God’s Unmerited Favor to Us!

God’s Unmerited Favor to Us!

God loved the world so much that he gave His only son Jesus to be that once and for all, final, paid-in-full payment to redeem us back to a right relationship with Him.  That is grace – unmerited favor!  We didn’t do anything to deserve this tremendous act of love nor could we. But just because God gave, doesn’t yet mean that it is ours.  Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we receive this gift by faith.  A gift is offered (grace) but we must then receive it (faith). And God didn’t give grace just for salvation. All his precious promises are to be received by faith. God tells us in I Peter 2:24 that by Jesus’ stripes we were healed.  It is a done deal.  Jesus doesn’t have to do anything more for our healing.  Do we cry out every day “Oh God save me!”?  No.  Salvation was provided (by grace) once and for all when Jesus died and was resurrected over 2000 years ago. And we received it (by faith) the day we accepted Jesus as our Savior. We don’t ask Him to save us again and again. So is the same thing true, for example, for healing?   We were healed when Jesus took those stripes on His back and then offered Himself to the cross!  And…it was finished!  All that we need for our healing was already provided. We often times think we have to build up our faith to some massive point that it moves God to do something. Our faith doesn’t move God because He’s already provided for us all we will ever need.  Our faith is our response to God’s goodness and grace.   


John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

Hebrews 7:27 (NLT)
27 Unlike those other high priests, he (Jesus) does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

I Peter 2:24 – Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed.

Romans 6:10 (NLT)
10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Today, our hats are off to all you fathers out there.  For each of us, our experiences and memories of our fathers are all very different because fatherhood may take on many forms.  There are our birth fathers, without whom, of course, we wouldn’t be here.  Then there are adopted fathers and step-fathers who made the selfless decision to become someone’s dad.  And when dad is absent from the scene, there are grandfathers and uncles who step up to the plate to fill the role of dad.  Then there are the fathers-in-law.  And there may be nothing tougher than the single father who may be filling the roles of both mom and dad.  No matter what the circumstance though, fatherhood is a tough thing.  The pressures can be immense.  But, at the very same time, it is the most rewarding and important role a man will ever take on.  God has given you the awesome responsibility to mold and shape the life of another person.  He has entrusted man to be the provider for and caretaker of His precious creations.  Our Heavenly Father is there to help because He is the ultimate Father to us all.  Our prayer today for all the dads out there would be for our Father God to lead and guide you each day in your role as father, to celebrate with you your successes, to encourage you when you struggle, and to speak to you when you don’t have the answers.  He is our example of what unconditional love is so we can impart it to our children.  No matter in what capacity you fill the role of father, allow your Heavenly Father to help you! You are blessed!

Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NLT)
6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Happy Father’s Day

Covenant People!

Covenant People!

If you are looking for a good underdog story, the story of David and Goliath is a great one.  It is often one of the first stories we learn as children because it shows that even young people can be used by God. In this story, we see that David had insight that his brothers and the other troops didn’t have. King Saul and his army were in a battle with the Philistines.  David’s father Jesse had sent David to the battle with food and told him to return with word on how the battle was going.  When David arrived, he saw Goliath taunting the Israelite army and David spoke these words – “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  By calling Goliath an uncircumcised Philistine, David was revealing to us why he knew he could defeat Goliath.  David knew Goliath was not in covenant with the one true living God. David had God on his side and Goliath didn’t. David was set apart for God’s service and Goliath wasn’t.  That’s all that mattered.  Size, armor, and smack talk could not compare with covenant! Of course today we are under a new covenant, one that involves circumcision of the heart or the inner man, not the outer man. Through Jesus Christ, we can all be included in that covenant with the living God!  And by God’s Holy Spirit our hearts are changed. You may be facing some pretty fierce looking foes. But when you are in covenant with the living God, you can stand confidently before them and declare “Who do you think you are to defy a child of the living God!”

