Stop by and check them out from time to time to see what has changed. May God's blessings to you be abundant. rlkeller


Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Psalm 120:2 (CEB) “LORD, deliver me from lying lips and a dishonest tongue!”

Psalm 34:4 (CEB) “I sought the LORD and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears.”

Psalm 54:7 (CEB) “… God has delivered me from every distress. My eyes have seen my enemies’ defeat."

Psalm 107:6 (CEB) “So they cried out to the LORD in their distress, and God delivered them from their desperate circumstances. “

Throughout our lives there will come people who will feel it necessary to lie about you and speak or act in a dishonest manner regarding you for their own gain. It has happened to me and it no doubt has happened to you. Some of the things that have been said, albeit untrue, have had a very negative effect on relationships with those who are connected somehow to both parties. There are times when dishonesty can cost a person their job, even though the evidence of the accusation is nonexistent. It can be a very bitter pill to swallow.

Know this; God is not mocked. If you are His child retribution for those who lie, cheat or steal for their own gain is coming. We need do nothing but continue to live for our God. He will take care of those who seek to destroy our lives or our reputations. Nothing can harm us any more than we allow it to. God is our protector and will not allow us to fall if we are living for Him. Even when we slip up and make a disappointing mistake, when we seek forgiveness with a contrite or sincere heart, we stand forgiven as if it had never taken place. The consequences must play out and there may be some associated pain that comes with that, but your enemies will not prosper forever at your expense. Their day is coming. God will see to it.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


2 Timothy 2:23 (CEB) “Avoid foolish and thoughtless discussions, since you know that they produce conflicts.”

There are those in this world who are convinced that what they believe is the one true way to God. I went to a church like that for several weeks until it became apparent that they felt they had a special tap into God’s REAL truth. It became a little unnerving to say the least. Guilt, restrictions, strict adherence to God’s word without room for mistakes; a preacher who spoke for over an hour, repeating himself multiple times for no reason other than to get a chuckle at the comical illustration he was giving … and giving … and giving again. It did no good to discuss any differences in opinion with them, I tried … they justified each and every word and action with an argument that was well thought out, yet not directly from scripture. I could have had that “foolish and thoughtless” discussion all day long, but it would have been fruitless.

Satan, at times, draws us in these mindless, inane discussions to rob time from us. They serve no purpose. They only keep us from staying focused on Christ.  Foolish babble and mindless discussions are a waste of our good time and should be avoided if at all possible. Strive to not get sucked into conflict producing discussions which end up only being arguments that irritate and unsettle our spirit. No good comes from them. We have been given a spirit of discernment. Become familiar with it. The Spirit of God will lead you into all righteousness and tip you off when you are somewhere you need not be, even if that is being in a conversation that leads nowhere but to frustration.


Monday, February 27, 2012


Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

SELF-CONTROL (def): the ability to exercise restraint or control over one's feelings, emotions, reactions.

RESTRAINT (def): the ability to control or moderate one's impulses, passions.

We are asked to restrain ourselves in scripture. I have a very hard time restraining myself when it comes to eating. Even when I eat things that are good for me, I eat too many of them. But these verses aren’t talking about eating per se; they are referring to the way we act and react to things around us.

Back in the 1970’s, when America was experiencing gas shortages and long lines to fuel our vehicles was the norm, some people LOST their self-control and literally shot other people to death over cutting in the line. We need to remain calm even in the most trying circumstances. I tend to lose my temper when I misplace something around the house. It is a ridiculous display of anger than I am ashamed to even have to admit, but I could not seem to restraint myself … I lost control of my emotions.

How about you? Do you “lose it” from time to time. Ask God to teach you how to use self-control in all areas of your life. You will be more at peace with yourself and be a greater example to others. People are watching us, make no mistake about it. They want to know how this Jesus makes us any different from them. What are we showing them?


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Decisions we make in haste often end in disaster. I resemble that remark. Getting ahead of God can cost us time, money and unnecessary pain and heartache. We think we know what we are doing but find out, usually too late, that we were wrong. 

