Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Little Light Of Mine, I'm Gonna Let It Shine

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“This Little Light Of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine”

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


Last Sunday morning at our church, the kids group sang a fun rendition of “This Little Light Of Mine”.  As they were singing, it was so cool to see them singing this song they had practiced and how much fun they were having doing it.  We all have some laughs at what some of the kids were doing.  When kids are on stage, there can be some funny moments and very precious moments as well. 


As I kept thinking about that song, it made me think of how much I’ve sang that song from when I was a little kid up to even now.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve sang that song and enjoyed it.  But when I think more about the words, I wonder, “How much have I really let my little light shine for God?”  All these years I’ve sang it with others and watched kids sing it, how often are we REALLY excited to share that light with others?


In Matthew, we read that we have the Light of God and the world needs to see what we have to share and offer.  We wouldn’t light a candle or turn on a lamp and then cover it.  That would completely defeat the purpose.  We are meant to carry the Light of God and shine for all to see.


As we all celebrate the Christmas season and look forward to a New Year very soon, let us consider how we can live this out, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”  As Matthew states, we are the light of the world.  God wants us to shine!


Next time you hear a child or a group of kids or even adults sing this song, remember how God has called us to REALLY let our light shine!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

We Are ALL Sinners

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“We Are ALL Sinners”

Romans 3:23 NLT

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.


The other day, while I was on my way to work, I was coming to a roundabout and I saw a minivan on the left coming at quite a fast speed.  I wasn’t even going to try to beat them into the roundabout.  I just let them go through and I watched them drive very quickly around and down the road.  As I kept driving, I just watched them drive and go around vehicles.  My first thought was, “Wow, they need to slow down!  Too many crazy people driving like that!” 


After this thought went through my mind, I immediately remembered how sometimes I am not the greatest driver either.  It’s so very easy for me to criticize other people who are driving crazy and going off on them verbally for their stupidity, but so often I am honestly the same way.  I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true.  I get frustrated in traffic and get in a hurry.  As I thought about this more, I thought about how I need to take the log out of my eye and not be a hypocrite.  I’m not saying I’m a crazy driver all the time, but I have my moments.  Don’t we all??? 


As I kept driving, I thought of this verse and how it explains we are all sinners in need of God’s saving grace.  None of us are exempt from needing Him.  We have all messed up and fallen away from God and we desperately need Him.  It’s so easy to judge what someone else is doing and forget that we so often have our bad moments just like the people we are criticizing.  It’s so true!


As we approach Christmas coming up and even beyond that, may our hearts be ever full of grace and not judge so quickly.  The same God Who forgives other people who act so idiotic in our eyes, is the same God Who forgives our idiotic times as well.  Let’s practice love, even when it’s so hard to give. 


We didn’t deserve His love, but He gave it on the Cross.  He also died for others as well, so let’s start practicing some better love.  Be more understanding of others on the road. Maybe that person driving the minivan so fast was having a bad morning.  We all have bad mornings and days sometimes!


I once heard a story of a person in a coffee shop that had an encounter with another rude customer.  Instead of fighting back with mean words, the person offered to buy their coffee and mentioned them having a bad day.  Wow, could we be that person when others are being rude?  I hope so!


Remember friends, we are ALL sinners and we ALL need God’s forgiveness.  None of us are exempt from needing Him.  Next time you get mad at someone in traffic, remember you’ve most likely acted that way, too.  Instead, pray for the person and ask God to bless their life.  

Monday, December 11, 2023

Simple, Yet Powerful Reminders

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“Simple, Yet Powerful Reminders”

Matthew 28:20b NLT

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.


One day last week, I remember having a tiring and frustrating day at work.  As I’ve started a new job at a different company, some days have been rather challenging.  This particular day, I was tired and overwhelmed.  The next morning, as I went out to leave for work, I saw a beautiful sunrise.  I don’t always catch good sunrises, but this one took me by surprise and I remember looking up and saying “Thank You, Lord!  I needed that today!” 


I wish I could say that the moment took all my stress away that I was feeling that morning and all overwhelming feelings.  However, it was a great and simple reminder that God knew I needed as if to say, “Don’t forget how amazing I am and how little your issues are compared to Who I am.” 


