Monday, October 29, 2012

Forgetting the Past

Philippians 3:13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

Great scripture today for I became aware that we are not to look back but to keep our eyes focused on what lies ahead. This is an important concept for us all to remember, that the past is gone and all we really have is today. We are to not live in the past and the “I should have”, “I could have”, which is about regrets or guilt. Those things in our past are gone but also paid with a price...the price of Jesus going to the cross and dying for us...he took OUR sin upon himself when he died and now we have been redeemed! Our eyes to to be looking forward as to the end of the race...not looking back at where we came from! What I like is verses 15 and 16. What if we are caught up in a current struggle? We may often have disagreements with others, and that is common...we are human. To always come in love but look at the progress we have made and where we come from. Only then can we look back and that is to see where we came from to be able to gauge our current progress. Eyes can go backward, only to use that as a measuring tool of where we are today. Isn’t that good? Stay in the today, look back for verification of the progress we have made, but keep the vision on the finish line. What an awesome word today.
Question: Are you living in the past? Can you look back and see the progress you have made?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life's Challenges

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” 2 Samuel 9:7-8
In 2 Samuel 9, David wanted to show honor to any living relative of Jonathan, whom was from the House of Saul. When it was discovered that the son of Jonathan had crippled feet from a fall when he was 5, David showed love and compassion to Mephibosheth. Although Mephibostheth felt unworthy, for he saw himself as a “dead dog”. A physical challenge does not need to define a person’s human worth. Having been a Special Education teacher for 29 years, I see not only how society can label people as “handicapped” and not having much worth. Not only can society label the person, but the person can also have the same mindset and think that they are less. According to God’s standard, they are equal to everyone else. They may have a physical challenge but it doesn’t mean that they are less of a person. It bothers me when people use the word “handicapped”. When I was at the University of Hawaii,  I found the basis of the word handicapped. It came from beggars that had physical challenges that would sit in public, using their caps as a way to collect money. There fore the cap in their hands begging is the basis for the word handicapped. That word is not acceptable when people have physical or emotional challenges in their life. Just as David saw Mephibosheth as being able, we should do the same. Even Mephibosheth saw himself as not being worthy but in God’s Kingdom, but we know that we are ALL Worthy!!
Question: What are your personal values when it comes to people with physical or mental challenges? How has this blog given you a different perspective?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tinted Glasses of Perception

" When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days." 1 Samuel 18:28-29
 Saul was a jealous man, for it started when the people sang as Saul returned from battle, that Saul had killed one thousand but David killed ten thousand! This opened the gate to jealousy and it was a tormenting spirit. From that time on, Saul was always plotting on how to rid himself of David  - the one that had God’s favor. Saul not only felt jealousy but fear of David...fear of intimidation and from that, David was now seen through the eyes of Saul as the “enemy”. Was this the case? No, David honored the King and wanted nothing more than to serve him but Saul’s perspection, his vision was tainted with suspicion, jealousy, anger and fear. This happens today when we have hurts from our past and we begin to view the world through these tainted glasses. It is not reality but it is how we are perceiving the world, through the lens of emotions...through the strongholds that the enemy has set before us to trip us up. We need to be on guard as to those emotions that will be those boulders in our road. Having the Holy Spirit bring those up and to identify what is holding us back, is the first step to the clearing of those tainted glasses that we wear. Begin to identify those feelings that are not of the Lord and start to set them aside and see them as distortions of our perceptions, or our reality. Often people point fingers at others. Well, she did this, he did that...and really it is all about why we are feeling upset about the situation, for why is it triggering us? What is the hook that the enemy has used to get us to believe the distortions, the deception. Same thing happened to Eve in the garden....”Did He really say not to eat ....”. We need to always line up truth against deceptions and how we can do that is to use the Word of God as the truth!
Question: What stronghold do you have in your life?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Eye of the Eagle

