Lacking Faith?


Judges 6:11-16 (NIV), “The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Gideon had a faith problem. He had no faith in himself, or in the fact that God could use him. Even though an Angel came to him, he still wanted some proof. Notice through the whole group of scriptures about Gideon God continues to call him a “Warrior.” God knew who Gideon was; the problem was that Gideon just couldn’t see it. He lists his lowly ancestry as one of the reasons he doubted, and the fact that the Lord had seemingly abandoned them. Gideon was looking in the natural at the natural. God sent an angel to show him the supernatural. Humbly, this mighty “warrior” asks for a sign. Patiently, God provided more than one. Isn’t God good? Bear in mind that this was before Jesus came to redeem us, we now have the Holy Spirit to lead us, so asking for a fleece instead of asking the Holy Spirit for conformation was reasonable for Gideon.

How do we fix a faith issue?

God tells us that we have all been given the “measure of faith,” and that faith comes by hearing His word. If you know me at all, you know that I encourage everyone to read their Bible. It is not a coffee table decoration or one for the back windshield of your car either. It won’t do you a bit of good under your bed, or in your closet. If you are in the habit of leaving it at Church so that you don’t forget it on Sunday, buy another one! Then, when you read it, read it out loud as much as possible. I learned a few things in school that I applied as a teacher. If we hear something we remember 25% of the information. If we hear something and read it also, we retain 50% of that information. If we hear it, read it, and write it, we remember 75% of that information. Now I know that is very general, and that we all have different learning styles, but this has proven true for me and many of my students. So read your bible at home, then listen to sound teaching and preaching that backs itself up with scripture, while at Church, take notes. Even if they are sloppy and you will never read them again! It will help you retain what you are learning, and sometimes God speaks to your heart and you need to jot something down (while still paying attention to the message).

Gideon had an identity issue that led to a faith issue. If we are confident in who God is and how He sees us, our faith grows by leaps and bounds!

Another way our faith is strengthened is by going through some tough stuff. I know, it’s the school of hard knocks and every one of us wants to “play hooky” that day and skip class. The key is to go through. Don’t set up camp, don’t stop to have a pity party, and don’t pause to whine and complain. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead you out. There is always light at the end of the tunnel when you serve God. Always. We grow from faith to faith this way, if we allow our hearts to be humble and teachable. The next time we are faced with a similar situation, our knees wont knock as much, and our hearts will not do that Irish jig. We will be able to calmly say, “this too shall pass.”

Gideon did find some courage; he obeyed God and against all odds, including being vastly outnumbered by the enemy, won the victory.

He will do the same for you.

I Peter 2:9 (KJB), “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

When It Doesn’t Look Good


I Chronicles 29:10-12 (KJV), “Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball or Satan gives us a sucker punch. There are even times that we have gotten ourselves in a fine mess and things aren’t looking so good. It’s easy to start the pity party, to seclude ourselves from others, or worse find everyone we know and whine and complain about how rotten our lives are. I’ve done it. It’s our “hour of flesh” that sometimes lasts days. What a way to glorify God, Huh? Who wants to be part of a kingdom whose subjects are not happy campers. By our self indulged pity parties we are showing our lack of faith in He Who IS Faithful…

So what is a brother or sister to do in these times? Well, first if you have already started the party I just mentioned, repent! Then, if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut up! Take command over your mouth and don’t let it say another thing that may tarnish God’s reputation. Finally, think on His goodness. The Bible is full of scriptures that rehearse and meditate, sing about and praise Him. Find then and get them past your head into your heart.

Psalms 103:2-4 (ESV), “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, ho heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Remind yourself that you can bring your problems to God, yes, even that mess we made ourselves. He will help. He promised He would and He always keeps His promise. It may not be when we want or even how we want, but He always comes through. He’s our Father, through the shed blood of Christ we have been given the privilege to come boldly into His throne room just as our children never have to fear coming to us for help.

Psalms 46:1 (Aramaic Bible In Plain English), “Our God is our strong house of refuge, and he is found to us our helper always in times of trouble.”

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV), “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

One of the most important things we can do when things don’t look good, is change what we are looking at. Look to Him, look at Him, look at His creation, and then praise Him for who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing in your situation right now.

