Blessings

Blessings

About

I wrote this page to share with you, the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. To encourage you, to comfort you or to support you, in which ever place this may find you. May the peace of God surround you, and the angel of the Lord be with you, and minister to you, as you read what is below. Blessings to you.

One God

The Lord our God, is the Lord. He is one God. As believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord ad savior, I believe in one God. One God above all other gods, one Lord above all other Lords. When I think about this, I am comforted, for I know that if I share God's love with one person, I do it unto the Lord as well. For I do not serve many gods, but the one true God. If I hold a bible study, and only one person shows up, then I have done it to the glory of God. That one person has come, so that they may hear, and believe, and know, that the god of this universe, cares for each and every one of us. The Lord knows you by name, and calls us by our hearts, to serve Him, and glorify Him. If you feel alone, if you feel that your bible study is not growing, or you are seeking friends, and you can not find any, when there is a need, remember that you serve the Lord God; and in this presence join together with whomever is around you, and pray for those who have not yet come. Pray for those empty seats. Pray for those you pass by, when you leave your house, those who you work with, or go to school with, or whom you see on the way as you travel to your bible study. Pray for those that they may be released, and find peace with you. That they will find comfort in knowing you are around, and you are watching out for them, and caring for them. If I hold a bible study, and only one comes, if I gather in the name of Jesus, and only one shows up, I am there with the Lord, doing the work of the Lord. Do not be sad, and do not give up hope. Your hope has been fulfilled, if what you do has been done with your heart, your reward will be peace, that you have done what the Lord has asked of you. We serve one God, and so if we do anything kind towards anyone, then we have done it to the Lord also.

Meditation

On April 30, 2006 I was attending a bible study at a church, and I was sitting in the back row. Eariler that month, I had talked to some people that I had started a 5 chapter a day study. And their reply was, "well you need to study the bible, not just read it". I thought about that, for a few weeks, and as I was sitting in this back row, I realized that what the Lord wants from us is time. The Lord wants our attention, and our time, for us to focus on Him, and just soak, in how small we are compared to His greatness. We are to be grateful for what He has given us. It was then I realized that it did not matter wether I attended a bible study, or wether I went to church, or wether I read 5 chapters a day, what did matter is that I set time aside for the Lord. Just our desire to be in the presence of God I am sure that makes God smile, and it makes Him proud of us. God wants to bless us, He wants to provide for us, but many times, I find myself trying to make my own provisions. How am I to know the future? If I do not know the future, how am I to know what to prepare for? That is why it is important for us to go to church, and to attend bible studies, and to read the bible daily. We do these things so that we schedule in time for God. God is not only at the church, or only at a bible study. God is with us all the time, and He is with us every hour, every minute, and every second. We often do not take notice of God, and that is why we have church, that is why we have daily devotionals. These things are to remind us, to refocus ourselves on the Holy Lord, the God who walks among us, whose Holy Spirit is in us. I was once foolish, and belived God was only at the church, but God is not in every church, God is where His people are. God is a jealous God though, and when we turn from Him, and when we go our own ways, we may find ourselves alone. Until we cry out to God, and change our hearts, the way we think, will we be rescued, and restored.

The Modern Burnt Offering

I was attending a bible study in March 2006, when God gave me a new picture. I saw a picture of a modern burnt offering. In the Old Testament the jewish people would build an altar, and they would sacrifice grain, and animals. There were many types of offerings, some for sin, some for fellowship, and for festivals. When Christ died on the cross, was buried, and then resurected He fulfilled, and paid the price for all sin. This He did so that all who believed in Him, would have everlasting and eternal life. When Christ died, there was no more of a need for a sin offering. Christ paid for all sins, for all those who would belive in Him, for sin in the past, present, and future. So Christ has paid for your sins that you did commit, that you just commited, and the ones you will commit in the future. For while we are living on this earth, we will be sinning. In the Old Testament, even if you did not know you commited a sin, you were still guilty. In today, the same is true, and the sins you commit without knowing, those are already paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. Now back in the Old Testament the burnt offerings produced an aroma, a smell that was pleasing to the Lord. Now when I was attending that bible study, at the end of our meeting, there was a man, and His wife was having medical conditions, and he asked for prayer. His humbleness in asking, pleased the Lord. He sacrificed his concerns, and his anxiety to the Lord. When we went to lay hands on him, and lift him up, I closed my eyes, and I saw this picture. As we layed our hands upon this man, the Holy Spirit came upon us, and like fire burned, as if we were sitting around a campfire. The Holy Spirit, lifted up this man's concerns, and it was lifted in a way that pleased the Lord, lifted up in a sweet smelling aroma, just like a burnt offering. In this image, the concerns were lifted in prayer producing an aroma pleasing to the Lord, , just as burnt offerings were made to produce an aroma pleasing to the Lord in the Old Testament.

Strength and Faith

In the months of January and Feburary 2006, I came upon a changing point in my walk with God. In the months previous, I had experienced God's presence, and His outpouring of inspiration. I can remember one night when I had a college ruled notebook, with 8.1/2x11 sheets of paper, and I wrote till I no longer had strength to write, and the pages numbered 18. That next day, I was so tired and weak, and I had stayed up so late, I was dragging, and from that point on to some extent, I thought "oh how unresponsible I have been, I need to go to bed eariler. " So it was that from then on, whenever the Lord came upon me, and I was inspired I would write until a certain time, and then stop. After which I would then go to sleep. This seemed like a good idea, but the thoughts in my head kept comming, and every time I tried to lay down, I would get new thoughts, and keep waking back up. At some point, I would be so tired, I would plead with God to stop the inspiration, and to stop sending me the thoughts. On days when I did not do that I would sin aginst God, so that I would be apart from God, and I would be able to rest. All of these idea, and responses were wrong, and none of them led to any hapiness. Why would I want to destroy my realitionship with God, just so I could get to sleep? The problem was that I was not facing two problems. One was fear, and the other trust. I feared what would happen if I spent more time with God, and I did not trust Him that He would take care of me in the morning. In my sinful nature, I looked to what I could understand, what I knew to be true. When you know what is true, what is going to happen, then you are not relying on faith any longer, you are relying on logic. It is in these times that God is trying to help us to grow. We have two choices, one is to sin, the other is to take a step of faith. Often what made the most sence to me, was what the devil was sharing with me, a way to grow apart from God, and not grow in faith. The devil had a nice logical answer, that made sence, but in the morning, I felt apart from God, I went back into sin, and I turned away from God. When I turned to sin at night, or I turned off God at night, that is when I would sin the next morning, and that whole day, would be another day without the Lord. Now in those two months of January and Feburary, I started to experiment. I looked at my old ways, and I did not want to go back to sin, I repented, and my heart was changed, I did not want to partake of it any longer. So I was seeking new solutions, and new ways to grow with God. Now I did have a problem, that when I was working on something, I did not want to give up, I would work into the night, and I would work to the point, that I was no longer productive. That was when I found a new rule. If the Lord was inspiring me, then it was His will for me to stay up, and it would be His strength that would get me through the next day. When I was doing my own thing however, then I would of to bed in a timely manner, for it was my own will, so it would be my own strength, which would carry me through the next day. Since I did have much confidence in my own strength, I would choose and early bedtime on those nights. Now the Lord, since He is our creator, knows how to do things, and enable us in ways we would not imagine. So it happened that I did stay up late one night, writing things for God, and to others, in the same way that had happened before, and I decided to go until the inspiration ran out. After all God has perfect timming, when it runs out that is His will. So when I woke up, I was a little tired, but I went to work, now what happened at work, happened differently on three ocassions. One time when I was tired in the day, the Lord gave me hicups when ever I would start to dose off. When I was back to being awake the hicups would go away. It happened that way five times. The Lord was good, and His strength kept me awake. On another day, I founded a large supply of coke, and I drank the coke, and the caffiene helped me to stay awake. The Lord led me to find that supply, and I used it. On yet another day, when I was tired things happened at work, that I had to run here and there, and I was not able to become tired, because I was kept so busy. The Lord has His plans, we do not know them, but the Lord, He knows, and He provisions, and provides, and supplies us with whatever we need. So to this day, I do not worry, if the Lord keeps me up, then He will sustain throgh tomarrow. If the Lord has kept me alive today, surely He has plans for my tomarrow.

Body Control

Alot of things happen at this one bible study I attend, I think that is because I come very openly, and very expectant to see God working. I know that God is working there, and I know He is going to do something every time I go. If I miss it, I know I am missing the teaching God has for me. Once when I went there I was came very tired. The devil likes me to be tired, it is my weakness. When I am tired I make bad decisions, and I make bad plans, and bad choises. When I am tired that is when I am most likely to sin, and most likey to miss what God is going to teach me. God has His plans, and if we can make it just a little fruther, sometimes that is when we see what God has in store for us. As I was sitting in that back row again, as I sit there when I come in late, and more things happen, because I have more time to reflect, than if I sit with my friends. So Iam sitting there, and I am tired, and I am about to fall asleep, and then the service/study switches gear, and they go into a sort of worship/chill time. This is where they encourage those who have come, to spend time seeking the Lord, and sing some songs. Now I was really tired, and every night before I come I would stop at some fast food place, and pick up a large or very big size combo meal. I would get the biggest size I could so that I could drink as much caffine as I could get into my body, so when I drove thirty minutes to get home I could stay awake the whole way. Well when I get really tired I fall asleep wether I have cafieene or not. Once I bought some jolt, and being so tired as soon as I drank the whole bottle I fell asleep quickly. That is bad news for me that I bought this whole thing of cafieene, and I am relying on it to get me home, knowing that I am so tired that I am ready to just fall asleep, this was not so comforting. I also knew that I had some dependence on coke, and that drinking coke, was just something I needed to stop. I wanted to stop drinking the coke, but I just could not let it go. Here I was again, drinking the coke, and stuck in my own human thoughts. God had a different plan that night, for that was the night I was set free. While sitting in that back row, the pastor encouraged people to stand up and speak anything that the Holy Spirit was laying on their hearts. So in a few minutes one by one people started standing up, and speaking. Around that time, God poured out His inspiration on me, and I started to write down what was comming to my mind. I never did find a place to stand up, so I kept writing, and as I wrote my heart raced and my blood was pumping, and I was bursting at the seams with energy that was building up inside me. It was almost like I was under a panic, but it was a very controlled panic, I sat very still, and very quietly, just writing away, recording what was being given to me. By the time things were finished, I had written about nine pages of 8.5x11 college-ruled notebook paper. I was awake now, the Lord had awoken me, I felt like I was going to burst, my heart rate was high, and my neck was throbbing, and I could feel my heartbeat there. I walked out to my car, and I drove to the gas station, and as I was filling up, I threw out that whole cup of soda. That night I was set free, and the Lord gave me power over soda. No more did I need to rely on soda, for the Lord could change my body, my mood, my energy level, its all in God's hands. I threw away that cup 75 percent full, and I drove home. I was so filled up on the Holy Spirit that night, that I wrote an additional nine pages, eighteen total, before finally going to bed. That night I knew if God could alter the way my body works, then what was I to fear about strength. What was I to fear about soda, or relying on other cures. Since that night, I never looked at soda the same way again, I stopped drinking so much, and when I did need to eat out, I bought the smallest size, instead of the biggest size. There was no crime in drinking soda, or liking to drink soda, but what was sinful is that I was relying on the soda for strength, and not on God, and His power and might. I had placed that soda above God, I had believed at one point, that the soda was going to give me strenght, when what I needed was the Lord.

Studying the Bible

I do not have good memory, by nature I forget most of what I learned, and have to write almost everything down so that I do not forget it. I learned that God could help me to remember anything I had read, when I needed it He would help me to recall it. The Holy Spirit works in wonderful ways. In everything I do, I know there are really two ways to do something. With God, or without God, and on my own. So last year in 2005, around May I had rediscovered a study bible I bought about ten years ago. So I started using it, and it was a very good study bible, with lots of information, and lots of helpful references. I read it every day, and got to Acts 2. Thats when I stopped. For as much as I loved to read it, the time I had set aside to read it, no longer remained. With that time gone, I was in need to start reading again. It went slow with that bible. When I was reading I had a very good understanding because of the notes, but it took a while to read all the notes. Months went by and I never found time to read, I wanted to start back up, but I could never get my foot in the door. Sometime in January 2006, at some time God appointed, I found out that the guy who sat across from my cube who I could see in plain sight, and talk to without effort, that he was a believer as well. We went to bible study at work together, and we encouraged each other till the time he left. Now in that time he passed me notes from this bible college that he was attending. He told me about how you could read the whole bible in a year, and that how some people he knew read the bible front to back five times a year. I was encouraged, and at the same time I was looking for a way to get the bible in electronical format, specifically ascii text. So one weekend I found a site from which you could download the whole bible in ascii text. The whole bible was only 4MB big. Using the computer skills I had a wrote a program to determine the number of chapters in the whole bible. From that I wrote a program which would split up the bible into five chapter segments. Then I fixed the date so that it would starting that day, send me five chapters a day. Each day since then I get five chapters a day mailed to my home email, and my work email. So far I have made it to Judges, at the time of this writing. At seven days a week of reading, it takes 224 days to finish the bible, all 66 books. Well I was excited, I had finally found a way to read the bible. The automatic job the computer sets up, never fails, I get five chapters a day, every day. Having it in the email format gave me a chance to read it at work easier, I do not have to pull out a book, I just pop open the email, and if someting comes up, I just minimize the window, or tab the browser, and I resume later. Every day God has given me time, and made time for me to read. Every day he has created time, a time when things get slow, and it seems natural that God planned it just so. Now I was so happy that I told some friends about what had happened, and what I had done, and they replied "when you read the bible, you need to study it, not just read it like a news paper. " I thought about that for a while, and then I realized that both are true. When you are going to teach someone else, you need to read the bible, and you must study it. I would not want to tell a story wrong, or get a reference wrong. However what I also learned is that you go in different times, and different places. Just like some people like the NIV, and others like the NLT, and others yet go to the NASB translation. No tranlation is better than the other, they are all good. God gave each one of those authors the ability to reach someone. It is like your church, there are 300 churches for 300 different kinds of people. If you do not like that church, go to a church which you do like. If you seem like you get a better study out of one church, and a better message out of another, then go to both. Different churches serve different purposes. Different translations meet the needs of different people. That is also true of formats. I found that when I read the paper bound version of the bible, if I was sleepy, then I would fall asleep reading it, but when I read my email version I have an easier time reading it. It is true that the email version does not have and notes or summaries, nothing to help you out, but it fit my need. It is alway impossible to tell where someone is, when I have time I ready my study bible, but what I realized is that God gave me the gift of having this electronic version, so that I could learn what was in the bible. As for the notes, God is the best teacher, when I am reading my email version God highlights things to me. I copy and paste those verses into other emails, which I send to myself, to do fruther study on, or to reference in the future. The good news is that God works differently, His character is tailored to each of us, all at once. The bad news is that what works for me, may not work for you. What I write, you may already know, or have passed before. The one thing I do know is that for every thought you are thinking, there is at least one other person who is thinking the same thought, who has the same ideas. Your set of thoughts is unique, but individual thoughts are shared, I believe with at least one other person, all the time. The good news in then that if you try to reach out to someone, there will always be someone there, waiting for what you have to say. Now that is God's kind of timming. That whatever I do, someone will benefit from it, because there will always be someone who is going through, or who just went through what I am going through. Now to me that is a blessing, that what ever I offer to the Lord, will not not done in vain, but will be lifted up to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Allelulia.