It’s so often easy for us to become overwhelmed with all that is going on in our lives and forget that God is ALWAYS more greater and powerful than anything we experience.  God has ways every single day that show up to remind us He is there and guiding us.  We definitely all need these reminders all through our day as we sometimes experience stress and unexpected frustrations. 


There’s nothing earth shattering regarding this devotional, but a reminder that God is always doing something every day, through our days, to remind us that He is there and always with us.  Are we seeing these reminders each day that He gives us?  Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and God knows we need a sunrise, sunset or some other form of His majestic beauty to remind us of how Awesome He Is! 


I am so thankful for these simple, yet powerful reminders.  Again, they won’t take away all our problems or frustrations, but He gives us these moments to remind us that He is with us and that He is so much bigger and greater than anything that overwhelms us in our daily lives.


This passage is found right at the end of the Great Commission, where Jesus promises the Disciples that He will always be there with them.  That’s a promise He made to them and it’s a continued promise to us today.  He is always with us and shows Himself to us in so many ways, big and small, each and every day. 


I hope that we all notice these reminders each day!

Thursday, November 30, 2023

It's ALL About His Work Through Us

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“It’s ALL About His Work Through Us”

Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.


This passage is the benediction that we end with at church each and every Sunday morning.  The past few weeks as I’ve thought more about this passage, one phrase really sticks out to me. “according to his power that is at work within us.” 


So much of our daily lives get focused on things that we can do and what we can accomplish.  We often get so busy doing our daily routines that we often forget God gives us the ability to do what we are able to do.  Each day we awake, every single thing we are able to do is because God has given us another day with the abilities to do what we are doing.  Every single little thing we have the ability to do, He gives us that ability.  We so often forget this.


When I think about the work God has called us to as we serve Him, it can easily become about what cool things we can do for Him.  In reality, it’s absolutely never ever about us.  It never has been and never will be.  We have to understand this and realize that life is never about us and never will be.  It is ALWAYS and will always be about what God does first and foremost.  It is about Him choosing us and working in and through us with a willing heart to accomplish what He wants us to do. 


As I drive to church many Sunday mornings early to practice for the praise team, I think of the ability God has given me to play drums.  I ask God to humble me and help me focus on helping lead people into worship.  As much as I like to play drums, I need to be reminded it’s never ever about me.  It’s about Him and how He uses me and the rest of the team to play, sing and lead the church in a very worshipful experience.  When you’re up front on stage, it can so easily become about you and your abilities.  This is something I have asked God repeatedly to remind me of and to humble me so that I’m not thinking about how cool it is that I’m playing. 


The team I play with each week is really amazing and I’m so grateful and thankful each time I get to play alongside with them.  It is truly and honor and blessing be part of such a wonderful group of people with a love to lead and worship! 


Friends, I hope we never ever forget that our daily lives are never about us, but about what God can do through us.  Let us never forget and be reminded daily that life is all about how God can do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine. 



Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Thankful During And Past Thanksgiving

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“Thankful During And Past Thanksgiving”


Well, it’s that time of year again where we are planning to take off a couple extra days (for many, if not most) off work to enjoy time eating lots of turkey and all the fixin’s!  Some of us may be traveling many, many miles to be with family while others of us not traveling much or at all.  I’ve always enjoyed the time I look forward to each year being with family.  I’m usually with my wife’s family, while missing my family back in Indiana. 


As many of us will probably sit around a table and mention things we are thankful for, I want to encourage all of us to go a bit further.  I am going to challenge and encourage us all to think of AT LEAST 10 things we are thankful for.  Make a list of 10 things and see if you can keep going.  The other challenge is to hang this list up where you will see it every single day as the days, weeks and months roll on.  Continue to lift up prayers of thanksgiving every day for the these things God has blessed you with so much. 


There’s nothing wrong with being thankful at Thanksgiving, but the challenge is to carry on and keep that thanks going on and on every day.  Sometimes it’s good to keep a list that we’ve made to remind us to be truly thankful on days when it’s easier to complain about what we want and do not have. 


I highly encourage us all to be thankful during and past Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

From Intentions To Action

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“From Intentions To Action”

Ephesians 5:15-17 NLT

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.