Psalm 113 (NLV), “Praise the Lord! Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west—praise the name of the Lord. For the Lord is high above the nations; his glory is higher than the heavens. Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high? He stoops to look down on heaven and on earth. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people! He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!”

Prayer for the Body of Christ


Father God,
Today I lift up to You my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that You cause them to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as they love You. That You may establish our hearts blameless and in holiness before You. I thank You, Lord, that our faith is growing. May You give us all eternal encouragement and good hope, that our hearts are encouraged and strengthened in You in every good deed and word. I thank You for giving us peace at all times and in every way. I especially thank You that you are with us, always.

(I Thessalonians 3:12-13, II Thessalonians 1:3, 11-12, 2:16-17, 3:16)

Book Review for “When Godly People Do Unglodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction”- Christian Non-fiction


I think this book has been one of the most important books I have read to date. I strongly encourage every Christian to read “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction”. Not only would this be so helpful for someone who has fallen into sin, more importantly it will help prevent a fall to begin with. Beth Moore is a great teacher, she is kind and simple in her writing style. I am going to recommend this book to all of the ladies at our bible study and to all of my followers. I give it five stars only because I can’t give it more. Appropriate for teens and up.

Don’t Toot Your Own Horn


Proverbs 16:18 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.”

We all love accolades. It’s part of our society. It is nice to receive honor, and the Bible clearly tells us to give honor where honor is due. However, we are never the best person to judge whether we should be honored. We are biased to say the least. We will either think we deserve nothing, or worse yet we think we deserve the most. Growing up there was a pretty common saying, “Don’t toot your own horn.” It was a reminder to not brag on yourself.

Most of us ignore a braggart. We shy away from those arrogant, know-it-all types. We don’t want them on our team. They simply aren’t good team players. How about at Church, those shooting stars that give glowing reports of all their good deeds? The common denominator in all of their “testimonies” isn’t the goodness of God, it’s their so-called spirituality. They begin their sentences with “I”, not “God”. In trying to honor themselves they end up looking fake-y and flaky. Those types of people have very little true impact on the Body of Christ, unless it is in a negative way. Any motivation other than love doesn’t accomplish anything for the Kingdom. Self aggrandizement isn’t a fruit of the Spirit, and Proverbs 16 clearly tells us that pride comes before a fall. That doesn’t sound like honor.

Luke 14:11 (NASB), “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Even Jesus said that if He bore witness of Himself that His witness wouldn’t be true. He let His works speak for themselves.

John 5:31, 36 (NIV), “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true… I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish–the very works that I am doing–testify that the Father has sent me.”

We don’t have to tell everyone all the “good things” we do. Just do it! If you have a true testimony of what God did share it, but those testimonies never include “God used me to bless so and so.” I am sorry if this steps on some toes, but that isn’t a true testimony. Why not just testify, “so and so had a need and God met that need.” No need to bring ourselves into the picture at all. This glorifies the One who deserves it. We can’t love the praise of men. It keeps us from serving God rightly.

John 12:43 (NLT), “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”

Myself, I want to hear Him say, “well done,” not another person who is just like me.

John 7:18 (NET Bible), “The person who speaks on his own authority desires to receive honor for himself; the one who desires the honor of the one who sent him is a man of integrity, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

Been “tooting your own horn”? Check your heart.

Let love motivate you, and give all praise to God.

Be Thankful


Philippians 4:6-14, (NIV), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”

In the United States the spirit of ungratefulness is running rampant. Look at our Media! They preach to us constantly how we don’t have enough, or that we need this one thing, or that someone else knows what we need best. We aren’t the first people to allow this bad attitude to take over, and probably won’t be the last. The Israelites grumbled. Sometimes reading Exodus is like reading the “Who’s who” list of world renowned whiners and complainers. I get frustrated for God or sorrowful for Him when I read it. I get angry at their ungrateful, stiff necked, hearts…until I start complaining about some trivial thing. Isn’t the Holy Spirit faithful to do His job? There must have been some New Testament grumblers too; otherwise Paul wouldn’t have had to warn the Church at Corinth using those professional complainers from Exodus as bad examples.