My Sin Among Others

When we have sin in our lives, we are decieved in many ways. I was once greatly decieved about my own sin. I had felt powerless to resist certain things, and started to rely on them. I had fallen greatly into temptation, and even though I wanted to be free, I found myself back in the temptation. I was listening to a pastor one time, and he said "those that fall back into sin, they fall back because they love the sin." This means that if we want to truly be free we need to let go of our desires, and start to hate the sin. Now I had a hard time hating this particular temptation, and even though it was said in many ways what I was doing was wrong, I could not help myself. It even came to the point where I knew when I would do it, I knew how I would do it, and I knew that instant when I would let go and cave into the temptation. And I thought about it for awhile, and I came to a point where I admitted that I love, and took pleasure in what I was doing. I did not want to give it up. Now when we truly become saved, we must then repent. I looked at myself, seeing that I loved the sin, and that I did not want to stop, and I realized that my heart had not changed. The bible says that we can only serve one master, and our God is a jealous God, and we should have no sin before us, that we ought to be clean, and Holy before the Lord. However this was still not enough to change me, and my ways. I still took to the sin, and I still practiced it, and kept it going. I did not want to turn away from it. Well when Jesus was faced with temptation, He resisted all temptation with scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). That is why the bible is called the sword, because it holds all the answers to all our sins. When we know the scripture the Holy Spirit which acts on behalf of God for us, reminds us of the scriptue that will help us, and give us a choise to sin no more. Now when Jesus came about He did not come to condem, but to save. And after Jesus died, we entered and age of grace, where we are not imediately punished for our sin, however if we are Gods children, then He will discipline us, and we will have to change, for God disciplines those He loves. All of those things did not change me, my heart was still filled with sin, sin I did not know about, for it was hidden from me, but as the bible says, when God wants it to be know, the veil shall be lifted, and the deciptor revealed. For many of the people on earth are under a great deception, and they do not know that they are being tricked and plotted out of their lives, by the sin they unknowlingly commint, and the wages, the price of that sin is death. All of this still was not enough for me to change. I knew all these things, and I knew about grace, and I relied on grace in a way that was not pleasing to God. Grace is for us, whe we do something we do not realize is bad. Grace is there, so that we can still be presentable to God, even when we have not made ourselves clean and presentable to Him. Now God works with us on a step by step basis, as we rid our lives of one sin, He picks at another sin, another area of our lives, to purge the old, and bring out the new. God is the vine, and we are the branches, and for the branches to grow, they must be pruned, so they will be healthy and fruitful. Now it is possible to sin, and produce good works, but it is by God's grace that it is allowed to happen. As I was reading the bible, starting in Genesis, I got to numbers, and there as I was reading I came across Numbers 25:7-9. In this account the people of Israel were staying in a city, and some of then men began to dwell in sexual immortality, and they started to worship the gods of that territory. Now God hates sexual immortality, and the Lord is Jealous, and He did not like the people worshipping other gods. So the Lord began to kill the people of Israel. So while these men were commiting sin aginst the Lord the rest of Israel was paying for their rebellion. So when the men came back to the city where the people of Israel were staying, the high priest killed the man who was sinning, and the Lord stopped the plague which killed 24,000 people of Israel. When I read this, it caught my attention. I started to realize that maybe my sin was affecting my family. Then in my curiosity I experimented, and I became aware of my family, and what they were going through. I looked at them, and I noticed how they were doing. On some days I sinned and on other days I did not. Then I saw my pattern, and I saw that on the days I sinned, the days I planned to sin, on those days my wife fell to tears. On those days she found no strength, and on those days we always suffered. Sometimes my wife suffered, sometimes I suffered at work, or I ran into unplesant people. Then I knew if I kept up, what I was doing, I not only affected myself I affected my whole family. I caused my wife pain, not directly, but indirectly. I took away her strength, and I sent her into depression, I gave her anxiety. And in that moment, when I realized my kids misbehaved more, my wife was unhappy, that is when I began seeking the Lord with all my heart, and pleading with Him, for me to hate the sin, asking for ways that I would turn away, and sin no more. It was in that prayer, in that moment, that the Lord, the God of my life, of the universe, saved me and set me free. Amen.

God Watches Over Me

In my life, and I have especially noticed it within the last few years, that when I seem to run out of hope, that is when God is right there, meeting me at the end of that rope. Last year I was worried that I would not get a job, and that we had all these bills to pay, and debt to pay, and that I would not be able to take care of that financial need. After some hard prayer, and some deep meditation on what God was going to have me do, I found a job. Not too long after that, even though I was happy at the job, I had some questions about wether God was going to provide for me. In the next three months, out of nowhere I saw multiple job offers. I did not need to take any of them, but I know that God was sending those to me to show me hope. What I often do not realize is how powerful God is. I minimize God, and I rely on my own logic and thought. I think about, well if my resume is not on all these search engines, then how will I find a job? That is the realistic way, the way that leads us to our own understanding, but not to God's power, and also it leads us away from faith. Sometimes I just need to know that God is out there, and that He finds favor in what I am doing, by providing me some comfort, with what I am dealing with. When I am dealing with financial stress, God always sends me job offers. I do not need to take them, and none of them may amount to anything, but when I get those, especially when I did nothing to help those people find me, I know it is God reassuring me that He is in control. I remember 10 years ago, and 5 years ago, when God gave me the chance to pursue a music career. I was not ready, and I was not able at that time to do it, I lost both of those opportunities, but it taught me lessons, about what to be ready for in the future. God works in ways that we do not often fashion. Recently I bought protools, and I was doing some copying from one source into protools, and when I would open a new session it would record the new tracks, in a previously opened directory. I was so annoyed, that I really started to get frustrated. After some time, a few days passed, and I started to rely on God more and more, and I was doing the same task, trasnfering data from one source into protools, and this time it all worked. I knew that God was with me, and that He was watching over me. Two weeks after that I was trasfering some more audio, and I had this one channel that kept going in and out. I was jiggling the cables, and jiggling the interconnects, and I was replacing cables in the path. I finally narrowed it down to this firewire input device. So I thought that maybe the device was bad, and I started to take it apart, and I was praying that God would fix this, that He would just correct the problem, that I knew this was not too big for God, and God could modify the device to work right. I felt like God was not listening to me, and that I was all alone, and I was getting more bent out of shape as time went on. Then I started to think about how God tests us, and He tests us to see how we are, to show us, and to show Him, how we really respond. I calmed down a little bit, but I was still upset. I began to take the device apart, when I realized that I did not have the right tools to take off the front bezel. I was so sad at that point, because I knew that God wanted me to transfer this audio into protools, but I could not get this one channel to work. Sadly I put the device back, and I just sat there, and I started to just pray, and really think about what God was trying to teach me. What did God want me to learn this time? After a while I finally got the idea to go back, and jut check the cables, and the connections one more time, it was at that point I found out the mixing board I was using, that either the line in, or the direct out jack was making bad contact. So I switched the channels on the mixer. After I rewired the mixer, the problem was no where to be found. What could I learn in this situation? What I remembered is that what I had prayed for was for God to fix the device. However the device was not broken. What I shold have prayed for was patience, and persistence to solve the problem at hand. I was all mixed up, I never tought to pray for my well being as I worked at the problem. I could have prayed that I would not get worked up, or that I would not have any stress while I was working. I know God watches over me, time and time again He is there, leading me on, step by step. The finances have been very tight lately, and again I was running out of hope, I know that God is there, and I know that He can take care of it, but its one thing to know what is going to happen, and another to live through that experience. Every so often I ask God for some more comfort, and I know that what I am really looking for is a sign, not a miracle. Just a simple event, one that I know I had no control over happening, that God is going to use to speak to me. Just recently one such event occured. I came home late from work one night, and the guy was just leaving. I had met him before, but I did not know him very well. I talked to Him, and at some point I really did not feel like I was talking to him, as much as I was talking to an angel, that was using him. As we talked he had a business offer, and asked me some questions about payment. After we talked I knew it was God, telling me not to worry. God saying do not be anxious, do not be worried, I have you all taken care of, if you needed money, you would have it tomarrow, but I have this plan I want to take you through. You might think, what am I talking about, how can an angel speak through someone else? I remember one fall at work, and I was felling pretty depressed, and I was sad, and I was really looking for a pick-me-up. I mostly worked by myself, and I did not have a team to expect anyone to smile in my direction. I remember asking God, and talking to Him about how lonely and sad I was, and that I really wished that He could comfort me. It was either that day or the following that I was walking down the hall, and this guy who was in my department, smiled at me and said hello. I was so happy. I knew immediately that it was from God. I did not know if that guy was a Chirstian, but I knew that what he had done was from God. It always seems that when I need God, He uses whomever He can find, to bless those He loves. That is why sometimes I think that angels act on behalf of God through others, if necessary. God hears us, in 1Samuel 1:19 it says that the Lord remembered Hannah. Hannah offered up her prayers, as sacrafices and God answered her prayers. Sometimes I think that the Lord wants us to pray, and ask Him for things just so He can show us, how good He is to us. It is not only that, but when we pray, we present ourselves to God, because we are relying on Him to guide and direct us. God will work anything, good or bad to His plans. We know that in the end God is King, and God is Lord. We have nothing to fear, because Jesus Christ is backing us 100 percent to follow Him, and to lift Him up in prayer. Sometimes you might think that you are not very worthy, and something is wrong, because you have this bible study and God watches over it, or you get together with some friends and talk about God, and you think there is no persecution here, and so it must not be so great. From what I know, I would say blessed are those moments, and enjoy them, when you face no trouble, or persecution. Just because God has allowed nothing to bother you, do not mean that it will always be. Enjoy what the Lord gives to you now. When you find no resistance than grow what has been given you, grow it as far and as much as you can. If you had to plow a field, and it grew few crops, and you planted much seed, but still few crops. Then you move to some other field, and you use the same seed but you get 100 fold, would you not next year double the seed you put on, and expect to get 200 or 400 fold? What I am saying is that sometimes when we find little resistance we slow down, and we get lazy, and back off on the effort, instead we should be pushing stronger, knowing that whatever we put in will grow even bigger. I guess its like when you work for a company and they have matching in there benefits package. So if you put in 3 percent, they match the 3 percent at the and of the year. So if they said ok, now its up to 5 percent matching, I bet that you would increase what you put in that, so you would get the 5 percent. So that is the same, if God is going to give you no resistance so you can focus on doing even more good, would you not take the chance to do more good? I guess that is what I struggle with sometimes, is where I am, is it good, and I am getting lazy, am I not doing as much as I could be doing. Is God giving it into my hands, and I am just sitting here, when all I have to do is claim, what is being given to me? I think that in everything you do God has something for you. I know that just recently He has helped me to again start losing weight. I know that if I just sit there and I eat some I gain weight, but I did not change anything. So am I going to let God work, yes, but now that I know He is there with me, I am going to plant more seed, by starting to go back to the gym, and accelerate things, because I know that God will double what I sow in that gym.