Ears that hear and eyes that see— the Lord has made them both. Proverbs 20:12
God has given us the ears and eyes for the ability to see and hear. Think about those senses for a moment. We take information in from the world around us and it goes to our brains, heart and settles in our soul. Pastor Mike mentioned that we have three parts, physical, soul and spirit. The soul comprises of our thoughts and feelings. So it is taking in information of the world into ourselves and so it is important what we watch and hear. We can use these gifts for ministry and for the betterment of God’s Kingdom or we can use these senses to please ourselves. Guarding what we see and heart is very important because it settles in our soul and it effects our spirit. If we bring in garbage we will have garbage in our hearts...but if we bring in what is good, holy, pure, lovely etc. we store those things in our hearts. The eagle has the most incredible eyesight. It can be flying at great heights and can focus in on a fish that is underwater and be able to see it with chrystal clarity. The eagle’s eye is sharp and focused. We too can be like that. If we stay in God’s Word daily, we become more focused and can have more clarity about the would around us. We can see life through the Father’s heart and begin to really perceive and understand God’s Kingdom here on earth. Isn’t that what we all want? To be able to have eyes and ears for God and to use these gifts wisely. He gave us those gifts for us and we are to choose the use of them for advancement of His Kingdom.
Question: What have you been seeing and hearing lately from God?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fortune Tellers

"When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn." Isaiah 9:19-20
People don’t realize who they are dealing with when they go to fortune tellers, mediums or psychics. When they tell you about what the dead are saying and what is being held for you in your future, they are really getting connected with the Satanic and deceived by the demonic realm. People don’t realize that there are two Kingdoms, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. They are two opposing Kingdoms here on earth. Satan is all about deception. People may think it is harmless to consult with spiritualists whom claim to be clairvoyant and can speak to the dead. Dead people go to either Heaven or Hell, they are not ghosts roaming around the earth. What are those things that people call ghosts or spirits that are roaming on the earth? They are the fallen angels, the demons that came down with Satan. They want you to believe that your loved ones are speaking to you beyond the grave. What is happening is that it is the demonic realm that is deceiving you. Yes, there is power, but the power does not come from God. So I shudder when I talk to people and they casually mention that they went to a psychic to ask about their future. Oh No...when people do that, they make a demonic agreement to allow the enemy access to their lives. This is what we call the demonic agreement and unless they renounce it, the enemy has rights to the person. The only true power comes from the Holy Spirit and all other powers are deception.
Question: What experiences have you had in your life with the occult, fortune tellers, psychics or spiritualists?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18

 The Spirit of anger and rage is a destructive force in relationships. It puts a wedge in relationships and divides people. Much has been written on anger management and how to control anger. Let’s look at three scriptures on what one can do and one element is to “control the tongue”. Notice what scripture does not say. It doesn't say to not feel anger, but we are  to control what you do with it and how we express it. What one thing people do is to respond to anger by saying things or coming back in defense through words. Ah, the tongue. So many times the tongues gets us in trouble! Let's go a little deeper shall we? Let’s look at anger that is in us and we are the ones experiencing the anger. Verse 18 addresses that when anger is sent outward and expressed in words and actions, it stirs up conflict. This is setting yourself up for a battle with another person. It invites conflict and intices anger from another person. The second area to look at is when anger is directed at us. This is another area that we are to watch our responses. Scripture tells us that no matter how  an angry person expresses his anger through words,  we are to be “patient” and “calm” and not react to the anger of another person. (I must add in that if someone is acting out to us in a physical manner, that is another story and  this form of anger cannot be tolerated. We are defining the anger that comes at us from another, in the form of words.) When one says an angry word or action toward another person, the receiver has two choices. The receiver can react back in defensive anger through responding in angry words and it will then escalate the encounter into a quarrel. The other choice is NOT to react and to not engage the offender by reacting to the anger. I have learned in many of our prayer sessions that the root of anger is “fear”. Fear of man, fear of intimidatation, fear of loss of control. When one feels like they cannot control others or a situation, then they get angry. Not being able to control a situation or a person will usually trigger anger. Make sense?! I know of a young married  couple that have been married less than a year and they are going through an adjustment period right now and they are having quarrels. They are fighting and triggering each other in anger. It takes two to fight, so one needs to walk away and get calm before the harsh words escalate into a quarrel. They begin the “dance”. One says a harsh word, the other returns with a harsh word and they go back and forth. Just like a dance and the anger gets a foothold. Not good. Each one wants to be the winner! The only one that wins is the enemy!We need to keep these scriptures in hand, use them as our sword to fight this spiritual battle of anger in relationships. We also need to remember  about not engaging in anger and allowing the enemy to have a foothold. 
Question: What have you learned today about not engaging the spirit of anger through the use of our tongues?

