which exposed me to the mental health industry)

97. Promoted to Learning Specialist

98. Promoted to Learning Manager

99. Promoted to Operations Manager

100. I have great health

Brighten the Corner (Psalm 34:2)



Did you ever want to do something great with your life?  Have you ever desired to make such an influence upon people that the effect would be estounding?  Did you know that each of us can?  In fact, it is part of God’s design and plan for your life.

God has equipped you in at least two areas of your life for this purpose.  One enabling comes from the Holy Spirit giving you at least one gift for purpose of minister to others.  Another equipping are the words that you choose to speak.  Death and life are in the power of your tongue. (Prov. 18:21). It is important to understand that the words that you say can either make or break someone.  Consider the following passage.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (Psalms 34:2)

There are key words in this passage that are important to identify and understand in order for the principle to be understood.  The word humble carries with it the idea of being depressed and glad is another term for meaning to brighten up.  In this passage, we can see that when I praise the Lord, those in depression will hear and brighten up or become glad.

As you live your life, The Lord wants you outwardly to praise him and as You do, he will use your words to encourage those who are struggling in their lives.  You may never know who these people are and may also never see the outcome of your words, but he has assured you that he will use them.

Instead of complaining about circumstances in life, why not look to the Lord for your help and then praise him for his wonderful works.  By doing that, his work continues through you to reach others.

He Still Wants to Use Me? (John 21:17)

Peter cannot bring himself to say that he loves (agapao) Jesus.  The best type of love that he believes he has is phileo or brotherly love.  Jesus continues to prompt him to feed his sheep and lambs.  Peter cannot get past his failure of denying Christ.  How can he feed God’s lambs and sheep with such limited love?

Jesus knows his inner turmoil and condition of love.  He then–with that understanding confirmed–gives the charge again to Peter.  God’s calling upon Peter’s life was prior to his failure and in recognition of it.  He wanted Peter to know that regardless of what had happened, he still wanted him to be an Apostle.

Like Peter, we sometimes limit ourselves from what God has planned for us.  We get so focused on our failures and cannot see God’s plan or believe his calling is upon our lives.  

Instead of trying to figure it out, we should just listen to the voice of God’s leading.  He will lead us to exactly where he wants us to be.

Do I Really Care? (2 Timothy 1:4)

IMG_1545

If we knew how others viewed us, how many would say that we are self centered or all we think about is ourselves? The number may surprise us. In defense, we may point out the many times that we have reached out with aid to others. We may speak of how we support others in need or simply how we act kindly towards others. The question is, “Is that enough?”

Is it enough to perform actions of kindness and charity? I think not. Actions can be just that: simply actions. We can perform acts of kindness without the true motive for our actions being known. Guilt, fear of rejection and pride can each be a motivation for kind acts and if they are, the works performed will not be acts of kindness.

In his letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul best describes this virtue. Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; (2 Timothy 1:4). True kindness occurs as a result of empathy. Paul describes this emotion as “being mindful of thy tears”. The word mindful comes from two words meaning “to stay” and “to chew”. We are mindful about something when we continue to roll the idea over in our minds. For those being kind, they are rolling over in their minds the hurts and pains of others which causes them tears.

They may continually think of their friend’s hurt from losing a loved one. They focus on the pain and sickness of others and carry those burdens with them. When friends are absent from church or just out of touch, they wonder how they are doing and if they are abounding through their circumstances. These are the thoughts of a person who cares.

So let me ask you, do you really care about others? To find out, let your thoughts be your judge.