“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” James 1:2-4 (Ph) 

Are you feeling squeezed by the pressures of life?  Deadlines and life’s demands, along with trials and temptations, create pressures that often crowd into our lives and test our faith. As much as I would like to avoid them, I’m learning that God uses pressure in my life in a positive and faith-building way if I will cooperate and trust Him in the process. Continue reading

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Have you seen the sign that says, “Stop looking back; you’re not going that way.”  That sign describes what I call rearview people. They are stuck in the past, looking in the rearview mirror.  You can’t really see where you’re going if you keep looking behind you.

While it’s important to glance in the rearview mirror, we need to shift our gaze ahead, looking through the windshield at where God is leading.  God has a glorious hope and a future for you.  Too often, though, we buy the lie that our failures are the final story and believe the fake news that our past disqualifies us from God’s purpose today.  The truth is that God’s purpose is the final story – not our failures! Continue reading

“So He will do to me whatever He has planned. He controls my destiny.”  Job 23:14 (NLT)

Much like Moses, many of us have bought the fake news that our past disqualifies us from God’s purpose for our lives.  Moses had failed miserably in the past.  He had felt a strong calling on his life.  His very name meant to deliver, to draw out.  This was his destiny.  Yet, when he stepped in to rescue and deliver an Israelite who was being abused by an Egyptian, he found himself as a fugitive for murder!  Fleeing to the desert, Moses would become a wanted man on the run and hiding for the next 40 years!  He was convinced that his past disqualified him.  He began to believe a common lie that paralyzes so many of us:

My fears define my future.  Continue reading

“Three times I pleaded with the LORD to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV2011)

One of the lies that convinces me to believe the fake news that my past disqualifies me from God’s purpose for my life is this:

My weaknesses keep God from using me.  Continue reading

“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead ….” Philippians 3:13b (NLT)

One of my favorite lines from the Disney movie, The Lion King, is when Pumbaa, the warthog, tells a discouraged young lion cub, Simba, “You got to put your behind in the past!” I need to be reminded of that every time I hear the fake news in my head that my past disqualifies me from God’s purpose for my life. Continue reading

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV) 

Waiting is not my strong suit.  We live in a microwave culture that fosters our impatience with waiting.  Ever prayed, “Lord, give me patience, but hurry up.”?  The truth is that God is never in a hurry; yet, He’s never late.  Abraham waited 25 years from the time God promised him a son until Isaac was born.  Moses waited 40 years before God would use him to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt.  David waited over ten years from the time he was anointed by Samuel to be the next King of Israel and, then, another seven and a half years before his reign included all the tribes of Israel. Continue reading

The godly walk with integrity, blessed are their children after them.” Proverbs 20:7 (NLT)

While it may appear that those who are dishonest get ahead, the Bible says,

“the LORD rewards each man for his integrity….” 1 Samuel 26:23 (NET1)

Among those rewards is the blessing their children have after them.  How do you want to be remembered by those you love?  What do you want your sons and daughters to take from your life?  The greatest inheritance we can leave is a life of integrity. Continue reading

I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity….” 1 Chronicles 29:17 (NIV)

When you commit to live a life of integrity, you can be certain your integrity will be tested.  It’s only when we are tested that we know the value of what we profess.  Integrity is saying what I am going to do and doing what I said. It’s keeping my promise even when it hurts. Continue reading

What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.” Ephesians 4:25 (MSG)

“A little lie never hurt anyone,” is the fake news of our day.  The truth is that Satan, the father of lies, used this very deception from the beginning to convince Eve that God was holding out on her and didn’t really mean what He said. It was a lie that brought confusion and conflict in our world and alienated us from God and one another. Continue reading

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) 

“Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7b (NLT)

We’ve increasingly become more heart-conscious today.  It’s a good thing, causing me to consider what I’m eating more than before.  Is it heart-healthy?  Will it increase my cholesterol?  What’s the fat content?  We read all the labels, and we try our hardest to make the best decisions for ourselves and the ones we love.

Beyond the physical condition of our heart, there is a much deeper issue.  Maybe it’s not what you are eating that’s having the worst impact on your heart, but what’s eating you!  How can you guard your heart from hardening? Continue reading