I Corinthians 10:10-11 (ESV), “nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”

In one of his recent messages, our Senior Pastor, Dr. William Hohman explained the danger of allowing this spirit of ungratefulness in our lives, “Complaining looses the destroyer in our lives. Thanksgiving shuts the door to the bottomless pit and opens the door into the presence of God.”

Revelations 9:11 (NIV), “They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).”

Did you get that? The “king” over the bottomless pit is THE Destroyer. When we complain and grumble we are opening the door to the bottomless pit. We are letting him loose. The very worst thing of all is that we are giving him (the destroyer, Satan, the devil, and his minions) a personal invitation to mess with us! When we have an attitude of gratitude, when we live with a heart of thanksgiving towards God and others, we shut that door. That’s why the bible tells us that “praise stills the enemy and the avenger.”

Psalms 8:2 (NIV), “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Emphasis mine)

Psalms 8:2 (NET Bible), “From the mouths of children and nursing babies you have ordained praise on account of your adversaries, so that you might put an end to the vindictive enemy.” (Emphasis mine)

Every person still living on this earth has something to be thankful, if only the fact that you are alive. Ok, I know there will be some that say, “If you knew what my life was like, you’d wish you were dead.” I know, I’ve been there. However, if the alternative is hell, than thank God you’re alive. If your final destination in Heaven be thankful that God isn’t done with you yet, because if your work here was done, God would have taken you home. Be honest, most of us have a myriad of things to be thankful for. If you are a born again Christian, just think for a minute where your life was like before you were saved, and then thank God for where you are now!

If we really know who God is we will not have to hunt for something to be thankful for. When we fall so in love with God our hearts will be so full of gratitude that we can’t help but sing and shout His praises! We won’t even care if we can carry a tune or not, it won’t matter what anyone else thinks. We won’t be able to help ourselves. Have you ever been around someone who is in love for the first time? Do they talk of much else besides their new love interest? How excited do they get when they have a date scheduled, or a wedding? Yep, that kind of crazy love, only even greater.

I love God, I have since I found out He loved me at the age of six. Growing up, I walked away from Him and didn’t live right. After years of living in the world, I forgot how much He loved me. Even after years of walking with Him, even though I thought I loved Him, it didn’t compare to how much I love Him now…or how much I will love Him tomorrow. What changed? Me! I allowed Him to show me how much He loved me, I read His word and searched out every ounce of His goodness and kindness. I rehearsed and meditated on all the good things He had done for me, and I practiced an attitude of thankfulness. Am I thankful all the time? No, I still have my “would you like some cheese with that whine” moments. But, I am pleased to say they are fewer and farther between.

Do you know what else I discovered? An attitude of thankfulness touches others. When we are thankful for what we have and are willing to share. Think about that little boy with five loaves and two fishes. He had to have been thankful for that little lunch that someone had packed for him; otherwise the disciples wouldn’t have even known that he had the basket of goodies. I can hear the question, “does anyone have some food?” and our little hero says, “I do, my mom packed me two nice fish and five of her best little loaves”. Can you hear the thankfulness in his voice? I am sure the disciples wouldn’t steel a little boys lunch, so it is safe to say he offers to share. When you appreciate what God has given you, you don’t get greedy and selfish, you know He will provide again. So, they bring that lunch, big enough for one little boy, and what does Jesus do- yep, He gives thanks! Now, I know it is hard to wrap our heads around this, but force it if you need to, that little lunch fed five thousand men, along with untold numbers of women and children.

When we are thankful for the people in our lives, we treat them with respect, we honor them, and we aren’t constantly looking at their faults and failures. When we are thankful for our jobs, we work harder, behave better, and show up for work on time. When we are thankful for our Church family, we show up for service, we offer to help out, and we don’t gossip and finger point as much. Are you starting to get the picture? It is something that has to be actively worked out, worked on. God doesn’t just implant thankfulness in us. We become thankful on purpose. Now I am not one to encourage “faking it” but sometimes we have to do things that we don’t feel like doing. You may not feel thankful, but you better start saying “Thank You”. Tell the lady who checks out your groceries, the man who held the door, the mailman who delivers your package, your husband for taking out the trash, thank you! Yes, I know that some of that is part of their job descriptions, but so what! Thank them.

