Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The God of a Second Chance

Remember these words I wrote last night?, "Tonight is special because I am purposing to forgive those who brought the hurt. I will say more about this as it unfolds." Well, things began to unfold during the night. I dreamed off and on all night and I kept hearing these words in my dreams, "I am the God of the second chance." When I awoke this morning I read these words from Susan Galey, "I believe God is preparing you and you are in transition for His plans." I agree with Susan. I believe by forgiving the ones who hurt me in 2006 the Lord is now giving me a second chance.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

God Meant it for Good

Tonight has been very special to me in so many ways. I had something happen to me back in 2006 that hurt me more than anything has ever hurt. The experience actually imprisoned my soul and for the past twelve years, I have been bound. I am listening to a program with Dr. R.T. Kendall speaking about genuine forgiveness to those who have hurt you. They may have meant what happened for evil but God meant it for good. I believe God has shown me that I must truly forgive these people in order to be set free. God meant it for good. Tonight this is being revealed to me. Tonight is special because I am purposing to forgive those who brought the hurt. I will say more about this as it unfolds.

Monday, December 17, 2018

When Smaller is Larger than Large

One of my spiritual mentors was Dr. Stan Beason. He pastored United Methodist churches in the North Alabama Conference before moving to Tulsa in 1981 to direct the Prayer Partner Program at the City of Faith Medical Center at ORU. He was pastoral counselor at Tulsa-First UMC and then pastored at Marietta from 1996 until officially retiring in 1998. The interesting fact about Stan's ministry at Marietta is that he requested that the Bishop send him to a small membership church with senior adults to end his pastoral ministry. Stan told me that those two years were his most rewarding years of ministry. He was on the staff of the First United Methodist Church of Tulsa and requested that he be sent to a small church made up of older members! Amazing turn of events.
The things we consider small and insignificant, God uses them to accomplish great things. Here are just some of the little things in the Bible along with God's principles concerning them.
The mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32
The Lord’s approval of the widow who gave her last two coins in Mark 12:41.
The little boy’s lunch in John 6:9.
Mustard seed faith in Luke 17:6.
Small coin in fish's mouth to pay taxes in Matthew 17:27
Sparrow in Matthew 10:29-31

Dream of a Small Church with Senior Adults

Let me share a dream that I had one night last week. I dreamed that I was sent to be the pastor of a church which has nine members. All of the nine members were older senior adults. One said, "I wish you could have been here a year ago when we had 32 members but over the past year 23 died." Three women said, "We love to knit and we want to volunteer to be greeters at the front door each Sunday. We will sit in the vestibule and knit but when the door opens we will stop and stand to greet those coming in." I responded, "Yes, this is great and you may start this week!" End of the dream.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I'm on a Transitional Journey

Iyar, the second month of the Hebrew calendar, is a month of transition. We are transitioning from Passover to Pentecost. Each day of Iyar represents another step in this spiritual journey toward Sinai. I am keenly aware that I am in a season of transition, physically and spiritually.  

"Shortly after the Exodus, the thirsty Israelites reached a well of bitter water. Moses cast a tree into the water, and it miraculously became sweet. G‑d then promised that if Israel followed His ways, "the diseases I have placed on Egypt I will not place upon you, for I am G-d your Healer. The acronym for this last phrase spells out the name of the month of Iyar, thus indicating that Iyar is a propitious time for healing."

I wanted to give an update on my physical condition. Six months ago I was diagnosed with an inherited heart condition. The cardiologist said it could only be treated with medications. Of course, I immediately added healing prayer and within three months further testing revealed my condition had improved. I return to the cardiologist in another month for a check-up. Although my heart condition is improved I am aware that I am not fully whole. 

I purposely turned this over to the Lord on Passover/Easter. "Because He lives I shall live also." I also chose to eat a more healthy diet and to lose unhealthy weight. The cardiologist told me that losing weight would not make any difference with my particular heart condition. I am losing it anyway; because it can't hurt anything.

