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Fall is in the air!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Can You Come Out and Play?

I received a comment in response to the question that I posed in reference to yesterday’s post when I asked: “What kind of mark should a Christian leave behind?”  This very astute individual simply answered “Jesus Christ,” and he is completely correct.  That answer though, really got me to thinking.  What does that look like?  What does it smell like?  How would someone left in a Christian’s wake know that the mark of Jesus was left behind?

I then thought of the prayer that my wife always prayed as our kids were growing up.  She regularly asked the Lord that people would notice our house to be a place of peace and joy.  Wherever we lived, we were “that house” on the block where all the kids hung out.  Our driveway was normally littered with bikes, scooters, skateboards, sticky Otter Pop wrappers and then hockey sticks and roller blades when they came into popularity.  The sounds of laughter, yells of encouragement and the barking dog regularly emanated from our yard each afternoon.  As I recalled those special times I could just see the Lord smiling and saying “that’s what I look like to a searching world!”

It was also a place where many of the visiting children sealed their eternal salvation with the Lord.  I can’t even recall all the kids that prayed the salvation prayer with my wife over the years.  Today some of those “kids” are an active part of the ministry at our church!

I also fondly remember a distant November day when my wife and kids had gone on an out of town field trip leaving me home alone to work on a book that I was writing at the time.  My study in that house was in a room right next to the front door.  Since it was still warm, I had the window open fairly wide.  On that particular day one of the neighborhood boys must have come to the door at least a half a dozen times asking if our two younger children were home yet.  Finally in desperation he reappeared at our door and stood there staring in the window until he got my attention.  As I turned from my old computer and smiled at him, he sheepishly cleared his throat and stammered out: “Can YOU come out and play?”

That, I believe, is the sight, the sound and the smell of Jesus that we are to make in our local surroundings!  In reading Genesis chapter one today, I noticed that our Heavenly Father did not rate His creation as “very good” until He had created man.  I think that was because He had finally established the means for Him to make His mark among mankind.  We are the body of Christ.  We are the physical hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus on this planet.  I know that you’ve probably heard it before, but its worth repeating.  We may be the only Jesus that people ever see! 

My wife’s prayer has been validated many times as visitors to our various homes over the years stopped when preparing to walk out the front door and turned back to make the comment “Your house is sure peaceful!”  My wife would simply smile and reply “Praise the Lord” followed by a sincere “Thank you!”

What might you pray today in reference to the stamp of Christ that you would leave behind as you become a part of people’s lives?  When was the last time a neighborhood kid asked if you could come out and play?  Or a neighbor stopped by to ask if they could talk to you about the peace that emanates from you and/or your home?  Think about it…

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Irene Left Behind

Previously I wrote about Moses’ challenge to the Children of Israel as recorded in Deuteronomy 30:19.  He was encouraging the people to make the decision to “choose life” before they entered into the Promised Land that God had given to them.  Moses knew that they would be facing many situations and fighting battles that would initially appear to be overwhelming and impossible.  He also knew that their predetermined mind set of ultimate trust in their God would be the key for them to succeed and to live the life that they were destined to live.

The couple that I mentioned yesterday tends to live most comfortably when they are recalling their memories of the past.  The lie of depression seems to cause them to resist or deny the events of the present, especially when they encounter news that is not encouraging in the natural report.  This is not a healthy way to live.  It is failing to respond with positive expectation to the challenge of choosing the kind of life that God has provided for us to experience each day.

In II Timothy 2:1 the Apostle Paul told the young (and not overwhelmingly confident) Pastor Timothy to “find your source of strength in the kindness (or grace) of Christ Jesus.”  (Gods Word ©)  Another translation says to “be empowered by grace.”  (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible)  What is this grace that he speaks of?  It is the favor of God on our behalf.  It is all that Jesus has provided for us in His finished work. 

God, through Jesus’ finished work, restored to His children the same dominion and authority that He had given to the first man Adam.  When God looked back at His freshly completed creation in Genesis 1:31 He stated that it was “very good!”  As I’ve shared in the past, the word “very” infers that His creation was so vehemently good that it could cause a reaction to the emotions that excited one to passion! …And that is the way that I believe He wants us to see and live our lives everyday!  Therefore it would behoove us to begin each new day by personalizing Paul’s instructions (especially when we don’t feel like it…) and confessing that “I am empowered by all that Christ Jesus has provided for me through the very good results of His finished work!”

The Lord showed me this morning that wherever I go, peace, joy and the passion of God’s “very good” should follow!  Wow… think about that!  Just like Hurricane Irene left its mark wherever it went this weekend, does your daily walk leave its mark of passion for the very good of God behind you?  Hummm… definitely something to aspire to!

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Very Good Things am I expecting today?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Are You Like Indiana Jones?

Happy Monday everyone!  I expect that your weekend was great and that you are looking forward to an exciting new week.  

After I had to push through a few clouds that were attempting to darken my day today, I jumped into the shower and forced myself to concentrate on nothing except the Lord.  You know, that’s not always an easy task.  It is amazing how many distracting and totally unconnected thoughts can come knocking on the door of your mind when you try to focus on Heavenly things.  Have you ever experienced that?

Well, today I was successful as I enjoyed the hot water and the warm bright sunlight that was streaming through the window above our shower.  Later when I came downstairs and was peeking out the large sliding door in our kitchen, I began to think about a conversation that I had with one of my daughters yesterday.  She was relating to me how she was learning to take a more active role in the direction of her daily moods.  She had taken an inventory of her usual routine and decided that there were things that she did that tended to bring her down.  So she decided to make a change.  A little less of this, and a little more of that... whatever it would take to brighten her countenance and allow her to be an even stronger witness of the joy and encouragement of the Lord, to those who are close to her!  What my daughter did was to choose life instead of death in the sneaky form of depression and laziness!

At the end of his presence on this earth, Moses gathered the children of Israel together and reiterated to them all the promises that God had made to them over the years.  In Deuteronomy 30:19 he concludes by saying: “I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life and death, blessings or curses.  Choose life that you and your descendents shall live.”  (Gods Word ©)  This wisdom still stands true to us today.