Genesis 17:10-11 (NKJV)
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

Romans 2:28-29 (NKJV)
28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Romans 2:28-29 (NLT)
28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

Cut Pride Off At The Root

Cut Pride Off At The Root

In a  recent discussion, the question was asked what do you see as the biggest problem in the church today. An answer that came to mind, not only affecting the church but society in general, was the lack of submission.  When we take a look back at mankind’s original sin, what was it about?  It was disobedience, or in other words, rebellion. So let’s also look back to the originator of sin – not Adam but Satan. Adam was just the first human Satan was able to convince to submit to his word and not God’s.  Before Satan was Satan he was Lucifer, the anointed cherub on the holy mountain of God.  But Ezekiel 28:15 tells us that iniquity was found in him.  What caused him to sin? Ezekiel 28:17 (NLT)says “Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.” His sin was pride. He desired the glory and honor that was due only to God.  Satan convinced Adam to rebel against what God had said by luring him to higher heights and being as wise as God.  We can see how lack of submission is just a fruit of pride. “You can’t tell me what to do!” is an attitude of pride. Lucifer’s sin was pride and it has many manifestations. Rebellion is just one. Another devastating manifestation of pride is strife and contention. But we know strife is just the fruit because Proverbs 13:10 tell us – “Only by pride cometh contention..”. This verse tells us that strife, contention and discord come from pride.  Pride is a bitter root and we must not allow it to grow. We don’t get rid of a plant by plucking off the fruit.  We get rid of it by cutting it off at the root.


Ezekiel 28:14 (NKJV)

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.

Ezekiel 28:15 (NKJV)
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

Proverbs 13:10 (NKJV)                                                             Proverbs 13:10 (NIV)
10 By pride comes nothing but strife….                                                 Where there is strife, there is pride…

We Remember

We Remember

This coming Monday we celebrate Memorial Day in America.  This day was first observed back in 1868 with a celebration commemorating those lives sacrificed during the Civil War and it was originally known as Decoration Day, as the graves of over 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated.  In years since World War I, it has become a day to honor those who died in all America’s wars and, in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday.  There’s one word that sums up all those fallen – Heroes!  And to that end, this word defines all those who have chosen to take up the cause to defend and protect the land of the free and freedom around the world.  Each man and woman who does this understands and accepts that it may require their ultimate sacrifice but they chose it anyway. Following is a quote from one who fought in Desert Storm.  His chilling words of resolution capture the spirit of an American soldier.  “I thought of my wife and children, I said a quick prayer for them and was ready to die.”  – Intelligence Specialist Chief (Air Warfare) Mark W. Bell [Desert Storm].  What we have in America is worth defending.  Thank you to those who choose to protect and defend us all.  God bless you and your families and God Bless America!


13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NLT)

Motive Matters!

Motive Matters!

Have you ever heard an evangelist or preacher in asking for an offering tell you that, if you sow into their ministry, it will come back to you tenfold or even one hundredfold?  Or have you been told that by doing some nice thing for others  you will in turn be blessed in some way?  People use these tactics to compel you to give your money, time or talents, and there is an element of truth in it.  However, in giving in this way, your motive becomes what you will get back in return not the genuine desire to give or bless. You can give and receive, but motive is the key.  And that motive must be love.  This is clearly stated in I Corinthians chapter 13.  Without love as your motive for everything you do, you will not benefit. To say it another way, if the thought of whether or not you will somehow benefit from your giving is determining whether you give or not, then your motive is not love, it’s self. We live in a “what’s in it for me” culture.  And that can be ugly.  Do we have to get something in return? Do you need recognition for what you’ve done? Has your giving gone down because you can no longer claim it as a tax deduction? These motives are pure selfishness.  Your giving is between you and God and no one else.  If God tells you to give, you should give. If you desire to be a blessing then do it whether anyone knows or not. Yes, God really does bless people for giving – but not if that is their motive for doing it.  Love must be your motivation.    

1 Corinthians 13:3 (NLT)
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

A Different Kind of Epidemic

A Different Kind of Epidemic

With Mother’s Day passed and on our way to Father’s Day, it made me think about how I would raise a child in our world today. I’ve heard it said by many that they wouldn’t want to raise a child in our society today. There’s been an epidemic spreading through our land, especially in our young, and it’s not Covid-19. This epidemic is infecting our nation with rebellion, disrespect, discontentment, class and racial warfare, a “you owe me” attitude and an intolerance for anything Christ-like. It would be great if a vaccination could cure this epidemic. But there’s no vaccine against this kind of infection for it is not a physical ailment.  It’s an ailment of the heart, soul and spirit.  And the remedy must be imparted not injected. That’s where raising our children comes into play. Actually, we are not raising children, we are raising adults who will become the future of this country. And God fearing, respectful, obedient, kind, selfless, hard working adults don’t just happen.  They are molded, trained and taught. And they are taught by example. The question is, who will be that example for them? Will it be their teachers and professors, their friends, video games, television, movies and Hollywood,  CNN or Fox News? Unfortunately, that’s the case for many young people. Parents flippantly say “Oh, they’ll figure it out on their own”.  Well they don’t. They will seek out an influence somewhere if the parents neglect to take that role. Everything we need to raise our kids is found in Scripture, the Word of God. It’s our instruction manual for life. Our children will follow us as we follow God’s Word. And if they stray off course, just hold on to Proverbs  22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  The Message Bible says it like this – “Point your kids in the right direction — when they’re old they won’t be lost.” And if we stray off course, Holy Spirit will teach us all things and guide us to the truth!  So don’t lose hope – this spiritual epidemic cannot prevail against us if we follow our instruction manual.  God has a plan for our future and our children’s futures and it is good!   

