God's M.O.

And He said: "Behold, I make a covenant.  Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD.  For it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.  Exodus 34:10 NKJV

Why do you think God does the things he does?  How much have you thought about that?  If you look throughout scripture, you will see a common theme throughout.  God wants people to see that He is God.  God wants people to recognize and know Him.  Bottom line.

Take a look at the above verse for a moment.  God said He was going to perform "marvels" such as the world had never seen for the Israelites.  Why?  So that those around them would see the work of the Lord.  Think about this:  To warrant a "marvel" or a miracle would imply that the situation would be so dire or an obstacle would be so great that only an act of God would be sufficient to create change.  That was certainly the case in early Israel's day.  Only God could have delivered them from Egypt.  Only God could move them to the Promised Land.  Only God.  And everyone around witnessed the marvels.

Are you tired of waiting on God to deliver you from your circumstances?  Maybe God is just waiting to perform a miracle so others can see His awesome work instead of your "okay" efforts.  God wants to do awesome things in our lives so others can see Him for themselves.  Sometimes we need to quit trying and start trusting.  Let's let God handle the hard stuff.

For further thought:

1) What miracles has God already performed in your life?  What has He helped you through?
2) How can knowing His past work in your life help you with your current circumstance?
3) What issue can you give over to Him today?


A New Song

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.  (Psalm 40:1-3 NIV)

I feel so priviledged to share my thoughts about scripture and life on this blog.  Today I'm going to choose to reflect on one of my favorite passages in the psalms.  In my bible next to the passage of scripture shown above, I have two dates written.  Dates of new resolve for two different issues in my life when my heart was broken and I was in desperate need of a new day and a new song in my life.  They were dates when I allowed God to set my feet upon the rock of His word and His love, as I decided that He was all I really needed.

Dear reader, are you in need of a new start or a new song in your life? God can give it to you.  When He does, many will see it and wonder how you can be so joyful in the midst of the pain or stress of your circumstance.  He has done it for me. He will do it for you.  God will give you that new song so that others will look at you and see God at work in and through you.  God wants people to know that He is God.  Through our praises to God through our lips and our lives, others will eventually put their trust in God as well. 

More to ponder:

1) In what area of your life do you need a "new song"?  In what pit are you dwelling?

2) What do you visualize your "new song" to be?

3) What small step can you take today to start living out the new life you've visualized?  Prayer is a good first step.

A God Without Limits

Are you feeling overwhelmed by a situation in your life?  We all are in that "boat" from time to time.  I can guarantee you that you would be if you were a newly annointed king whose armies had dwindled down to 600, had no weapons except for those you and your son had, and were surrounded an all sides by your enemies.  Now that would seem to be quite the helpless situation!  Saul found himself there as we are told in 1 Samuel 13:14.  Lucky for him, he had a son who had great faith in our God.

Jonathan, Saul's son, took it upon himself to try and rectify the situation.  Listening in on his conversation with his armor bearer, we hear the following:

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us.  For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few. (1 Samuel 14:6)

My first thought is that Jonathan is a little off his rocker for going out to take on the Philistines on his own.  However, note the faith that he has in God.  Jonathan knows that God can work wonders and is willing to step leap out of his comfort zone in order that a mighty miracle might take place.  Wow.   I wonder how history would have changed had this young man not taken that leap. 

The events that followed were indeed a miracle.  God allowed Jonathan and his armorbearer to slay 20 men because of their faith and trust in Him.  Jonathan even gave credit where credit was due - to God - when he acknowledged that the "LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel" (1 Samuel 14:12).  God must have messed with the Philistines' minds big time, as they eventually turned on each other and killed each other off because of their confusion as to who they were fighting.

So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven. (1 Samuel 14:23)

There are so many miracles in the bible regarding how God delivers His people, that I can't even begin to name them all.  God took one man whose heart was pure and saved a nation.  Are you in a "day" where you need saving?  God can save you.  What initiatives are you putting off in your life because you are afraid?  God can help you overcome your fears.  Remember that there is nothing that God cannot take care of.  When things seem helpless to us, that is where the biggest miracles in our lives can occur.

Wonder Working Power

Alternate Title: Living on the Edge

Isn't faith fun?  We get persecuted for our faith, challenged by our faith, encouraged by our faith and we have to work for our faith.  The testing of our faith produces patience.  But, in order to get faith in the first place we need to have faith.  What in the world is that all about anyway?  Okay, I know what that is all about, but isn't it deep?  So deep.  Deep, but fun, huh?

I've mentioned before that our church is just starting a brand new life stage because we have just moved into a new building and don't know where God is taking us from there.  In speaking to some friends, I've said that I feel like I'm on a new roller coaster - and I love them, by the way, the bigger/faster/wilder, the better - and I'm going up the first hill.  Can you hear the "click,click, click, click, click" of the cars locking in as we are pulled upwards.  What is over the hill?  None of us can see that clearly because we've never been here before.  That is where faith comes in.  Soon we will all be feeling the "wind in our hair" as the excitement becomes reality.

How does the thrill of the unknown affect you?  Does it energize you are make you fearful?  The good news is that God is in control and gives us all the power to survive change.  He supplies us with all that we need to do what He has called us to do.   Without fail.  I'm closing today with a letter from me included in our April newsletter.  Guys who are reading, please don't check out just because the letter is addressed to my ladies.  The principles still apply. 

