Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where do you go for help?

When trouble rears its ugly head where do you go for help? Do you try to solve it yourself? Do you seek Your spouse? Do you bolt to your friends and family? Man, I would try everything from jedi mind tricks to council from Dr. Phil. Yet, I would not seek our Heavenly Father first. I would pray for help but usually after "better" options were exhausted. The primary strategy of the enemy is to deceive and nothing satisfies him more than watching us wander aimlessly in search of resolution. The enemy does a spectacular job in convincing us to go everywhere but to the Lord first. The enemy knows that as long as we are not wholly trusting Christ as Lord over our lives, the advantage is his. I am convinced most of us won't go to Jesus first because we don't really believe He will come through for us. We can't wrap our arms around the fact that He will show up and act on our behalf. In John 11 :1-6, we find Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary was the one who anointed Jesus with expensive oil and wiped his feet with her hair. They were from Bethany. Lazarus fell ill and died. The sisters sent word to Jesus that "He whom you love is sick". Mary and Martha went to Jesus first with their problem. The sisters did not bother with every other option under the sun. Mary and Martha went to Jesus first because they expected Him to come through for them. The sisters knew who Jesus was and no doubt saw some of the miracles He performed. They lived with expectant hearts. Someone with a expectant heart is one who calls on the Lord first in times of need. The sisters not only believed in Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life, they also believed Jesus would come through for them. They just did not know how He would do it. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus answered their request and solved their problem in a way they could not imagine. They had no idea He was going to raise their brother after four days in the grave. The point is to rely on the One who can and will answer you. Call on the One who sympathizes with you and will fill your need. I am ashamed that I did not learn this truth sooner. I praise God that I do not have to live like that anymore. I can go to Him first and know that He will answer me. He will never forsake me or leave me. He is always there. I want to encourage you to seek Christ first not only when trouble comes but in everything that happens. I want to encourage you to patiently wait for His answer. He is never early or late with His response. He is always right on time. He always knows what's best for us. Thank you Lord, for taking the pressure off me and showing me through you word how to rely on you wholly.

God Bless you all....
Until next time.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Never To Late