It is a decision that we need to make on a regular basis… sometimes even daily!  My wife and I recently witnessed a first hand view of the effects of a couple that are in the process of allowing the reigns of life to slip out of their hands.  A quick glance around their home shows all the signs of the tightening grips of the darkness of depression.  It is not a pretty sight to behold. 

The Lord spoke through Moses and encouraged His people to choose life so that they would live the kind of life that He had purposed, and provided for them to live.  How will you choose?  For some reason I just remembered a line toward the end of the third Indiana Jones movie where the thousand year old knight exclaims to Indiana, after he drank from the waters of life with the correct chalice, that “You have chosen wisely!”  Indiana then proceeds to save his father from death, single handedly defeat the enemy, and then ride off into a beautiful sunset.  I guess it’s kind of an analogy of what can happen to and/or through us when we choose the life that our Heavenly father has provided for us to experience.

I encourage you to take Moses’ challenge today and choose life.  Allow His joy to be your strength and His peace to be your guide.  Then as you look up into the heavens, you’ll hear that wonderful still, small voice say to you:  “You chose wisely, well done my good and faithful servant!”  (see Matthew 25:23)  Stay tuned, have a GREAT week and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today!”

Friday, August 26, 2011


Wow… what a week.  It’s been one of those times that I’m sure we all face, when we are forced to look in the mirror.  Where it seems that everything close to you is being investigated under a microscope, pulled to and fro and then clearly presented before you with the understanding that personal decisions and adjustments need to be made. 

I awoke pretty early this morning with a multitude of thoughts, plans and purposes running amuck in my mind.  I finally pulled myself out of bed, grabbed a flashlight and stumbled down to the study to review some of the scriptures that I had been looking at yesterday.  That acted like a cup of warm milk to my system and helped me to return upstairs and to rest for another hour or so.

The second time I got up, I went through the motions of brewing the hot java and then returned to my desk in the study.  With my hands on my head, I reached out to the Holy Spirit and asked for directions through the maze of thoughts that were still zinging through my mind.  He immediately led me back to Romans 8:1-2 and seemed to want to emphasize to me that “In nothing (ie; no-thing!) then, is there now condemnation to the one’s in Christ Jesus.”  (Apostolic Bible Polygot – parentheses mine)

Romans 8:1-2 is written as a conclusion to Paul’s thoughts from the previous chapter.  In chapter seven the Apostle talks about the struggles that we all go through in this life, and the mistakes that we may make.  He then brings it into perspective by stating that as born again believers we NOW have NO condemnation, criticism or judgment because our new position in Christ has set us totally free from the old standards of the law of sin and death.  The Greek word “then” in verse one implies that Paul’s statement is written with “the idea of drawing a conclusion” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G686) that according to our old friend John Gill (see 8/22/11 post “Be Passionate!”), in his commentary on Romans 8:1, is “particularly based on the everlasting and unchangeable love of God in Christ.”

The realization of Our Heavenly Father’s everlasting love that is unchangeable in the face of any mistake (whether true or not) that I might have made in the past or may do in the future, instantly pulled everything from this week into His perspective for me.  It brought my troubled mind into a state of quiet and peaceful calm.  And that’s the thought that I wanted to leave you with on this TGIF post.

Maybe you have been unjustly condemned and sentenced by people, quite possibly by someone near to you.  It could be that you are attempting to condemn yourself for things you’ve done.  But whatever the source of the condemnation, you can know today, that Jesus has already judged you NOT GUILTY, and has sentenced you to live a life of love that is backed by the strength, integrity and unchanging Word of God.  Your job is to walk in His love with those around you and to become a part of the solution instead of adding to the (or their?) problem! 

Have a great weekend.  Walk in your newly found freedom from the standards of the world and continually confess that “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate ME from God’s love which Jesus MY Lord shows Me.”  (Romans 8:38 Gods Word – personalized)

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Good Things am I expecting today?”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What ARE You Expecting?

Well, I know that you’re waiting to hear the report from yesterday!  It was an excellent appointment.  And on top of that, the weather was great in the City by the Bay, the views were gorgeous and driving up and down the famed streets of San Francisco was a little unnerving at times while quite exhilarating at others!  But… back to the appointment.

As I had mentioned previously, this was an appointment with an expert in the field of memory care, and it showed!  Not only was she very knowledgeable on all phases of Dementia, but she was also extremely personable, informative, comfortable, compassionate and caring toward my wife and I.  This has not always been the case with other physicians we have been too.  While not really changing the final prognosis (in the natural course of things) of the problem, she did fill in all the gaps in the journey we have been walking for the last five years.

Using the information from my wife’s family health history, she explained to us why one of the original doctors made such a confusing diagnosis of my wife’s condition when he compared her initial test results in contrast to her actual abilities at the time.  This history also explained why some of her close relatives have reacted to her condition in the way they have.

The Doctor understood and clarified why my wife is so responsive to the emotions of those around her, and agreed with me in my attempts to surround her with those who are happy, encouraging and “up!”  She illuminated us as to the reasons for all the different stages that my wife has gone through and explained the things to be aware of in the future.

She  was even in agreement to the therapeutic powers of my wife’s interactions with our dog!  In fact, she also had an Australian Shepherd, was well aware of their enthusiastic behavior around people, and gave us some tips on how to better control her so that we could resume taking her on walks with us.  This is the 55 lb pooch who jumps on the bed every morning to give my wife a joyful good morning lick (or two, or three… or more), the one who regularly attempts to squeeze in between us on the couch so that she can nuzzle up to Piper, and the silly one who loves to skip up and down and perform a doggy dance just for my wife’s pleasure!  Whoever said that dogs are man’s (or in this case, woman’s) best friend, surely knew what they were talking about! 

So, to put it in a nutshell, this appointment proved to be very helpful in our understanding of the fight we are in, gave us good support and will provide us with a means of good follow up as we will be seeing her about every two months.  (The last two doctors had said that every six month’s was more than adequate!)  Our new Doctor also made it clear that she will fight with us to assure that the insurance company approves all the meds that are prescribed to help lessen the effects of the condition.