The Web of Angels

I was sitting at a bible study, and all of a sudden I had this image. The pastor that was speaking was suddenly surrounded by a large web. Then I saw these angels with 6 arms, and they were all holding eachothers hands all interconneted. The way they were joined they could not be seperated, from the side, the top, or the bottom, they were very securely held together. Then I saw the web get smaller and smaller, and then I saw another image. I saw someone standing, and a deamon came near to him, and started to provoke the man, the man had fear, but resisted to move by faith. The deamon came closer and closer to the man, and started to become more threatning as he advanced. The man stood there and resisted by faith to budge. Then the deamon raised his hands, and began to swing at the man, just as the deamon's hand was less than a foot from touching the man, this web of angels appeared, as a wall of protection. They were invisible to the man, and to the deamon, until they were needed. Is was as if the deamon was hitting a reinforced concrete wall. After this image had left, I felt this peace that God was with me, and that verse came to my mind -- resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). That is because God's power is no match for the devil. The devil has no dominion over you, once you accept Christ, you are God's children. And God protects His children, and He favors them, and listens to them. God will discipline you, but it will be so that you can have a better life, one that has more meaning, and produces more fruit. Sometimes we come to God with brokenness, and He mends that brokenness, heals it. We come with disobedience, and God has to tame us, to change our character. We have to go character makeovers because our lives our filled with sin, we have a sin nature, and that nature tears us apart from God. As we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we let go of the old man, or we depart from our old ways, and we become a new creation. We stumble away from our past, and we begin a new future. We thrive on the Holy Spirit, which we ask to come into our lives, and as we grow in God, we have more power, and that power is what allows is to defeat sin, and to turn away from temptation. We will be tested, and we will be tried, but our strength in God, and our faith, are enough to stand up to anything this earth could throw at us. We are able to be content into the kingdom of heaven, and know that God will have His way, even the bad that happens to us, will result in good. I believe that there is some kind of protection around us, I know that when I go to work I have angels with me, that follow me around, and help to get through the day. I am hoping that I make them pround, and they have a good report to give to God. Praise be to God, for His goodness, and His glory, His honor, and His majesty, and for His protection here on earth. Let me not be afraid, and not be subdued by the troubles of this world, but to get up, with boldness and proclaim the word of God. Allelulia,

Pride and Humbleness (04/22/2006)

Not too long ago, God was teaching me new things about pride. When you start thinking about Oh, look at me, I am only this uneducated person, and I have not read the Bible, how can God use me? I wich I was like that pastor I hear on the tv, or the radio. I have come to find that those thoughts are thoughts derived from pride. Pride says I need to be somebody, it says I am not good enought, because I do not value myself, and I need to be better, and when I am better, those who are my equals now, they will be below me, and I will rise above them, and I will teach them. I will have then gained the knowledge to be so great. This is pride. Whenever you think that everyone is not the same that pastors are higher, or other people are lower than you, you have fallen into prideful thinking. The hope of glory that is in you, comes from the fact that all of us, no one excluded, is not worthy of doing anything for God. Not one of us is holy enough, or wise enough, or pure or clean enough, to ever do God's perfect will. We are human, and we are filled with sin. The hope of glory, is God's grace falling on us, so that we, even in our impurity, we may glorify God, and bring honor to Jesus Christ. It is by faith alone that we have any hope at all. Jesus said that whosoever believe in me, shall have eternal life. It is by our faith alone, no actions, no skill, no works, no talent, no knowledge, no wisdom, no status, no discipline, nothing that saves us from death, except to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he died on the cross, and rose again to pay for our sins. To do God's will, you must first find where you are to start looking. Often times I began looking in the wrong place, I looked and said well I wish I could do that, but I can not, so I do not know what to do. What I needed to do, was to remember that without Christ, I can do nothing. Through Christ I have talent, and wisdom, and knowledge. Through Christ I have opportunity, open doors, inspiration. If I say that I have nothing, that I can do nothing, and that I have no capabilities, or abilities of my own, than I have surrendered my all to Christ. For I say on my own I will fail, and I will fall, and I will misuse, and abuse what is given to me, but through Christ I have hope. If I believe that Christ is my Lord, and I come as nothing, with nothing, then how much greater is what I do, when Christ is working through me? How much greater is what I create, or accomplish, if I know that I could not do any of it myself. To greater the glory be in Christ, than it be of me. So now, see what I see. In 2003, I realized, that even though I could play music, and I could write some tunes, it was all because of what God had given me in the first place. When I left God, I could not write, no inspiration came, no chord progressions arose, nothing sounded plesant, things broke. When I came back to God, I said I know that this was given to me as a gift. I can not write beautiful music on my own. I have tried, and I fail. It is not my own ability, but from the ability that God has given to me, that I have been able to write anything at all. When I write music to this day, I know it is God, and I know that the Holy Spirit is working through me to glorify the Lord. What I own is not mine, what I have is not mine to keep, it is all for the Lord, as He wishes to let me use it, so that I might be made a great steward through His grace and kindness to me. I was foolish to think that I had an ability to do music. Music was always given to me by the Lord. Once I used to be prideful, and I wished to make music like other groups, that were popular, but when I reached for their greatness I was filled with pride, and I began to become dissatsified with what God had given me. The Lord had given me a new song, and a new purpose, and I tried to mold it into what the world was offering, and twist it, and shove it into something everyone would like. I was so wrong, because God makes each one of us very different. He made me to reach some people, you to reach other people. While I was trying to be like someone else I was dismissing the purpose God had for me, I was rejecting what God wanted me to do, and I was filled with pride. Pride that I could be like them, envy that I wanted to be like those groups I listened to. It is not wrong to have influences, and it is not wrong to listen to other styles of music, but it was wrong to be ashamed of what I was doing. The Lord had called me to do something else. He did not give me a voice to sing with. He did not give me a band to play with. He did not give me the ability to play a song the same way everytime. The Lord did not give me a memory, to mimic another song, or play covers, or be reproducable. When I started wanting to be like those other groups, I forsook the calling that God appointed me, and I went away. I sought every way I could to misuse and abuse the music talent that He gave me, until one day, after a long time, I was unable to write anything at all. If you keep turning away from God, and you keep shutting that door, eventually it closes. We have free will. If we want God to go away, He will depart from us. I do not encourage that. I write this to warn you, and to educate you. From the time Jesus Christ arose on that cross, untill the day of rapture (which has not come yet), we are in the Age of Grace. The goodness of God is upon us. What this means, is that at any point, before Jesus returns (the rapture), we can call upon God, and He will hear us, and take us back. Allelulia!!!!. Now this does not mean that you get drunk, and you repent (ask God for grace, to forgive you of sin), and go get drunk the next day, or next week. If you did that then you would have not repented. Repentance is about changing your heart. It is about saying that you hate the sin, which you have done, you are filled with guilt, and you want to be cleansed from it. That is repentance. You turn away from your sin. You go and sin no more. Now that would be impossible to do, if you do not rely on the strength of Christ to help you. You can not turn from sin on your own. It is impossible. Once you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have access to that power, but you do not know how to use it. How you use it, was show by Jesus. You fight all temptation with scripture. Every time Jesus was tempted (presented with an oppurtunity to sin, to rebel aginst God), Jesus used scripture to resist. Now to be able to use scripture, you have to read the Bible. (you can start by subscribing to www.goodpassage.com), or by going to www.bible.cc, and reading some verses. Once you have read some verses, you then need to humble yourself, asking God for His mercy, and His strength, and asking that the Lord Jesus Christ would fill you with His Holy Spirit, to strengthen you. In developing a relationship with the Lord, you would then come to Love the Lord your God, and from that Love, you would want to honor the Lord, and keep His commands. Out of the love and respect that your grow for the Lord, coupled with the word (reading the Bible - your sword), being humble you will trust God to rely on the Holy Spirit, and gain strength to cut down, the temptation that presents itself before you. So when I gave my all toward God, I said that what ever I do, it is for the Lord, and of the Lord. What ever skills, talents, and abilities that I have, those the Lord will provide. When I faced up to the failure of my envy, realising that God had another plan for me, and I let Him work in me the way He had planned all along, so that gave birth, to spokenhope, and this website. Now when I failed at trying to be like those bands my friends listened to, I was grieved. When I stopped being dissapointed (step number 1), I became humble ( step number 2), so that I could let God direct me. The I started trying, and finding out what I could do, with what God gave me (step 3). When I could not sing, I was saddened, but I kept pressing on, and I said if I can not sing, then I will make music with no voice, no vocal. I listened to that music, and it did not do anything for me. I t was nice to listen to, but I felt empty afterwards. I knew something was missing, so I kept searching (step 4), and praying (step 5), and my heart stayed on the Lord (step 6). As I longed, to find an answer, I spent more time, and more time with the Lord (step 7). After two years, of searching I stumbled onto talking over the music. But my mind was not clear, and my thoughts betrayed me. I doubted what the Lord would have me do, and so I kept searching. It was 3 years after that, the Lord confirmed to me what I was to do. It has been so ever since. Now in that time, those 3 years, I had done something I think just about anyone has done. After searching for something for a long enough time, if you even see a hint of light at the end of the tunnel, you drop everything, and run for that light. What we must keep in mind though, is that if we have not reached the end of that tunnel, it is because we have not completed the journey, and we are not mature enough in that journey, to have completed it yet. This is to say, that God had show me some light, I had seen what it was that I was to do, but I had not completed my journey, so that even though God had shown me what to do, in a short time I started to doubt if that was truly what God had in mind for me. Here is another story, which is a better example. There was a girl, who I believe her name was Dorothy, and she had a very beautiful voice, and she played guitar. She heard about this christian music competition, where some music judges would listen to your tape, and give you some feedback. Now I happened to be at this event, and she seemed like a nice girl. So I was listening to the tapes, and I heard this one tape, and there was this girl singing to guitar, very pretty tune, but the recording was horrible. Just about the worst recording possible. I saw the amount of talent the artist was possessing, and I was hoping to talk to them after the event was over. As it turns out this girl was so upset, that the judges did not like her recording, she left immediately, got in her car, and went home. So the point of this story, is that she had become prideful, about her opportunity, and she felt she did a very good job. When the judges struck down her pride, she was so depressed, that she was not able to stand, any more feedback. If she had been humble, she would have received the feedback, and said, ok I can do better, and better yet I would have had a chance to meet her, and I would have helped her to get a better recording. When we become humble, we rest on God, not on ourselves. In this story that girl only had to wait about another 30 minutes, and the event would have been over, then I would have found out that she recorded the tape, and she would have received a blessing, by being able to make better what God had given her, by letting God use me to help her. When she was overcome by pride, I knew that I would not be able to help her, because she wanted to jump ship, as soon as things did not go her way, or they way she way hoping. Humbleness lets us fall, it lets us be critized, so that we become better. Iron sharpens Iron. If we are not tested, we do not grow. If we are not tested we do not presevere. The Bible says, that God's dicipline for us proves His love for us. Sometimes God lets us fall, He tests us, to see if we will love Him, or if we will turn from Him. If God can let us fall, He can also lift us up, and exalt us, higher than we were before. That is what happened to Job, God let everything be lost, and then God restored Job oto greater than what he had before. If we are afraid to lose things, than we have no faith. For if we seek to lose our life for Christ's sake, we will gain our eternal life in Christ. If we believe we have nothing to begin with, then if we lose everything, we are still the same, because God chose to give us what we had, what we were born into. If we lose everything, we should not be so sad, for we had nothing to begin with. The only thing that matters on this earth, is how much faith we have in God, how much are we willing to lose, to seek God. Are we willing to give up watching tv one night a week, to read the Bible, or give up a night, to treat friends and neighbors to a dinner to show them God's love for them? For there is nothing we can sacrafice that would be greater than what Christ did for us, which was to give His life, and not only just His life, but use His death, as a ransom, a substitution for our sins, and wrongdoings against God. Now I did meet that girl again, about two years later, actually I met her sister, and I did not realise it was her. She had not changed at that point, she had repeated the same mistake, in her memory, I would dedicate this. May God have mercy upon you, open your eyes, and let an angel of the Lord speak to you, so that you turn from this path. Hold on to what God has given you, and do not let go. Do not rush into sadness, but look up with hope. Get up and march on, for your journey is not over. Oh Lord, our God, our Father, comfort this girl, and anyone else who may find this, or be thought of, that you touch them, they are like the soil where the weeds grow. They do not turn the soil by knowing you deeper, and they cling to emotion, and pride. When the littlest difficulty comes they run, they do not seek you, they look to men for comfort, they hide, they are ashamed. Lord I ask that you hear this prayer, you giver of life, you know the workings of their mind, have mercy on them, grant them another chance, that they may find you, place a need in their haert to be closer to you, to need you, a desire to be strong in you, to reject pride, and be at peace with the humbleness that is found within you. Allelulia. May this bless all who read, or hear this. Amen.

Worth, Value, and Purpose (04/23/2006)