I am learning scripture as a requirement for a Discipleship group I am involved in. I knew some scripture but never really took the time to delve deeper. I am learning Isaiah 53:3-12 as part of my memory verses. Isaiah 53:5 tells us" But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed". Verse 6 continues by saying "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-everyone-to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all". We all have heard some of this before but have we ever looked hard at it. Please take a moment and read this prophetic verse about our Lord. Jesus took the full fury of God's wrath on His shoulders for everyone once and for all. A single payment for all of mankind. He lived a sinless life, yet he suffered a criminal's death. Jesus was also the example by which we should live. He was the epitome of love, mercy, grace, kindness, forgiveness, service, and patience. He knew he had a job to do, the price had to be paid and He did it. When the time came God the Father showed Him no mercy. Wow, I mean how can we take one more breath and not respond to that with utter reverence. Christ lived, suffered, died, and was victoriously resurrected so we can have life. In Ezekiel 18 :32 God says" For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn and live." God does not want any of us to experience spiritual death. God wants us to live. God wants to live together with us. We alone cannot repair the damage done by sin. We can only accept Christ's permanent payment for us and share the joy of this message. True life begins when we accept Christ as our savior and the Lord of our lives. If this did not happen we would have NO HOPE, NO REAL LIFE, NO TRUE JOY, and NO PEACE. Praise God, He was willing and able to accomplish this impossible task by human standards. I want to encourage you today to take a moment and Thank our Heavenly Father for sacrificing His Son for you and for me. Its time we all start living for HIM, and say no to our evil selves. The Bible says, we are all born in sin and if we die in sin without a personal relationship with Christ we are doomed. If you don't realize you are rotten to the core then there lies the problem. How in the world can we know for sure we have a personal relationship? We start by dusting off our Bible and opening the door of your hearts. If you listen you can hear Christ knocking at the door. Will you let me in He says? Well, will you?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success? Do you look at success from the "World" view? Do you look at success from God's view? The "World" view is the here and now. Its what we can touch, taste, wear, smell, and drive. The "World" view is what advertisers want us to see, feel, need, and crave. Its keeping up with the Jones's. Its what we ought to have or what we owe ourselves. Is that the right way to measure success? I know we all have desires in our hearts. We all want the American dream. We all want to live in big houses, drive nice cars, have wallets stuffed with cash, eat great food until we are sick, be popular, have great kids, have great looking spouse's, and incredible careers. Is that you? Is that me? The answer is yes. Its me and its you, whether you want to admit it or not. We all want those things and much much more. God's view on the other hand is laid out for us in His Word. Joshua 1:8, says, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." God is telling Joshua that I am all you need. God is saying remember My Words, My commands, keep your eyes fixed on Me, your trust wholly in Me and you will succeed. All we need to know about success is clearly spelled out for us in God's Word. God has given us the key to success. It's right here. Paul tells Timothy in 1Timothy 6: 6-10,"Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows." I used to live under the most ridiculous delusion. I lived by the credo that I HAD to make and keep the line share of $20 million dollars before I was 40 year old. (Please don't laugh at the absurdity of this.). I reflect on this now and get sick to my stomach. I have now through the Lord's help rid myself of this horrible goal or whatever you want to call it. I am now living comfortably inside God's contentment mentioned in Timothy. I know now that its about spending time with my healthy children, snuggling up with my beautiful wife, and enjoying my family and friends. Its about having food in the pantry, gas in the cars, clothes on our back. Its about taking time every single day and thanking God for all of these things and many more. It boils down to being content and thankful for where you are and what you have versus what you don't have. I realized I was focusing on the wrong things. I was looking for satisfaction in things that were temporary. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was building a business. In a short time I was making more money than I had ever made. It was at this point that things began to spin out of control. God was teaching me something that I did not realize at the time. After much prayer, reading, council, and getting quiet before God it started to make sense. I was measuring success with the wrong glasses on. I was living for the wrong reasons. I was living only to engage my fleshy desires and not living out the purpose with which God had given me to do. We should be focused on doing the tasks that God has called each of us to do. I was living my life with the"Worlds View" driving me. I recall feeling pressure that was choking at times. The drive to compete with the Jones's was and is way to much. Our real work is helping our brothers and sisters in need. Its witnessing to the lost, and providing for the orphans and widows. Its all of this and more, much more. Paul continues telling Timothy "Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. Trusting in money is temporary at best, but Trusting in God is everlasting. So, do want to put your trust in something that is here today and gone tomorrow, or do you want to put your TRUST in the ONE who is eternal? I want to encourage you to let this resonate in your hearts and minds. It has opened the eyes of my heart. I hope it will open the eyes of you heart as well. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew "Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. So how do you measure success? I measure it by the completion of the good work God is doing in, for me, and through me. When that job is done then I will have lived a successful life. I am confident if we will wholly submit our lives to Christ, He will take care of our every need more so than we could ever ask. I trust Jesus to supply all my needs. Do you???

I hope this message today encourages you to look up into the heavens and not here on earth. My prayer today, is that we would get our priorities straight and rely on Christ the Rock. If you enjoyed this message please pass it on to someone else.

Until Next Time!!!

God Bless!!!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Additional thoughts on afflictions