Monday, April 23, 2012


“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. “Proverbs 9:17
 In my devotions today, I was reading Proverbs 9. There was so much to say about wisdom and how we should pursue wisdom above all things. Then I got to verse 17 and it literally jumped off the page for me. It was like finding a little love note on my desk from God. As I saw the verse, I heard God speaking directly to me about Him loving me and about me seeking Him. When I seek Him, I will find Him. It does not mean that I can rush through my daily devotions, do a quick prayer then check off on my list of things to do today, “devotions, done”. Experiencing God in His fullness is to reach out for Him but another word that comes up is pursue. To me it means to strive in going forward, to chase, to run after, to intentionally go for what you desire. Sometimes I can get very comfortable in my devotions and not have a hunger or desire to "pursue". Explaining more about pursue, it is reaching out, striving, going deeper....getting hungry for more. That is the desire and passion that sparks the flame under devotions. That fire, that flame, that desire is the love we have for God. That is what this verse was saying to me, that He loves those that love Him. It makes so much sense, that when we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, we will be seeking Him and pursing Him and then we will find Him. As I go into my devotions today in prayer, I will spend time just experiencing God. First, I need to be quiet, to seek and to pursue Him. Then and only then will I find Him.
Question: How much are you seeking God today?  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hard Hearts

“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” Exodus 7:3
God said specifically, that He was going to “harden” Pharaoh's heart. This was THE plan from the very beginning. Pharaoh would hear and see truth but he would not believe in the one true God. Why? It is made real clear to us that God said that all of the Egyptians will “know that I am God” when God brings the plagues against this nation. Some people will only believe when they are under the toughest of circumstances. Sometimes, God needs to bring people to their rock bottom to get them to their knees, to truly know Him. I heard the saying once, “when we are flat on our backs, the only way to look is up.” This is so true. Some people have to learn the hard way and these were the Egyptians. This is God using tough circumstances to get the Egyptian attention. Don’t you think He does the same today? In the middle of challenges, we can see God more clearly. I remember reading Hosea where the Lord brings you into the desert and that is where He speaks to us tenderly there. Sometimes we need those desert experiences before we can be tuned in to hear God more clearly.


Notice that God “leads” us into those desert experiences and that is when our hearts are softened and we can hear Him more clearly than ever before. I think of the most tender times with God and it was always when I was the most broken. God leads, we follow and He will speak tenderly! I am so grateful that God can bring good thing out of the toughest of times. God will minister to us in the desert as well as use it to implement His plan!
Question: Are you in the desert? Can you see God's plan in the midst of the the circumstances that are surrounding you?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crossroads of Life