I was reflecting on my past early this morning and that opening line came to me. Some folks blame God for the calamities that befall them, as if He sits on His throne thinking of ways to trip us up. The calamities are our own fault, no one else. We rush ahead with giddy excitement toward the person or thing that we think we need, when all it is is a mirage; something whose attraction will probably fade in the coming days, months or years after acquiring them or it. Doing things on a whim is no way to live. Seeking the face of God in all circumstances, patiently waiting for Him and then doing that which you know in your heart is FROM Him is the way to peace and contentment. Anything else is a mistake that will throw you off course on your way down the narrow path of life with God. Trust me, I know.


Friday, February 24, 2012


Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

GENTLE (def): Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.

Gentleness is the characteristic in an individual that shows them to be tender, kind and considerate. I would like to highlight being considerate. While it is not dead, it is certainly dying. Consideration for others seems to be a thing of the past. People cut in front of you whether on the road or on foot. Holding doors for someone, especially a person loaded down with small children or an elderly person, seems to still be intact, but the art of taking other people’s feelings into account is all by dead, at least that has been my experience. What is happening to us as a culture; have we really become a society of “me first” and “get out of my way”. Do we really think it is alright to speak our minds at the expense of another’s feelings’.

As Christians we should speak the truth in love, but that doesn’t mean we “shoot our own wounded” or thrash another with our righteousness. We are to be peace loving individuals who strive to emulate Christ and speak those things He taught in Scripture. Strive to be gentle in all you think, say and do. You will be the better for it and so will those around you.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

CONSISTENCY; it takes practice

Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

FAITHFUL (def): Adhering firmly and devotedly, as to a person, cause, or idea; loyal; worthy of trust or belief; reliable; consistent with truth or actuality; the steadfast adherents of a faith or cause.

CONSISTENT (def): Reliable; steady; not liable to or capable of change.

We know what faith is; believing in something that cannot be seen as if it CAN be. Our belief in Almighty God is based on faith. Being faithful is to be devoted or steadfast, but the word I want to look at in relation to faithfulness is CONSISTENT.

If a person isn’t reliable, then what is he? In one of the political campaigns several years back one of the presidential candidates was accused of “waffling” in his stance on key issues. He wasn’t being consistent. Our actions must line up with our words and our thoughts and words must line up with the Word of God or we will eventually come to ruin. Consistency in our walk with Christ is critical. Without a consistent walk with Christ we will be an unreliable witness of His mercy and grace. We will be as a burned out light, unable to lead anyone anywhere.

Seek to be CONSISTENT in your walk with God and know the peace that comes with steadfastly holding to and living His truth.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Preface: You may have noticed that my entries have gotten shorter. I started to realize that I was beginning to over pontificate; in other words, I was getting too wordy. I decided to ask the Lord to help me be more succinct in my entries that I might say something meaningful, encouraging and helpful, but in much fewer words. My recent entries are the result. Be blessed! rk

Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

GOOD (def): Having the qualities that are desirable; being positive or desirable in nature; not bad or poor; of high quality; worthy of respect; honorable; reliable; sure; valid or true; genuine; real; well-behaved; obedient.

GOODNESS (def): the state or quality of being good; generosity; kindness; moral excellence.

In a world where people try to hide behind false personas and alter egos, we are called as believers to be genuine and real. Nips and tucks have risen to epidemic proportions, with celebrities leading the way. Dolly Parton expressed it best when she said several years back, If it’s a-sagging, a-bagging or a-dragging, I go get it fixed! … I get it sucked, plucked or tucked!” What people say and do is up to them, but how sad it is to me that some people simply can’t grow old gracefully. Anyway, being who you are as a person is being true to who God made you.

Being good in life isn’t simply NOT being bad; it is wrapped up in all the descriptive words listed in the above definitions. It is thinking of others before yourself. It is seeking God’s will over your own. It is reaching outward rather than inward. Having a quality of goodness in your heart, mind and spirit is admirable and pleasing to God. If we truly believe He is our provider and sustainer in this life, why would be strive to be anything else.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

KIND (def): Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature; showing sympathy or understanding; charitable; humane; considerate; forbearing; tolerant; generous; agreeable.

KINDNESS (def): the practice or quality of being kind; a kind, considerate, or helpful act

We are asked to exhibit kindness in our dealings with others … all others. You may think this is easy, but it is not. Our own sensibilities and assumed right to justice won’t allow it sometimes. Being kind to all people all the time can be excruciating, especially when all we want to do is ring some folk’s necks. It is an acquired trait to be kind. It comes from the Lord. Some people are said to be kind by nature, however, our true nature is one of selfishness and judgment. Unless we allow God to alter our perspective and influence our thoughts and corresponding words and actions, I am afraid having a spirit of kindness will elude us.