I want to share additional thoughts on the topic of afflictions. Taking another look at the verse:
Psalm 119:67 " Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word". The psalmist is saying that Everything God says is Right. God is right 100% of the time, in all things, and in all ways. We may not like that statement b/c it cuts us to the core. We like to think we are in charge of our lives. The fact of the matter is we were never in control in the first place. Its interesting to listen to the Tony Robbins of the world say "Take control now!" "Its up to you to seize the day". The only thing that I am in control of is my attitude, and that's it. I choose to respond positively or negatively to all the circumstances and events that occur in my life, and so do you, period the END! God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans for your welfare and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" This is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible. God, is saying to me "Alan, I have a plan for you that is right and perfect in My will. This plan has inside it a future and a hope just for you. MY plan has nothing but MY best in mind for you." He had my plan and your plan laid out long before the beginning of the world. We chose to get off that plan by engaging in our fleshy desires. We choose to not listen to His wise teaching. We choose to sin. There is a intersecting point where the right path and the wrong path reconnect. It's at this point where we transfer from our "worldly" path to the HIS path. God is working in and through our points of affliction by helping us realize He is all we need. I know this goes against the grain and its the opposite to what we think we need. You and I could agree that when we pray sometimes we pray for God to change a circumstance, a issue, or whatever we desire, but the reality is God doesn't always move when we ask. For example, we could say " Lord, change my spouse", "Change my financial situation so I can pay my bills", or "Change my health so I can feel better". I am confident what we should be praying is "Lord, Teach me your Word." Its seems to me that if we would let Him teach us and if we will hide His word in our hearts like He tells us we would be far better off than doing things our way. Have you ever thought that maybe God is looking down on us saying Why don't they trust Me? I have given them so many blessings. I have been there for them so many times. If they could just see what I see they would understand. We could all be living lives of victory and doing the work He intended us to do. One reason you may not have seen the change in your life just yet is because HE FIRST WANTS TO CHANGE YOU! He changes us by using our afflictions as a means to get our eyes off of ourselves and onto HIM. I believe this is very reason the Lord told Joshua to keep His commandments. God said to Joshua to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses gave to you. This book of instruction MUST not depart from your mouth; and you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. (Joshua 1:8). Here is the only key to true success, HIS WORD. God tells us exactly what we need to do in order to become successful. Forget success measured by worldly terms.

I hope this posting encourages you. My prayer today is that we learn to look through our trials, afflictions, and circumstances to see the hand of our King working. We can trust He is right 100% of the time regardless if we understand it or not. I appreciate you all. May God bless you and keep you and your families.

Until Next Time!!!

God Bless You All!!!!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trials are not about us there about God!

When you think of personal trials what do you think of? Do you think of illness, financial troubles, business in the tank, loss of job, divorce, or even death? I think of these things but I have often wondered why this is happening to me. Why am I having to deal with this issue or that issue? Have you ever said any of the following "I thought things were fine. I thought things were heading in the right direction. I have been blessed. I am on top of the mountain. I am making more money than ever before. It's as if everything I touch turns to gold." I have definitely felt this way and said these very things. I was this person. I was building my business. We were on our way to financial freedom and much success. I began to believe one of the oldest lies in the world. You can do it and you don't need anyone to help you. You are powerful. I had put the Lord on the shelf and didn't want to do what He said. I relied more on my own effort than relying on Him. God showed me I was not in charge by taking it all away from me. He gave it to me and therefore He could take it away at will. God brought me to my knees. In the late summer of 2006 all of that changed. I met God early one morning in August on my patio. It was and is the most amazing moment in my life. My wife and I had recently decided to go back to church. I had just heard a message from the evangelist Junior Hill on humility. I made several comments to my wife that I was feeling things I have not felt before. That morning, I heard His voice say read 1st Peter 5:6. I doubted I heard it so I made my coffee and was about to let the dog out. I heard it again and this time I thought OK I'll read it. Once I read it I burst into tears. He had been calling me to change and I was running as fast as I could from Him. Well, you cannot out run God! It was from that day forward that my real journey began. I was turned upside down in every way possible. I did not know what was happening to me but I knew something was happening. I requested a meeting with a man, whom I love and deeply admire several days after that encounter. We met at my office and during that discussion he told me something that no one else had ever said to me. He said Alan, you have a authority problem. Not with your parents or the government but with God. I was moved so much by the honesty in his voice and the love he had for me to say something as difficult as this. I began to think about that statement. I had never thought of it like that before. He was right. I prayed and asked for forgiveness and my life has not been the same since. I am so thankful that I met God that day. I am thankful for my affliction. It has been through my affliction that God has communicated with me, changed me and begin to use me. He uses pain as a megaphone to wake up a sleeping world. Psalm 119:67 reads, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your Word." What does the psalmist mean by this verse. I believe he means that trials are sent to teach us things about God we would not learn any other way. Martin Luther once said he never learned the Word until he was afflicted. His sufferings were his best teacher. C.S. Lewis said "God whispers in our pleasure but He shouts in our pain." The psalmist is saying that his afflictions led him back to God, whereas he once lived for himself, but now he lived for the Lord. We as humans don't like to think about negative circumstances. I will testify to this right here and now. God worked in my life and continues to work in my life to manifest the needed changes and to encourage me to greater growth in Him. Praise the Lord!!!! God will not stop His work in you until it is complete. If you are in a painful situation right now, look to the Lord. He may be speaking to you. Pay Him the attention He deserves and commands. Trust Him! Psalm 34:19 offers this word of encouragement" Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
Remember it not about you or me it's about GOD!! I hope you are encouraged by this message. I pray that God would reveal Himself to you today. I pray also that you would run to the cross and rest in Him. If this message touched your and you believe it would help someone else please forward it to them.