Over the past two months I have been transfering my recordings from a hardward solution, to a computer solution. Sometimes it is good to take a break, and rest, using that time to reflect. One of the goals in the transfering process was to boost up some of the volume levels for the tracks. In doing so I have to listen to every song that I had recorded, and tune it just right. As I have been listening to my older music, music done since about 1997, I have come across some wisdom. I know that there was a time, in which I fell apart from God, and in that time I was rejecting what was given to me. I listen to alot of these old songs, and there were many good recording, which were mixed down so badly. When the compositions were written, I was never quite happy wit them, but I have been thinking to myself, if I had just left them alone, and not added effects, and processing to many of the mixdowns I had done, those would have been better songs. Sometimes when we start to fall from God, we lose our value, and in losing that we also lose our worth. We doubt what we are doing, and we doubt what God can do through us. I would spend all this time arranging a song, and then recording it, and then ruin it by trashing the mix. I was always trying to do something new. Sometimes that desire to do something new, was birthed out of disliking what I created. When you follow your purpose, or your passion, and things are not going well, or you spend all this time doing something, and then get frustrated by the end result, do not give up there. There is nothing wrong in trying to do something new, but do it because you like what you are doing, and you want to better that. When ever you create something, and you dislike it, walk away, and come back later. When you are frustrated, and when you are upset, walk away, and come back later. You could be 5 minutes from a beautiful finished work, but in your haste you may destroy everything you have made, and worked for so far. I remember when I was starting to learn new techniques in music, and starting to write different ways, but I was so blinded by the aggrivation, and frustration of what did not work, that I was quick to dismiss even the good, that was being done. It is the same, when you go and you talk to someone, and you brighten their day, and then you are at work, or school, and you are stumbling on some assignment, or task, and you start forgetting even the good things that occured even that same day. No matter how clear your task or purpose may be, I find that you need to be in a clean state of heart, a clear state of mind, and focused on God. This is why some say, always do the best that you can do, as long as you give it your best shot, you have nothing to regret. When you try to do things to the best of your ability, you can walk away from failure, as something you tried, but today you are not good at. When you try your best, you keep a clean heart, and a clean mind. When you fail at something, you still have that chance that you will be victorious at something else. When you try with all your heart, then you create self-worth, and self-value. You start to realize that if you keep giving it your all in what you do, that somethings you will do well at, and some things you will not. We are not created to be great at everything. A few days ago we were talking about this at a small group, someone saying, I wish I could be like that pastor. When you are displeased with what you are cabaple of doing, then you have fallen into prideful states. The good pride, is when you accomplish something, and you feel good about what you have done, because you know you gave it your all, and the work reflects God's greatness in your life. When we say, oh I would like to start a ministry, but I have to wait till I get a degree in ministry. I heard a pastor on the radio, and he said that most of those people who say I need a degree, by the time they get their degree, they lost sight of their passion, and instead of equiping themselves for doing a ministry, they have now obligated themselves to pastoring, and that ministry which they had originally took ahold of, is now gone. God created 800 churches for 800 different kinds of people, but God does not want everyone to be a pastor of a church, who wishes to follow Him. If you had to be a pastor to do something for God, then who would talk to the construction worker, who would talk to the janitor, or the barkeeper, or the soccer coach, or the managers, and people of all the jobs in this world. God created you for your purpose. Seek God first. If you seek God first, then that other stuff will be worked out. Put it this way, do you want to work out the logistics, or do you want God to handle the why, the when, the how, and the where. If you want God to handle that, then give it to Him, and stop worrying about it. You provide the faith, and God will provide the opportunity. You figure out how to connect with God, and how to get close to God, and God will provide you the opportunity to be used by Him. So you have the person who goes to church, and says what can I do, if only I was a pastor, and I knew what my pastor knew. Here is what God wants to tell you, I created that pastor to teach, and reach others who have great but twisted knowledge of the Bible. God then says to you, I created you to reach those around you. Maybe you ride the bus, or you take a daily walk, you are going to meet people that your pastor is not. Those people you meet, they are the people God is sending to you, those people you see, day after day, God is preparing you for them. If you seek God first, the time will come when those people will need you. Pride has a way of blinding us. Pride says you could be better if you had more money, or a better car, or a better house, or a better job, or a better education. It is not wrong to get better, to get more educated, or to get a newer car, or a better house. What is wrong is to stop trying because you do not have what you think you need. Pride is dangerous, because it blinds us from what we already have. You could say, I wish I had a better car, or better house, and maybe you have some children. Pride blinds us, by letting us take things that are a blessing, and taking them for granted. For instance, some people take years to have kids, some people are unable to have kids, and some have kids, and they die early, or have many problems. So you might have healthy kids, and so it is not as prevalent in your life to be concerned with them, and you grumble about your car, or about your house. You grumble because you are unsatisified, and that prideful kind of unhappiness, is very sinful towards God. It was that kind of sinfulness that caused the Israelites to be stuck in the desert for 40 years until they reached their promised land. If you are not grateful for what you have now, they if God gives you the desires of your heart, will you be grateful then? No! If you want God to bless you, you must be grateful for what you have. When Jesus was doing His ministry, He would go from town to town, and those towns who were glad to see Him, and were excited about Him comming to them, He did many miracles in those towns. As for the towns who would not believe, or the ones who did not welcome Jesus, He did not stay long, and did few miracles, or cures. The world says feed yourself. God says, I feed the birds, why would I not take care of you, when you are so much more to me? So this is what I am saying to you, God wants you to be happy, He wants you to be victorious, but it starts by following Him. What is it for God to be Lord of your life? It means submitting to God. How do you submit? You take Jesus as your Lord, which means you start doing what He says. How do you know what He says? You spend time with Him in prayer, and in fellowship, and speak of God as yor king. Before you make plans consult God, like David did before he went to war. Do not rush into things, but be patient in Gods timming. Wait for peace to fill your life, before you start things. When you are deciding jobs, ask which one will require more faith? In some cases either decision, or alternative is possible, and God makes no difference between the two, in that time follow your heart, God has blessed you. When you make money, make a budget, and spend wisely. Create a part in your budget for God, and a part for giving to those in need. That way, when you are asked to give a special amount, or an extra amount, or you feel led to give at some point or another, you will be able to give freely, without hesitation. If you manage your money well, God will give you a bigger amount to manage. Bad things happen to good people. When bad things happen to God's people, they do not find themselves alone. God is always with us, those who believe. Our faith, is our measure of our love. God restores brokenness, and He uplifts the discouraged. Praise be to God! Be careful about asking for money or things, for without the wisdom to use them, they will slip away from your hands. God's people are slow and steady. Do not be frustrated if it takes time to grow your realtionship with God. Spend a little time each day. Once I was caught in a panic, because I needed to know the Bible more, and know it better. I started thinking without good mind, and was looking at Bible colleges, and courses for learning the Bible. Just then I paused, and I thought about how silly I had been thinking. There are 1179 chapters in the Bible, if I had read 1 chapter a day for 3 years, I would have finished the Bible, front to back cover. What had I done in the last 3 years, that I could not have read 1 chapter a day? There is this one Jackie Chan movie, where Jackie Chan gets this box from his father, and his sidekick, says when are you going to open that, and Jackie replys, by the time I am able to open it, I will be ready for what is inside it. The key is to start now on your journey with God. It takes time, what I could have started 3 years ago I did not start, but I can start it now. God tells me alot of things, but I read the Bible for 2 main reasons. One is so that I will recognize the word of God, when I hear it, and two is so that God will remind me of what I read when I need to remember it. When you start reading the Bible, some would say do not read it like a book, but I would say to them this, read it once all the way through, and let God be your guide. After you have read it through then you can go back and study it. As I read from front to back, God highlights for me, what He wants me to see. If you are not farmiliar with what is in the Bible, then you can no know, if your thoughts agree of disagree. Do what God leads you to do, He will bless you in that way. Some people say, if I get a better job, and make more money, then I will start giving money to God, or the church. Or they say, I will give more, when I make more money. Do not put it off even one more day, wether you make 5k, 50k, 100k, 300k a year, you will never have enough, if you do not start giving now, you will not give even if you double your income. This is because we live in a time, where we adjust to a lifestyle based on our income, or we live beyond our means, in which we live past what we can afford. God's people grow slow and steady. If you go slow and steady, things will come to you in time, over time wisdom will come, wealth will follow, a stable lifestyle, lends to a stable mind. A stable mind can be at peace, and can be at rest. One who does not rush into things, and who waits on the Lord. Just as I was paniced by needing to read the Bible, so I have learned, that when I finish readin the Bible, that is when the Lord will want me to be finished. God has perfect timing. If you think that God needs you to do something quickly, and hastily, more prayer may be in order. For if you start something on that pretense, you will most likely never see any completion. Seeing no completion, may mean seeing no fruit, and having time wasted, spent in vain. When me and my wife started out, we were both working, but we were foolish. We did not have a budget, and we wasted all the money we made. Eventhough we made ok money, we could not account for most of it. Many times I have found myself listening to God just long anough to get the first few words, and then just focusing on doing what I thought God was sending me to do. What God really wants is people who will believe in Jesus, start a realtionship wih Jesus, by spending time with God everyday. More than any work you can do, more than any wealth, you can aquire, more than any popularity you could obtain, or any people you could know, God values your faith above all of that. You faith is what is most important to God. Without that faith in Jesus, we can not get to heaven, and without that faith in Jesus, we have no hope in this world. You will be alive after death, but where will you be? Jesus came to this earth for one reason, to save us, from the wrath of God, that was upon us, from the sin that we have upon us. Jesus came, because God wanted a way to know us. Jesus died on that cross, and He rose, so that we might have faith in Him, and be saved by grace from God. That we would not be judged for our sins, but that the judgement would passover us, because Jesus paid the final price for us. No one is excluded from Jesus's offer. He who believes in me, shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:15). It all starts with faith, once you have faith, then you can start to move on. If we grow ourselves in God, then God will strength us up, and His discipline will prove His love for us. Once you are growing in God, other things will fall into place. You will be tested, but you will be shaped from your testing. Testing helps us to grow. It is called testing because it only lasts for a short while. You are tested for a period of time. Some test take longer than others, but God is always with us. By waliking with God daily, praying, or meditating, or thinking on, or if His word, by this we show our love for God. Seek God first! From seeking God, your passion will emerge, from that your purpose, from your tests you will receive self-worth, and self-value. From the time you follow God, you will build up patience, and wisdom, which you will then be able to share with others. God has a gift around every corner, every step, has been overseen by God. May our eyes be open, and our hearts tuned so that we can see the goodness of God, which is everywhere, and surrounds us. May it remind us of God's love for us, and help us to stay grateful for what the Lord has richly blessed us with. Allelulia. Amen.

Pray in Advance (04/23/2006)

I pray that when I fall, God will pick me up, that when I am broken God will mend me, when I have sinned God will restore me, when I do evil, I will turn from my ways. When I grow anxious, I will be filled with peace, when I am angry, you would settle my heart Oh Lord, when I am troubled, grant me comfort. When I am sad, remind me of your joy. Sometime there is a need to pray, when you feel ok, and you feel alright, for a time in the future, when you are not where you are today. Nothing is guaranteed to us. Sometimes I pray in advance, I am not foolish, I know that I sin, and I know that I get going away from God, and in these times, when I know that God is near me, because my heart os open, in these times, I pray for the day that has not yet come, the day, when I am distracted, or my mind is closed, or I am blind, and I do not see. I pray for myself in that day, that I will turn back, that I will be found again. I do not know the events of my future, I do not know what may come upon me, or what may happen to me, but while I am able today, I wil pray for that day. I write things now as I sit here and type, I know that who God wants to see this message, to see what is written, they may not see it tomarrow, they may not see it next week, it might be years from today. I write for the future, for my children, for their friends. What is being dealt with today, will be dealt with tomarrow. What pulls you down today, will be around tomarrow. Things will come and go, but prayer will always be my weapon. I can not count on much, but I can expect God to be consistent. God is the same, yesterday, today, and tomarrow. I will kneel or bow, or sit down, and God will be right there. I will focus while driving, and God will be right there. I will seek God, and I will find Him. We are the light of the world, the salt. From the time we accepted Christ into our lives, we have also been given the ability to ask the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We have a direct connection to God, as soon as Jesus died on the cross. And through the Holy Spirit, God continues to act, in and through us. I pray when I fall, when I trip, when I stumble, Lord help me to me knees, help me to walk again. Give me a discerning heart, a gentle spirit, a loving heart, and a desire to seek you even more. Equip me with the skills I need, and the abilities I need to do your will. Use me hands today, my feet, touch my tongue, and annoint my thoughts that I follow you, and bring you glory and honor, with boldness, and integrity. Allelulia, Amen.

Missing God's Purpose (04/30/2006)

I was reminded today, in several ways, that it can be very easy to miss God's purpose for our lives. Now God has several plans for you, and just like you can miss God's plans, you can miss His blessings. Often I have found that the opportunity was right under my nose. God had given me the answer, but I could not see it, or understand it. We try to make it harder for ourselves than God sometimes plans it to be. Something so obvious that God does in our lives, we pass as not being from God, or not being what we should do. I have found that when you do not see the answer, and you are following God, making Him first in your life, spending daily time, and you do not see a specific answer, do what you can see. I ran circles in music, several times I came back to the same point. I would write a song, not be happy because the words could not express what I wanted to say. Then I would stop writing songs, and start writing instrumentals. After a while I would be listening to the music, and I would feel empty, and doubt why I was doing music anyway. A few times I stumbled over just talking over the music, what SpokenHope now does, but at that time I just passed it by. I look back and I see that what I really wanted to do, I was doing it but I did not know that is what I should have kept doing. Sometimes I am looking for new websites, and I find a really great website, it was last updated 5 years ago, and its just sitting there, dead. Here is the key, do not give up, if you feel that God is wanting you to do something, try as hard as you can to do that. I have spent 10+ years doing this music, and I am still seeking what God wants me to do. Here is another key point though, if you have a family, or someone you care about alot, do not leave them out of it. When I started pursuing music the 3rd time I was married, and I left my wife out of it. That was a bad mistake. When you follow God, you have to grow up, and realize that God does not give you a task, and just instantly reward you, it may take years to complete the task, and years more to see any reward, or any fruit. I was blind a few years ago, and really up into 2005, when I started to change. What it says in the Bible is to put God first. It does not say to put God's work first. If you ignore your family while trying to do what you think God has planned for you, then you need to rethink what you are doing. God would rather you take care of your family, then He would see you do any works for Him, or in His name, no matter how great that work might be. Your family is your first responsibility, and if you have been called to be married, or you are in a family, you need to make sure that you pend time with your family, and that you love them, and put them before any work you do. The best parenting is to be there for your kids, and your family. It is not good parenting to work 80 hours a week, never spend time with your family, and then claim you are working for your family. If you can not pay your bills, and you need to work more, you need to take a look at where your money is going. If your rent or mortage is too much, maybe you need to move somewhere that is more affordable for you to reach financially. One thing that I know for certain, is that anything you do for God, will line up with and agree with your family. God is into building relationships, not tearing them down. When you are doing God's will it should make you a better person. You should want to be more involved in your family. You will look at your kids as an investment, ones who can carry on your legacy. You will look at your marriage, as a solid rock that you can count on. Every one fails, at some point everyone will do something wrong. That is why you trust in God. God can pull anything together. Any relationship is mendable, any situation rectifiable. In the power of the name of Jesus, there is nothing that can not be fixed, or repaired. If Jesus can raise people from the dead, I am sure He can change someones heart. Now when you are trying to find what to do for God, it is not something you need to look for. Seek and ye shall find. Seek the Lord. Our daily task is to seek the Lord, meditate on His ways, and grow in His love. When you set your mind on Jesus, He will move you into where He wants you to be. If you are following God with all your heart, you will not have to ask God what to do, you will just start doing it. God will give you a passion, resources, everything you need, in time. Just a day ago, I was asking myself, why do I not seem to have the resources that I need to continue this music? I thought about that for a while, and I realized 2 things. (1) Is that I should just finish what I have to do, and not worry about what will happen tomarrow. (2) Is that when I try to finish the task, and do the work quicker, and I cheat my family in the meantime, I find myself waiting till God's appointed time, the time I would have finished, to receive the next step, or know where to go next, or have the resources. God has a plan, and there is a lot of timming that goes into God's plan. He knows what is going to happen, but we do have free will, and sometimes I think that plan changes when we disobey. I know that I like to jump the gun, and that inclination has gotten me into a lot of trouble. Patience is something that comes from the Holy Spirit. I remember that I used to go to a music store, and I would see something, and say "oh my, that is so rare, and I need that, I must have it now." So I would buy it, and it would sit in my studio for 3 months while I figured out what I was going to do with it. Just like when you work many hours, and you get to this point where you think, I could but that gadget, or that movie, but when am I going to be able to watch it? At one point in time I had so much studio equipment, that it was a burden. I was not able to decide what to use, and so I would try to use too much, and everything I wrote was overcomposed. The sound was muddy, it was just too many different noises. To follow God, you have to learn to be content with what God gives you. If you live in a world where you are not content, then you will not walk in a path that leads to God. If you have a family, that family is your fruit. What your kids do, and how they act, that is your fruit. If you are a parent, then ask God for a discerning heart with your kids. Ask God for a compassionate heart, and patience with your family. Something that God might be calling you to, may be something that will benefit your kids, and your family. Have a passion to see to it, that your kids do well. The Bible says that God's discipline for us proves His love for us. If you are worried about what works you are going to do, do not be anxious. (1) You are saved by faith alone. Works only come out of love for Christ. No amount of works will save you. Christ did the work, He died for your sins, there is noting you can do to be saved. It is by the grace of God that we are saved. (2) You do not even know if you have tomarrow to breathe. How can you plan to do something if you can not even count on tomarrow. Better yet how would you feel, if you spent all day working for tomarrow, and it does not come. I bet that you would regret that you did not spend time with your family. (3) If you feel discouraged, do not be, because God may need to discipline you to be ready for the work He has for you. Or He may be setting up the situation which you will play apart in. Always be ready, for you do not know when you will be needed. That is why it is very important to stay in the word. I can not tell you the amount of times, when I have been too weak to act, and too apart from God to be useful. You need that daily walk with God, because it will keep you in shape. You do not know what God has planned, that is good, you do not need to be anxious for it, just be ready for it. Be humble and cling to God in every situation, do not rely on your own strength. Let God lead you, do not try to jump the gun, or predict what will happen. God forbids fortune tellers, or palm readers, or any method which tries to predict your future, or anyone elses future. Trust in God. If you are trusting in God, you need not be inclined to visit those who predict the future. Do not be interested with the Zodiak, or signs, or astrology, those things will lead you away for God. Trust in Him. If you believe in Jesus, and that He is the messiah who came to save you from sin, for God's wrath, and He died, and was resurected, and rose to Heaven, then leave those things of this world behind. Some might ask of you, if God is so great and Jesus can do everything, then why does He not heal everyone, and why does He let us struggle? The answer is simple, God wants us to Trust Him. If we do not struggle we do not learn. Through our struggles we learn God's character, we learn to trust Him, and too seek Him, and to learn of His ways. If we had no troubles, we would not be so humble, and we would not look to God. This life is about trust. Its about trusting in Jesus, taking faith, falling on your bottom, AND GETTING BACK UP. It is ok to fail, it is ok to take a wrong turn, it is ok to try something, if you think God is telling you to do it. If you do the wrong thing, its ok too. God is a merciful God, and if you repent, and change your heart, and seek His ways once more, He will restore you. No one makes perfect steps, the key is to not give up. You might think that your gift, or talent is one thing, and then it may turn out to be something else. I thought for years my talent was music. A few years ago I wanted to restore my realtionship with my grandfather, and so I picked up a camera. After a few rolls of film, I started to take some good pictures, and finally after several more rolls of film, developed some good technique. At some point I thought maybe I should get into photography, and throw the music away. I thought all of this in 2004. SpokenHope resurfaced in 2005. I began to look for a deeper meaning, and I found that what God had given me was greater than music, or photography, bigger than art, or even writing. There was a common thread that went through all of those things, and that was passion. God had given me a heart, to do things with a passion. Whenever I invoked that God given passion, what every I did glorified God. At some point after that I realized that no matter what I did, God was going to bless it, then what I needed to do, was figure out how I could use that gift, to help my family. Once I knew what God had given me, I began to search for ways it could benefit my family. It was at that time, my wife was gathering verses, and she was looking for a way to memorize the ones she liked. That is sometime around when SpokenHope resurfaced as what it is today. Often when we look to fill a need, something missing in our families, that is what God is calling us to do. I remember when I was younger, I was living with my mom, and I wanted to go to cubscouts, but none of the parents wanted to commit time to lead a troop. My mom stepped up, and she by herself led the troop. We might only have had 5-8 kids in that group, but my mom was determined to fill that need. Sometimes fulfilling the needs that are present, is exactly what God is calling you to do. Being able to step in, and being available is all that God is looking for sometimes. One last thing, when you are seeking God's will, and looking for how you can fit in, always pray, think about things for at least a couple of days. Do this so that you will know that it is from God. If you jump on something to fast, you may find yourself involved in too much at once, and become streched thin. God is slow moving at times. Be ready, and watching, but be warned that many things will come your way, which have been designed to take you away from God. When I take on a new task, or new duty, or switch to a new job, I always ask the question, Is this going to draw me closer to God, or take me away from God. If you make the wrong choise, and you get stuck in something that you find is not what God wanted you to do, and you pray, and it keeps coming back that yo need to go elsewhere, or stop, then stop. I remember being at this one job, and this guy used to get me mad, and then someone told me, if a person makes you upset, you are allowing them to upset you. This life is not set in stone. If you are stuck, and your family is suffering, then fix the situation, remove the problem. You are responsible for your own life, and for it not getting out of control. However the good news, is that even though your human strength will fail you, the Holy Spirit that is on you, will not. Nothing is too great for the Holy Spirit, all we need to do is rely on the power which God has given us, to overcome in the world . "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) NIV. May God grant you peace, when you are doing what He has planned for you, and may you share the joy, which God has given to you, with others around, and be a light, and a salt to this world. Allelulia, Amen.