Friday morning last week, I was reading through a devotional series from some guys sharing experiences and that day was focused on the topic of making priorities in their lives.  One guy shared how he made it a point to be an example to his daughter and how he needed to be intentional about what mattered in life.  He talked about unplugging from the world for one whole day (Sabbath) and focusing on everything that doesn’t involve work. 


I remember how powerful this was and how hard it hit me that morning.  I kept thinking about how I wanted to be intentional with each day of my life and how I want to be wise and not foolish with my time.  I want to be wise as I do my work each day and when I’m home with my wife and kids.  I want to be very intentional and making the most of every opportunity. 


I find myself so often not being intentional and becoming so scatter brained and overwhelmed with all that needs to be done each day and each week.  I don’t want to act thoughtlessly and be in my own world oblivious to people around me who need encouragement. 


So often we find ourselves intending to do this or that, but those intentions often stay as intentions and don’t turn into actual actions played out in our lives.  As I sat in the quiet in my personal morning devotional time, I had this overwhelming feeling of the desire to make a difference in each day of my life with people around me.  I want to be more intentional about being the light of Christ and giving encouragement to others. 


Each day now when I start my day, I am trying to be intentional about how I am living my life and how I look at my day.  I don’t want to be focused on just what all I need to get done for the day, but I want to be sure I’m being intentional with my time and being the husband and dad I need to be at home, employee I need to be at work and the servant I need to be at church. 


I absolutely do not want to be foolish with my time each day.  I don’t want to be thoughtless in the ways I act.  I want every action and every word I speak to encourage others around me. 


I encourage all of us to put our intentions into action.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Assuming Can Bring Trouble

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“Assuming Can Bring Trouble”

James 1:19-20 NIV

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.


Last week in our apartment parking lot, there was a car that was parked crooked in a space.  My wife and I reacted to that and shared with each other how dumb and disrespectful it was for someone to park that way so that no one could safely park beside them.  As that night and the next day approached, the car was still there and we were tempted to leave a note on their car for them to please park respectfully.  We just shook our heads and felt frustrated at someone else being inconsiderate of others in their parking.


I believe either later that day or the next evening, we saw a cop pull into the parking lot and some people getting out of another vehicle to meet up with the cop around that vehicle that had parked bad.  We watched from the window and speculated what had happened and what was going on.  My oldest said, “You guys watch too much of the COPS shows!”  That was funny….and true!  Something we forgot about was that there was a pile of broken glass down by the rear of the car.


All of a sudden, the lights on the badly parked car flashed and we realized that was their car and what actually had happened.  Someone hit their car, left some glass shattered on the ground and then drove off.  That had caused their car to slide over.  After we realized this, I felt guilty.  The whole time I was frustrated with these people, the whole scenario I had assumed was totally WRONG.  It was a huge learning time for me as I remembered that we need to not assume things about situations we are not fully aware of.  We just never really know what’s going on.


I share this to hopefully encourage all of us to give people the benefit of the doubt more often than we do.  It’s not to say that situations are always different from what we think happened, but sometimes they are and it’s so easy to assume.  God wants us to slow down, take a breather in life and look at things with a different perspective.  We get so consumed with our lives that we easily assume things and see things from what we think is right.  Often times, we can be so wrong, as I was.  What if I had left a note for these people?  I would have felt even worse knowing I had assumed and left a note.


Friends, let’s try to be better about jumping the gun in our assumptions and conclusions and be more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.  We are all called to love people with Christ’s love, but when we come up with our own idea of why things are how they are, we can often be wrong.  We need to try to be positive always and not assume people are always doing dumb things.  It does happen, but not always.  Let’s become slower to become angry and assume things.  Let’s be quick to listening and be more understanding.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Followers Need What The World Cannot Give

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“Followers Need What The World Cannot Give”

Matthew 4:23-25 NIV

Jesus went through Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.  News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.  Large crowds from Galilee, the DecapolisJerusalemJudea and the region across the Jordan followed him.


I was just reading this passage recently and 4 words stuck out to me: Large crowds followed him.  As I read these words, I thought about how Jesus went so many places and touched so many lives.  This drew large crowds because He was doing something totally different from the norm.  He was doing life different than anyone had ever seen.  He had followers, but not followers like we might see today. 