The word Iyar in Hebrew is an acronym for the phrase Ani Hashem Rophecha, which means, "I am God, your Healer." This is a month that is especially auspicious for all forms of healing. This month I am pressing into our healing God! I am praying and believing that God will heal my physical heart and restore my health. I am on a transitional journey.

Iyar and Light

“Iyar” is the second of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar. During this month watch for things to be revealed that have been hidden. In the Bible, the month of Iyar is called the month of “Ziv” (radiance). Iyar is also cognate to light.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Letting Go is Hard

Letting go is so hard for me. I realize that much of my life has been spent holding on to things that at the time were important but did not carry forward into the present. They are still back there and I guess I have hoped that somehow they would break forth again in my life. Holding on is harder than letting go! I admire people who live totally in the present. J.L. Vanier said, "Let go of the attachment, keep the lesson."

Friday, March 2, 2018

If I Be Lifted Up

As in life, Dr. Billy Graham's funeral lifted high the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." It is my sincere prayer that multitudes around the world were drawn into the kingdom of heaven as Dr. Graham was remembered.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Reclaiming My Lost Spiritual Ancestral Inheritance

Ten years ago I began a serious ancestry research of my Phares' lineage beginning with my father's father. Yesterday I had an inward prompting to research more intentionally my family line. I believe there are past events that have continued to impact my life to this day. I also believe there is an inheritance that was lost that now must be reclaimed. I plan to personally visit the actual properties my forebears inhabited and there decree the promises and blessings tied to those lands. I am excited about my new journey into my spiritual and physical inheritance.

A Word From the Lord

Watch for some very encouraging news that will change the course of your situation. #dailyprophetic 

I read this prophetic word from Doug Addison this morning and immediately felt that it will encourage someone in Ukraine and here. 

If you are the one receive it with faith and speak it out with your mouth. As you hear the message of this prophecy come into agreement that you will receive very encouraging news that is going to change your situation. 

I also want to remind you of this promise from Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Pardon my sentimental journey this evening but I just can't get away from the message of this beautiful hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I truly feel in my spirit that someone desperately needs to hear the reassurance that God has, "Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside."

As you listen to the Gaither's and Wes Hampton sing this hymn may your soul be renewed and encouraged by the Lord's abounding love and grace.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Flood of Revival About to Impact the Media

We need more witnesses for the Lord like this one yesterday from Kathie Lee Gifford. Thanks to Megyn Kelly for allowing her to share freely. It is past time that followers of Jesus be granted the opportunity to witness again on television without scorn and ridicule. Joy Behar, and others like her, will give an account to God on how they treated Christians who pray and believe that God speaks back to believers. I personally believe that the tables are about to turn in our nation concerning people like Behar. I pray that she will have a divine encounter with the living Jesus and that her life will be turned inside out. 

I believe God is about to turn the media upside down and a major spiritual revival will flood the airwaves of America. Let us pray for the salvation of those who persecute those who witness to their faith in the Lord.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Convergence is Occurring Today

A convergence of prophetic words and destiny is occurring in the heavenlies and upon the earth today. I am in awe this morning as I contemplate the extraordinary significance of what is happening even as I write this blog post. I trust that I can articulate succinctly all that I am sensing in my spirit.

This morning Dr. Billy Graham went home to be with the Lord at age 99. I personally believe that he was perhaps the greatest evangelist in our generation. There is no way of knowing how many souls were won to Christ through his ministry; only eternity will tell. Every Wednesday morning I participate in a Prayer Call for Israel led by Dr. Billye Brim. It was during this call that I learned of Dr. Graham's passing. She shared with us a word that the Lord gave her in July 2007 before Oral Roberts died. This word spoke of the impact that Oral Roberts' and Billy Graham's deaths would have.