What do we do now?  Like I stated yesterday, we keep focused on the truth of God’s word concerning the outcome of this battle.  Romans 8:2 says “For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set us FREE from the law of sin and death.” (Good News Bible).  The previous verse explains the results of our freedom from the old laws that used to govern us.  It says that “There is NO condemnation NOW for those who are in union with Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 Good News Bible).  In other words, my wife is NO LONGER subject to the condemnation or verdict of sickness and it’s sentence of an early death. 

As a Believer, she is only subject to new law of “God’s love which Christ Jesus shows (or demonstrated) to us.”  Romans 8:38 Gods Word ©) … And what was one of the acts of love that He showed or demonstrated to us?  He “healed every kind of disease and sickness”  (Matthew 4:23 Contemporary English Version) and “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38 King James Version)

Remember, our actions of faith assure us of the things that we are EXPECTING to come to pass.  (see Hebrews 11:1)  What we choose to focus our attention on defines the result of our journey.  Therefore join with me in keeping your focus, your thoughts and your attention on the truth of God’s word, no matter what the circumstances of life try to tell you.

… and then regularly test yourself by asking: “What Am I Expecting today?”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Putting Your Convictions To The Test

Well today is one of those days that we talked about yesterday.  I have a decision to make before I leave the house.  This is the day that we go to see one of the top specialist in the field of Memory Care.  We’ll soon be heading out to the Memory Clinic in San Francisco (about an hour to the south of us) for an appointment with the Director of the clinic.

These doctor visits always tend to be a challenge to my faith as they normally play emotional havoc with my entire being.  It seems like just about everything medical science has to say about the attack of dementia is totally opposite to what the word of our Heavenly Father says!  But until my wife’s total and complete healing recovery is manifested, we will seek out the assistance of the medical field in order to help aid the symptoms of the disease.

It will be interesting to see what this expert has to tell us.  This is where the decision that I mentioned a couple of paragraphs above comes in.  Will I choose to let the feeling of something that should have NO say so in me to affect me (ie; fear), or choose to stand my ground, receive and apply whatever usable information, medications and/or therapy that is suggested to help, while continuing to focus my attention and my EXPECTATIONS on the truth of God’s word?

Well duh!!! Another no-brainer huh?  But it was good to get the thought out!  Thanks for listening.  Psalm 103:3 says that He heals ALL our diseases.  Psalm 107:20 says that He sent His word and healed us.  II Peter 2:24 states that by Jesus’ stripes, my wife is healed, and Mark 16:18 declares that one of the miraculous signs that we’ve been talking about recently that will follow believers, is that they will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. *

Okay, okay… I am ready.  My decision is firmly established and nothing that is said today, that might question the integrity of my Heavenly Father, will move me!

How are you doing today?  Are your convictions firmly established before you leave the house?  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting today?”

PS:  I have at least 98 other scriptures that confirm God’s desire to heal His children that my wife and I have been confessing daily.  If you are interested, send me an email and I’ll send you a copy.  (Thanks Pastor Larry!)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's The Difference?

It seems like I just can’t get away from Joshua 1:9 and what I consider to be its New Testament counterpart found in II Timothy 1:7.  If you’ll recall some of our earlier posts, you will remember the comments that I had made about the different way that God interacted with His children in the two Biblical testaments.  In the Old Testament the children of God were not born again.  Therefore God had to deal with them on a strictly physical basis.  Without the love nature inside them, they could only react to God through their senses.  Therefore when He spoke to Joshua, He “commanded” him to be strong, confident and courageous.  Joshua responded to God’s instructions out of honor, love and respect, but also with a contingency of fear.  It was this fear of God that partially drove Him to successfully complete the calling on His life. 

In the New Testament, through the finished work of Christ, God’s children have been given a new heart filled with the love nature of their Heavenly Father.  Now God, through His Holy Spirit in us, can communicate directly with each of us individually, without us having or receiving any sense of guilt, inferiority or fear.  Our sins have been totally forgiven and we can NOW stand pure, holy and confidently before Him.  (see Hebrews 9:11-28)

In II Timothy 1:7 we see the difference between the two covenants.  While He “commanded” Joshua in the OT, He instead, encourages us through Paul to the young Pastor Timothy in the New Testament: “For God did not give a spirit of cowardice to us, but of power and of love and of a self control.”  (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible)  The point being that today, God cannot deal with us through an attachment of fear because our newly created spirit (the real you) cannot respond to it anymore.  Our spirits do not know what fear is, because there is NO fear in the real you anymore!  We do not need to be “commanded” to have strength, confidence and courage.  Its counterparts of power, love and self control have NOW been freely given to us as part of what Jesus has done for us!

Fear should be as a stranger, a foreigner and as an alien apparition to Believers. Our new man or women is able to face the difficulties of life with the boldness and confidence that Jesus demonstrated during His earth walk.  Why?  Because He is the head and we are now part of His body.  And as the head does, so does the rest of the body.

Chew on that for awhile.  Is that the way you face your day?  I had to fight through that reality this morning.  But, I came to a quick conclusion though.  I realized that since I have made Him the “strong and sure anchor” of my life” and that “God cannot lie,” (Hebrews 6:18-19) I therefore had no right or ability to hang on to inhibition and fear.  I chose instead to take Him at His word and “command” my feelings and my thoughts to line up with who He says I am.  I do not walk in fear, but in His power, in His love nature and with His self control.  What decision will you come to today?

Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What decisions of Power, Love and Self Control am I expecting to make today?”

Monday, August 22, 2011

Be Passionate!