Falling in Disgrace (05/11/2006)

There are sometimes in life when you seem to be falling down, when things all turn sour, and you start to lose hope. You start to question how you got here, what you might have done wrong, and how you might have avoided getting into the situation you are currently in. When you are a child, and you are young, you rely on those around you, to tell you how you are doing, and if where you are is good or bad. You rely on status, and on peers, and on your circumstances to gauge your happiness, and you level of comfort, and you derive your peace based on that information. When you grow up, you learn that everyone is not always right, and that your peers are not always right, and that what society says is not always right. You begin to realize that success, though it is nice does not lead to happiness, and that wealth, though it is nice, does not lead to happiness, and that things, to own what you dreamed of owning, though it is nice does not always bring you happiness. As I grow older I realized that happiness is a result of something else. Happiness comes from a balance of peace, and completeness. When we are empty, spiritually, we crave to fill that need with tangible things, such as respect, success, validation through others, praise through friends, wealth, or material possessions. Those things we use to fill that need, satisfy an emotional need, but they do not fill any spiritual needs. Part of growing up, and part of mautring, is learning to be content with who you are, and what you can do. It is not about running away from your problems, or trying to deny that they exist, but about facing them honestly, and dealing with them responsibly. Many times in my past, I tried to be someone that I was not, I tried to be someone else, or act like someone else, or imitate someone else. I was not satisified with who I was, or with what I could do. When you have possessions, or wealth, and you fall from that, you feel like you have failed in some way. I know that just recently, I was going through some meditation, where I see that I have equipment to make music, but I did not have enough harddisks to store all the music I was making. I was begining to feel like God was not answering my prayers to help me to get more storage, more disks. Then I started thinking that I had failed, or that I was doing something wrong, or that I was not in God's favor. I did not turn from the Lord though. I kept seeking the Lord. When the Bible talks about walking in the ways of Christ, or walking in the ways of the Lord, it is refering to conducting yourself in a manner that would be pleasing to God. You walk, is how you live out your commitment to God. When you say that you are a follower of Christ, then you ought to act, conduct yourself in a way that is balanced with the teachings of Christ. Now so when you have something, and it is taken away from you, or you lose it, or you can not afford the things that you want, or you can not aquire the things you need, and you feel like you have failed, or are falling from the grace of God, or you are being punsihed, do not look that way again. Instead put your faith in Christ, by that I mean turn to the Lord, and be content, be satisified. No longer be hungry, or thirsty, but be filled with the living waters, that come from Christ the king. As a human, on this earth, I have the ability to become distracted, and to become frustrated, and to become bitter, or invoke self pity, but I also have a choise. I have a choise to turn my heart to Jesus, a choise to turn away from what I do not have, and a choise to draw nearer to the Lord. In any circumstance, good or bad, we should turn to the Lord, for He is good, and He is God. When we see that we have no money to buy what we want, or our success leaves us with no happiness, or we find contentment in nothing, turn to the Lord. When I turn to the Lord, I can fall, I can lose everything that I have worked for to this point, when my finances diminish, and when I have less money than I did last year, and when my car breaks, or bad things happen to me, I need not be waivered. I can stand firm, in my faith, and know that the Lord will take care of me, and my family. The Lord disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6), he tests those He loves. Be patient in the face of suffering (James 5:10,11). Remember Job, and how God let eveything from him be taken, but God restored him. When Peter denied Jesus 3 times, and Peter was ashamed, but Jesus restored him as well (John 20:15-19). If you are not as peace, when things fall apart in your life, then seek repentance. Repentance is followed with action, a behavioral change, or a change of heart, a change of attitude. If you have truly repented, and are not under God's wrath, or under His anger, then you should seek peace. For the comfort of the Lord's is yours, let God fight your spiritual battles, let God wage war aginst your enemies. Hold no anger towards others (Romans 12:19-21). Do not be mad at others for your misfortune, it may be a blessing. Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3), is talking about being humbled before God. Those who realize that they are so undeserving of what they have, or what they know, and they understand how small they are in contrast in God's awesome glory. If you are poor in spirit, then you have humbled yourself before the Lord, and you will come to a place, where yo realize that all that you have, all that you know, all who you know. All those things were given to you by the Lord. Your talents are from the Lord, your skills are from the Lord, your abilites are from the Lord, and your gifts are from the Lord. Now if the Lord takes away from you, what He gave to you in the first place, do you have any right to complain? God wishes to fill the desires of or hearts, He wishes us to receive and to be given to, but God also tests us by limiting us, and by denying us, and by taking away from us, so that He might know our hearts. How you act, after you lose something, or how you act, when you can not have something, or how you act, when you are faced with dificulty, do you not think that your witness then, is greater than when you are happy, and content in life? We are not judged on how happy we become, when we are blessed, we are judged by others, when we are faced with dificulty. Now to face that dificulty, if you are following God, then seek with all your heart, mind and spirit God's peace. When one believes in Christ, and accepts Christ, and asks God to come into their lives, and asks the Holy Spirit to be in them, you are not just following a religion, you are getting help. We know that we can not face this world alone, we will fall, and we will not be able to do what is right (Romans 7:7-25). If it were up to us, we would fail, fail to be good people, fail to live in harmony, and fail to be righteous. Because we can not follow the greatness of God, and we can not win this battle on earth alone, for we struggle with evil and do not win, but we have help. The help we have, is the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-17). The Holy Spirit works in us, and through us, it gives us the power to change who we were, and the ability to be fulfilled, to be complete, and to have peace. For the Holy Spirit to be effective in us, we have to grow our relationship with God, by studying the Bible, and by hearing the word of God (through church/radio), and by spending time with God in meditation, or prayer. As we grow with God, the Holy Spirit becomes stronger within us, and the temptation we had, we will be able to resist. Not only will we be able to resist, that temptation will stop being tempted in that area (James 4:7). As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). So when we are falling, are we falling in this world's standards? Are we falling from God? To be without is not failure. To be humble, is to be in God's grace (James 4:6). So then we things fall apart, and we find ourselves lacking, and we are not being wasteful (James 4:1-5), do we not cling to God, and know that He is Lord. For we can not know that we are being tested. For all tests come to an end, and the reward is based on the journey. If you follow God, and you do not turn to the right or to the left, and you stay focused, on God, and you let that peace comfort you, then you do not have to worry. The battle is not yours, and if you are no longer fighting the battle, then why should you not be praising the Lord, and worshipping Him, and giving singing praises to His name. For if the glory should be His, then should you not tell everyone what God is doing in your life, and what He has done for you. Praise be to God, for His glory is deserving of honor. Therefore, rest in the greatness of God, that His work is being done in your life, and that you are faithful to be content in your situation, praising God, and finding peace, in what He is doing for you. Now some would say, how can losing your possessions, or not having enough money, be any kind of witness? Do not be so bold, as to ignore the great work God is doing. When you show that your faith is not moved by your circumstances, and you live in a way which shows you are content, that you accept what God will do in your life, or with your life, that is a strong witness, and testament to your faith in God. When you are willing to be content in your situation, to find satisifaction in your spirit, to find peace within you, regardless of your circumstance, then you have matured in faith. Part of maturity is making a decision, based on faith, and standing firm, not changing your mind, because of your peers or society. Follow the word of with boldness, without hesitation, and when misfortune happens in your life, though the world will say you are falling in disgrace, in your heart, in God's eyes, you will know that you are falling into grace. Know that God will never leave you or stop hearing your prayers. God is a mighty God, an awesome God, and He is Yeshua, Lord above all Lords, King above all Kings, Messiah, and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, in us, with us, around us, and for us. To God be the glory, and honor everlasting, Allelulia, Amen.