Billye Brim wrote, "Tell Oral Roberts some can choose the date of their departure as is revealed in the writings of the Apostle Paul. But some cannot; for the dates of their departures are in the sovereign plan of God. Two who cannot choose are Billy Graham and Oral Roberts. Their departures are in the sovereign plan of God and at their departures, there will be a major shift in the heavenlies."

At the same time my dear friend, Pastor Michael Dease, sent me this video clip from YouTube. This clip is from a TBN broadcast several years ago.

The words from Pastor Mark Chirona and Benny Hinn are almost identical to what the Lord had told Billye Brim in 2007. I believe this is further signs of convergence.

The timing of all of this is very important because of a major prayer event which will begin tomorrow night in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dutch Sheets and Dr. Chuck Pierce will be leading The Turnaround: An Appeal to Heaven National Gathering at the Trump International Hotel.

Dutch Sheets writes, "The greatest worldwide revival in history is about to occur, bringing more people into the kingdom than at any other time in history. America will be awakened, experiencing the great turnaround that has been prophesied; and a sweeping revival will flood the entire earth like a tidal wave. As has always been the case throughout history, however, this must be asked for and decreed by God’s people on earth. As we do so, Holy Spirit will tip the filled bowls of intercession (see Revelation 5:8), releasing this worldwide revival."

I do not believe the passing of Dr. Graham today and the convening of this special prayer event in our Capitol is coincidental. Major events are occurring simultaneously in Israel which also call believers to be in prayer concerning the peace of Jerusalem. This week is monumental and may very well usher in the greatest move of the Holy Spirit in our generation. 

There are a number of things which will begin to converge and overlap in the Spirit realm signaling a major shift in the Endtime Harvest of Souls. Entire nations will turn to the Lord in a day. Harvests in Israel begin in spring in the month of Adar (February/March). The barley harvest begins within the next weeks. Jesus said, "take a closer look and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready for the harvest." John 4:35 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Embracing a New Harvest Mentality (Part 2)

Already the harvest is being gathered. Now is the time to enter the harvest. In another Scripture, the fields are interpreted as the world. Jesus is saying to us that the world is ripe for harvesting. We need not wait; we need to start reaping!     

My father grew up on a farm in Hale County, Alabama. This area of the state is part of the cotton belt. When he was a boy growing up during the Depression the cotton harvest was picked by hand; there were no giant combines. He told me that when the time to harvest the cotton crop came an announcement was made at his school. This meant that classes were postponed until all of the harvesting was completed. All the children went to the fields and began picking the cotton. He said it was hard work. After the crop was harvested the children went back to school.

I have meditated on this story and believe that there is a great truth hidden in it. Today we live in a world of modern conveniences and technology. Most people never stop to think about farming. We just go about our daily lives and leave the sowing and harvesting of crops up to the farmers. It is none of our business so we do not give it much thought. So it is with many people in the body of Christ; we do not give much thought to the harvesting of eternal souls. We just leave it to the preachers and missionaries to take care of it. 

We live in a world influenced by space-age technology yet ingenuity cannot lead a soul to Christ. Computers cannot personally pray with a sinner. We still must go to the fields and bring in the harvest by hand. There are no spiritual combines that can gather the harvest of souls. This calling is hard but so rewarding! Jesus sends us to enter into the labor of those who have sown the seed of the Gospel and to gather the ripe harvest. 

For some, it will mean leaving your occupation and going to the mission field to gather the harvest. For others, it will mean purposing in your heart to share the Gospel with those you interact with on a daily basis. Others will receive a call to the preaching and teaching ministries. The end-time harvest will require something from every true believer. We cannot remain neutral when Jesus tells us to lift up our eyes and look on the fields. The time has come to be obedient to the Lord of the Harvest. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Embracing a New Harvest Mentality (Part 1)

The last harvest of souls is happening. We are now is the beginning phase of this event. Jesus referred to this time in John 4:35-38,
     Do you not say, “There are yet four months and then comes the harvest?” Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
     Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
     For, in this case, the saying is true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.
Jesus is saying to our generation that we do not have to wait any longer for the wheat to mature. He tells us that if we look we shall see the fields are ripe for harvesting now! Tomorrow I will share a story about my father who grew up on a cotton farm in Hale County, Alabama. It speaks of the time of harvest and harvesting.