When we think of followers today, we think of social media and how so many of us want people to see our tweets and posts and to like them and comment.  We often tend to want to draw people’s attention to ourselves because we want to be noticed.  Jesus had followers, but it was because He was doing something different and people were drawn to what He had to offer.  The followers were craving someone that the world couldn’t give them.


I think about people who follow my posts online and all who read the inspirational posts and the devos I write.  I hope that all who follow what I write will be blessed and come to know God through something I share.  I am so very grateful and honored that God has used me all these years to share devotional thoughts with others to hopefully inspire and bring hope.  If you’re reading this, I thank you for taking time to read and hopefully you’re inspired to grow more in your relationship with God.


Who do we follow in life?  Do we want to know Christ more and share His light more?  If we have people who look up to us, I hope that we would want them to see God through us no matter what we are doing.  For years, my kids have followed a lot of what my wife and I do.  I hope and pray they have come to know God’s love in a powerful way through us in how we raised them. 


Just think, if we live our lives in the way of Christ, people will take notice and people will want to know why you live like you do.  They may follow your lead and do things you do if you are following Christ.  If so, do your best to follow God and be an example to them.  This was a huge prayer of the Apostle Paul.  He wanted people to follow his example as he strove to follow God’s example. 


Who do you follow and who follows you?  Let’s pray that anyone who follows us is able to see the light of Christ shine through us.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Lord, We Ask, We Seek, We Pray

 Youtube Channel Video Devo


“Lord, We Ask, We Seek, We Pray”

Matthew 7:7 NIV

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


One of my favorite songs we play and sing at church now is “Ask, Seek, Pray” by River Valley Worship.  I remember one of the first Sundays we played this on praise team and it totally captured my heart.  The more and more we sing and play this song, it’s such a powerful song.  This past Sunday at church, as I was playing drums to this song, it was one of the most powerful moments for me as I played.  It became such a powerful prayer and time of worship.


I wanted to share the bridge of the song with you:


Pour out Your Spirit on our praise
Come let revival fill this place
Stir up our faith for greater things
Lord, we ask, we seek, we pray

All this to lift up and proclaim
Jesus Christ, the highest name
Send us Your power, light the flame
Lord, we ask, we seek, we pray


Every time I think about these words, I’m just blown away at the majestic anthem it is!  It is such a powerful proclamation.  Think about these words.  We are asking the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts and the place we worship.  We are asking Him to move in a very mighty way.  It’s so powerful!  I think of the encounters people had throughout Scripture where they were totally overcome with the power of God. 


Friends, if you’re not familiar with this song, I invite you to find it on YouTube and listen to the powerful words in this song.  It’s just such a powerful time of worship listening to it, singing it and taking the words in as we come to the Throne of God. 


The words I’ve shared here are powerful as we ask God to stir up our faith, send us His power and light a huge flame so that we can shine bright for Him.


Are we asking, seeking and praying?  Are we asking God to totally fill us?  Are we seeking Him with all we are?  Are we praying earnestly for Him to light a flame in our hearts to praise and serve Him?  I hope so. 


This song has inspired me to ask, seek, and knock more often so that I can encounter God in new and powerful ways.


Lord, we ask, we seek, we pray!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

What Are We Waiting For?

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“What Are We Waiting For?”

Matthew 9:37-38 NLT

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”


The past couple of weeks, a song stood out to me on the radio.  For King & Country “What Are We Waiting For” got my attention and I watched the video on YouTube and listened to the lyrics fully.  Wow, I was totally blown away and it was so inspiring!  If you get a chance, please go watch the lyric video and just take in the song and what it means.  It’s so powerful!


The 2 lines that stood out to me the most were:

Why are we wasting all the time like someone’s making more?

What if we could be the light that no one could ignore?

After listening to this song, and especially these 2 lines in the chorus, it makes me think of all the different times in our lives when we consider things to be urgent.  Things at home call for urgency.  Things at work come up and become urgent.  People reach out to contact us for an urgent matter we need to figure out.  The list could go on and on.  There seems to be a sense of urgency about so much in our lives each and every day in some way.