Do my words surprise you? Do you disagree with me? What is your thought process when you see certain ethnic groups or certain age groups wearing clothes you may not approve of; and then there are those folks with all the piercings or tattoos. I have a bad tendency to judge people by their appearance. God is still working in me. How about you? Are you truly kind to all those you encounter each day or just the agreeable, pleasant ones. Being kind to those who have been kind to you is nothing magical. Now being kind to those who are particularly unkind in return or even first, now THAT is showing true Godly kindness.

Knowing God and reading His word is supposed to change us from the inside out. Are we letting it do that or are we too busy? God must complete the work His has begun in you so that you may make a difference. Surrender to God’s Spirit and shine like the brightest star in this world void of real kindness.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Galatians 5:22-23 (TNIV) “ … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

JOY (def): a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment; something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness; an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing.

Feeling joyful is something that we can feel on a regular basis when we are at peace with our circumstances and when we have intimate knowledge of the joy giver. There is no joy in sorrow and there is no joy that is lasting without the joy giver being ever present. God Himself is the joy giver. Christ is the giver of joy. We can be happy any time, but a feeling of joy comes from a deep satisfaction and understanding that all shall be alright. That sense comes from the One who can make it alright.

God is ever presently in our lives if we know Him, truly KNOW Him. Even in the most difficult situations we can know a quiet joy that resides in our hearts and in our souls. It is deep and abiding. It calms all fear. There is nothing this world can dole out that cannot be defeated by the joy that God provides your heart.

It is our responsibility to let it in and do its’ work in our lives. We need to ask for it. It is a simple as asking “Lord, fill me with YOUR joy that I may know the fullness of Your blessing in my life.” Yup, it’s THAT simple.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Doing what you know to be right can be very difficult at times.

Like putting a parent in an assisted living facility when you know they would much rather be at home around familiar surroundings. My Dad is in the beginning stages of dementia. He can be just fine in the morning but in the early afternoon will start to become confused and by the evening will not make any sense at all. It is hard to watch. I fought putting him in a home in my mind thinking that I HAD to at least TRY to take care of him at home. A dear friend of mine said I had no idea what I was in for. They had taken care of both their parents who had Alzheimer's and they assured me that it was a mind numbing undertaking.

So I signed him up for the memory unit at a place nearby. He will arrive there this coming Tuesday morning. They requested that I not come to visit for the first two weeks of his stay, saying that they have determined that this aids in their acclimating to the new surroundings. So be it.

I was initially not very happy about having to do this to him, but I gradually realized that I was not doing anything TO him, but rather doing what was best FOR him. 24/7 nurse and caregiver staff to keep watch over him is more than I could have ever provided. He needs that now. He may hate me for doing it, but in the end it is the best thing for him.

Doing what you know to be right can be very difficult at times.


Friday, February 17, 2012


Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) "... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."


In this world filled chaos and violence we strive to find peace; to BE at peace.  The only true, lasting peace that can be found is the peace that is given by Almighty God. We look high and low and even try to manufacture our own peace, but it simply cannot be found. It doesn't exist. 


Along with peace comes rest. A calmness of spirit. It must be a conscience thing. It is not contrived. It is not imagined. It is real and is provided upon request by our Heavenly Father. His love for us is so deep and eternal that He willingly provides every NEED we have. Notice I said "need" and not "want". Do not confuse the two. Scripture is clear that God knows exactly what we are in need of and is ready, willing and able to provide each and every one of those things to sustain us. 


So this day ask God for His peace that passes all understanding. Before you know it your mind will clear and your heart and spirit will be at rest. Peace. Tranquility ... even in the midst of turmoil. Focus on Christ and not on that which is going on all around you and you will find peace.





Thursday, February 16, 2012


Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB) “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.”
PATIENCE (def):  the capacity for calmly enduring pain, trying situations, etc; tolerance and even-tempered perseverance (steady persistence; determined).

There are many times in our lives that we lose our patience. It is a temporary thing and it may not last long. It might be brought on by an unusually high level of stress or tension. It might also be brought on my fatigue or illness. Let’s face it, there are times when we lose it and have regret over our words or actions later. It happens to us all.