Part 2 February 20, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Embracing a New Harvest Mentality (Intro)

I am firmly convinced that we are swiftly merging into the great End-Time Harvest of Souls prophesied in Scripture. Our mindset must shift quickly to embrace and possess our place in this kairos moment in history (His story).

These are days of the move of God in our midst. God's Word has been sown for the last 2,000 years. Faithful pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and laypersons have sown the seeds of the Gospel throughout the world. These seeds have been, and are being watered by the Holy Spirit, and now the season for harvesting is upon us.

This Scripture from Joel 2:23-24 explains the timing of sowing, watering, and harvesting,

     So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; for He has given you
     the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down the rain, the early and 
     latter rain as before. And the threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will    
     overflow with the new wine and oil.

The seeds of the Gospel of Christ have been sown through the centuries. The rain of the Holy Spirit began on the Day of Pentecost. The latter (last days) rain is now being poured out upon the Earth, which is producing the Great End-Time Harvest of souls for God's kingdom. 

Joel prophesied that the threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. All of this speaks of the abundant harvest to be experienced in the last days. 

Part 1 February 19, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Joy Comes When the Sick are Healed

Two months ago a friend told me about the ministry of Billy Burke and last night I watched him on the internet. He is ministering this weekend at Eagle Mountain International Church near Fort Worth, TX. Billy Burke was healed from terminal brain cancer at age nine at a Kathyrn Kuhlman crusade. He had only three days to live when the Lord healed him. Now he prays for the sick and it has done my heart so much good to watch the service last night and again this afternoon. I love to see suffering people touched by the compassion of Jesus. I have felt such joy for these precious people. I can't wait to watch the service at 7:00 pm tonight. It will be a live-streamed service at

I hope someone will read this and be able to watch too. I am so joyful at this moment. I needed this more than you could ever know. I believe healing is about to flood the earth in the coming months.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Favor Will Overturn the Curse

Nehemiah 8:10 Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!

This evening begins Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar. The word Adar means “strength.” This is a month of good fortune for the Jewish people and a month of joy.
Adar is the month of the Tribe of Naphtali which means “sweetness is to me.” This is a time of celebration so that any curse is overturned and things become sweet. Adar is a good month.

This can be the beginning of a good, sweet, joyful, and strong month in your life. God's favor and good fortune will overturn any curse you have been fighting. Your life can actually turn around this month and you will be able to say, the joy of the Lord is my strength!

Come Away with Me

Song of Solomon 4:7 You are so beautiful, my love, without blemish. Jesus wants to present the church to himself as glorious—not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. He calls us this before it happens because His love will bring it to pass.

Notice these are Jesus' words and He does the work in us. This is not something we struggle to accomplish within ourselves. We could never perfect ourselves without the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who removes the stains and blemishes. He is the one who irons out every wrinkle. He is the author and perfecter of our nature. It truly is a work in progress in my life.

This week my spiritual attention has been drawn to the Song of Solomon. It is very obvious that this Old Testament Scripture is alluding to Jesus, the Bridegroom, and His Bride. I am struck by His deep and abiding love for His bride. What is more obvious is her love for Him! 