There’s nothing at all wrong with having a sense of urgency to take care of things with work, family and friends, but I cannot help but wonder why we don’t have the same sense of urgency when it comes to spreading God’s Word to people Who don’t know Him and need to hear His Word?  Why does it seem so often like everything else is urgent, but our mission to share God’s love with others doesn’t seem as urgent? 


We seem to waste a lot of time on things in life that we often think are more important.  We waste time on a lot if we really think about it.  I have been thinking about this song a lot and the call that God has given to us to make the most of the time we have each and every day.  We need to be much more urgent in our walk with God as He has called us to share His love with others.


We definitely need to be the light that no one can ignore.  We often tend to put off a lot of things we need to do, including reaching out to people who need to know His love.  We also fail to be urgent in reaching out to people to make amends with them if we’ve wronged them or tell them they’ve hurt us.  We leave so many different things unattended and God wants those things dealt with and not left alone.  What are we waiting for? 


We need to live life with more of an urgency in sharing God’s love.  His mission is clear for us to love others.  What are we waiting for?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Rear-View Pitfall

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“The Rear-View Pitfall”

Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.


I want you all to imagine a ridiculous scenario.  Imagine not only yourself, but everyone else as well driving down the road with eyes focused on the rear-view mirror.  How in the world would anyone ever see where they are going?  It seems like a very insane thing to do, right?  People would be smashing into each other constantly and it would be mass chaos.  Sometimes traffic is still mass chaos, right??  Haha!


None of us would even consider keeping our eyes glued(figuratively speaking, of course!) to the mirror while driving.  If we are always looking back behind us, we never will see what’s coming as we continue to drive down the road. 


While this illustration obviously would be extremely hazardous to our safety and others around us, this is exactly how so many of us live our lives in our walk with God.  Not only does Isaiah say to forget the past, but the Apostle Paul told us that as well!  We are never to fully focus on what lies in the past.  However, so many of us focus on things in our past and we can’t get past that.  We dwell on it and it seems to come back to haunt us a lot. 


I have a very bad habit of focusing on the past and all the dumb things I’ve done.  The enemy constantly reminds me of what I’ve done and then I think those things define me.  I often find myself thinking everyone else is smarter than me and I always do dumb things.  Satan is really good at getting me to focus on my past and I’ve got to learn to not dwell on those things. 


God reminds me that I am not dumb and that I am His child.  He loves me and wants great things for my life and my future.  What I need to do instead is laugh at myself and move on with life so that I can enjoy the bright future He has planned ahead.


How about you?  Can you relate to any of these things I’m dealing with on a daily basis?  Are you struggling as well to put the past behind and look straight ahead into the wonderful new things God has planned? 


For so many of us, we need to end the rear-view pitfall and focus on all that God has in store for us for our future!

Monday, September 4, 2023

The Simplest, Yet Hardest Command

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“The Simplest, Yet Hardest Command”

John 15:2 NIV

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.


This passage came up the past week as the verse of the day in the Bible app.  Each time I come across this passage, I am reminded of two things. First, it’s one of the most simple commands to understand.  You don’t need a college or seminary degree to understand what it means.  Second, even though it’s a simple command, it must be one of the hardest commands to live out in our lives.


I often find myself wondering why it seems so difficult to love some people.  I want to love others with a genuine love of Christ.  I want them to see Him in me and through me.  However, I’m often finding it hard to love people who are way different than me.  Instead of taking the perspective and attitude that I can love on people and learn so much from them in how they are different, I find myself feeling like I want to stick with small talk and go to talk to others I get along with better.


I know I’m not alone in this feeling.  As I consider this, I’m remembering 2 different quotes I’ve seen in the past from TobyMac.  One is “Love Difficult People.  You’re one of them.” The other quote is “When Jesus said love your neighbor, He knew your neighbor would act, look, believe and love differently than you.  It’s kind of the whole point.”


Those 2 quotes are so very powerful and they should stick in our minds every day when we encounter others who we won’t feel as comfortable talking to.  We are commanded to love others, especially those who are different from us.  I tend to often forget God wants me to learn from others that are different from me.  I often want to shy away from getting into conversations that make me a bit uncomfortable. 


We all need to remember the people Jesus came into contact with on a daily basis.  He got his hands dirty talking to people who were way different and He interacted with them to show the love of God.  God calls us to live this command out and reach out to people in any ways we can to show His love.