Until next time!!
God Bless You all!!!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Every Word He says Is True!

I don't know about you but I could use a good ol'dose of truth and encouragement. I have been reflecting lately on God's faithfulness to mankind alike. You know He is faithful even when we are not faithful to Him. It got me thinking about the promises I make and those that get broken and God's promises to us. I make promises and don't keep them for a variety of reasons. Now, I am not saying I am a promise breaker all the time. I am a people person and I don't like to let anybody down. I like to think those promises get delayed b/c I get busy or distracted but truth of it is sometimes I just flat over commit. This got me thinking about the promises God makes to us. There are thousands of God's promises in the Bible. He never breaks a promise never! Every word God says is true.There are many words in the bible for "truth". One of the most important words for truth is the Hebrew word "Emet". Emet means stability, firmness, or certainty. Our word Amen comes from this word "Emet". When we say Amen we are really saying "It is certain!" God's faithfulness means that everything He says and does is certain because He is the truth. God is 100% reliable 100% of the time. He is the only One who says what He means and means what He says therefore doing everything He says He will do. Numbers 23:19 describes God this way "God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?" We won't find anyone in this world who is what he/she claims to be all the time. We'll have to look outside this world to discover that only God is who He claims to be all the time. To say God is faithful goes straight to the center of who God is. He keeps His promises because if He did not keep them He wouldn't be God. If He said it you can bet your life on it. Every part of God's word is true from the 1st to the last, and because God is faithful He keeps every promise He makes. 1st Thessalonians 5:24 says it this way" The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." I don't know about you but that makes me smile. It tells me that my King is truly sovereign, and nothing He says is wrong, late, early, or a broken promise. My prayer today is that we all seek His face more and more. We need Him desperately in this day and time. We need to trust Him in all things both large and small. We need to REST in the confidence that He does not break promises. He always delivers and Glory be to God for that very thing. If you enjoyed this message please forward to someone else. I appreciate all of you very much.

Until Next Time!!!
God Bless YOU!!!!!!!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Send the spirit of fear packin!

One of Satan's favorite weapons against us is the spirit of fear. He uses it every chance he gets. He knows the power it contains. You know what I mean right? The fear of the economy, job security, illness, loss of a loved one, violence, divorce, you name it. Satan and his minion want nothing more than for us to live in a paralyzed state. He realizes the more we focus on fear the less we focus on Christ. I have lived this way before and I am sure you have to. I realize we try hard to not let fear in but it creeps in despite. Fear is something we should not afraid of. We are children of the MOST HIGH, and as Christians we should be living a life of victory but instead we live in fear. God did not give us a fearful spirit. In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul reminds Timothy that God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and self discipline. I believe we do more damage to ourselves than we do good. by listening to the lies. We can see, and hear God's promises for us yet we don't live like we are capable. A couple of days ago I wrote about renewing our strength in Christ. I know the more I take time everyday and renew my strength the better I feel and my outlook improves. We live in a fast paced world where it's all about the now. But it's up to us to slow down and take the time to renew our minds. Its not hard and doesn't take very long. There is a way to send this evil packin. I know a power that's way more powerful than fear. This power is sitting right under our noses. Do you know what power I am referring to? This complete power is the power of God's inerrant word. The most powerful weapon we have second only to prayer is the power of the scripture. If you want to defeat fear or whatever is thrown at you, use the WORD or as I like to call it the "TRUTH". Take a few minutes everyday and study the word let it resonate in your mind and settle in your heart. I didn't think I could learn the scripture let alone recall it when I needed it. But over time and with a little effort I have learned to memorize it. I have used it and it definitely works. I have used it to speak out boldly against Satan's lies towards me. I am referring to speaking out in my subconscious mind. This is where the real war is waging. Isaiah 41:10 is a perfect example of God's word that when used at the right time will send the enemy runnin for the hills. The Lord says "Do not fear for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My Righteous right hand". God always will give us the way of escape when we find ourselves in moments of fearfulness. Will you take it? I want to encourage you to take 5 minutes everyday and memorize a piece of scripture. The more you put in to learning the truth, the more God will reveal to you. I heard this so many times and always wondered if it worked. IT DOES!!!!!! You may be able to help a friend in need or a loved one. It's totally worth it. I hope you have been encouraged by this posting. If you have please forward it someone else. I appreciate all of you very much. If you want to learn God's word, ask Him to teach you. Its my pray today that we would all take time to learn the Word and hold firmly onto its power.