The People Around You (05/12/2006)

You are where you are because God knew you would be here. Where you are, is no surprise to God, and the people around you, were planned to be around you as well. When I was growing up, I had it in my mind that I would marry a singer. I wanted to record songs, and I had all these songs, and I did not want to sing them, I wanted to have a female to sing them. Since I was so determined to marry a singer, and do God's work, as I saw it, along the way I met several people. Now some of those people, I liked very much, but if they could not sing, I was often dissapointed, and moved along. In my close-minded ways, I isolated myself, and walked away from people who needed a friend, and who needed to be cared for just the same. For everyone you meet, I believe now, there is a purpose that they are in my life. I realized now that I was not o interested in finding some to sing, as I was in finding someone to do God's work with. Sometimes I think about those I left behind, those I did not care for, and those I let go of. When I think about them now, I pray for them, and I keep them in my prayers. Whenever I am reminded of them, through someone else, I pray for them also. I know now that it did not matter wether I married a singer. For if I needed a singer, or someone to work with, there will always be people there to work with, but not all of them you want to spend your life with. In the beginning I could not see, that those I was not willing to be friends with, those were the people who would have led me to find the singers, and musicians I need to work with. What I know now, is that realationships are teasures, that God gives us, for every one you know, and everyone you meet, has a special story, a special talent, and a hidden past, an unknown future. As God's people we are called to reach out, as Jesus would reach out, and love those around us. How do you love those around you? You love people by taking an interest in them, and refusing to give up on them. When they are down, you encourage, when they are up, you celebrate. Cheerish those around you, and lift them up. Let God lead you to those He chooses, let you heart be open to those you see often, those you notice, and those you pass by, that God may be working through you. Do not let the people around you, the ones you see once, or the ones you see often pass from you. Let them know you care, let them know that you pray for them, and show love to them. When you see people insult one another, take no part, and dismantle their critisms. Stand up for those around you, be filled with strenght, and be a model, of the goodness of Christ. Know that those who seek attention are lacking, pray that you might know how to comfort them. Seek ways to influence those around you by being in good manner, and living a just life. Admit your faults, and do not hide what you do. God has placed those around you, because He wants you to work with those around you. Find through prayer, and meditation what God would have you do, what He might lead you to. Sometimes at night, I think about everyone I saw that day, and I saw a prayer, "Lord, you know everyone I looked at, everyone my eyes saw, take notice of them, and lift them up ." I know that the Lord has a plan, He has a way to work in every situation. When we show kindness to others, we share what God is like to others. The only thing some know about Chirst, is from the actions of those who claim to be Christians. Do you leave a good impression of who Jesus was on those around you? Do you live, and conduct yourself with values and morals, so that those who do not have, or do not know morals, can compare you, as a steady rock, from the other people they meet. When I was younger, once I was given a crytal, from a girlfriend I had at the time, I did not know the Bible, and so I did not know that crystals were detestable to God. One time I went to a Christian club, and a girl who went by the name stardust, as soon as she saw me, she ran over, and confornted me about that crystal. I changed because of her, she was one I could trust, for she knew the Bible, and she was clean, a she lived a life worthy to be called Christian. I pray for her often. It is for people like her, that I take courage in writing these things, and in putting together this music. When I met her, I was not ready to walk with God, in that capacity. I knew that I had lived a life that was shallow, and one that needed improvement. That is also the glorious thing about serving Christ. There will always be some who will be able to guide you, and there will always be some, for you to guide. Take your role seriously. Believe what you know to be true, and live wholeheartedly, not doubting what you believe, or compromising your faith. Stand tall, and be a place of comfort for those whom you see that are hurting, those that are upset, those that are having trouble, and those who pretend to be ok. Let people know you struggle, in hopes that they too, will not be ashamed of who they are, or where they are. Part of hope, is realizing that there is hope, by knowing that you are not alone, and knowing that God is here for you. One of my greatest hopes, was in the comfort of knowing, that whereever I stepped, what ever I did in life, someone at some point in time, was thinking or doing what I was doing. If you find you have pity on certain people you see regularly, do you not think that God gave you that feeling, because He wanted you to watch out over them? If God gives you a ministry, or you decide to start a Bible study, do it for God. If only one person shows up, it was what God had in mind, if 20 show up, it was what God had in mind. If no one shows up, then it is what God had in mind. You that time then to pray for those God wants to join. Stay there the whole time you said you would be there. Pray for all the seats, that where at the place you came to be, so that God would fill them. Praise God that you were faithful to Him, and that you came, to that time you set aside for Him. Find every chance to give God the glory, to be thankful. If you go somewhere, or you go to a church, and no one cares to hear your ideas, email them to me, I will talk to you about them. If you feel frustrated, because you feel you are too young, or too inexperienced, do not be frustrated, do not be undermined. Lift up your head, there is always someone willing to hear you, I will hear you. If no one takes you seriously, and you are upset, because you feel you are being ignored, I will listen to you. Know this though, if you are feeling ignored, or you are feeling frustrated, by no one listening to you, do not be so prideful, and full of self pity, that you do not look around to see someone else who is in need of the same thing. I was at a large church, a few months ago, and I remember feeling like I would not be missed if I was not there. I was looking for someone to talk to, but all the elders, and all those who were wise, or who I thought were wise, they were too busy for me. I felt sad, and I prayed, but after I prayed, still no one came, I felt no one cared. How could a church who boasts about caring, not have anyone there, who would come talk to me? I thought about it, and a few minutes before I left, I changed my thinking, and I started looking for someone I might be able to help, and I saw a young man. He looked like he could use a friend, but at that point I was so frustrated, and to saddened, that I could not walk over to him. I left, because I ran out of time, but I thought about that, and I realized that if I do not do something, nothing will happen. There are people like me, in my same situation, we are all looking for a guide, and no one will step forward. Who will feed my sheep, who will tend my lambs? That is what Jesus asked. You have questions, but the questions you just found answers to, there are people who will be comming to you, and there will be asking those questions to you, and you will have the answers. When I have seen people who are very successful, or they are involved in the church, I often see that they have forgotten their kids. In seeking what they have wanted, they have left their kids behind, and have not spent the time to raise up their kids with passion, with compassion, and with leadership. People are fragile, do not be proud, all of us, need help. Do not be boastful, feeling you are better, because God give you knowledge, or wisdom, or some gift. When God came to be Jesus, He humbled Himself, and made Himself equal with man. Jesus took every opportunity to develop people, develop realationships, and to teach. Let us put ourselves as servants, and seek to serve the kingdom of God, by truly being a lamp unto the lost, those who do not have direction, or do not know what is right or wrong, or who do not have courage to stand for what they believe, or do not know how to escape pain, or escape drugs and alcohol. We are a guiding light, and it is our job to be the salt, the difference, those that stand out, because of our character. Preserverance builds character, though every hardship we grow. Though every hardship, we show who we are, that we might act differently under stress, and act differently under despair, or in tragedy. Stand firm, with your heart focused on Jesus, that you are the one who is a guiding light, in the midst of all that is going on. (Heb 12:12).

Prayer and Beyond (05/13/2006)

Prayer, is communication with the Lord. The first step of any relationship starts with communication, talking, and expressing yourself to one another. If you go to church, and you do not feel God, I might ask, when is the last time you prayed? Or if you were going through troubles, and trials, and you seemed distant from God, I might ask, when is the last time you prayed. If you said, I prayed this morning, I might ask you, how much did you pray? Did you beg God, and cry out to God, and tell Him of your woes, and what was heavy on you? The Bible says we are to give our burdens to the Lord, to hand them over. Before I went to bed Thursday night, I came to pray pray as I had prayed a year ago. I came to my front room, all the lights off, and I laid down on my stomach, and I closed my eyes. I lay flat, and I lay in humbleness, my soul was poor, for I realized how great God was, and that I needed to plead with Him, that He would hear my prayers. I went to bed, and the next day, I woke up. One of our two cars was being worked on and so we rented a 2nd car, while that one was being worked on. Our rental agreement had said that we should turn in the car by 9am. My wife had called on Thursday to say that we would need to rent another day. When she got to the rental place, she talked to them, that we only needed the car for the day, and that we could bring it back tonight. To my wife's surprise, the let us rent that car for free that day. We were only charged for rental of two days, though we rented for nearly three days. I did not pray about that specifically, nor did I expect anything like that to happen. I knew that it was God's doing, that this was a blessing that God had provided. On Thursday I also had something I wanted to speak to my director about at work, and I thought to myself, I would like to talk to my director, at the time when my manager is not around. It was not for any particular reason, just that I would know that whenmy director was free to talk, and my manager was not around, that would be the time to speak. When I went to work Friday, so it was, that my manager decided to work from home, and in the aftrenoon, I was able to speak to my director. I praised God, for I knew that my manager stayed home, because God had planned it that way. Before my wife went to sleep Friday night, I asked her how her day was, and she replied that she had a very good day, and we both gave thanks to the Lord. Again Friday night I prayed the same way, face down on the living room floor, no lights on, and everyone asleep. It was just 10 minutes ago, when I was so encouraged to share what the Lord had been doing. My son, likes to watch train videos, and ever chance he gets, he asks to watch them. We do not like him watching them because they have no educational value, and they teach nothing. On the days he is very good, or we want to reward him, or keep him busy, we offer him to choose any video he would like to watch. On any other day, he would have said the trains. To my surprise, today he did not want to watch trains, instead he asked by name, first for an educational video, and then for a good values video. I truly believe, because I came to the Lord in prayer last night, that my sons choise in videos was changed. For when we pray in the name of the Lord, He answers prayes in all areas of our lives. I might not have been able to think of many things to pray for, last night, but God knows my needs, and when I come to Him, seeking to devote time to Him, craving, and longing to do what is right, God starts answering prayers, even the ones I have not asked. God makes my heart smile. When my sons asked for those videos, I knew it was God, I did not even have to think about it. I knew God was working and that He was in control. Everytime I go through some trial, I get closer to the Lord. I pray a little more than I used to, and I spend a little more time than I used to. We grow by being challenged. When you pray, do not forget to thank God, for the other blessings that He is answering. God may not answer your prayer, the thing you asked for, but He will be working in your life, and to not see that, would be missing the blessing.

Why does God not visit me? (05/14/2006)

Why does God not visit me, why can I not find Him? To what purpose am I seeking Him. Do I not have troubles that I need to have resolved? Do I not have pain that need healing? Why does God not visit me? Why does Jesus not comfort me? Is there no one who feels compassion for me? -- I read Psalm 138:6, and I remembered that God loves the humble. When I ask "where is God? ", I am asking to be served. I am asking for someone to fix my problems, but in that manner, I am demanding that someone come to my aid. I am requiring assistance, and expecting it, because I feel that I deserve it. I am not really caring about Jesus, or God, just that God helps me when I need it. In that mind, I am not really relying on Jesus, I am using Jesus. Jesus is all about a friendship, and its not about pleading and begging, its about being humble. Friendship is built on a relationship. When you are looking for God to do something in your life, I have to think - how is my relationship with God. Some times I look at that relationship, and I see that I just have not been spending a lot of time with God, maybe I was stressed, or busy, for whatever reason, that relationship has become weakened. In that time I come very humbly to God, for I am ashamed of how I have acted. I come humbly, embarrased to ask for things, or for help, when I have put in little effort. Now it is God's grace, and God's power that will answer my prayer, but I come humbly, to the point that I almost expect nothing to happen; not because I do not believe God could not do it, but because I have not given God priority in my life. That is what it means to humbly seek the Lord. God wants to do things for us, restore relationships, ease our stress, and deliver us from our enemies. On the other hand we will face trials, because of His love for us. We receive grace because God wanted to give us something. If the giver never wanted to give, there can be no grace. Grace happens when the giver wants to give, but something has happened so that the reciever is no longer entitled to receive the gift. Grace is what the giver invokes to give to the reciever anyway. A short time ago, I was in a cooking mood, and I started making some fries from scratch. I made them because I wanted to give my son something he would enjoy. I wanted for him to taste the yummy fries, and enjoy what I had prepared to make him. While I was cooking, my son did something bad, and I can no longer recall what it was. I remember that I was really mad, and angry at what he was doing, and I told him, no fries for you! I kept making the fries, and I gave some to my daughter, who was being good, and she enjoyed them. I sat that with her for a while, and we ate fries together, however I really made the fries for my son, and it was in my heart to give him some. At some point in time, I went over to him, and I said, Daddy is going to teach you about grace. I looked him in the eyes, and I said, "You know Daddy made some yummy fries, but while I was still cooking them, you went and did something bad. Daddy was not so happy about that, but today Daddy is going to teach you about grace. You know God has grace on us, and today I am going to have grace on you. You do not deserve the fries I have made for you, because you did something bad, but my grace exceeds my anger, and I am going to give you the fries, from my grace. " God wants the best for us, He has plans to provide for us, and to meet our needs. As the verse in Psalm 138:6 says, "God keeps His distance from the proud." If we are not recieving God's grace, it may be that we have become proud. I know that pride sneaks into my life, when I do not expect it, it comes to hunt me down, and ruin my life. It affects my words, and actions, and destroys everything in its path. Pride is from the Devil. - This different from the pride you have from being a good parent, or completing a job well done, that pride is healthy, and you should be rewarded for hard work, endurance and patience. - The sinful pride, is one which is self serving. It looks at, what will this benefit me? When you have pride, you feel no shame in using people, and you expect to take advantge of others, even if you are not aware of it. Pride causes relationships to fail, to break down. With pride, you do not examine yourself, for you would not be able to see anything wrong with what you are doing. With pride you never ask, did I handle that right, or did I hurt someone's feelings, or oh gee, I should have asked that person over there if they were ok. With pride, you do not think about others. If you want to help yourself, you may find that God is not interested in helping you. - If you are reading this, please pray this prayer, wether you have pride or not - Lord God, father of heaven and earth, you O Lord, you are so great, and your majesty is extended across the whole galaxy. You know my heart, you know where I am right now. I may not be able to see my pride, it may infect me tomarrow, or taunt me today, but Lord I pray that you would deliever me from this torment. I pray that your Holy Spirit would come into my life, because I believe in what your son Jesus did on the cross, that He took away my sins. Because of Jesus I no longer need to live with pride in my life. Open my eyes, and let me see what is wrong. If I weep comfort me, if I am ok, then I praise you Lord. Almight God, set me apart from this world, show me your truths, and let me establish ways to lose the power I have in you. I have looked away from you in the past, but may my eyes be set on you in the future, that you shed your grace on me. Plant my heart in your soil, let me not forget your love, and your presence working in my life. Give me the faith to live with you as my Lord of my life. Allelulia, Amen. -- May God direct your paths, and draw you closer to Him, in His Holy name, I pray for you, and for those you know. In Christs Love, go in peace.