Funny thing is, even if we talk to people who are different from us, that doesn’t mean we have to agree with what they say or what they do.  We can respectfully disagree and still show the love of God.  However, I am not good at conversations where I disagree with people.  I’ve just never been good at those discussions.  I need to remember that I can learn from them and they can learn from me.  Showing love and respect is the key. 


Jesus told us to love others.  No one is excluded from that command.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

He Cares About The Details

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“He Cares About The Details”

Matthew 1:17 NIV

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.


The other day, I was just reading through the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1.  To be quite honest, I’m not all that crazy about reading through the genealogies in Scripture.  I have a hard time following any of them and the details don’t get retained in my mind.  They just don’t hit deep spiritually with me and I tend to read through them quickly so that I can get to other important things in the Bible. 


Details are important in life.  We need details when we do a project at home, at work, for school or somewhere else.  Details are vital in doing anything.  Even though I’m not crazy about those genealogies, God is and I need to remember that God is all about the details of life. 


As I consider all the details of our lives, it reminds me that God always interested and cares very deeply about the details of our lives.  When we go to God in prayer, sometimes we just pray generally.  We may think, “God isn’t all interested in the nitty gritty details of my life.  I don’t want to waste His time going into such deep details.”  If we feel like this at all, we are very wrong.  God deeply cares about every single detail in our lives. 


Whether we think details in our lives are important or not or if we pray specifically for little details that concern us, we should know that God is always interested in hearing the details, no matter how much.  He created us and knows the number of hairs on our heads.  Why in the world would we ever think He is not concerned about the smallest details of our lives?  He wants to hear us pray about little things that we might possibly think aren’t important.  He cares about all of it.  If it’s on our mind, He wants to hear from us on it. 


Again, after reading the genealogy the other day, I honestly thought, “Oh boy, here we go again with all of these details I will not remember.”  Then God immediately reminded me how important all the details of life are to Him.  I felt guilty about rushing through those details to get to the rest of my reading. 


The next time we read through any details that seem to bore us, make us yawn or just seem unimportant at the time, let us never forget that all details in life are important to God.  He cares deeply about EVERYTHING we deal with in life, no matter how insignificant we may think they are.   

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Letting Go & Letting God

 YouTube Channel Video Devo


“Letting Go & Letting God”

1 Peter 5:7

NIV- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

NLT- Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.


No matter how hard I try to submit and surrender myself to God each day, I find myself taking over shortly after and starting to worry about life all day long.  Why do I find it so hard to let go and let God be in total control?  So many days, I find myself worried and having concerns about so many things.  I watch my wife and girls work through various things in their lives and I try to think about how I can be a better husband and father. 


Aside from thinking about them, I often think of all the things I need to take care of and accomplish.  While I’m only given one day at a time, I find myself worrying about things days ahead and even weeks or months. 


When I get to the point where I can fully focus on God and all His provisions and remember that I need to just let go, I finally feel at peace.  I come to a place where I realize I cannot control things and I cannot figure everything out.  Why am I always trying to be in control of so much and figure things out?


Friends, do you find yourselves struggling with these things I struggle with daily?  Are you finding yourselves filled with anxiety and stress and worry almost all day, every day?  So many of us in various ways. 


We must make it a point to go to God and submit and surrender to Him and allow Him lead us and take these burdens from us.  It’s hard to let go and let God be in control because so often we feel we need to be in control.  Cast all your anxiety on Him.  Give all your worries to Him.  I like both translations here and they are great at giving a different perspective on this passage. 


Letting go and letting God is hard to do!  It is not an easy task because we so often want to take care of things in our own way.  We get overwhelmed and stressed and wonder why things aren’t better.  God wants us to give these worries and concerns to Him as He promises to lead us and give us peace.  He cares for us and wants the best for our lives.


We need to practice so much more of letting go and letting God!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

More Alert Than Ever

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“More Alert Than Ever”

1 Peter 5:8 NIV

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


I have 1 older daughter who has been driving for over 1 year now.  I have a younger daughter who is taking driver’s education and will start driving the end of September.  As I think about this, I am not only concerned about how they will both do on the roads, I am so much more concerned about how others will be around them while on the road. 