Soon we will will hear the words from Jesus and the Song of Solomon 2:10 Rise up my love, my beautiful one, come away with me!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Recovering From Physical and Spiritual Surgery

Dear friends in Christ,
The last email that I sent to you was on January 31st and that was the last time you heard from me. Most of you did not know that I had some surgery the week before. I decided to not say anything about the surgery unless I was personally asked. Little did I know in advance that God would also do spiritual surgery in me. I tried to send you the morning devotional the day of the physical surgery on the 24th for one week but the spiritual surgery that week was more than I could overcome. I was not able to do anything for two weeks but sit in my recliner and cry. God broke me down to my core being and showed me how very sinful I was. The acknowledgment of my sinfulness has been a very sobering and painful experience. God has shown me that my soul had a huge tear and the time had come for Him to do spiritual surgery in me. It has been very painful but as it is said, No pain, no gain. In God's deep love and grace, healing is now manifesting in my soul and body. I praise Him and I'm thankful that He loves me enough to heal me through His divine method of healing.The good news is that I am now ready to restart the daily devotionals beginning tomorrow morning. I think that you will notice a slight change in what I will write to you. At 6:15 am you will have a new devotional waiting in your email box.

I would like to close this letter to you with the words of a gospel song we used to sing at one of the first churches I pastored forty years ago.

He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.
The broken heart I had was good for me.
He tore it all apart and looked inside.
And found it full of fear, so much foolish pride.

He swept away the things that made me blind.
And then I saw the clouds were silver lined.
And now I understand 'Twas best for me.
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Shaken into Sending and Saying!

“I’m shaking you out of the discouragement of the last season and causing that discouragement to fall.  I’m shaking you out of your disillusion of what didn’t happen because I am getting ready to send you to people, places and into a dimension of understanding that you’ve not known. Let Me shake off the loss so that I can send you forth.  For I’m looking for a voice that has the sound of Heaven in it … a voice of faith that will begin to prophesy and speak, and to release the joy of Heaven on the earth!  I’m activating My voice in you in a way that it’s not been activated before.  I will cause My voice to rise out of your discouragement, out of your disillusionment, and out of your disinterest from the past.  You will be known as one that represents Me, as I send you into places that others would never go.  Let your voice come out of the last season so My voice of faith can be heard from you today!”  Chuck D. Pierce

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Golden Rule is Still Relevant

Common sense and common courtesy are in short supply. People seem to do whatever feels okay to them without thinking how their actions affect anyone else. I believe the "Golden Rule" needs to be taught and used in our daily lives. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule comes from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, "All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them." Luke 6:31

The second part which is relevant in our present age is Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 1 Peter 3:9

What kind of people do this? People who belong to the Kingdom of God are probably the only ones who do. Make sure you are one of these for goodness sake!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Jesus Understands our Weaknesses

Today has been a stressful day for me. I spent most of my time in the hospital pre-planning for some minor surgery. I went from one part of the hospital to another making sure each medical personnel I needed to see was contacted. In every waiting room, I met strangers going through the same stressful experience as me. I usually don't say very much to people I don't know but today there was at least one person in every area that was open to talking.

Now I am reflecting on the conversations and one theme came through; life. Life affects everyone yet stress can make us brothers and sisters in life. We related to one another in our common journey. Tonight I am encouraged that Jesus understands what we all were going through today. The High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Worship Services are not Always Worshipful

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 

I claim this verse as I need to worship God in a setting that is truly worshipful. One of the most essential ingredients in true worship is music which leads the worshipers into His presence. I was in a service this past Sunday where the bass guitar and drums were so overwhelming that my shirt sleeves were literally moving against my skin with each beat. If this was happening to my clothes I can only imagine what my eardrums were doing! I was so distracted by the sound that I could not focus on the Lord.

I am searching for a place in which the worship from start to finish is saturated with the anointing of Jesus' presence. I have experienced this maybe ten times in my life. Conservatively I have been in over 5,000 "worship" services during my 47 years as a Christian. This means that only .002% of the time spent in church services were what I consider worshipful; not even 1%.

Is God present in our gatherings? I fear that what passes as worship is no more than an hour of man-made fluff. I looked in the dictionary to find the meaning of fluff. Fluff is something of no consequence. 

