Reading over what I have written, I can’t help but notice some re-occurring themes. God loves us, we have a God given purpose, there is a real enemy trying to stop us, and it’s all about choices. We have to choose how we are living our lives, choose to accept what God has for us, what Jesus has done for us, and where the Holy Spirit is leading us. It’s all a choice. God has given us free will, and then in His perfect plan, we line up our will with His.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (KJV), “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Joshua 24:15 (NIV), “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

God doesn’t curse us. Our Senior Pastor puts it this way, (I am paraphrasing), “Every choice we make plants a seed. When we plant a good seed we get exactly what that seed packet shows in the picture of the mature plant. If we plant bad see, we get that as well.” So let’s say you have a package of corn seed, the picture outside shows a juicy cob of yellow corn. That shows you what you will get, the outcome of the choice of planting that seed. If you chose to plant poison oak, (thank God you can’t buy those seeds!), you would expect to get what is on the outside of that package. When we plant the bad, God holds up that package and say, “this is what you planted.” The good news is that in His mercy and Grace, we can pray for crop damage. Living that way isn’t acceptable though. Paul says His grace doesn’t give us a license to sin.

What do you want in your garden?

I choose to plant good seeds, seeds that will come to fruition and glorify the Father, seeds that will bless, nourish, and benefit others. We plant, God waters, and His light nourishes. The harvest will be huge!

I Peter 1:13-21 (ESV), “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

Second Chances


The Bible says that Noah “found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Because he listened and was obedient his whole family was saved from the devastation on the earth due to the flood. The only remaining eight people on the planet!

The Bible isn’t clear about the beliefs of Noah’s wife, sons or daughter-in-laws. We do know that Ham saw his father in a drunken, naked state and shamed his father by boasting about it to his brothers. Some even believe that Ham’s sin was something even worse. We do know that from the time of the flood to the tower of Babylon was around six generations (scholars vary on the amount of time). So what happened in those six generations? Who dropped the ball? Talk about a second chance. Don’t you think that the story of the ark was a favorite bedtime story for all of the kids, grandkids, great grand’s, etc. They wasted their second chance.

Our own children can be like that sometimes. Growing up in church. Knowing the word. But never having a personal experience with God. Somewhere along the long genealogy the personal relationship was let go. They ‘practiced’ their religion out of duty or tradition. Or possibly they started to believe that the story of the flood was just that, a story. Each of us has to reach a place where we build a relationship, personally with God. Unfortunately, that sometimes has to happen in the midst of a crisis.

Then there is the story that Jesus tells about the man who was forgiven a great debt, only to run out and demand repayment from someone who owed him a very small amount, (Matthew 18). What did the unmerciful servant do with his second chance? He used it to be a jerk. His end was worse than his beginning.
“’You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

His original sentence would have just been jail time for an unpaid debt. Now he was to be tortured until the debt was repaid. (Which basically would have been never). How could he ever earn enough without being able to work? He was like us. We owed a debt we couldn’t pay.

Before you despair, there are plenty of people in the Bible who did wonderful things with their second (and third and forth) chances. Let’s do a quick rundown of a few.

Rahab, saved the spies, her life and the life of her family was spared and now she is listed in the genealogy of Jesus.

Ruth was forsake all to go with her mother in law, after they lost all the men in their family. She took her second chance and placed it in the hands of Naomi’s God and she too is in the genealogy of Jesus.

How about David? He was continually given another chance. He sinned with Bathseba, had her husband killed, lost the child from that sin, but repented and went on to be a great King. He invented instruments, wrote songs and psalms and instilled worship into the church.

The whole city of Ninivah took the second chance offered by God, through the disobedient Johan, and the whole city was spared.

Every disciple, but Judas, took their second chance and they changed the world. Peter became one of the leading heads of the early church and went out to the gentiles after having denying Christ!

There are more, in the bible, in history, and in the Church.

What will you do with your second chance?

Who is Your God?


I was saved at the age of six at a small meeting after school, in the house of a classmate. I don’t remember her at all, not even the school we attended, but I remember the beautiful Mexican woman, her mother, who led me to the Lord. She had lovely long jet black hair and wore a colorful dress from Mexico. Using her perfect storyteller’s voice with a soft accent and a flannel board, she captured my attention that day. She spoke of our shortcomings and failures, how our hearts were black and ugly, putting a black heart up on that board for us all to see. Then she told us of a Father whose love could clean those hearts. She called that Father ‘God’ and explained in a simple way how much he loved us. I have no memory of the cross or of Jesus’ shed blood, just a few simple words about love. Next, out came a blood red heart, cut perfectly without any frays or being lopsided, and covered that ugly black heart up, no longer visible. “God,” she said, “loves you so much, he wants to be your Father and give you a new heart.” Those words are words I will never forget.