Until next time......
God Bless you all!!!!!!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When the attack comes?

Well, yesterday was a pretty good day. However, last night was a different story. I came under enemy fire. You know what I mean, right? Here's how it rolled out. I went to a men's dinner at my uncle's church and heard a great message. We had great fellowship and awesome food. BUT, on the way home I came under fire. I should have seen it coming but it was to late. Derek Discouragement and "Skinny"Franky Fear were waiting for me like bullies after school. They were going to beat on me like I was the new kid. I fought them off as long as I could. I mounted a counter offensive. We swapped licks for quite awhile. In the midst of the onslaught, I started praying like crazy. Lord, take this away from me. Please deliver me from these circumstances. Please Lord, keep these enemies at bay. Get me out of here I screamed! It all happened so fast. I wrote yesterday about not looking at your circumstances. I wrote about keeping your eyes on Christ despite the circumstances. I was doing the very thing I hoped not to do. I wrote about trusting God and I was letting their "dark talk" over come me. My mind was their playground and it was family day. All I could see was my failure, the hurt I caused my family, and the hurt I caused myself. Everything was wearing me out. My wife knew something was wrong. She asked me what was wrong. I gave her the stock answer Nothing. She was persistent though and kept after me. I eventually cracked. I shared the strain I was feeling and the pressure of this attack. She told me she loved me and gave me some much needed encouragement. Her words and love were like a soothing ointment on a burn. After we finished talking I felt better. I went on to bed and began praying. I was getting quiet before the Lord. Then I remembered what to do. Paul tells us to take our thoughts captive. So, I had to take their lies, and evil talk captive to the obedience of Christ. God would not do me that way. God would not say those things to me. I know God loves me and He has a great, perfect, and complete plan for me. I remembered my favorite verse Jeremiah 29:11. God tells us "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." If we look to God, and will renew our strength in Him we can face those Ol' Boys and others like them. Praise the Lord, for His abundant mercy, loving kindness, endless forgiveness and limitless strength. I know attacks will come and go. The question is will you believe what they say? I hope you won't. I hope you will stand firm. I hope you will remember what Paul did. I hope you will align yourself with a prayer partner. If you don't have one then send me a message and I will pray for you. I will stand with you. I hope your are encouraged by this posting. If you know of someone who could benefit from it, please send it to them. I appreciate all of you very much and thank you for your encouragement.

Until Next time....
God Bless You!!!!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do you trust Me?

When you face a crisis or a unpleasant situation what do you do? Do you look at it from many angles and analyze it? Do you seek wisdom from friends, family, or coworkers? Do you get paralyzed into non action? Do you seek the Lord? What do you do? If you're like me you see yourself in several of this descriptions. I have found the more I trust in the Lord the easier things become. Now, that does not mean there is no pain, no frustration, no hurt, and no sorrow. But what it does mean is that there is hope in our circumstances. Yes, hope in our circumstances! Alan, are you crazy? What do you mean hope in our circumstances? Proverbs 3:5 tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding." The key here is trust. Do you trust the Lord? I mean real trust not the sugar coated answer you give when cornered. Isaiah 40:31 says, "But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength."God is asking DO YOU TRUST ME? I struggle with that alot and have to remind myself that trust is a key to life. Do you think God won't or can't handle that crisis in your life? I have felt that way. Jesus tells us in Luke 18:27 "He replied what is impossible with men is possible with God." In Luke 1:37 the angel tells Mary "For nothing will be impossible for God". Did you see it? Nothing on heaven or earth will be impossible for God. This means there is nothing we will ever face that is impossible for God. However, we have to let Him take control of the situation. Ask Him to take over and trust He will. We can't do it alone. If you think you can handle it alone you are mistaken. The enemy wants you to think you can do it all on your own. I am here to tell you all you have to do is trust the Lord. The enemy wants to tell you that your situation will not change. He wants you to constantly look at the your circumstances. God wants us to look at Him and not the circumstances. Let me encourage you today to stop looking at your circumstances. Look at Christ instead. Let Him take over and renew your strength in Him. Its my prayer today to remember who is in charge, to seek His face in all things and trust Him with your whole being. Life is a journey and the first step in successful living is trusting Him. I am glad I serve a Sovereign King who is in charge ALL the time and always has my best interest at heart. He is never early nor never late. He is always right on time. Trust Me! He says. Will you?