God, in His infinite wisdom, listed for us the fruit that we can and should bear in our lives by seeking each day to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Those fruit, or character qualities, are listed in Galatians by the Apostle Paul in his letter to them. If we allow God to move in our lives and change us a little more each day from the inside out, being attentive to these attributes that He desires us to have, we will achieve wonderful results. I think we can all agree as believers that showing patience in any given situation brings about a much more desirable result. A lack of patience can potentially escalate into something ugly and highly regrettable. The sting of words or actions done in a single moment, whether spoken or written, can never to taken back and all the apologies in the world simply will not erase it.

Surrender your emotions to God and allow His perfect work to be done in your life starting this very minute. There may be days when you question the wisdom of it, but in the end, you will be just a little bit more like Christ and that is never a bad thing.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Proverbs 4:26 (TNIV) “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”

Proverbs 16:25 (NKJV) “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. “

Ever meet anyone who thought they knew everything … they would be called a “know-it-all”. They always think they know the right way to go, the right thing to do, the right thing to say … well, you get the picture. No one knows everything except God Himself. That may come as a shock to some, but no one this side of heaven knows everything. If what scientists say is true about the percentage of brain that we use (10%), then logistically, it would not be possible to know everything.

Scripture is careful to warn us regarding how we walk and where we walk. Solomon, who is the author of the Proverbs and the wisest man to ever live, gives us vital directives so that we can avoid the pitfalls that come with self-righteous thinking. We need to come to the place where we ask for help.

Through the years I have been made painfully aware time after time that I knew nothing of what I was doing or saying. I was NOT careful where my feet trod and I was NOT steadfast in all my ways. I DID go a way that seemed right to me and while it did not end in death, it didn’t end pretty and it caused me a lot of pain. I thought I knew, but I was wrong. It is when we give careful consideration to our life and our situation that we come to realize, if we are truly honest with ourselves, that we don’t have a clue.

God wants what is best for us always. While there are consequences for everything we say and do, He is there to pick us up and redirect us … 1000x if necessary. Yup, THAT’S how deep and abiding His love is for us.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


You have not seen entries every now and again due to an illness in my family. My elderly father (87) has been in the hospital and is now in acute rehab. I have the daunting task of deciding whether to send him on to an assisted living facility or bring him home. I must make that decision this week for he is being discharged this Friday. Please pray that the Lord gives me the wisdom required to make the correct decision that will best benefit my father. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Rich Keller

Friday, February 10, 2012


1 Corinthians 1:18 (TNIV) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
It is interesting to me that so many people will shun the message of Christ, yet try just about anything else that comes along to enhance their lives. People don’t realize how futile it is to struggle for material and/or financial gain for the sole purpose of creating stability and a safety net in case things go wrong. The message of the cross is insanity to those who are living for themselves. It was back when it took place and it is today.

The devil is working very hard to keep people from the very truth that can and will set them free from the bondage they don’t even know they are bound in. Some factions in the Christian faith are not helping matters by being highly judgmental of those who do not agree with what they believe. I have encountered believers in my life that would cause me to run far away from God rather than towards Him.

We need to pray for those around us. We need to ask God to reveal Himself to those who come into our lives and we need to ask God to show us how to be more effective for His kingdom. How can we present the message of Christ in a compassionate and loving way, rather than harsh and restrictive way? Lead by your actions. Talk is cheap, lead the way with what you do. How do you act and react to various situations? Ask God to become more real to you. The message of the cross may be nonsense to many, but it is the power of God to those who believe. Surrender to God and make a difference in this world.


Thursday, February 9, 2012


2 Thessalonians 1:11 (TNIV) “… we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”

What a wonderful thing to pray for another person. What a great thing to desire to do good and have those good deeds be prompted by your faith in God. Too many people in this world, I fear, are unfamiliar with who God truly is and what He desires for them. Our Heavenly Father isn’t about rules and regulations. He is not a fun spoiler. Some folks think being a Christian involves a bunch of DON’Ts. Don’t lie, don’t curse, don’t cheat, don’t steal; don’t … don’t … don’t. They never take the time to get to know Him for if they did they would realize that it isn’t about things you can’t do, but rather things that you will want to do that will benefit you and bless you.

