32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord,
33 To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.
Blessed be God!
Regardless of where I am, every morning and evening I sit, look, imagine, and contemplate on Gods beauty. “Daily” He loads us with benefits as the psalmist says. In the middle of the night last night, as we laid to rest near the waters, I heard the thunder and lighting strike upon the waters and the strongest force being displayed right before me. I have never heard thunder as such. The vibrations rushing though my own frail body. I awoke to a calm and a peace in the sunrise. The sea of glass before me and the soothing sounds of the shore as it gently whispers against the sands at bay. But when i looked up at the clouds…although calm and peaceful, I was reminded of the One who rides on the heavens of heavens. He has a mighty voice and He sends His Word out this morning to all who have ears to hear. His strength is in the clouds and I cannot deny His existence. The first Bible is His creation. He spoke and it was and is and continues…The Rock underneath the shore is a reminder of God Almighty, forever grounded and immovable. The sand is humanity who is held firmly in His hands. The waves of the sea that brush up against the sand of the sea are life’s situations. You thoughts, emotions, life. They all come and go my friend. Pay not much attention to it all. What really secures an individual is that He has you. He is the Rock on which you stand. All else will come and go, but He remains grounded and sure. Who has your attention? Who has your being?
Wherever you may rise. Whatever country, nations, city, or street. Always remember there is One who sits on the throne of heaven. His excitement this day is for you and Him to spend time together. Let Him whisper His song in you. You are not alone my friends. He is all around if only you have eyes to see and ears to hear.
May the peace that passes understanding guard your heart and mind today. In Jesus.
Been doing some devotions lately and decided to place some of them on site rather than the journal i reserve for family and future. There is a structured I have been on lately and its really help for daily devotional. We call it SOAP with stands for
S = Scripture (which passage)
O – Observation (about the passage.
A = Application (How does it apply to me right now)
P = Prayer (pray it through)
Luke 11:1-4The Model Prayer
(Matt. 6:9–15) 1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
S – “…when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray,”
– The initial observation was “wow, what a powerful moment to be able to see, hear, and experience Jesus praying. Had to make an impact that Luke comes out and asks, “hey, what the heck! Teach me…show me…i want to do what i just experienced as I watched you! I’ve never seen nor heard anything like this in all my life. I do my devotions, read my scripture, sing my hymns, but there is nothing compared to what I just experienced this day. Lord, Teach me to pray!” (My paraphrase of course)
Is there anything in my life that people can see, hear, and feel the passion I have about my devotion to God that provokes a session to sit down with them so they can ask questions?
- What of my personal devotion
- My prayer time?
- My interaction with unbelievers?
- My interaction with the Body of Christ?
- My love for my family?
- My love for God?
DO any of these things provoke others to inquire of me?
- STOP allowing others, the needs and emergencies of others including myself to place the most important first…my devotional time daily…early.
- Be not worried about the naysayers and comments of the past. You are not defined by your past mistakes but by your current passions.
- Study, listen, and learn of others. Be a student of people and those who draw you in to provocation, well….have a meeting with them and begin asking, learning about the inner workings of their being.
- RELAX MAN…GOd loves you and is for you and has tremendous things for your life. It’s all good and use the mentors He has provided in scripture to provide some of the most basic and essential life lessons. (Moses, Peter, David, Samson, Elijah, Aquila, etc…)
Father, my prayer today is one of repentance first. Allow me 1st part of the day be centered around you and listening at your feet rather than the news, the flesh, the emotions, the anxieties of the circumstances in life. I pray You help me to be so laser focused of our time together that it will provoke others to see and experience your goodness and love. “Tell them how much I love them” is my mandate on earth and that cannot be done until I spend time with my lover, my Lord, My Christ.
Martha and Mary
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
S – 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving.
O – Why we think that others should walk with Christ according to our expectations and rituals is beyond me. My dad taught me something years ago and I continue to heed the advice. “Son, mind your own business”. Even though there is a lesson to be embraced regarding priorities and placing Christ first in your life. There is another lesson here in this passage but not as popular. The fact that Jesus called “much serving” as “anxious and troubled by MANY things” is worth looking into. I don’t know about you but when I get anxious and nervous about life, I tend to get busy. Some get depressed and slow down but others actually get busy with “stuff”, “projects”, “serving” and we miss out on the most important aspect of the moment. A life lesson at the foot fo Jesus. It’s easy to “run and gun” in basketball but it takes discipline, and routine to set the play up, and defend. The pay off is worth it though. You have a higher chance of winning.