As I was studying in Joshua 1:9 this morning, I glanced over to a commentary on the verse written by John Gill, who was an English Baptist Pastor as well as a Hebrew and Greek scholar.  He was born on November 23, 1697 and died on October 14, 1771.  Reverend Gill was a strong supporter of George Whitefield’s preaching, and pastured for 51 years at the church that would eventually become The Metropolitan Tabernacle that was pastured by Charles Spurgeon.  John Gill is considered to be the first major writer among English theologians. (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gill_(theologian) for more information on John Gill)

The comments that caught my attention concerned the last part of the verse where the Lord tells Joshua that “I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”  (Contemporary English Version)  Gill said: “Consider who it is that has given these orders and instructions, the great Jehovah, the everlasting I AM, who is faithful to his promises and able to perform.  The consideration of which would serve to animate him to the work he was called unto, to encourage his faith in God, to engage in his service cheerfully and readily.”  (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible – 1763)

I looked up the word “animate”, and according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary it is defined as “giving natural life to; to give power to; to give spirit or vigor to; and to infuse courage, joy or other enlivening passion.”  This last phrase concerning the infusing of “enlivening passion” stirred me up this morning and caused Gill’s words to ignite inside me!

Dwell on that thought for a moment with me today.  Gill also said that the Targum of Jonathan, which is a western translation of the Torah, relates the end of Joshua 1:9 as “for they help is the word of the Lord thy God.”  So therefore, this verse is telling us that the living word of God, as recorded in our Bible, has the ability to infuse courage, joy or any other enlivening passion that we may need everyday of our lives.  Wow!  That sure gets me excited!  How about you?

You and I do not have to live ordinary, hum-drum lives anymore!  We have access to the connection that can fire us up and put us above and in control of any situation we face.  We are a blessing going somewhere to happen!  Remember where Mark 16:17 says that “these are the miraculous signs that will accompany believers."  (Gods Word ©)  That is talking about you and me!  We have been given the ability to make a difference.

Take that truth out with you as you face your week ahead.  Be who you have been anointed to be… strong, confident and courageous.  One who is not easily discouraged or distracted.  Let the passion of the Word be your torch in your world and shine brightly for Him.  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Passionate Actions am I expecting to take today?”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Looking Out The Window!

I started out my study time this morning by revisiting the 91st Psalm.  After I had meditated on it for awhile and had jotted down various notes, I became aware of the fact that all the protection promised to us in this Psalm is contingent upon our consistent “doing” of the first verse!  Our being close enough to Him so as to be within His shadow, is what guarantees us a quick response from Him concerning our safety and defense.  The farther away we allow ourselves to be removed from His presence, the longer it may take for Him to respond to our needs.  Humm… interesting point.

As I contemplated these thoughts, the Lord spoke to me and said “Don’t second guess the past, Jim.  You can’t go back, but you can go forward.”  Then I immediately remembered Hebrews 11:1 where it says that Now faith is…”  (King James Version)  Faith is always present tense.  You can’t have faith for the past, and if you’re trying to have faith for the future you are actually in the mode of hope or expectation.  Faith is in the NOW and represents the object of what you are believing for until you receive it!

The key is to forget the past and put yourself into the present, within the shadow of our Heavenly Almighty Father.  This way, under His watchful protection and care, you can depend on having a spectacular future.  Someone once told me that is why God calls today “the present.”  Today is a gift from the Lord.  You can choose to live it anyway you want.  Don’t let memories of the past whether they by actual or not, good or bad, taint the blank slate of the fresh, new day that the Lord is giving you today!

So, when you get up tomorrow, walk to the nearest window, twist open the blinds, cast your cares aside, look out and joyfully exclaim: “This day belongs to the Lord!  Let’s celebrate and be glad today!”  (Psalm 118:24 Contemporary English Version)  Remember God’s promise to you at the end of Psalm 91 where He says that “I will satisfy you with a long life (and) I will show (or demonstrate to) you how I will save (prosper, heal and fill you with joy in this life) you.”  (Gods Word ©)

Keep the faith!  (or better yet: keep being in faith!)  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What NEW and EXCITING things am I expecting to happen This Weekend?”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Looking Through The Window

Today was one of those wonderful times when the Lord began speaking to me in the wee hours of the morning, a couple of hours before I arose for the day.  That still small voice inside just began to repeat the first four verses of Psalm 91.  Over and over again those precious promises of loving protection reverberated throughout my being.  As soon as I got up and got the coffee going, I sat down to dig a little deeper into the Psalm. As I read the first verse, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”  (Psalm 91 English Standard Version) I was overwhelmed with the presence of God.  I had to stop right then and there and lift up my arms to proclaim praise and thanksgiving to the One who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

It was actually a little funny, for when I opened my eyes again, I realized that a worker from the lawn and garden crew for our community was standing right outside one of the windows in my study trimming back the bushes against the window.  I really don’t know how long he was there, but he was looking toward me and quickly moved away as I returned his gaze.  What did he see?  What did he think about as he observed me in worship?  Who knows what God has in mind for that young man?  I am just believing that it was a seed planted for his salvation!

When I returned my attention to the scripture, I switched over to a more modern version of Psalm 91, personalized it and read aloud: “Piper and I live under the protection of you, our Father God, the Most High and we stay in the shadow of you God, who is all powerful to us, for us and through us.  We say to you Lord, you are our fortress, our place of safety; you Father, are our God and we trust implicitly in you.  You Lord, our loving Heavenly Father, keep us safe from secret traps and from all deadly diseases.  You spread your wings over us and keep us secure.  Your faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall.”  (Personalized from the Contemporary English Version)

When I finished that prayer, I had the interesting sensation of being a kid again, feeling safe and sound in the big strong arms of my father… and you know what?  I was! 

I want to challenge you again today, to take a step on the wild side!  Take the scripture prayer I personalized above and insert your name and/or the name of a loved one.  Then pray that prayer throughout the day and see if you don’t have a similar experience to mine, when I completed praying it this morning.  Just allow His love to saturate your entire being.  And don’t even think about who might be watching you from outside your window!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Loving Experiences am I expecting today

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Great Patio Wars…

Earlier this morning as I began my daily study and fellowship time with the Lord, I turned to Galatians 5:22-23 and read about the fruit of the Spirit.  As my eyes followed the printed words, my mind began to picture all the physical fruit of the summer harvest that we have been enjoying over the last few weeks.  All of those peaches, pears and vine ripened red tomatoes are the product of a lot of consistent and diligent effort spread out over the previous months.