It’s as if the word “blessing” is a bad word to some people. They view the “religious” of the world as creepy or restrictive people, bound up in their rules. True believers are some of the most free people you will ever meet. The things they don’t do they don’t do because they no longer have a desire to do them, not because they are not allowed. It is NOT all about religion … it is about relationship. When you become a Christian you are entering into a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. You live in accordance to the Ten Commandments because your life has been changed and you feel compelled to be a better person and make different choices than before, thus obeying the Laws of Moses as a result of your relationship and not because you have to. You are no longer held to that standard, yet live by them anyway without even realizing it.

When you become a true believer with your sins eradicated, God begins to work IN you. The external is irrelevant. God judges the heart of a man, not how he looks on the outside. If only we could do the same. God begins to change you on the inside. Your desires change. The better to come to know Him in the intimate sense of knowing everything about Him, the more you will understand what He asks of you. Once you know that you will begin to comprehend that those things you are now doing are good for you. You will benefit in this life far more by serving God than by serving yourself. I know that from walking with Him for over 30 years. When I went my own way I struggled and suffered by my own hand. I made wrong decisions and paid the price for my ignorance. It wasn’t God’s fault, but my own. When I sought His will in my life, things always worked out within the parameters of His perfect timing.

Knowing that someone is constantly praying for you should cause you to WANT to live right. There is nothing boring about God. Seek God’s face daily and see what He has in store for you this day. Betcha it’s something exciting.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Matthew 5:38-39a (CEV) “You know that you have been taught, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you.”

Throughout our lives we are taught by our parents to stick up for ourselves; to defend ourselves. The example Christ gives us when he was brought before Pilate may make you shudder in disbelief. With all the powers of heaven at His disposal, Christ neither said nor did anything to defend himself, let alone take His revenge on them. He remained silent when He could have explained the entire situation, more than likely to Pilate’s satisfaction, but this was not part of His Father’s plan. It was preordained that Christ would die a horrific death on a criminal’s cross to complete what His Father had put in place. When He uttered the words “It is finished”, He was referring to the salvation plan for all man. He bore our sins for us, all the while never thinking of striking out in retaliation towards those who doled out His undeserved punishment.

Would we be able to do the same? I would like to think I would, but when push comes to shove, I would probably wilt under the weight of it. We are representatives of Christ; ambassadors for Him. When people know we are Christians they scrutinize us to find fault with us. Some may even attempt to goad us into a fight or disagreement.

Romans 12:18 (CEB) “If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.”

Romans 14:19 (CEB) “So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up.”

Notice that Paul says in Romans 12:18 “if possible, to the best of your ability … “ … at times people leave you no alternative. We are, however, to strive to live at peace. We must also understand this: God will exact retribution when He knows the time is right. Your enemies will bring it on themselves and God will then allow the consequences of their actions to declare their guilt. There is no escaping the judgment of God. That is why Proverbs states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. It is not fear as in terror, but rather fear as in awe, reverence and respect. Those that “fear” the Lord shall seek to live by His precepts. Those who scoff at the Lord live for themselves. They know nothing of the power and majesty of our Creator God. They don’t know what they are doing when they move against a child of God. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly how to get their attention and deal with them. He knows all about them and will take care of them when the time is right. He will also offer them mercy, something we may find difficult to do.

Not lashing out at those who harm us whether verbally or physically, is extremely hard. We must be strong in the grace and knowledge of the Lord to achieve such a reaction to wrong doing. Remember, consequences apply to your reaction to any given situation as well, so think before you speak and before you act. It is very appropriate to act in a way that Jesus would act or react in any given situation. Condition yourself to do just that and you may find it easier to live at peace with those around you. It comes from spending time with your Heavenly Father. Get to know His ways and you will begin to emulate them. That is what He wants for you.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Psalm 97:12 (GNT) “All you that are righteous be glad because of what the Lord has done! Remember what the holy God has done, and give thanks to him.”

Philippians 3:9 (GNT) “I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.”

Did you realize that once you give your life over to Christ, in addition to having all your past sins removed as if they were never committed, you were looked upon by God as being RIGHTEOUS?

RIGHTEOUS (def): Morally upright; without guilt or sin.