Anyways, i have not written in a long time and thought I would begin again. This time I’m using what I call SOAP. Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. I encourage you to do the same or find your own little routine. It pays off and you will become less distracted as you take the time to put Him first in life.
A – Continue to use SOAP as a means to not only wash me through the water of the Word but to focus on the things that really matter which the primary is MY WALK WITH JESUS.
P – My Father, break me down and continue to teach my Your ways O Lord; Guide me into Your path for Your names sake. …and I shall walk in rest with you and with others!
– in Jesus name
In Exodus 8, God sends a plague of frogs on Egypt because Pharaoh has refused to let Israel go. The frogs were everywhere – in the people’s paths, their beds, their homes, their food, and their water. When Pharaoh demands for Moses to pray to God to take away this horrible plague, Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”
“Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. – Exodus 8:9-10a
Who decides to spend one more night with a plague of frogs when they can be delivered from them today?
Pharaoh?…yes, as well as everyone reading this post…including myself!
C’mon, you and I know this is true. Be honest with yourself. I know what I’m suppose to do or stop doing yet so often I find myself waking up asking for forgiveness and today I begin with a fresh commitment only to find myself here again sooner than later. I find this so frustrating in my life and yet i know and understand the following passage that reads:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
We are all ONE DECISION away from making our future better. Even though our Future Self values long term rewards, our Present Self absolutely loves immediate gratification. Long term payoff in our brain is…well… too long and far away. So what do we DO?
There are various ways to make adjustments but today, why dont we try this: Find a way to move future rewards and punishments into the present moment. Make the future consequences become present consequences.
One of the best ways to bring future rewards into the present moment is with a strategy known as temptation bundling. Temptation bundling is a concept that came out of behavioral economics research performed by Katy Milkman at The University of Pennsylvania. Simply put, the strategy suggests that you bundle a behavior that is good for you in the long-run with a behavior that feels good in the short-run.
Here are a few common examples of temptation bundling:
- Only listen to audio books or podcasts you love while exercising.
- Only get a pedicure while processing overdue work emails.
- Only watch your favorite show while ironing or doing household chores.
- Only eat at your favorite restaurant when conducting your monthly meeting with a difficult colleague.
This article covers some specific exercises you can follow to figure out how to create temptation bundling ideas that work for you.
The other way is what i call the “old school” way of doing things. “SUCK IT UP” and get to work. Be responsible and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…
EVERYDAY, MAKE A DECISION AGAINST YOURSELF. As the Apostle Paul says, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Cor. 10:23
FREEDOM motivates me! I want to be free, feel free, think free, and exert freedom into every conversation i have with people. Even more, the freedom that comes in Christ is so absolutely addicting that I cant stand feeling controlled or heavy burdened. The passage above indicates that we have control of this action. SO i leave you with the same statement Moses left Pharaoh:
“I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.”
If I was able to go back in time to the moment I had the opportunity to choose you, I would choose you over and over again…without pause, without doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you for the remainder of my life on this earth.
I was listening to my feelings and began getting more discouraged and sad…even mad as I kept feeding on how I wish it would be different and how much longer would it take and why was I dealt this hand and so forth. Easy to get caught up in the realm of your emotions but the truth is that feelings are sketchy and are not reality. I can "feel" hopeless but that doesn't mean I am. So recently, I have been doing something that is helping me stay out of the rut of sadness, discouragement, or even depression. It's call STOP. STOP stand a for the following:
S – Stop what your doing
T – Take 2 deep breaths
O – Observe (I choose to observe Isaiah 41:10 "fear not, be not dismayed, I am your God. I will help you. I will strengthen you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"
P – Proceed. If I sense I can move forward I do; if not, I go back to Take a deep breath.
Just a little nugget I learned for a dear friend in the faith and it works for me. But here is the reality. Look at scripture. It's even a better reminder of something similar.
1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
Peter is very clear. Our faith in Christ…what's He has done, is doing, is going to do has a far greater impact in your now moment. In other words FAITH TRUMPS FEELINGS every time!
Jesus said it this way in John 16.
This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.
NEW LIFE WIPES OUT PRESENT PAIN. It's a JOY no one can ROB from you! YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT UP IN ORDER TO LOSE IT.
Is this an easy way to live…as politely as I can, "hell no" but it's a HOLY way to live!
AREN'T YOU TIRED OF ALLOWING A THIEF TO COME IN TO ROB YOU OF YOUR JOY? The thief usually comes through the medium of those you love the most and that's unfortunate, just ask Jesus and you will see this truth. It won't be any different with you so here's my final thought.
YOUR SADNESS IS NEVER AN EXCUSE! Life in Christ …FAITH TRUMPS FEELINGS!