Ruth 1:16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
 This story is about loyalty in the toughest of times. What do you do when everything seems to be lost? What Ruth decided to do was to stay with Naomi, the mother of her deceased husband. She could not leave her and she felt this deep sense of love and loyalty, even loyalty that overrides her own needs. She could have gone back to her old way of life, to her home town and sought a husband to have a new life. The choice was hers and yet here it was, she was to go ahead and to make sure that her husband’s mother was going to be taken care of. Naomi was in despair and without hope, as you can see in this chapter. Ruth decides to stay, minister to her mother in law and take care of her. This is the greatest story about loyalty and love. But, it is also a great story about how at times in our lives, when we come to a defining moment in our lives, which path do we choose. This is where the road splits into two, one path to the right and the other to the left. Which way do we go? The consequence of our choices will determine our entire lives. When we look at the spiritual side, Ruth would have gone back to the “other gods” of her homeland, but when she decided to go with Naomi, she decided to choose the one God, the God of Naomi. This was the defining moment in her life and her life will change forever. Defining moments come around quite infrequently. When they do, we need to  seek guidance from the Lord and to which path to take. Regardless of how we would feel, which is the way the Lord wants us to go. It is not about satisfying ourselves and putting ourselves first, but it may mean a sacrifice at the time. We need to ask ourselves, “what is the right thing, the honorable thing, the thing that God wants me to do?”. For God knows the path He wants us to choose and he has our whole future decided upon from this. May we make those right decisions based on God’s Will for our lives and be like Ruth, who followed loyalty over self.
Question: Are you at the crossroads of your life and not sure which path to take?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reverse the Curse

"The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children,[b] and to plunder the property of their enemies. The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.  A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies." Esther 8:11-13
As I was reading through the book of Esther, I got to Chapter 8 and realized something about God and His plans in our lives. What happened in Esther was that  the King had issued a decree to kill all the Jews. Once this decree went out, it could not be cancelled - but there was a way around it. This was to issue another decree that stated that the Jews were ALLOWED to protect themselves against any attack and that they also were allowed to plunder the property of those that attacked them. This is really cool, for this decree, basically makes the first decree invalid. No one would attack a Jew, knowing that they had the right to fight back and claim all property.  There always seems to be a way around an impossible task. God was in control of this whole situation from the beginning. The Jews didn’t see the whole picture but God had everything under control and He worked it out for His good. But what did it look like from the human perspective? It looked like the situation was impossible. What made the difference? FASTING AND PRAYER. Sometimes when we are in what we may think of as impossible situations, we need to remember that God always has a plan B. Who would have thought that the curse could be reversed? It seemed impossible that once an order was given, it could not be withdrawn. But there WAS another way. What kind is situation are you in today? Does it seem impossible? Is there no way out when you look at it with your human perception? Is it a job situation? Is it a failed marriage? Is it finances? We can be up against a wall and see no way out, but God has a way out and always has a way for the curse to be reversed. I am grateful to know that no matter what impossible situation I may face,  God always has an alternate solution to the problem. We need to do our part by fasting and praying, then God does His part. We are in partnership with Him and He delights when we come to Him in prayer and lay all of our cares and worries at His feet and trust Him that He is going to get us through those tough times. 
Question: Are you facing an impossible situation? Do you think there is no way out?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Accept or Reject

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:39-43

 it is important to remember that there were three men on crosses that terrible day. There was Jesus and two other men that were guilty, and only Jesus was not guilty. So let us look at that scenario. Two men in the presence of Jesus in the midst of pain and suffering. They both had the same choice. They could either accept or reject Jesus. It is the same today, everyone is given that same choice, do you want eternal life or do you want eternal death. The choice is up to the individual. Jesus was there, he was present is their suffering and only one chose to acknowledge that Jesus was Lord and all he wanted was to be remembered in God’s Kingdom. Jesus saw his heart and told him that he would be with him in paradise. Good choice. Now the other man is a different story. It is a story of a man that was full of bitterness and resentment. Even at the end of his life, he choice to take that to the grave with him. Two men on a cross and two different decisions that would make a difference in where they would spend eternity. Do we want others to perish? Do we want to see those that have this gift of eternal life, die and not be able to spend eternity in paradise with Jesus? This is the good news that we need to carry out to others to let them know, it is a decision that will carry them into eternity.
Question: What can you do today, to share the Good News with others?