Since last Sunday morning, I have been praying that the Lord will give me the desire of my heart. My heart's desire is to find a place where Jesus' definition of worship can be experienced. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Monday, January 8, 2018

There is a Hope

During this 21 days of prayer & fasting the Lord has been ministering to me through the music of Stuart Townend. His songs are like modern hymns and are so anointed. The Holy Spirit is cleansing me spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am sharing the video and lyrics with you. Be blessed!

There is a hope that burns within my heart 
That gives me strength for every passing day 
A glimpse of glory now revealed in meagre part 
Yet drives all doubt away
I stand in Christ with sins forgiven 
And Christ in me the hope of heaven! 
My highest calling and my deepest joy 
To make His will my home   

There is a hope that lifts my weary head 
A consolation strong against despair 
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit 
I find the Saviour there! 
Through present sufferings future's fear 
He whispers courage in my ear 
For I am safe in everlasting arms 
And they will lead me home
There is a hope that stands the test of time 
That lifts my eyes beyond the beckoning grave 
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine 
When I behold His face 
When sufferings cease and sorrows die 
And every longing satisfied 
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul 
For I am truly home     

Stuart Townend & Mark Edwards  Copyright © 2007 Thankyou Music 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Rest of God

January 7, 2018

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 36:7

How many people actually take a day to rest? For those who work full-time jobs, Saturdays are filled with house and yard work. Active church members spend half a day or longer on Sundays with church activities. I remember often working twelve hours on Sundays when I was a pastor. So how do Christians rest?

We must learn to tap into the rest of God. There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God. Hebrews 4:9 It is in this rest that the Lord restores our soul. In the above-mentioned Psalm 36:7 verse He is speaking of this kind of rest.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Set Time with God

January 6, 2018

There are special times set apart for the people of God. These set times are called a moed. The term moed means an appointed place, time, or season. Usually, a moed is used in conjunction with feast times or festivals in the Hebrew calendar. Beginning tomorrow I will begin a moed of prayer and fasting. This will be a 21-day set time for seeking God's plan for my life during this New Year. I know of many others who are observing this set time.

I have personal situations that I will be praying about and also corporate prayer requests. I am asking the Lord to heal my heart and help me to discipline my eating habits (I love chocolate and Krispy Kreme donuts!). I believe the fast will enable me to begin to get a handle on how to eat more healthy.

Corporately I am joining other Christians as we pray for a great spiritual awakening in America. Our nation is so divided and hatred is spilling over into almost every facet of life. We must have a move of God to sweep over and into the very fabric of our land. Fasting enables our prayer life to be more focused on the Lord. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 Fasting is one of the ways we humble ourselves and seek the face of God.

This moed is ordained and so timely for me. I am desperate for a move of God in my life. You may be led by the Lord to join me during this moed. By the way, today I just had my last real meal at The Bright Star Restuarant in Bessemer!

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Meow and a Roar

Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up? Genesis 49:9 

A whelp is a cub. God is saying that the Tribe of Judah is like a lion's cub. When it is time to give birth a lioness leaves her pride (a group of lions) and has her lion cubs in dense cover. Cubs remain hidden for one to two months before being introduced to the rest of the pride.

After Jesus was born an angel instructed Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt because Herod ordered all baby boys who had been born in Bethlehem in the past two years to be killed. They remained in Egypt for up to two years. I find it interesting that the lion's whelp remains hidden for one to two months. Here we see a similarity with hiddenness. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah and before becoming known as the Lion of the tribe of Judah he was a lion's whelp. I know that I have never thought of Jesus as a lion cub but only as the strong Lion of Judah. Yet, before he became the lion he was first a whelp (cub). 