It all started back in the late fall when the pruning of the trees was accomplished.  Then came the dormant spraying, the working of the soil, the regular fertilization and then the fending off of the hungry pests!  The abundant growth and harvest of our patio tomatoes is a very visual sign of our victory over these pests.  Let me explain…

Last year I grew tomatoes in our large kitchen patio only to find the ripening fruits to be missing or half eaten.  I spent most of the summer trying to figure out whom or what was invading our seven foot fenced in area.  This year I was hoping for a reprieve when something began eating the leaves and gnawing on the branches of our potted lemon tree.  Finally the light went on when my dog and I began to see a rat or two scampering through the two patios.  Although we live in a very nice area, it is located on the eastern edge of our city and is bordered by the municipal golf course… which just happens to be a good breeding ground for the little varmints!

A little investigation on the internet about the eating habits of rats confirmed my suspicions.  What ensued over the next two months was all out warfare on my behalf.  It started with the daily traps which quickly netted results.  This though, was a technique whose results I did not want to face multiple times during the day.  As soon as I stopped fighting, the evidence of the enemy’s presence reappeared.  This time I marked the places under the deck and the fence that the dog always checked out and hid some treated oats there, well out of the possible reach of the pooch.  Within a couple of weeks all traces of the critters dissipated and I actually picked our first vine ripened tomatoes since we moved in here over two years ago!  But believe me; the battle is not over as far as I am concerned.  The guard dog and I still keep a vigilant eye on the patios with our vegetables, herbs and fruit trees to assure that we stay in control!

Does any of this sound familiar to you in your daily walks of faith?  Just like my physical “Great war of the patios”, great spiritual victories come from greatly fought battles. I Timothy 6:12 instructs us to “Fight the good fight of faith” in order to lay hold of our victory (King James Version).  And the victory is not attained until the battle has been decisively won.

Let me encourage you today, to NOT give up!  To keep on keeping on until you see the enemy run with his tail tucked between his legs.  (or in my case, caught under the snapped down bar… Oh sorry… a little too graphic!)  If you find yourself needing to be re-supplied, get in the word and build up your confidence and strength.  Then go out and boldly resume the battle, and don’t stop until you walk away with the spoils of the land.

Every time I have picked a tomato (and its beginning to be a daily event now!) I chuckle at the thought of everything I went through to redeem that fruit.  But I also thank the Lord for the perseverance that He gave me to see this thing through in order to enjoy every sweet bite of the victory.  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What VICTORIES am I expecting today?”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is It Okay To Break The Law?

A further thought on the direction of yesterday’s post…  While Acts 17:6 told us that the message of the Good News “turned the world upside down,” (English Standard Version) the next verse goes on to inform us of how they did it.  The angry Jewish leaders proclaimed that they “are all breaking the laws of the Emperor, saying that there is another king whose name is Jesus.”  (Acts 17:7 Good News Bible)  It is interesting and humorous to note that the Jewish leaders were so upset that they suddenly found it opportunistic to openly support the Emperor and his laws whom they utterly despised!

Now, whose laws were the followers of Christ really breaking?  Was it the laws of the Roman Empire or those set by the ruler of this world after the fall of Adam?  We can see from the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate, and from the various legal proceedings against Paul, that they were found innocent in the eyes of the Roman judicial system.  It was always the pressure from the local religious leaders that forced the issue.

The law that the Christians openly failed to follow was the law of sin and death!  They lived a different lifestyle than the majority of the people around them.  They followed the new law established by their new King Jesus, the Law of Love!  They were a happy people, who forgave their oppressors, reached out to people in need, met regularly to joyfully worship the Lord, had their needs met, walked in health and openly shared their faith.  They were filled with the Spirit and His fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control were outwardly evident in everything they did.  The Bible says that “against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 King James Version)

Talk about revolutionary!  No wonder that those who were stuck in their old ways were both upset and afraid of these people who began to call themselves “Christians!”  Like I mentioned yesterday, do your actions of love make those with whom you come in contact with positively unsettled?  Does your lifestyle make them hungry for Christ?  Think about it… Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Revolutionary Things am I expecting today?”

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Revolution

Yesterday was one of those times in Children’s Church where everything just sort of clicked!  Its classes like these that confirms why we do what you do.  I am a firm believer in keeping things moving quickly, have lots of variety and keep the students and helpers involved.  Like I mentioned, all of the transitions flowed like clock work, the kids were happy and in tune to the lesson, and the anointing just flowed!

At one point I had asked one of the students to read a particular scripture for the class.  After I gave her a little roadmap as to where to find the book of Ephesians, she picked up a Bible and began to flip through the pages naming the books off as she went.  Starting from the back of the New Testament she read off the name "Revelation" but pronounced it “revolution.”  Some of her classmates began to laugh as I gave her the correct pronunciation, when the thought hit me that she was right!  I turned to the class and explained to them how the message of the Good News actually was a revolutionary statement!

Today in the waking hours of daylight, before I arose, I suddenly began to think about the verse in the book of Acts where the Jewish leaders worked to stir up the crowd in Thessalonica against Paul and Silas, exclaiming that they had “turned the world upside down” with the message they preached throughout the Roman Colonies.  (Acts 17:6 English Standard Version) 

What a thought and an example for us to follow!  The phrase “upside down” in the Greek suggests the idea of stirring up, exciting and causing the minds of the listeners to be unsettled.  Is that a claim that follows you wherever you go?  Does your lifestyle, your actions and maybe most of all, your words cause others to think about making positive changes in their own lives? 

Paul and Silas were not men of violent action (Paul had drastically changed his methods after Jesus drastically changed his heart!).  They simply went into a town, preached in their churches, spoke in their streets and lived among the people.  Their words and their lives combined with the confirmation of God’s word (Mark 16:20), made people think.  Many times it made people uncomfortable.

I can remember an incident many years ago when I had received a promotion, when my new manager wanted to take myself and the other supervisors out to dinner so that the team could get to know me.  He mentioned that we would have “drinks” first.  When I responded that I didn’t drink, he was dumfounded, paused and then asked me very innocently, “then, what do you do?”  I chuckled a little and then said that I could have a soda or sparkling water.  My relaxed response calmed the situation and opened the door to many conversations about my faith and his beliefs over the next 3 or 4 years that we worked together.