To put it in simple terms, God now sees us through Jesus glasses. We are clean and stand righteous before Him by virtue of what Christ did for us on Calgary’s cross. We are to be glad because of what the Lord has done. We are to always remember not only what God through Christ has done for us, but remember to thank you on a constant basis.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day where we feast on fowl and all the trimmings. There is football and family and it is a great time. Somewhere in the middle of all of that our thanks to God is squeezed. Perhaps a prayer prior to eating … nothing more. I submit to you that we should be in an attitude of thanks and gratefulness daily towards our God, for without Him and what He graciously did for us where would we all be? I shudder to think of where I would be without Christ in my life. My life would be a mere shadow of what it is now. And it is all because of God. His mercy and grace saved my life from a certain death at the hands of my own selfish desires. There is no doubt that we as a group are our own worst enemies. We make wrong decisions based on wants rather than needs and get ourselves into all sorts of trouble all by ourselves. The curious thing about it is that even the unbeliever cries out to God for help when they have come to the end of their rope, but to receive Him into their lives and make positive changes, well, it simply never occurred to them.

We, the righteous ones of God, are to give thanks for what He has done for us. To list these things would take forever. Our faith is based on belief in an unseen deity who has never been seen. The very nature of faith is intertwined in trust. One cannot exist without the other.

Do you trust God today? You can. You cry out to Him only when you feel you need Him most, but I tell you, you need Him always. If you embrace God you receive the greatest love you have ever experienced. Think of it. The One who created you in your mother’s womb loves you and that love will never change. Ever. He loved you before you ever knew Him. He will love you even if you curse Him. He desires to usher you into His family where there is peace, joy, comfort and love. The Christian life is not a perfect life free from problems or pain, but you have the Spirit of God to guide you through each set of circumstances you will ever encounter. People consider drugs, alcohol, adultery, gambling … anything to sooth their pain, but the pain doesn’t go away. It is still there when the dust settles and the sun rises on a new day. You cannot escape life’s hardships no matter what you do. However, you can go through them with a smile on your face, knowing in your heart that God is in complete control of all things. You don’t have to simply endure, you can enjoy life to the fullest in the face of calamity. God doesn’t remove obstacles, but rather teaches you, if you will listen, to deal effectively with all life’s many issues. Surrender to God.


Monday, February 6, 2012


Proverbs 21:23 (GNT) If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say.”

Proverbs 21:23 (NLT) Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.”

It is well documented with people who know me that I am loud. I don’t mean to be loud, but when I am excited about something I let fly with shouts of excitement that would put a fog horn to shame. I don’t seem to have an “inside” voice; my voice, booming and resonating as it is, was designed for open air stadiums only without question. I also tend to think that in certain circumstances every word out of my voice is hysterically funny. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it’s not.  The phrase “you can’t get too much of a good thing” does not apply to me. Finally, after 56 years of living, I am beginning to learn an important lesson: there are times when saying nothing is far better than saying anything at all.

I believe God has given me the gift of encouragement and edification. A sincere word of encouragement can act as a balm to heal the most broken of hearts. Building another up in their spirit with words of compassion and mercy is a noble cause that God honors and can be used to bring healing to the broken hearted.  When I feel I am “in the zone” spiritually speaking, I am safe and speak that which God lays upon my heart. When I am not, there have been times that anything is liable to come out of my mouth.

The Good News Translation version of Proverbs 21:23 is very fitting for me: “if you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say.” I can remember a few times when I wish THAT verse was blazing in neon in front of me before I opened my mouth. Proverbs 17:28 goes something like this: “Even a fool seems wise when he holds his tongue”.

So many people seem to wear as a badge of honor the fact that they “just tell it like it is”. All well and good, however, the feelings and emotions of others MUST be calculated into the equation so as to avoid hurt. Many a good intentioned person has wounded another person’s heart by simply “tellin’ it like it is”. We all need to be willing to be taught by God to use wisdom. The phrase “discretion is the better part of valor” would be appropriate here.

DISCRETION (def): the ability or power to act responsibly.