Dear Women of Grace,

I’m so excited about my letter to you this month. God has so much in store for each of you, more than you can even imagine (1 Cor 2:9). Did you know that? More importantly, do you believe it? After hearing Pastor Tim speak a couple of Sundays ago about how Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding of Cana (John 2), I can’t stop thinking about what God can do in our lives if we just let Him have complete control. Those servants were people just like you and I. They simply did what Jesus asked them to do.

What is God asking you to do for Him today? What is your answer to Him? Do you realize that when God asks you to do something for Him that He will supply all that you need to get it done? Remember again that the servants were just doing what they were asked and Jesus did the rest. Let me reiterate…Jesus did the rest. Our Old Testament Moses didn’t have anything to offer but the shepherd’s rod that was in his hand, and God used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Now, Moses is someone I can relate to with all of his excuses! Oh, I wish I could look each one of you in the eyes and tell you how important you are in God’s plan and to not be afraid to step out in faith and do what He is asking of you right now!

So what are we waiting for? As Christians we have access to the greatest power the world has ever known! All we have to do is plug in to the Source through daily time of prayer and bible reading. It really is that simple. God can turn the "water" of our lives into "wine" any time that He wants to…and believe me, He wants to do it so that others will see your miracle happen and will know that He is God.

He is God. Our God is God and wants to use us in a mighty way. Let’s get to work and let Him be glorified!

In Him,


Unlearned and Ignorant

When we left off last time, Peter was preaching Jesus to the Jews.  Well, guess what? He is still preaching in Acts 4, only this time I believe it is even more powerful.   Apparently he and John must have been causing quite the stir because the priests and the Sadducees came upon them and asked what was going on, and apparently took them captive overnight (Acts 4:3).

Peter was so filled with the Holy Spirit that he couldn't help but proclaim the gospel, even to the high priests the next morning.  No more denying Jesus for Peter.  He learned his lesson.   He kept repeating that the reason for the miracles was of the power of Jesus in him and while the priest couldn't deny that the miracles happened, they didn't know what to do.

Have you had a miracle happen in your life?  I bet if you think hard enough, you will find one there somewhere.  One of my recent "miracles" was when I was the emcee at our Ladies' Retreat this past fall.  Through the power of God, this lady who used to be terrified at doing presentations in college, stood up in front of 80+ ladies with a microphone and actually had a good time doing it.  Now, I'm not saying that I was this incredible speaker or anything, but I think I pulled it off.   So, let me ask again, have you had a miracle happen in your life?

Miracles through ordinary people speak to the masses.  My favorite verse in Acts 4 is this:

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Peter and John weren't noticed because of their education, intelligence or skills.  They were noticed because they had been with Jesus.  And because of that, many were saved. What will you do with His Spirit?

The Quilt

My postings have been a little light of late as I finish the final preparations for our ladies' retreat.  In my preparations, I found the following story that is a wonderful example of how the scars in our lives, combined with God's love and care, can produce a wonderful work in us.

God bless.


As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along
with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the
squares of a quilt in many piles.

An Angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a
tapestry that is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off
the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They
were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my
life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced
with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the
largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny
hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color
and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was
disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together,
threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the
light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up
their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.

My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to
the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love
in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and
death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.

I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to
quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I
spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in
my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured
painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would
not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who
unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what
it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air.

I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I
looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes,
creating an image, the face of Christ.

Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He
said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My
hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when
you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me
than there was of you.

My prayer is that all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ
to shine through.

-- Author Unknown

God's Handiwork

In a book by Max Lucado entitled "Come Thirsty", I came across the following I'd like to share related to the power of God's love in our lives.  In his book, he tells a story of fishermen eating at a seaside inn sharing stories of great catches.  During the story telling, one of the men's arms caught in the serving maid's tea tray and sent the teapot flying, scattering brown tea stain all over the white wall of the inn.  A stranger who happened to be a famous painter of wildlife offered to work with the stain, and ended up painting a picture of a stag with a great rack of antlers on the wall.  The stain blended beautifully with the design.

The point here, is shown best by a quote from Max Lucado's book:

God's hands do the same, over and over.  He draws together the disjointed blotches in our life and renders them an expression of His love.  We become pictures: "examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us" (Eph 2:7).

Water to Wine

To our Ladies Retreat speakers, singers, musicians, helpers and prayer warriors:

You may never read this, but I want everyone to know how thankful I am that you are allowing God to use you. I pray that the impact of your words and efforts, turned from "water to wine" by the power that only God can provide, will move our Grace ladies in a mighty way. Thank you.


From my reading some time ago in Anne Graham Lotz's book entitled "Just Give Me Jesus", I came across something she discussed that really shows the power of God to change whatever we do into a glorious work for Him.

Remember Jesus' first miracle where He turned the water into wine at the wedding feast? The servants dipped cups into the water, brought them to the master and wine appeared! Here's a quote from the book and as you read it, think of the "water" we put into our ministries and our lives and the "wine" that will result due to God's work.

"Can you imagine the thrill those servants experienced? It's the same thrill I've experienced again and again as I have climbed down from a pulpit to a standing ovation, acutely conscious of the water I had put into the message - the interrupted prayer time, the scattered thoughts, the flawed outline, the weak delivery - yet the wine flowed out. People responded to the message, lives were changed, and the demonstration of the power of God was evident. No one in the audience knew what this servant knew - that water had gone in, but wine had com out. And as I outwardly lift my hand in praise to God, inwardly I humbly acknowledge what only He and I know - that a quiet miracle has occurred." - Anne Graham Lotz.

As I read the quote then and now, I get goosebumps thinking about what God can do through us if we let Him. Thank You God, for the miracles You provide!