Pure in Spirit (05/26/2006)

I was at a Bible study the other night, and the pastor told a wonderful story. He said that there was a woman, who was listening to a young girls story. The young girl, had either been raped or physically abused, and she was in a place of little hope. She confessed to the woman, that she was ready to end her life, and that she did not feel she could go on in life. The woman was without words. As she leaned unto the Lord, the Holy Spirit gave this woman these words: You have been defiled in this physical sense, but let go of that, for even though you have suffered physically, your spirit is still pure. The young girl was immediately filled with hope, that even though her body was no longer pure, her spirit remained pure. God's gift to us, is our spirit, and from the spirit come joy, and peace, comfort, love, endurance, forgiveness, and those things that makeup a good character. God works in spirit, not in the flesh. God works through our spirit, building our character, and uplifting our hope. We remember that there is no comdemnation for those who believe in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1). We remember that God can restore us, that He can heal us, and that He will give us His grace and mercy, in abundance. Mercy is that we do not receive what we out to get. When we sin, we should be cast to Hell, and banished from God's presence, but that does not happen, because of God's great mercy for us. Grace is that we receive, what we did not deserve to get. God's grace restores us, it helps us to move on, because even though we fall, God accepts us back. He pours on us grace by rewarding us, by making those who follow Christ, heirs with Christ. We certainly do not deserve to be heirs of Christ, that is by the grace of God. When we have little faith, and we turn quickly from God, and God still makes good on His promise, that is grace. God heals lives, and restores relationships, restores brokenness. There is nothing God can not do. I know that I am thankful, that even though, I might mess up, and I might be bruised, and scared, and weak in the flesh, tainted in the flesh, not to good looking, or not too attractive, it matters not to God. Because I have my faith in God, my spirit has peace, of now I do not need to worry about what society says, or about what my peers, or friends say. I can be confident, that as long as I place my hope, and my faith in Jesus Christ, that God will use me, restore me, heal me, and never leave me. I am never alone, because God is always near, able to hear my prayers, my concerns, my problems, and my needs. Because God loves me, and loves you, I know that He will take care of me, and I have assurance, that everything I do, it all has a place in God's plans. I do not have to do things in vain, or in emptyness, for God is watching over me, and guiding me. God has prepared a place for me, and has prepared a way for me to walk to that place. A path has been set aside for me, and I having placed my faith in Jesus Christ, am able to know of the peace of God, for He set me aside, apart, for His purpose. Now like the young girl, I do not need to be concerned with my past, with any resentment, or regret. I do not need to be held up in silence, or cast out of the kingdom, for my treasure is in the spirit, and in God's ability to care for my spirit. I can be broken, and still have joy. I can be depressed, and still have peace. For joy and peace are of the spirit, and not of the flesh. I can be sad, and still feel peace, I can be lonely, and still have joy, I can be upset, and still have patience, I can grieve, and still know that the Lord God, is with me, and around me, and is working though me, and in me, and lifting me up. There is always hope in God. Therefore, leave your past, leave what is causing you pain, and know that your spirit is still pure, and untouched. Leave what is holding you back, what is keeping you from God, leave what is causing you sadness, give it up to the Lord, by refusing to be bound by it, by refusing to be held captive by it, by refusing to be told that you are stuck where you are. Give those burdens to the Lord, so He can heal you, and work out those things in your life, become set free, and no longer be a slave to the things which burry you, those things which condem you, and put you under shame. Rejoice in the pure spirit, that you can put before the Lord, and work on making your future count, on what lies ahead of you. Rejoice in the grace that God is offering to you, the grace which He has set before you. Follwoing God is not about denying what is wrong, but about confessing everything before the Lord, being healed, and moving on to do His work, to share your testimony, to share what God is doing in your life, and to give to God the glory, for rescueing you, saving you from darkness, from emptiness, from a life which is enslaved to this world, a dying and decaying place, of no hope, which is consumed by darkness more each day. Rejoice in spirit, and be glad, for God has come for you, He has come to lift you up, so that you may be a new creation, being made more holy each day, as you spend your life in devotion to God, not because you are made to, or forced to, but from out of your love for God, you spend each day praising Him, and adoring His goodness in your life. May you be blessed, and bless others, with what God has given you, Allelulia, Amen.

Walking by Sand Castles (05/28/2006)

As part of Memorial day weekend, I was trying to get away from work, and celebrate with my family, for all the good things God has done. Thanking Him for a place to live, a job, a family, and a purpose. I live close to a beach, Hunnington Beach to be exact, and on Saturday, my parents bought us the yearly pass, so that we can have something to do, which does not cost us money. Since they gave us the pass, we decided to go to the beach today, and celebrate, and relax. I like going with my Mom, and step Dad, because they really help us out. They park near us, help us take all our stuff to the beach, help us watch our kids, and help us walk back, and get home. It is alot less stressful, when my parents come, and maybe that is why I could relax today, and take some time to really think about my faith in God, and meditate on what He wants me to do. I am never sure exactly what God is going to do, or what plans He has for me. I only know that I should be aware to expect something. When I am really walking in the faith, and expectant to see God, even in the smallest things, I know bigger things will come those days (Psalm 5:3). I just sit and wait on the Lord (Psalm 27:14). The day started off rough, I was tired, and not in the best of moods. Praise be to God, though that we have grace from God, and that there is no condemnation for those who believe in Jesus Chirst (Romans 8:1). This is wonderful news, because it means to me that no matter how bad the day starts off, no matter how aweful things might have become, God can restore anything. God restored Simon Peter (John 21:15-17), and in the same way He can restore us. What once we had, our fullness of faith, having fallen at any point, can be restored, as if we had never fallen away. So even though I was grumpy in the morning, and I was tired, and not in the best of moods, I still had hope that the day would not end in sadness, or anger, or bitterness, but instead I opened my eyes to the hope that even though I might be weak, God still hears me, I can still listen, and God's will can still be carried out. So there I was on the beach, and I had planned to sit on the blanket, and play in the sand, with my son. It is ok to have plans, it is better to be flexible, and do what God opens up. As it turns out I never really sat on the blanket but for 5 minutes, from which I just put sun tan lotion on. I have learned how to use passion to accomplish things, over the years. I find someone that I can identify with, or whom I have compassion for, and I pour my heart out into doing something for them. I do not hold back, I give it everything I have, and I do it with pure dedication to God. Today at the beach, my compassion fell on my two kids. One for my daughter, I wanted to give her a place to play, where the water was not so cold, and she would be safer. For my son, I wanted to give him a place where he could let his toy boat float, without having to worry about the boat escaping in the water. Eariler today, I knew I needed a shovel, and I planned that the shovel would be used to dig a small tunnel, and that it would be next to the blanket that I was going to sit on. We had somewhat of a disagreement in the store because I wanted to not only buy a shovel, but some other beach toys as well, for my son. My wife was very upset at me, and after 15 minutes or more of her being very upset at me, I backed down, and agreed to her requests. So there I was at the beach, and I had that shovel, so I started to dig a trench, and a small hole for water to collect in. After a few minutes, my son came over, and he decided to play in the hole, and some water came up, and the hole collected its water. This was ok I thought, and I keep on digging, making the hole bigger, putting a wall infront of the whole, to retain the water better. After about 10-15 minutes, the tide started to come, in and my hole was in need of repair. The barrier was going away, and the hole was filling up with sand. I started to dig infrnt of the barrier, to increase its strenght, but everytime I built it up the water tore it down. My mom was there now, and she suggested that I move back 5 feet, and try to rebuild it again. So I started again, using the same method, and again the water came and destroyed everything I tried to build. My mom came back again, and she suggested to go back another 5 feet, and rebuild it one more time. So I did, I went back, and started a new hole to collect water. By this time I had already attempted to build 3 holes that all failed, and this was now going to be the 4th. I was getting tired, but my passion was my fuel, I was still determined, from the love for my daughter, that I would build a nice place for her to safely play. I dug on, even tired, and worn out. I paced myself, and kept on digging. I got my son invoved, and we both dug. It must have taken 30-45 minutes to dig that hole, which was about 1.5 feet deep, and 2.5 feet wide, by 4 feet the other way. After I was more or less finished digging, I sat there thinking about things. I listened to the conversations from the people around me, and I let my thoughts die down. I opened up my mind, by thinking of nothing, not being under stress, or anxious in any way, and that is when God revealed to me about shovels and Sand Castles. I was listening to other kids, and people that walked by, and they talked about getting a bigger shovel. They talked about what I had done, and how that inspired some of them to build something as well. As I was thinking about how I built my own pit, and how I had turned the barrier into a modified Sand Castle, I thought about how all of this was made possible. About how I was able to find the shovel in the store, which actually my wife found, and at first I put it back. I thought that it was too small. It was sturdy, but I thought I needed something more heavy duty. I thought about the hole I dug, and imagined that if I had dug it with a bobcat, or backhoe, that I would have a much bigger hole in a shorter period of time. Then I thought about those people who did not have shovels, who saw what I built, but did not have the means to build it. I thought, how lucky is my son, that I would build him such a thing, or my daughter, but then said to myself, how much greate is my blessing that I can build things my kids will love, how great is God, that He brings me here, to this place, and gives me the strength to build, the passion for motivation, and the unselfish heart, to serve others, including my family. My kids might be lucky, but I am luckier that I have God, and that He makes know to me, how grateful I really am. So when I was finished I thought of all these things, and I came back to that shovel. Then I thought about how this was all possible because, I had listened to my wife, and I had focused my efforts on service, through my passion to my kids, and how God was blessing this. It was just then, that I realized, that it did not matter what shovel I had. If I had a big shovel or a small shovel. I would have dug the same. The only difference, is that with a bigger shovel, I could dig bigger things faster. I could dig the same, with a smaller shovel, but it would have taken more time. As it turns out, by the time I had made that final attempt, my kids were so cold, they could not even wait for the tide to come in, and fill up the hole. Right before I left that hole that I dug, I cleaned it up, and I made the final touches, as if preparing it for someone else. As I was leaving I knew my efforts were not in vain. I knew that someone else, another child, one who did not have the means to make such a thing, would enjoy what I left behind. My heart was sad, as when I meditated before, I knew that there were other children there, ones which did not have fathers with them to bulld such things, and my heart when out to them. I was sad for them, and that is what made me think how lucky my kids where, and then made me realize how grateful I was that I had time to spend with my kids. And I wanted to reach out to those other kids, those ones who did not have fathers there with them, I wanted to reach out and say, use what I have made, and enjoy it. As me and my family were packing up and leaving, I saw one of those kids come by, and play in tha hole, and I knew he was enjoying it, and my heart smiled, for I knew that the Lord had me build it for him as well. So about the shovel. I could have had a smaller shovel, I would have built a hole, it might have been smaller. If I had enough time, it could have been just as big. Then I realized that is how faith is. When you have a little faith, it takes much longer to grow. You still get to where God wants you to be, but it takes longer. When you have more faith, you get to where God wants you to be faster, and from there you do more. But I also realized that there is a level of faith, where it is more personal. You really just are doing things, and a lot of it, is kind of based on you, and your relationship with God. It is more self centered. You think about building your relationship with God, and really just to make you stronger, or so you feel more secure. Then if you feel ok, or after you feel ok, you may extend that over to your family, and looking out for them, seeing if they are all doing ok spiritually. Thats like, I wanted to do something. Then I wanted to do something for my kids. But your faith can grow beyond that. When you get to this point, that you keep seeking God, and everything works to good purposes, thne you start affecting other people. You are secure about yourself, and secure about your family, and them to move out from there. You start thinking about others, and your faith starts to affect other people. You actions start filling needs, and meeting needs of those around you, and it is nothing special that you do, it is just that you keep seeking God, and these things just start happening. When I started, I built it for my kids. I bought a big shovel (more faith), so I could build bigger things. I started with small faith, because the day before this, I had sat on a blanket, and dug a tunnel there with my son. I broke a shovel in the process and realized that I needed to buy a bigger shovel, one which was stronger. How did I turn a little bit of faith into a large amount of faith? I was really 2 different people, between these 2 days. What had changed? What changed is that I set my heart on the Lord, and I followed Him whoeheartedly. I decided that I was going to do what ever it takes to make this day end good. Remember that eariler this day, things had gotten off to a rocky start. The other day, nothing really went wrong, so I really was not seeking anything. I did not have a need to change, because I was not aware that anything was missing. When things go wrong in my life, it is a clear sign that I need to change. When I do not have that wake-up call, I am not always looking to change myself, or to make a good day, even better. So what was the change? The change was that I was actively pursuing God. I was looking for Him, and waiting on Him, to do something. I was seeking Him to change me, and to direct my actions. The difference was that I was relying on God, I knew that when I woke up this morning, that I was already toast. I was defeated before I could even open my eyes. I knew that, and because of that I put my hope in the Lord, and I asked Him to rescue me, to guide me, and to make the day end good. God made good on His promise. God does not fail me. Never once, has God not made good on Hs promise to me. So there I was with my shovel. I had set out to build a hole, I built it for my kids originally, but was I fulfilling even more than my goals? Yes! Not only had I dug a hole for my own kids, because of what God had planned, because of that bigger shovel, because I was able to dig a bigger hole, not only was that for me, it was for those to come. I did not just dig a hole, for my family, I dug it for every other kid on that beach, who did not have the means to build such a thing, for those kids who did not have shovels, for those kids who did not have dads there. If I had a small shovel, I would have built something for my kids, and it would have been washed away, just as I was leaving. With a bigger shovel, I had the ability to build something bigger, something that would be left standing, even after I was gone, and something that others could have enjoyed. So what about the shovels? God gives you the means, and the abilites to do different things. The more you seek God, the more means/resources, and the more abilities that you get, to do His work. If you have litte, then you only have enough to take care of your self. As your resources, and abilities grow, you then start helping your family. When those resources grow even more, and the abilities get even better, then you start helping all those around you, those outside your family. If I helped myself, I was dig in the sand with my hands. If I help my family, I dig a tunnel with my son, and I use a shovel. If I want to help those around me I get a big shovel and I build something as big as I can make it. And when I leave, I leave it for anyone to use, for anyone to have, and for anyone to enjoy. When I saw that kid that was playing near us, and I knew his mom was exhausted, and that his father was not around, when I saw him playing in that hole, it pleased me. It gave my joy, to know that God used me, and I know it pleased God. I do not know if that kid prayed that he would be able to play in it, or that his mom prayed. I wanted to say to him, you know, God had me make this for you. I did not say that, I kept quiet, for I knew that the Lord knew my heart, and He had seen what I had done. Yes the day ended well. I knew that it would because I knew that what I prayed to the Lord to rescue me, that He would answer, and that He would set things right. Glory be to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit, that all know the power of God, working in the lives of everyday people. In closing, how do you think this changes a persons outlook? The next time I go to the beach, do you think I will just build for my kids, or do you think that from even when I start, that I will build for everyone that I see, that anyone may enjoy what I have built. And it will be the Lord who directs me, He will tell me where to park, where to place my towels on the beach, and where to invest in Him. I will involve my kids, and together we will serve the Lord, and please Him. For our purpose is to bring Him glory, and joy. May he be proud of His servant, and have mercy on me when I fall into trouble. Remember me Lord, when I fall, remember me, and come to my rescue. Do not hide your face from me, or leave the room which I am in, come to me with grace and mercy, and lift me back up, into your wonderful arms. Allelilua, Amen.

Change in Heart (06/03/2006)

God can do anything with whatever you have. If you are inspired, He can inspire music, He can inspire pictures, photos, words, relationships, conversations, sermons. Anything can be inspired by God.