I hope you are encouraged by this message. If you like it or know someone who would receive encouragement from it please forward it to them. I appreciate all you very much.

Until Next Time....
God Bless You!!!!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spiritual Gifts! What's Your's

Did you know God gives each one of us a unique gift? Until 3 years ago, I did not know that at all. Frankly, there was so much about God I did not know and still so much more to discern. The things I knew were merely people, places and things. I did not know God let alone realize He has given each of us a unique gift. I learned about spiritual gifts through a mentor, and friend. I sought his council because I did not understand the things happening in my heart. God was calling me into His service but I had no idea where and why. I have felt that tugging at my heart strings for about 18 years now. I ran from it as fast as you could run from something. I felt inadequate, fearful, and selfish. I thought I can't do this. I thought serving God meant not having fun. Boy, was I wrong. I realize now I have been wrong about more things than I have been right. The bottom line was I did not want to give up my carnal lifestyle. I wanted to do what I want when I want. I was very selfish when it came to the needs of others. I always received satisfaction from helping others but I seemed to have ulterior motives. I mean to say that my motives were not pure. It wasn't about them as much as it was about look at what I am doing. The enemy had me convinced this was the right attitude. My subconscious mind would agree that I needed and loved to help people but, I would gripe, complain, and be critical of their needs. I have lived 30 plus years doing things my way. I realized it wasn't about me but it is about HIM. I knew something had to give. I repaired my relationship with God first. I prayed for forgiveness for the way I lived my life, and repented of my sins. I then started the journey of learning everything I can about Christ, and what He has given me. Once I discovered my gift of encouragement I wanted to use it right away. But those Ol' familiar feelings of fear, and doubt prohibited me from getting started. I did not know how to get started. All I knew was it was time for me to use my gift in the King's service. Time for me to use my gift of encouragement regardless if anyone ever said thanks Alan or read this blog. So, I started this blog as means of being faithful and obedient. Paul tells us in First Corinthians 12:4-7 "Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial" Holman Translation. Let me encourage each one of you to take a few minutes and discover what your unique gift is. You will be surprised. I took two different tests to validate my findings. You can google spiritual gifts and several sites will come up with links to taking the assessment. You could also go to and take that assessment. Regardless where you go, please take it. Change your life now by uncovering and using what God has blessed you with. Remember, Its all about Him and not about us.

Until Next Time....

God Bless You!!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are you All In?

Are you all in? This seems like quite an interesting question. What does it mean? In Ray Pritchard's book Stealth Attack, he asks the following question? "When you stand at the gate of heaven and God says, "Why should I let you in?" what answer will you give?

"I was a member of Wesley Methodist Church." Not good enough.

"I was an elder at Wayside Chapel." You'll be in big trouble.

"My father built our church." That's good, but it's not the right answer.

"I lived a good life." We're happy for you, but you weren't good enough.

"I gave to feed the orphans in Namibia." That's truly wonderful, but that won't open the doors of heaven.

"I was baptized by Father O'Reilly." I'm sure he was a good man, but that's not enough.

"I read The Purpose-Driven Life five times." That won't get you to heaven.

"I listen to christian radio every day." That's admirable, but it's not the right answer.