We tell our daughters often enough about how alert you must be on the road, especially these days with all the distractions that are happening and how careless so many are while behind the wheel.  None of us are perfect and we’ve all made dumb mistakes while driving.  However, I think about people who are deliberately just not paying attention and with my youngest daughter about to get out on the road, it just scares me.  I want them to be alert more than ever.


This is just one example of how we need to be on the alert.  I also think of many other ways we need to be on the alert and very aware of unexpected happenings.  We have people who are doing everything they can to scam others.  You have some sales people who will try whatever they can to get a deal and rip you off.  There are a lot of good sales people out there, but there are some very sly ones as well. 


I could go on and on about the different ways we must be alert to protect ourselves from those who try to take advantage of us.  As much as we need to protect ourselves against these people, we also need to realize we have an enemy that prowls around just waiting to distract us and trick us every turn we make. 


We absolutely must be on our guard each and every day.  We don’t need to be paranoid and freaking out by any means, but we do need to be on the alert and aware so that we can be ready when these attacks happen.  We need to stay strong in the faith and be ready when the enemy tries to trick us.  He is so very good at it indeed!  However, we have an amazing and powerful God Who cannot be defeated and will help us at every turn. 


Let us be on the alert every day, in His Word and ready for whatever may come our way. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Fully Focused

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“Fully Focused”

Acts 20:24 NLT

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.


Isn’t it crazy and amazing how unfocused we can become at times in our lives?  Many of us probably have consistent days of having tons of things on our minds.  We try to cram as many things as we possibly can into one day.  We need to get productive and do as much as possible.  Sometimes I talk with others who say, “Too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do them”.  While this is funny at first, it’s really actually sad.  We get way too much on our plates and then we end up not fully focusing on really anything. 


As I think about this passage in Acts, it’s amazing how focused Paul was on the task he had at hand.  He accomplished many things in life, but nothing became more important to him than being fully focused on Christ and finishing the work for the Kingdom.  That is ALL he was focused on.  He came to realize that no accomplishment is better or greater than serving the Kingdom and doing the work of God.  He considered everything else in life nothing unless it was serving Christ.


I often wonder how many things I put importance on in my daily life that really doesn’t mean much.  Maybe we all need to take a step back and consider what all we do each day and what meaning it really has.  What means the most to us?  Work?  Family? Hobbies?  What means the absolute most to you?  Hopefully it is a relationship and life served in Christ.  Paul was fully focused and we need to be as well.


Instead of us trying to focus on a million things each day, perhaps we should realize there is only 1 focus we need each day.  Our focus should be solely on Christ alone.  I want to be fully focused, but I just have so many things on my mind each day.  Now, don’t get me wrong, we need to take care of responsibilities each day for sure.  However, we tend to get focused on way too many things and end up running ourselves down.  We need to be fully focused as Paul was and strive to serve Christ each day.  In doing this, our priorities will align and we will take care of things that are truly important.


Let’s be fully focused as Paul was and strive to finish the work God has called us to do.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Lighten Up And Live

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“Lighten Up And Live”

Proverbs 17:22 NLT

A glad heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.


I chose the title of this devotional from a phrase that Christian comedian and motivational speaker, Ken Davis uses in his radio ministry.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we need to be reminded that life is too short to take too seriously.  I’ve often heard the phrase, “Don’t take yourself so seriously”.  I admit I am WAY bad about this!  I tend to find myself taking things way too seriously and not laughing more as I should. 


I get so down on myself when I do dumb things instead of just laughing and moving on.  My wife and my girls are great reminders to me that I need to lighten up and live and enjoy more of life!  My wife especially reminds me of this and she is soooooooooo patient with me! 


This devotional is nothing terribly deep, but a great reminder that we need to remember to laugh more often.  I find when I laugh more, I feel so much better and I enjoy life more.  I find that I’m less agitated and people want to be around me more.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?


I really appreciate how Ken Davis reminds us to lighten up and live.  We have to find more joy in everyday life in just being more lighthearted.  I am totally preaching this to myself as well as to you.  I have been so bad about this for so many years of my life.  I tend to be a serious person naturally.  Sometimes that can be good, but often times it takes me away from enjoying the wonderful every day things that God does around me.