I keep holding on to things, that I think I need. I keep holding onto keyboards that I think I need, because I have written music with them before, that God inspired. I am no better than the elderly lady who goes to church, has a good emotional experience, and then comes back the next week, and refuses to sit anywhere but where she sat last week. I am no better. I cling to keyboards because I feel that I need to create a particular sound or a particular style of music. The truth is though, that whenever I have tried to repeat a style or try to be like someone else, that is when the least spiritual things have happened. I get nowhere and I get easily frustrated. When ever my routine has been interrupted, it takes so long to get back to where I was. I sit in grief, and I am very sad. The truth is that when ever I was forced to come up with new sounds, or try to create something new, that is when the most creativity came alive, and those are the songs which I still truly remember. What I remember is when I would let God move, and not when I chose to move. When I choose to move, that is when God can not move. When I choose to go somewhere, or do something, that is when I reject God, that is when I say no to God, and when I reject what I was made to do. The truth is, I do not need what I have. I could do everything that God wants me to do with very little. I do not need what I think I need. I already have everything that I do need.

I become very strayed, very fast, and very easily, because I think to myself, that I need more than what I have. I think that I need to own things to make myself look better. I think that I need to own things, so I can do a better job. I do not ask the question, what part can God play, or what can God do. I simply just go and do what I can. But what I can do, falls short of the glory of God. And what I can do, will frustrate me, and cause me to perish, for my soul to fade away, and for my desire to burn out. How long will I wander away from God? If I lay down my life, and stop doing what I think is tha best, then God can work, and in His power His will can be accomplished. When that happens, then I will share in His glory, which is not my own, but His glory. His glory is sustaining. His glory is everlasting, it lifts up, and it encourages, and it inspires. Too long have I stood doing nothing, being routed by the devil. I have been like the seed that falls among weeds. I grow up, but I am strangled by what is around me. I am strangled by distraction, by thoughts, by impurity, by life. I seek God, but I can not seek Him freely. Everytime I begin to exalt God, I am pulled down, I am pushed under, I am blown away. I want to seek God, but I have not given up my life. I have not given up my desires, and I have not given up what my heart seeks after. Your heart is the condition of the ground. It is what determines where the seed falls. If the seed falls, and is washed off the road, or the dirt, or destroyed by the heat of the sun. Then you heart is hard, and you can not hear, for you have a spirit which is dried up. If you are the seed which falls on good soil, but as you are growing, weed grow around you, choking your growth. Then your heart has good intentions, it seeks after God, but your heart, it is not pure, and though you seek God, your heart is led astray, it is distracted by the weeds, the thoughts, and the desires which lie in you, and keep you from God. Now the seed falls in one other place, on the good soil, with no weeds. This is for those that are pure in spirit. Those who lift up God, and those who have no thoughts other than God. Those who lift up Jesus, and are not distracted, they live, and are in constant fellowship with the Lord, and are not led astray. Our hearts are the soil. The good news, is that we can change our hearts, by thanking God for His mercy and by asking Him to change our hearts. There is no better teacher than the Lord. He knows exactly what we need. Give up your lives, examine your hearts, and know where you stand. The Lord, is a merciful God, in Him there is no condemnation for the beliver, who accepts Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and as the savior of His life. No one who comes to Jesus will be denied. No one who comes to the Father, will be denied grace, or mercy, or love. There is a joy for all those who belive in Jesus Christ, for the joy comes through an inner peace, and it comes though an understanding, that even though I will go through difficulties, and struggles, I will not go alone. For Jesus Christ is with me, and in Him my hope is alive. Jesus has given us the power to overcome whatever happens to us here on earth. For the Lord is the creator of Life, and in Him is all goodness. By His mercy, we have been invited to share the good news, that Jesus died for our sins, that He was resurrected, and that He rose to Heaven. That to the beliver, He dwells in us, and through the Holy Spirit He moves within us. God is good. Jesus came the first time to give us peace. The Holy Spirit came, so that the power of God, could be upon us, so we could do His will. Jesus will come again, and when He does, the world will then be at peace, under His reign.

Being content pleases God (06/06/2006)

I was just giving my son a pep talk. He was sad becasue He hit is head, and afterwards he was downcast, and not only downcast, but just sad and whiny. You could not hear him speak, and He was not really alive. Just kind of moping around, and behaving in repetitive ways. I remembered that a few years ago one lady told me, that when her daughter was sad, she would remind her of something. She would say "If you are spending time being sad, then that is time you are not spending being happy." So I told me son, I said you know, when you are sad, you are not happy, you are not able to be happy, if you are being sad. You can only be one or the other. If you want to be sad, then you have decided not to be happy, and if you want to be happy, you have mad a choise not to be sad. When I told him that he lit up, and his sadness turned to joy very quickly. Then I went on to say that when you are happy, it makes mommy happy, and it makes daddy happy. When you are happy, mommy and daddy want to spend even more time with you, and they want to give you more treats. Thats when I though about how God sees me. I knew that my wife was a mirror image of my relationship with God, but it also occurred to me that the way I see my kids, is often how God sees His children. So when I draw close to God, I am able to pick up, on things about what pleases God, and how I should react to God. I also learn about what makes God happy, and how I can grow my relationship deeper with God. God is the example of a perfect Father. What I saw was that when my son was happy, I wanted to spend more time with him, and I wanted to give him more things. More treats, more blessings, more time. My son was not doing anything special, I just asked him to be happy. I just asked him to turn his sorrow into joy, because I was with him. I asked him to turn his sadness into joy, because I wanted him to be happy, because I wanted him to learn that there is greater happiness in joy than in grief. I see that God was talking to me. God does not want us to do anything special, we do not have to. He just wants us to be happy, and be content in Him. There was no reason for my son to be sad anymore. He hit his head, but that time had passed, it was now time to move on, and be joyful once more. When we are content in God's promises, and content in His security, and His safety, that pleases God. Being content is being happy that you know God, and you know who He is. Content is not about owning everything, or satisified about material goods, its about being happy, and being joyful that you are in God's presence, that He is around you, and that He has overcome, and paid the price for your sins. You have won a place of great priviledge, and great honor, for you to know the Lord, and that is something worth being happy about. One last thing that I told my son, was that I wanted him to verbalize his happiness. I wanted him to tell me, and tell mommy how he felt. I wanted him to say it, often, and say it clearly. To say it confidently, and to say it without regret. God wants us as well to tell Him that we love Him, to tell Jesus how thankful we are to be apart of His family, and to be apart of His kingdom. Jesus wants us to express to Him, our love for Him, and our joy for Him. The joy for the peace He brings, and the joy for the comfort He gives us. Tell God how much you think of Him, and what you love that He has done for you. When we spend time in love and adoration to God, we worship the Lord. Allelulia, Amen.

Your importance to God (06/08/2006)

Someone wrote this:

In serving God, don't be misled that this means doing something on a grand scale or what the world would notice because it was something so visible and affecting so many people. I would guess that 99.9% of the people who have served the Lord over the ages were people whose name the world never knew. Most people know who Paul is, and Billy Graham, and many of the world renown men and women of God who have made an impact on millions witht their lives. But in the eyes of God, the faithful service of someone carrying groceries to a poor family, someone using their gift of music in their local church, someone visiting those in the prisons and nursing homes, someone who holds a Bible study at their job, someone who passed out tracts, is just as important as someone whose name is known by the masses.

I believe that this is like the story of the vineyard. The story where the owner goes out at 8am and says who has no work, and says I will pay you a full days wage. Then an hour later the owner goes back and asks who has no work, and he says I will pay you a fair wage. The owner keeps going back many times, and goes back even 1 hour before the end of the day. At the end of the day he starts to pay people, and he pays everyone a full days work (Matthew 20:1-16 ). I think this is the same thing. If you are apart of an event which leads 1000 people to Christ, or you lead 2 people to Christ, you get the same reward. Wether you do something on a day to day basis, or you do grand scale events, the reward is the same. Why is it the same, because Jesus is the owner, He states the reward, and every one is equal under Christ. We are all heirs of God, (Romans 8:17). We will be co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). What matters to God is how often you spent time with Him. How many times you turned off the TV, and prayed. How many times you were having fun, and just paused a minute to thank the Lord. How many times does Jesus cross your mind, is it the same on the good days as it is on the bad ones? Having a relationship with Christ makes you important. It makes you important to the Lord. In the Old Testament the Jews had to beg for mercy, in the New Testament God gives His mercy away freely, to any who ask forgiveness. If God is offering this mercy, then we should be thanking Him for it. In this world we get so caught up on being better than everyone else, owning more than someone else, or getting a better deal than someone else, however this is not what Jesus taught. Jesus taught equality, equalness among the believers. That is the greatness of the gospel, that we are all set equal. You can not gain more riches than someone else, and you can not gain less. We are equal, out rewards in Heaven are equal. It is not competetion, or battle, or dog eat dog. Everyone has enough, to the point of abundance. That is Heaven. Find your joy in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, in the life that Christ offers. This is the hope of the glory of God. You do not need to be any greater than you are, because your wholeness is from God. You can seek God as your are. You do not need to be any different. This is truly great news, because it means that we can all work together. We can all offer what we have to help eachother. For there are no losers, there are no winners. We are all equal, and we are all at God great mercy. The mercy He so freely gives because Jesus dies on the cross for you. The mercy He truly gives, because He wants you to mature, to grow, and come of your own will to the Father, without waiting, just come, seek God. Wether on your knees, or at your desk, or in a line or while driving, or riding, or walking, or sitting, any time you can come to God, He can bless you with peace, bless you with comfort, restore your joy. When I focus on turning to God often, walking with God, He reminds me of what I need to hear, what I need to know. Maybe you do not think God can help you. God is waiting for you to come to Him, for every time to come to Him, you seek His presence He will be there, waiting to remind you of what you have forgotten. Praise be to God, for you, and for all those around you. Allelulia, Amen.

God's Plans are Perfect (09/01/2006)

Late Wednesday night I was finishing up mastering the last 5 tracks to the cd Spokenhope 6.11. I was mixing them down, and after the first two tracks had been mastered, I changed my recording setup, because mistakenly I had but the compressor after the dynamics processor, and it was making the highend very muddy, and lots of clarity was being lost. So I rearranged my setup, and continued the rest of the recordings. When it came time to add the tracks to a cd, I was dissapointed because when I added them to the project it was over by 24 seconds, or for an 80 minute cd it was 80:24. I was a little surprised because God usually works right through me, and matches everything up the way its supposed to be as He guides me. So I went back and cut down the last 5 tracks trimming 5 seconds off of each track, and refading the ending. When I added them back in, they fit under the 80 minute cutoff, and I burned the cd. Now when I went to work the next day, I was listening to the tracks in my car, and the last 2 tracks (the ones I mastered first), they did not sound as clear as the other 3 that I had just done. I then remembered that I had switched the compressor around, and that I had forgotten to remaster the first 2 tracks (which were the last 2 on the cd). So I came home tonight, and I began to remaster the cd, and as I was listening to it, there was a rather distinct word recompence, and I heard it twice, and I was like, wait I just heard that, why am I hearing it again? So I listened to the track over, and over again, and I realized that in the recording I had done a paragraph twice. So I went to edit the vocal track, and get rid of that part, and it turns out that what I deleted was 24 seconds. Ok if that isn't God, then I am surely lost. It seems that God knew this all along, so of course, I had to go and remaster the other 4 tracks, because they did not sound right, having 5 seconds cut off from their endings. I was able to then finish mastering all the tracks, and able to give them nice fadeouts. So now the 24 track 6.11 album is complete. When I went to burn it I found that it was at first 80:01, I trimed one of the tracks in which the fade was 2 seconds too long, and now the total time was 79:59, now that's God at work. So nwo I bow down, and turn my heart to God. Oh who can direct my thoughts, or choose my actions wisely? Only God, only God. I could have never on my own, done any of this whole album, or any of this music. God leads my all the way, from the start of the song, to the tune, or the rythm, or the inspiration, or the chords. May God be given all the glory and all the honor, and all the praise, for He is worthy. May my arms be lifted high, by the power of the Holy Spirit in me, so that I glorify, in my worship Jesus Christ. Oh God, oh king above all kings, you have made this so, now that my break comes, may this work rest in your hands, and this blessing touch the ears of your children, may these words turn my heart back to you, may my actions remind those who see, or those who hear, that you oh God are Lord, are creator. Oh Father in heaven, Jesus Christ be the glory, depart from me my treasure on earth that I am not distracted from what the Lord brings to me, what the Lord does for me. Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. (Rev 4:8) Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don't let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:9-13 NLT) Rest easy, in Jesus may peace come to you, greater in times of trouble, and comfort for when you are weary. Wether you believe or do not believe in Chirst as Messiah, you will go through the same struggles in life, but when you believe in Christ, the difference is that when you are weary, when you are weak, when you are troubled, when you are burdened, when you are sad, all of these things, then you only need to call upon the precious name of Jesus, and He shall come to your need, for He is filled with mercy, and filled with compassion, and when we cry out, and call His name He is there, wether we are by ourselves, or in a group. God is always with you, because the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, and make a place for Himself in your body, your temple, and so you have direct communication with God, for He is then apart of you. If life gets hard, or life gets overwhelming, then let go of the stress, let go of the pain, and turn to Jesus Christ, and put your trust in Him. Put your faith in Christ, we do not even know if we will breathe another breath, yet many times our fear is greater than our faith. What do we have to be afraid of? What is there to fear? Do you fear man, who can kill your body, or do you fear God, who can take your soul? God calls for honesty, and sincerity, for children who would truly seek Him, and truly follow Him. That is why we are given a choise. You can follow God, or you can choose to not follow God. In any case, let your yes be yes, and your no be no, because if you choose to follow God, but then have no fruit, it would have been better for you to not have followed God. Fruit comes naturally, when you walk with God, you can not make your own fruit. Just like a tree which has to have the right sunlight, and the right amount of rain, and when those things come, the tree bears fruit, but if the tree is in the desert, and it has no water, and it gets no food, then it will wither, and produce no fruit. So I pray that you would be like a tree, or a plant, that your soul would have been planted in the garden of Eden, because in that Garden things grew without work, things grew because they were made to grow. Peace be with you, may God watch over you, and may you be blessed according to your faith.