Get a pen and paper when you have finished reading this and write down everything that you are thankful for today. Nothing is too little or too big. Then every night before you go to sleep, look back over your day and thank God for what He has done for you, given you, or just for Who He is. Do this for fourteen days and a new wonderful habit of thanksgiving will be birthed in your heart. If you have allowed your heart to dry up, or your neck to become “stiff” like those wondering Israelites, it may take a while before you feel it. Dive into the word and search out scripture that talk about the goodness of God. Read His promises and if they haven’t manifested yet, thank Him for them anyway. They are coming.

Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP), “As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”

Allow those roots to be firmly and deeply planted in Him, the outcome will be abounding thanksgiving. You won’t be able to keep it in. It will overflow.

Am I Committed?


II Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV), “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Did you ever know someone who was great at getting involved, in starting new projects, enrolling in a college classes, setting goals, and making resolutions…but they weren’t so great at finishing anything. I have, several in fact. I was brought up to finish what you started. You ate what you put on your plate, if you signed up for ball; you went to every practice, you stuck it out. In fact it was such a big thing, and I had very little self confidence, that I hardly ever committed to anything. If I knew I could do it, without a doubt, then I’d go for it. Thank God, I have found my confidence in Him. I’ll give just about anything a try if it pleases Him. If I mess it up, it won’t be from lack of effort. So, you’d think I would have a lot of “success” under my belt.

We have a real enemy that tries to get us off the track. He will do anything to derail us, slow us down, or get us to even move backwards. That’s who he is. He comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10). He doesn’t have a single other agenda. To put it simply his job is to get us to quit, back down, or give up. You can’t get him to stop attacking. That happens when we get to heaven, and he gets to hell. Don’t lose heart though, you can repel, and counter attack anything and everything he throws your way…if you have surrendered your life to the One who is all powerful. God has given us weapons, and protective gear. He has warned us of the wiles of the Devil, and placed before us simple instructions on how to overcome. Jesus already did, He defeated the devil over 2000 years ago. We just carry on in that knowledge. We battle a defeated foe, a lion who can only make noise because his teeth have been pulled.

So why does it feel like we have gotten our ears boxed? Or maybe you have been in the same battle for years, and you haven’t even given much thought to the war. What’s the problem?

Honestly there could be various reasons, but today I am going to talk about one of those reasons. Take a look at something our Senior Pastor said while preaching a series about “Changing Your Perception.”

“The enemy attacks, that’s who he is, but when he consistently gets the upper hand it is because our perception is wrong.” Dr. William Hohman

Since you didn’t hear the message, I’ll clue you in on the concept.

When we know, not with our head, but in our heart, truly know, who God is we have unlimited power at our disposal. Think of it in this way, if you know God is your healer, you believe with all of your heart that Jesus’ stripes purchased your healing, you will stand firm against every bodily attack. You won’t be fighting the sickness, you will be fighting the fight of faith, the fight to remain true and committed to God and His word. Look at Job, Satan had permission to wreck havoc on Job’s life, yet Job didn’t “curse God and die” as his loving wife recommended, no, he kept his faith. Sure it wavered a little, we are human, but he never gave up on God. He stayed committed to the One who was able to bring him through.

When we know that our Father is the King, we can walk in our authority as princes and princesses. We command those who are subject to us (which according to the word is pretty much anything that is in the way of us fulfilling our destiny in God.) The key is to know who He is, know who we are, and submit to the King. When we know what His plan is, we can walk on the right path, recognize the obstacles, and command them to move.

We have to be committed. We have to “set our faces like flint”, “quite like men”, “run the race with patience”, and “stand firm”. It’s only when we do those things that we will receive the promises.

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV), “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Romans 12:11-12 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English), “Be diligent and do not be lazy; be enthusiastic in spirit; be working for your Lord. Be rejoicing in your hope. Bear your afflictions bravely. Be persistent in prayer.

Ephesians 6:13 (NLT), “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

Have you mastered the art of quitting, well quit it! Press on to master the art of loyalty and commitment. He is worthy of our commitment! We won’t be the only ones who will benefit from our perseverance. When we fulfill the call God has placed in our lives, when we use the gifts and talents He gave us, so many people are blessed. Lives are changed! The Kingdom is built!

Are you committed?