God DOES have a sense of humor and He loves when we just laugh and enjoy life.  He especially loves this when unexpected things happen to us and we make the most of it and find some way to laugh and move on.  It’s so easy too often to get angry and focus on the negative.  I have always appreciated people who are so laid back and find a way to smile through everything almost.  I want to be like that! 


Friends, some of us are naturally more light-hearted than others.  The rest of us tend to take life a little too seriously more than we should.  We need to learn to laugh more and lighten up and live!


Ken Davis, if you ever somehow come across this devotional, THANK YOU for your constant reminders of how we should lighten up and live!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Nothing Is Ever Useless

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“Nothing Is Ever Useless”

1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.


I’ve had so many instances through my years of life where I have tried to work hard at something, but then many times gotten very discouraged and threw my hands up and said, “This is useless!”


We have all had these situations in life in various ways.  We try hard to get through to someone and we find ourselves wanting to give up because we feel we’re not getting anywhere.  We start a project at home and spend possibly years on it only to find ourselves wanting to toss in the towel and give up.  Maybe we want to take up a hobby or play an instrument.  We try and try and try and try….and then try again.  All the while we sometimes just want to give up and say, “This is useless!” 


We often feel like this when we think we are getting nowhere with someone or something.  It’s often easy to feel like nothing is going to come of what we are doing and we’re just beating a dead horse.  However, I have heard many stories of people who have spent years or decades working toward something and, finally, after so long something happens from their efforts. 


We never know when or how, but we must always remember that God will ALWAYS use our efforts in some way.  We don’t know how, but He will.  The next time we take on a new hobby, project, or trying to talk to someone about our faith, we need to give it time and allow God to use us.  At times, we need to step away, take a deep breath, come back and try again in another way.


It is so easy for us to throw up our hands and yell, “I’ve had it!  This is useless and going nowhere!”  When we feel like doing that, we need to take a deep breath, count to 10 (My mother used this tactic on me many times!), and regroup. 


No matter what we are doing, we must always do it for the Lord and remember that nothing we do will go unnoticed.  It might be days, months, years or decades, but God is working and we must trust that He will reward and reveal at the proper times.  Nothing is ever useless when it comes to the work of the Kingdom.  We may think it’s useless, but it never will be if we are striving to serve Him and make a difference in people’s lives. 


Nothing is ever useless, so don’t give up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

What Do We Seek?

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“What Do We Seek?"

Matthew 6:33

NIV- But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

NLT- Seek the Kingdom above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


I’ve often found that when I seek something in my life and focus on it for any certain amount of time, I catch myself tending to focus a little too much on whatever it is and expecting fulfillment.  There’s nothing at all wrong with searching for certain things and looking forward to having experiences and possessions, but far too often, these things become and end in themselves.  Instead of us enjoying what God has given to us, we often make these things idols.


I have to constantly remind myself why I chase after the things I do.  I often find myself trying to chase after things because I think they will fulfill my needs.  If I just have this, I’ll be happy.  If I just achieve this, I’ll be content.  If I just get that job that pays a little better, then I’ll have what I need.  The list can go on and on.  I’m never satisfied.  It’s never enough if I constantly keep chasing after things. 


A week ago Sunday, our pastor preached on contentment and I was reminded again of Paul’s experience of how he learned how to be content, no matter what.  He finally learned to seek after God and be content, no matter what. 


What do we seek in our lives?  What are we chasing after?  What’s next?  What more do we need?  When will enough be enough?  We often seem to be like dogs chasing their tails around and around and around chasing after the next great thing the world offers. 


Friends, it’s okay to long for certain things and want to have them.  What we have to be careful of is letting those things be the end fulfillment instead of enjoying what God has given to us.  He tells us to seek His Kingdom above all else.  Do we really do that?  Are we really seeking Him?  He has promised to give us everything we need, but we still find ourselves chasing after what the world offers, somehow becoming convinced these offers are the answer to our problems.


We must never forget that seeking after God ONLY is the answer to our problems.  He will supply every need.  He will provide.  The world only leaves us with a constant hunger and thirst that will drive us into despair.  The hunger and thirst we have when we seek God just drives us to wanting more and more of Him and that will keep us totally alive! 


What do we seek?  Him or the world?