Are you a “revolutionary figure” in your world?  Do you make people positively unsettled?  Think about it this week.  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What “Revolutionary” Things am I expecting this week?”

Friday, August 12, 2011

Medicine That's Actually Good For You!

You know that you’re getting old when you realize that about half the commercials on the satellite channels that you like to watch advertise medicines for senior citizens!  What really caught my attention though, was the long list of the potential side effects that the individuals who take these “helpful” drugs may experience.  It makes me think that living with the disease is easier than living with the side effects!  - Of course, as Christians we can live without either of the problems… but that’s another subject for another post!

It was the verse that we have been looking at this week in Psalms118:24 that got me to thinking about medicines today.  As I read the part about rejoicing and being glad, I immediately thought about Philippians 4:4 where Paul encourages us to “Always be joyful in the Lord” In fact, he was so excited about, that it he went on to exclaim: “I’ll say it again, Be joyful!”  (Gods Word ©) 

Why do you think that he was so adamant about this action?  I think that it was because he knew of the importance that King Solomon put on being joyful.  Proverbs 17:22 declares that “A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength.”  (Gods Word ©)  This is the type of joy that comes from the inside of the born again believer.  It is not dependant on the outer circumstances in life, the weather, our health or even from our financial status.  Paul wrote the letter of Philippians while awaiting the death sentence in a Roman prison.  And he continually pointed to the importance of joy in a believer’s life. (see Philippians 3:1)

It is interesting that a Psychiatrist that my wife and I had visited about a year ago told me that it was very important to keep her happy and at peace.  She is very sensitive to the emotions of people around her.  She will be very up and energetic when in the company of happy, outgoing people and will quickly slip into a very sober and almost out of touch reality when around depressed individuals.  I have come to realize that there are certain people that I just can’t afford to let her stay alone with anymore.

Be honest with me here, wouldn’t you rather be around encouraging people who tend to be up and happy, rather that those who give in to depression?  I’m sure that heaven has got to be the most happy, encouraging and up land in the universe… and you know why? Because the souls and angelic beings in heaven worshipfully rejoice 24/7.  (If there was time as we know it in heaven!)

Why should we be any different down here while we are performing our jobs as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God on the earth?  Besides, this type of medicine has NO negative side effects!  It’s ALL positive!  You can take it anytime you want, as much as you want, and it is always available to you… even in the midst of the most trying situations.

Many years ago I was sitting alone in the living room of our new home reading these “rejoice in the Lord” scriptures when I suddenly started chuckling out loud.  Before I knew it I was laughing so hard that I actually rolled off the couch onto the floor.  About that time my older daughter Jamie, who was probably around ten at the time, came walking into the room.  She stood there with this stunned look on her face until I motioned for her to come over.  She walked over, sat next to me and immediately burst out laughing.  I guess we got a little loud because in a few moments the rest of the family came in and joined us in our “joyful noise” (check out Psalm 98:4).  As I look back today, I’m not quite sure if they where laughing with us or at us!  But nevertheless, it was definitely a time of refreshing for us, brought healing to our family and cemented to us the truth and importance of Proverbs 17:22.

So what do you think?  Do you want to give it a try?  Find a quiet place this weekend, start studying out the verses I’ve mentioned in today’s post and let the joy of the Lord overwhelm you.  It is an experience that you’ll never forget, and always desire to have again. (I’ve actually had many such happenings since then!)  Who needs the latest pain medicines when God has given us the strongest most natural health aid available to man!  Remember, “A joyful heart is a GOOD medicine!”  Have a happy weekend, stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What JOYFUL things am I expecting to experience today?”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Personal Adjustments

Yesterday I told stories on myself that were spurred from Psalm 118:15.  The next part of that same verse is also a story teller, or better yet, a story maker…  It says that “the right hand of the Lord displays strength.” (Gods Word ©)  When I was studying this early today I had to utter some quiet shouts of joy (I didn’t want to wake up my wife!).  Think about that verse from the condition of your identity in Christ that I shared over the last few weeks.

Ephesians 1:20 says that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, while Ephesians 2:6 states that we, as born again Believers are there, seated right with Him!  So… if you look at Psalm 118:15b from that standpoint, you’ll want to shout with me.  The Psalmist is prophesying that we are making displays of His strength in our world today!  Jesus confirmed this to His disciples just before He was resurrected to His heavenly position, when He said that “These miraculous signs will accompany believers…” (Mark 16:17 Gods Word ©)  The word accompany means “to be or go with as a companion” (American Heritage College Dictionary) Simply put, Jesus said that displays of His miraculous power should be a companion to us believers!

Wow!  Kinda jump starts your engine doesn’t it?  Are these miraculous signs accompanying you as you walk through your day?  Do you EXPECT them to?  Do you believe He can work through you?  The Literal Translation of The Holy Bible Version makes these two questions a little more plausible in its translation of this verse.  It says that “And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things…”

Maybe it’s time to make a few adjustments in our personal “believer” in our hearts.  Jesus said it; the disciples in the book of Acts lived it and so should we!  Just think about the possibilities… Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What AM I expecting today?”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The "Joy" Of Camping

This morning I was drawn right back to where we left off yesterday in Psalm 118.  I began my study by perusing through many of the various electronic and hard copy versions of the Bible that I have at my disposal.  I read down to the first part of verse fifteen in the New International Version and was flooded with memories of a set of funny events that happened a few years back while on a family camping trip.  First though, let me share with you the verse in Psalm 118:15.  It proclaims that “Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous.”  The words “joy,” “victory” and “tents” is what sent my thoughts down testimony lane.

In the summer of 1998 my family and I embarked upon a much anticipated vacation to our favorite camp at Plumas Eureka State Park, located high in the northeast Sierra Nevada Mountains about an hour north of Truckee, California.  On the first night of our adventure, we set up our camp along the banks of Little Jamison Creek within the park, had a late dinner, took a short hike around the campgrounds and finally got the kids settled into their sleeping bags in the tent.  After tiding up around the camp, I quietly entered the tent, zipped the door shut and slipped off my shoes and socks and sat on my bag. The moment I touched down, the key fob in my pocket pressed against the myriad of other things that I had stuffed in there and set off the alarm in the Suburban that began to wail throughout the dark and VERY quiet camp!

