Monday, August 30, 2021



1 John 4:19 NLT

We love each other because he loved us first.

My kids bought me a funny t-shirt a couple years or so back that reads, “Because I said so – Dad”.  I have had many comments on it when wearing it out around different places.  I may see a parent smile or give a chuckle because they’ve also used the same phrase.  Now, however, my girls don’t get as much of a kick out of seeing the shirt on me when I wear it, but I still think it’s funny.

As much as this may give us a good laugh, we could think of endless situations in life in which we use the word “because”.

We do this because…..

We say this because…..

We go somewhere because…..

We talk to someone because…..

We go out to do something fun because…..

We could come up with so many different phrases in which we do or say something…..because.  Sometimes we do or say things because we mean whatever we say or do sincerely.  Then other times, we do or say things that are not so nice to other because we feel like it in the moment.  There’s always a reason why we say something, do something or go somewhere.  There’s always a “because”.

As I thought about this verse the other day when it came up for a morning reading, I thought about how so often we forget that we need to love people because Jesus first loved us.  We so often have our excuses and reasons for often treating others in a bitter way because we feel we have the right because of what has been said or done to us.  We are ALL guilty of this! 

My simple encouragement to us all today and every day from now on, is to ask ourselves what is our “because” behind what we are doing, behind what we are saying and behind why we are going somewhere.   We are told to do everything with love.  Are we?  Seriously, are we??  Often times we don’t. 

What is your “because”?  Do you do things in love even when it’s hard?  Every time we’re tempted to treat someone bitterly, we need to be reminded that He first loved us.  We love because He first loved us.

Simple concept…..yet so difficult to practice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Just Need To Trust And Obey

“Just Need To Trust And Obey”

Psalm 25:4-5 NLT

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in you.

The other day, I was reading a devotional from a friend of mine and it was titled “I have no words”.  I know that he is going through a very rough time in life and just expressed that he didn’t have the words to convey how he really felt.  I honestly felt myself feeling the exact same thing.  Knowing his situation and thinking of the difficult challenges my family has experienced lately and so many others have been experiencing lately and for a while now, I find myself at a loss for words.

I am finding myself these days asking so many more questions to God and feeling like I don’t know the answers.  I’m finding myself asking these questions so often to God:


Why are you allowing this pain?

Why are so many hurting?

Why won’t you stop and intervene?

When will this pandemic end?

Why do so many have to be so sick?

Why am I facing so many challenges in life?

Why can’t You explain and show me more?


As I’m thinking of these questions and have so many more thoughts and feelings, I’m realizing even more and more now that I must trust Him in every way, even though there’s so much more I don’t understand.  I just need Him to show me the path and to lead me in His truth.  I need to hope in Him, no matter what. 

I need to trust and obey, even when life doesn’t make sense.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

We Must Stay Positive

“We Must Stay Positive”

Philippians 4:8 NLT

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

I’m finding myself lately becoming more and more challenged to focus on things that keep me positive about life.  Some days, things are going okay.  But then other days, it seems like every time I turn around there’s a challenge and some of those challenges are very difficult to deal with.  When life gets frustrating, it’s so very easy to let myself focus on everything that isn’t going well.  When I do this, it then becomes very easy to not focus on all that God has given to me through various blessings.  

The challenges in life will never stop.  We will always face things that tempt us to only focus on the negative.  I have been thinking about this passage a lot lately.  The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about when giving this encouragement to fix our thoughts always on things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  The enemy prowls around waiting to pull us down and turn our thoughts toward negative things.

So many of us have dealt with and continue to deal with so many challenges that come our way.  Some of these challenges continue to really test our faith and allegiance to God as we decide to trust in Him or go our own way. 

I was just talking to my oldest daughter earlier today about how we are all dealing with various challenges and discouragement.  It’s so easy for us to focus on all the negative things happening.  But then I encouraged her and shared how I was trying so hard every day to focus on all the things that are positive and are going well.  I’m trying to focus on the blessings God is giving and trying so hard not to think about the challenges and frustrations that are present. 

We must all do our best to make the best out of everything we deal with in life.  It is not easy sometimes and requires a change of attitude often.  So much can pull us down, but we must remain strong and fixed on Christ.  We have to be intentional about fixing our thoughts on positive things.  We must always strive to keep our attitude on praising God, no matter what we are dealing with. 

I want to encourage all of us to stay positive and strive every day to keep our attitude in check and to remember God is with us no matter what we experience.  His blessings are always present and He continues to take care of us and lead us.  We must stay positive and trust. 

Blessings to you all as you strive to fix your thoughts on all that is excellent and worthy of praise!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

More Than Ever Before

“More Than Ever Before”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT

Be on guard.  Stand firm in the faith.  Be courageous.  Be strong.  And do everything with love.

I think more than ever, not only in our personal lives, but also in the church, we need to be on guard, stand firm in faith, be strong and courageous and…….most of all…….do EVERYTHING with love.  As I think through the various challenges we have all had in the past year and a half, it’s challenged us beyond what we ever thought we would have to deal with in life. 

We’ve experienced situations we never thought possible.  We’ve dealt with situations that often seem impossible to overcome.  We have all learned so much in so many ways, whether at home, at work, at church, out in public places or traveling around.  We’ve all learned more than we ever thought we would about life in general as things have drastically and dramatically changed.

My family has been experienced challenges this year that we have never dealt with before, but God is seeing us through and teaching us that He is still in control.  Through the various trials and challenges we’ve experienced in our home and in our family, we are realizing that more than ever, we need to be on our guard and to be strong and courageous.  However, more than that, we must always do everything with love.  It’s through these challenges and trials of life that we must learn what it really means to not only say we love others, but to put that into proof of action. 

The Apostle Paul was very adamant telling people to do everything with love.  He experienced more than most of us ever will and he continued to do things with love, no matter the challenge at hand. 

I am still struggling to wrap my mind around all the challenges we have all been through in the past year and a half and what continues to be challenging as we move forward in life.  What I must realize and understand is that God is always in control and I need to trust Him with every moment of my life.  As I do that and strive to grow in my relationship with Him, I’m hoping that others will see that love of God shine in my life. 

More than ever before, God is calling all of us to stand strong and stand for Him as we love others.  Our mission is to love others as Jesus loved and as He continues to love us today, even in spite of our sins. 

Blessings to you all and may God guide you as you continue to strive to love more than ever before.