Instead of opening your mouth and letting it fly, think responsibly. Will what you are about to say build up or tear down. If you are not sure, then hold your tongue or as the New Living Translation puts it “keep your mouth shut and you will stay out of trouble.” Some of us never learned how to keep our mouths shut. God can teach you. He wants to use you to bring healing and not additional hurt to others. Are you willing to be taught? Are you willing to be used? THAT is what’s required of you if you want to be a better person for Christ; a teachable spirit. Learn from God. Let His Holy Spirit permeate your mind and flow through you, making you all you can be for God. Don’t let your body simply BE the temple of the Holy Spirit. Let Him lead and guide you into all good things so that you may be the most effective for  the Kingdom of God.


Friday, February 3, 2012


Psalm 59:16-17 (TNIV) “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.”

REFUGE (def): Protection or shelter, as from danger or hardship; any place, person, action, or thing that offers or appears to offer protection or help; a source of relief or comfort in times of trouble.

FORTRESS (def): A fortified place; a place or source of refuge or support; a structure used to defend against attack.

RELY (def): To be dependent for support, help, or supply; to place or have faith or confidence.

David was buffeted on all sides by his enemies. Enemies of David were enemies of God as well. David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) . David, in spite of his errors in judgment and sins against his God, was considered a man whom God loved. When David was pressed on every side by his enemies he didn’t fret or lament at his plight, but rather praised his God and told Him what he knew in his heart God was to him; a refuge and fortress, someone who could be relied upon at all times.

What do we do when we are surrounded with evil or temptation or troubles of some sort? We have the tendency to whine and moan. Some of us get it right. Unfortunately, to this day, I still wonder why I find myself in such a dilemma before I call out to God. I have my mini-pity party and then in short time shake it off. I always come back to the basic fact that God is there for me … always. I understand that the situations I find myself in are by my own hand and allowed by God to strengthen me and teach me lessons so I grow spiritually and as a result become more useful for His purposes going forward.

What are we to do as believers when times are difficult? We are to go into the refuge that IS God and learn how to combat our foe. We learn from Ephesians about the weapons that are at our disposal. We grow to understand how truly awesome our God is. We learn to trust and rely on Him for all things in our life. There is nothing that He is unaware of and nothing He has not either caused or allowed for His own purposes. We are not to question, though questioning is normal and certainly not a sin. Eventually, through our lives, if we have a teachable spirit and learn our lessons well, we will be molded into the child of God He knows we CAN be. Then and only then will we be the most use to Him for the Kingdom.

I believe I will conclude with a chorus that you may know: “Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power and love; our God is an awesome God.” *


* Chorus comes from the song “Awesome God” by Rich Mullin’s album Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth; Reunion Records; 1988.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Isaiah 64:8 (NASB) “But now, O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.”

When a potter decides to make a clay piece, he takes a lump of clay, places it on his pottery wheel, adds water and lovingly forms whatever he is inclined to make from the clay. Here in Isaiah, the prophet is comparing God to “our” potter, for He made us lovingly by His own hand. He knew us before we were even a twinkle in our parents eye and formed us in our mother’s womb. He knows the beginning from the end and knows us intimately.

This verse of scripture reminds us that we are not our own. We were created by a higher power. We were given life … what are we doing with it? What about lives that were born into horrible conditions? Does God not see where children are being born? Does He not care about the abusive homes children grow are forced to grow up in?

I believe He sees and He weeps for them. However, we were all created with a free will. If we were not, then we would serve God out of duty or obligation. Free will causes us to worship and serve God out of a desire that wells up within us. When we begin to understand all that He has done for us, we are compelled to love and worship Him. This leads us to trust Him by faith.  Children brought up in horrifying situations is tragic and require prayer to eliminate the problems involved there. God does not step into a situation unless invited. He does not administer Marshall Law, where what He says goes and we have no choice in the matter. We should all prayer for God to intervene in such situations for the sake of all involved. Absolutely NOTHING is impossible for God.

Scripture tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).  Deep inside us we know there is something or someone much greater than we are. Man is more inclined to believe anything but that for then they would have to DO something with that knowledge and they would rather live as they choose. If they could only see things as God sees them and know what God knows, but alas, that would negate the need for faith and faith is required to know God.

If you were to watch a potter mold a piece of clay into something beautiful, and perhaps you have, you will notice the painstaking care with which the potter molds and shapes the piece. He is proud of his work as he fires it in the kiln (oven). He displays it for all to see when it is completed. So does God. We are His prized creations. Let’s not disappoint Him with our lives.