Now I see the birth of Jesus in a new light. He was born as a baby, grew through adolescence, and became an adult carrying out his mission here on earth. Jesus is coming again as the Lion of Judah! No longer a cub but a full-grown lion. Listen for the roar! 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pleasing God and Overcoming Evil

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Those who come to God must believe that he exists. And they must believe that he rewards those who look to him. Hebrews 11:6 NIRV

Prepare your heart and mind to experience great challenges in 2018. This will be a year of many calamities and heartache. What is it that you have that will enable you to face these and not be overcome? You have faith in God. If you didn't have faith you will not have victory and you will not please God. It is impossible to please God without faith.

1 John 5:4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. I cannot emphasize this truth strongly enough. We will need to walk in faith and believe that God will provide for us and keep us safe. The day is coming when everything we do will have to be by faith.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Who Will Be My God in 2018?

I believe more than ever that God is serious about our devotion to Him. God does not want to be second or third in our priorities in this new year. He wanted first place with Israel but the people worshiped other gods. This provoked God and He continued to send His prophets to warn Israel.

Morning after morning and long into the night I kept after you, sending you all those prophets, my servants, begging you, "Please, please-don't do this, don't fool around in this loathsome gutter of gods that I hate with a passion." Jeremiah 44:4 The Message

If we put God first place in our lives in 2018 we will walk in His blessings. If our nation puts God first the nation will be blessed. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD... Psalm 33:12  There are many gods in our country. For some people college football is like a god in their lives. They spend more money for football than they give to the Lord. It is easy for other gods to creep into our lives. I purpose to worship God first and foremost this year. The LORD God will be my God.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I Was Awakened this Morning

A major way God speaks to us is through reading His Word. On day one of 2018, I began to sense that the Holy Spirit would spotlight one particular verse each day for meditation. This blog will become my journal of what I believe God is speaking to me. I now share day two's verse.

The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. Isaiah 50:4. NASB

It is God that literally awakens me each morning. In October I was diagnosed with a heart condition which causes sudden cardiac arrest. The cardiologist said it is hereditary. When I first began to realize that I could die anytime during the day or the night I wondered if I might die in my sleep. In reality, any of us could die in our sleep. Our lives are in His hands. I don't want to die in my sleep. That is why this Scripture from Isaiah is so relevant to me; He awakens me morning by morning. Each morning is a gift from God! I am literally alive this morning because God ordained me to live another day for Him.

It is not enough for a Christian to live another day but to live as a disciple. Disciple means a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower. A Christian is a disciple of the doctrine (teachings) of Jesus. We are followers of Jesus. God awakens me each morning to be Jesus' disciple. He awakens me morning by morning! I am believing that this phrase applies to me; God awakes me day after day. I will live many days and not die in my sleep!

The next truth I receive today from Isaiah 50:4 is that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. As a called minister of the Gospel, I personally desire to share a relevant word with people who are tired and weary. I want my words to encourage you and to keep your mind and spirit from giving way to trial or affliction. All of this is gleaned from this one verse.

I pray that I will listen and "hear" as a disciple each day during 2018.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Journal Entry for the First Day of 2018

January 1, 2018

The first day of the new year of 2018; filled with hope, expectations, and dreams. I have had several impressions early this morning that I believe are of the Lord for this year. One of these is that I should keep a journal. I have never journaled but I feel this will be important for me. This blog will be my way of sharing what the Holy Spirit is saying to me.

The second impression was to read Luke 4:16. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read. I need to commit myself to corporate worship each week. This has been a sensitive issue for me after retiring from being a pastor four years ago. I have not found a church where I feel comfortable and where I fit. I continuously feel out of place. Another major factor has been the style of worship. I want and need more than a "same ole" service. There is no perfect church but I don't want to settle for less than how God desires to be worshiped.

The main word I got from this Scripture is how Jesus entered the synagogue as was His custom. A custom is a tradition and practice. I will establish the practice of weekly corporate worship in 2018 and I am believing by faith that the Lord will lead me to the church which will become my home church. 

Not only did Jesus attend His synagogue but He was an active participant in worship. Jesus stood up to read. I don't want to just attend worship but also become an active participant.

New Year and a new custom for me.