The “victory” part of that verse reminded me of how God had miraculously provided a way for us to purchase the new Suburban earlier in the year.  My wife had faithfully been believing for the truck for many months.  Since it was new, and was the car that my wife drove everyday, I was still unfamiliar with all its bells and whistles (no pun intended…). So instead of just pressing the button to immediately stop the alarm, I fumbled with the tent zipper, tripped out the door and ran in my bare feet, across the camp to the vehicle, only to then realize that I just needed to push the fob!  It was after the noise of my pounding heart had quieted down that I heard the “shouts of joy” emanating from our tent!  Needless to say, my antics had awaken the sleeping children and they along with my wife (and probably the entire camp) enjoyed a good laugh at my expense.  But hold on, that wasn’t the end of it…

We all enjoyed the moment and then my wife resettled the children in their bags.  After a few moments of quiet solitude, I checked to make sure that the four kids were asleep and began to get ready for bed.  This time I gingerly removed the key fob and placed it in a secure place.  Then I quietly began to undress.  I was about halfway through the process when suddenly the sound of a vehicle echoed through the trees, and wouldn’t you know it, but it’s lights swung directly onto our tent casting a large shadow of me getting ready for the night.  I immediately burst out laughing and dove onto the floor of the tent.  This, of course, woke the children up, and for the second time that night the sounds of joyful shouting flowed from our tent!  This was an event that they have never forgotten and still remind me of to this day!

Is there a spiritual lesson in all this?  You bet!  The laughter and fun that came from our tent that night is symbolic of the “shouts of joy” that we, the righteous, should be proclaiming from the roof tops of our homes!  We are to stand apart from the rest of the world!  We are to be a happy people, and the lights in our neighborhoods.  It should come of no surprise when people ask you why you are so happy all the time!

Remember the verse says “shouts of joy and victory.”  Shout for joy and tell of the victory that you have as a Believer in Jesus Christ!  Your living example will be the hook, line and sinker to pull in another catch for the Kingdom of God!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What HAPPY things am I expecting today?” 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wake Up With A Shout!

Oh what a glorious day!  When I awoke this morning the sun was shinning brightly, the sky was a wonderful shade of pacific blue and the air was cool and crisp with the thermometer hovering around 43 degrees.  With my cup of steaming hot coffee in hand, the dog and I stepped out into our patio, looked up and just absorbed the joy of the new day!

Psalm 118:24 triumphantly declares that “This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let’s rejoice and be glad today!”  The preceding verse actually tells us why we should rejoice.  It says that “The Lord is responsible for this, and it is amazing for us to see.”  (Both verses from the Gods Word © translation)  While it is true that these verses can be used as encouragement for each new day, they are actually based on a more auspicious event.  They are talking about Jesus’ finished work and the ushering in of the church age, that we are all a vital part of today!

Think about that.  We are living in a day like none other in the history of the world.  As the Psalmist prophesied “it is AMAZING for us to see!”  It is literally the time of when heaven’s representatives are living upon the earth… and those representatives are you and me!  As Believers we are part of the body of Christ, and we are here to work with Him in accomplishing his AMAZING activities TODAY!

The word translated “amazing” in the Gods Word translation is translated “marvelous” in the King James Version.  In the original Hebrew the word means to be "marvelous, extraordinary, wonderful and to be beyond one’s (natural) power."  It’s definitely describing the good things of God that we are to expect to happen everyday in our lives!  Talk about having a reason to wake up each day with a shout of joy on your lips and a skip in your step!  I once read where the great evangelist Smith Wigglesworth said that he danced before the Lord for ten minutes every morning when he got up!

Wow!  This puts a whole new emphasis into my understanding of the Psalmist words “This the day that the Lord has made.  Let’s rejoice and be glad today!”  How about you?  How are you responding to his encouragement and statement of this Good News?  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Good, and Rejoiceful Things am I expecting today?”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Expect The Best!

With everything currently happening in my life, I have noticed that I just don’t have the same amount of steam or energy that I used to have.  How about you?  Are you running a little deficient in the energy department?  Life just seems to be busier nowadays, and then when you add any complications, it tends to go through the roof!

I was contemplating this yesterday afternoon when the gauges monitoring my personal systems seemed to be hovering on the “empty” side of the meter.  My initial reaction was to ask the Lord for more strength when I suddenly remembered Psalm 27:1 where it says that “the Lord is the strength of my life…”  (King James Version) I didn’t need to request more, I just needed to avail myself to what He has already provided for me.  So instead of going into a crying out mode, I began to thank the Lord for the strength that He has so lovingly given me.  After a few moments I could feel the strength rejuvenating me and could almost see that energy gauge slowly, but steadily moving to the right!

The last couple of verses in that same Psalm instruct us to “wait upon the Lord” to see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27 verses 14 & 13 King James Version).  The word “wait” could better be translated as “expect!”  The phrase “the land of the living” refers to the earth, and could mean “in your daily lives.”  So, a better, more up to date translation would say that we should “expect to see the good things of the Lord occurring in our daily lives!”

How do we accomplish this?  By seeing the good things of the Lord, as told to us in His Word, through our eyes of faith.  How do you think that Moses did everything that he did with all the unbelief that surrounded him.  Hebrews 11:27 states that “Moses didn’t give up but continued as if he could actually see the invisible God.”  (Gods Word ©) That is the perfect example for us to follow in our day to day activities.  We are to continue looking  ahead to see the completion of the promises in God’s Word, that we are believing (or expecting) to happen!

Now if that revelation doesn’t strengthen you on this overcast Monday morning* (here in Northern California) I don’t know what will!  Expect the best, and let God do the rest!  Get ready to see the BEST week yet in your life!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What GOOD THINGS am I expecting (to see) today?”

PS:  * As soon as I published this post the sun popped through the clouds!  Hummmm....

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Turn Around...