Galatians 5:22-25 (NLT)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

John 14:25-26 (NKJV)
25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 16:13 (NLT)
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Funnies for Mom

Funnies for Mom

With Mother’s Day upon us, we wanted just the right Food For Thought to bring the mother’s out there (and anyone who’s been a kid) a smile to their deserving faces.  So, here are some mom jokes to brighten your day!  Have a very blessed!  Enjoy!

1.  What are the best flowers for Mother’s Day?                                       Mums
2.  What did the baby corn say to momma corn?                  Where’s Pop corn
3.  Why is a computer so smart?                           It listens to its mother board.
4.  What three words solves dad’s every problem?                  Ask your mom.
5.  Why do kangaroo mothers hate rainy days? Their kids have to play inside.


Nothing is really lost…. until mom can’t find it!

Silence is golden…unless you’re a mom, then silence is suspicious!

I put my symptoms into WebMD.  Turns out I just have kids.

I knew parenting would involve crying, but I didn’t know so much of it would be from me.

If at first you don’t succeed, do it the way your mom told you in the beginning.

Turns out..I do have a favorite kid.

Child:  Mom, was I in your tummy?
Mom:  Yep
Child:  Well who’s in there now?
Mom:  No one
Child:  Well then why is it so big?
Dad:   Oh no!



Stay The Course!

Stay The Course!

Unforeseen events can creep into our life that can so knock us off course that we feel our life has been hijacked.  We’re no longer piloting and not even sure where we are headed anymore.  Many different events can cause this disruption and many are due to some sort of loss.  The death of a loved one, the loss of a job or source of income, the end of a relationship, even the death of a hope or a dream.  These losses not only touch our present, they can completely confound our future and that is unsettling.  Our life was so intertwined with that which we lost that we no longer know who we are all by ourselves or what our future holds.  Although I don’t know who said this, I know it to be true:  we may not know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds our future.  None of these losses took God by surprise so His plan for our life has never changed.  If we lived our life as we should have as a Christian, we never should have been piloting in the first place. That is God’s job. If our life goes off course, it’s because we took control of the wheel. At the time we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our course was set and we gave God the reigns. We do that through reading and obeying God’s Word, spending time in prayer and cultivating a relationship with Holy Spirit.  When we do these things, those unforeseen events will not divert our course. Though there may be some delays and we may need additional time to refuel and recover, we can still feel God’s strong arms holding us up and carrying us through. Unfortunately, sometimes there is turbulence along our journey.  But whether it is momentary or prolonged, Jesus said he would not leave us comfortless. Allow Him to absorb the impact.  And, if you feel you’ve been run off course in your life, do as the song says and ask Jesus to take the wheel. 

John 14:16-17 (NLT)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

  Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)
9 We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Acting on His Word

Acting on His Word

We’ve often heard the saying that if you want to walk on the water, you have to get out of the boat.  This saying, of course, refers to Peter walking on the water to Jesus.  At first, it’s certain that Peter was afraid, especially with the storm brewing around him.  Taking that first step into something that seems impossible, even when God tells you to, can be a scary thing. But God wants us to put action to what we believe for. And like Peter, sometimes that step of faith may seem risky. Sometimes it seems silly, like Naaman dipping into the Jordan river not once but seven times to receive his healing. God instructed my husband to go to Bible school.  But that meant leaving all that was safe and familiar and moving our family with two young babies into the unfamiliar. But we trusted God and obeyed. And He was faithful! God doesn’t usually just drop into your lap that which you desire or even what He has spoken to you. He expects you to act on His Word. The fruit of a tree doesn’t grow on the trunk.  It grows on the branches.  Sometimes, to obtain the fruit, you must go out on a limb!

Matthew 14:28-29 (NLT)
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

2 Kings 5:14 (NLT)
14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s, and he was healed!