A little six year old girl, a skinny freckle-faced, quiet, homely, lonely girl who had always felt unwanted and lost in a family of bright, athletic, beautiful and noisy children, found the love she had been longing for that day. His love called me, drew me and captured me that day. His love kept me and sustained me for years, I held on to that love. Time went on and without the nourishment of His word, I fell away and lost my security and acceptance, He hadn’t left, I had just slowly but surely, wandered away. I turned my back on God and tried to find what only he could give out in the world. Years of ugliness and abuse, drugs and alcohol, bad relationships and wrong choices taking me further from Him, and moving quickly to an early grave…and hell.

Then one glorious day, as I opened my heart to Him, there He was, where I had last left Him, waiting with open arms. His love was still calling me, drawing me and once again capturing me. This time there was Church Family, His Word, encouragement and support, correction and teaching. The cross and the sacrifice of Jesus, the help of the Holy Spirit all linked together with God’s Love. I have learned so much more about Him in the 29 years since returning to him. God to me is and will always be LOVE, all consuming, never ending love and acceptance. I am important to Him, special in my own way. I am beautiful to Him, wondrously made by Him.

So it saddens me when people say God is hard, harsh and distant. That He brings earthquakes, sickness and sorrow. Some have a picture of God as a dictating deity using us for His perverse entertainment, or a judgmental King threatening to punish the smallest infraction. But of all of the false beliefs about Him, the one that hurts me the most is that He is uncaring, that He could stop all suffering, but that He just refuses to do it. All have been deceived. Satan doesn’t want us to know who God truly is, that’s where our power and authority comes from, knowing who He is and who we are in Him. So he slander’s God and people believe it. We live in a fallen world that could only be purchased back by legal means; God is just and will not break His own laws. Jesus as the spotless lamb is the only one who could break the curse. He came and did just that, so now all who will believe and accept His sacrifice can live as children of God. But the world is still under the rule of Satan and under the curse, so bad things happen, some of our own doing, some of God’s doing and some a result of the state of things. Only good and perfect gifts come from the Father.

God has given us, His Children power and authority over this world to bring it under the authority of Heaven. Some cry and bemoan God’s supposed lack of help, when He has clearly told us to help, we are to change the world, accept His love, and stand in His Victory and strength. Take back what Satan was given by Adam when he fell. When we go through all of the hard stuff here on earth, we don’t go alone, and we go through. He is there with us. He gave us weapons to fight, armor to protect and angels to go before us. His love is a banner over us!

My God is LOVE. He’s a Mighty Warrior King who vanquishes my enemies. He is a Strong Tower of protection; His is my place of Refuge. He is my Salvation, my Savior. He is my caring and gentle Father. That is my God.

Who is your God?

Hope For Us

We as a whole are lacking in hope. We run through our lives busy as bees, but instead of working to bring life, we are working at self satisfaction. We see so many people who supposedly have it all, that are killing themselves with drugs, alcohol, and loose living. I have noticed over the past several years that there has been an increase in the media, books and movies about the paranormal and superheroes. My theory is that we lack heroes. I know there are plenty to be found, everyday, normal people to do extraordinary things for the good of others. But they are few and far between, at least from what we can see in the media. We have a need to know that there is someone out there who can fly in and save the world, who can free us from the evil that runs rampant.

I think for some of the same reasons we have seen an increase in the genre of paranormal. Sure some are just plain horror stories, that only frighten and horrify us, and I think those are part of the evil around us, but there are some that I think are a shadow of what we need and hope for as a society. When I read the ‘Twilight’ series, which I did enjoy, I thought about this at length. Edward, the vampire, considers himself a ‘monster’, his whole ‘family’ doesn’t behave like the other vampires, but live by a code of ethics that isn’t normal for their kind. They don’t harm humans and the father figure is a doctor. I think that if we look past the whole love triangle and the shallow parts that young girls adored, we see the need to know that even if we are ‘monsters’ we can be redeemed and loved. We had a huge amount of vampire stories stream into the media after the success of this one story, but they all lacked the background story of fighting against the evil in our own hearts and lives.

Why do I think we so need to hear that there is a superhero out there, or that we can overcome the evil inside of us? Because we have a hero, on the scale of super-super, that died for us so that the evil inside of us is made into something good and right. He swept in, not on a web, or with cape flying, but in a manger, as a man, in our weakness and our frailty, and fully depended on the un-ending love of His Father, to give him the strength to live supernaturally, and to free us from the chains of evil that bound us.

So, you know, I do love superhero movies, and stories like Twilight, to me they are a shadow of what is really happening. They show us that we can’t do it ourselves, that we need someone better than we are to help us and to show us the way. God can do that. He already did.