Last night was an extremely rough one for me.  By the time we were ready for bed; my wife was quite out of it.  I had never seen her to this extent, and to be honest, I really had to fight off some strong attacks of fear.  After I got her to bed, I went down the stairs and sat quietly on the bottom step in the dark.  For some reason this has gotten to be a common place of refuge for me during the toughest days.  I sat there for a few moments and just let the silent darkness do its work to calm me down.  I finally looked up to the ceiling and began to cry out to God.

Have you ever heard someone say that they felt like their prayers never made it past the ceiling?  Well, that’s what seemed to happen to me… and I am so glad that they did!  When I began to voice out my concerns of what I was seeing, it felt like the words immediately ricocheted off the ceiling and came right back to me!  That experience startled me enough to stop me in mid-sentence and quickly see the error of my ways.

That little small still voice inside me suddenly became very loud and asked me what or better yet WHO I was going to believe.  All the scriptures that we have been standing on began to roll across the screen of my mind, and I knew that this was a test that I needed to pass.

This morning I opened up my Bible to Colossians 2:6 and read: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”  (CEV)  When I finished the verse that same voice (at about the same volume as the previous night) said inside me, “How did you receive Jesus?”  I immediately replied, “by faith.”  Then He reminded me of Hebrews 11:1 saying “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for (or expected), the evidence of things not seen.”  (English Majority Text Version – parenthesis mine)  The emphasis being on the words “not seen.”

Vincent’s Word Studies says concerning this verse that “Faith apprehends as a REAL fact what is not revealed to the senses.  It RESTS on that fact, ACTS upon it, and is UPHELD by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it.  Faith is a REAL seeing.”

Well, that’s all I needed to hear.  God’s peace instantly flooded my soul and calmed my emotions.  I was reminded of The TRUTH of the matter of my wife’s health, got back into the faith saddle and was ready to gallop through the weekend (or as my wife would say, through a Strong [new] Beginning!).

… And when I went up the stairs to see if my wife was awake this morning, she rolled over, gave me that beautiful killer smile (hummmm, maybe that’s the wrong descriptive word… but you know what I mean!), and said “Good Morning!”  Talk about a 180 degree turn about face!!!

Isn’t God Good!  Have a GREAT weekend (strong beginning?), keep your eyes on the Word and keep asking yourself… “What GREAT Things am I expecting today?”  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What Fun!

For the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing about our Christian identity.  As citizens of a new country, sort of speak, we inherit a whole new set of rights and privileges, along with a whole new way of doing things!  It is just like an individual who moves from Europe to America and becomes a citizen of the United States.  There are many different laws and customs that the person needs to learn in order to function successfully in his or her new adopted country.

As citizens of heaven, Christians need to learn the laws and customs of God’s kingdom in order to take full advantage of what is now theirs to freely partake off.  This is a lifetime pusuit, and while Colossians 2:10 says that we are complete in Christ, it is imperative that we learn exactly what “complete” includes!  Our Heavenly Father in His goodness has made this task entirely simple.

Colossians 2:3 states that “(Jesus) is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom.” (Good News Bible – parenthesis mine) So what must we do?  We need to seek out and get to know the Key!  The Apostle John told of the map that shows us the way to the treasure chest.  John 1:1 says “In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God, the Word was God.”  (Gods Word ©)  In verse 14 he openly declares this Word to be Jesus, the Son of God.  And… that brings us full circle back to the importance of us family members knowing the contents of our Bibles, in order to know what our Father has provided for us. 

Remember too, that this is not just some dry old reading material written thousands of years ago.  Hebrews 4:12 says that “God’s word is living and active.”  (Gods Word ©)  When you sit down with your Bible, you are sitting down for a personal teaching time with Jesus!  Do you recall Romans 8:15 where it talks about this “adventurously expectant” lifestyle that makes us want to excitedly cry out “what’s next Papa?”  (The Message Bible)  Well, I can guarantee that Jesus is just as excited, if not more, to spend time alone with you each day!

Can you imagine the fun the two of you will have?  Wow… I can’t wait!  I’m going to finish this up so I can go spend some time with Him right now!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What Great New and EXCITING things am I expecting today?” 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lose The Loser Mentality!

You know, the more I study about it, the more I have come to the realization that I am still living parts of my life from a “trying to become” perspective rather than from a “having become” one.  I think this might be called an identity crises! 

There are certain situations in which I know exactly who I am according to the Bible, and I immediately stand in that place of authority and see it through until the victory manifests itself.  Then there are the other times…  It’s almost like I try to work through these circumstances from a “loser” perspective rather from the “already been won” foundation that God has given to me through the finished work of Christ.

Does this sound familiar?  It is probably a battle that most of us Christians face at one time or another.  Does it mean that our faith is weak?  No, I believe that it just points out that we have not completely settled the question of Who’s we are.  As a born again Christian, we have been removed from the authority of the kingdom of darkness and have been brought into the kingdom of light.  (Colossians 1:13)  This new kingdom comes with an entirely new and totally different set of guidelines, rules and privileges.

It is a new perception of the resource center for the actions that we take in our everyday lives.  It’s a new way of believing, a new faith that is “having a heavenly perception of your ‘heart condition’ leading to a healthy ‘mind set’ launching a supernatural ‘lifestyle.’” (The Rhema Code, by Scott Schang ©2010 Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, IN - pg 119 – Book available through Amazon.com)*

You and I have been totally set free from the authority of darkness.  The old ways of thinking from our past are over!  Our new King stripped the one who used to rule us of his power over us.  (Colossians 2:15)  We now walk in that victory, and should view EVERY situation that we face from that perspective.  Wow!  What a life!  We are no longer losers but the winners!  Talk about carrying the World Series Trophy with you wherever you go!

So join in with me today as I re-look at how I view EVERY situation in my life.  You and I have a new life with a new victory that brings new EXPECTATIONS to each new day!  Stay tuned and keep asking yourself… “What NEW Things am I expecting (to have victory over) today?”

* A parting thought…  Whenever you read a Christian teaching, it’s always important to check out the doctrine presented for yourself in your own Bible!  Don’t just take the author’s word on it.  And, as the founder of our Bible School always said, "eat the hay and throw out the sticks!"