There is only way into heaven. Do you know what it is? There is only one answer to that question now and forever. Please don't let yourself get duped into believing anything else but the following statements. Paul tells us in Romans 4:12, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved". Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved". Did you see it? There is nothing else you can do. We are saved by grace, and we stand by faith. I believe in Jesus to the point that if He can't get me into Heaven I am not going. Are you "all in" on the Son of God who loved you and died for you? Let me encourage all of you to stand by faith, live by faith, and walk by faith. It is my eternal hope that you will run to the cross and grab hold of Jesus and never let go. An old hymn says it this way:"My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand." I hope today's post reminds you of what exactly Jesus did for you. It certainly reminds me. Praise the Lord, that He reigns sovereignly for all eternity. If you know someone who could benefit from this message please forward it to them. My prayer for us today is we remember what Jesus has done for us, to share what He did for you to someone else, be bold for Him, and never let go. I appreciate all of you very much and hope everyone has a great day.

Until next time...
God Bless you all!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Is it your battle?

There are times when we need to realize we cannot fight every battle or every situation that seems to challenge us. In 2nd Chronicles chapter 20, we find the Israelites in trouble. There is a multitude of enemies coming against them. King Jehoshaphat is scared and very concerned. He does have a few options at his disposal though. He could have gathered his troops and mounted a counter offensive. He could have gathered all the people and run for the hills. Or he could have done what he did, which was to lay his need at the feet of God. He cried out in prayer. He sought God's instruction, council, and help. He did not panic. He waited for God's answer to his problem. God answered his prayer. In verse 15, Zechariah the priest is telling the king what God said. He said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's. (NLT) I love this part of the story. God tells the king the battle is not yours it's MINE!!!! Wow, how about that people. When I heard this story is was overwhelmed with joy. I needed a word from God and this is what HE gave me. The bottom line is I've been doing it all by myself. I was trying to climb out this Grand Canyon myself. I was trying to get out of the desert with no guide. I was doing it wrong, to borrow a line from Mr. Mom. I thought I needed to be in control. I though I could make it happen. Well let me tell all I need to do is let God be in control, seek His council on my life's decisions and sit still. Had I realized early on that I needed God to be in control of my life I would not be where I am now. BUT I thank God for the lesson's He has and continues to teach me. I thank God for the revival in my spirit, my family, and my friends. I thank God for loving me enough to teach me. You know sometimes we need to let the Creator be the Creator and remember we are the creation. I am glad I am learning to give my battles to Him. One thing is true, there is not a enemy to big, an amount of debt to large, or an addiction that He cannot overcome. If we will put our lives wholly in His hands God will give us victory. Did you know the most common command in the Bible is "Do not be afraid!" Praise God for His sovereignty and loving kindness. I hope this blesses you hearts today. My prayer for us today is that we will trust Him enough to let Him fight for our battles.

Until next time....
God Bless You!!!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Weeding your Garden

Spring is just around the corner and it occurred to me today that sometimes our internal garden like the ones outside need some up cleaning out. People including myself don't like to do yard work or work on ourselves. But how else are we supposed to grow ? I was reflecting on some of my past efforts to improve like getting in shape, spending more quality time with the Lord, being a better listener, or insert something here that you have attempted to work on. We all have things that we can improve on. My point is we let fears, doubts, pain, or whatever the barrier creep in and start choking out the growth we are experiencing or are about to experience. So I am making a decision right here before you all at 11:50 pm that I am going to pay more attention to my garden. My God, My family, My friends, and My professional contacts all deserve my best. I thank the good Lord in heaven that each new day is a fresh start. I am realizing the more I turn over to Him the more peace I have. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:26-27 "Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your Heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all of your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not." I believe we can weed our gardens by asking God to carry our load, trusting that He will (this is half the battle.), resting in our trust of His capabilities, seeking encouragement from Him and those that we trust, and not looking back. Yesterday is gone forever and there is nothing any of us can do about it. Tomorrow is not yet written and we have no guarantees of a tomorrow. But today is now. Today is the day the Lord has made, we should rejoice and be glad in it. We need to make the best of the 24 hours in front of us and learn from yesterday's failures and success's. I believe if we will just remember this our lives will improve. When we started walking as babies we fell down a lot. We had to learn how to walk, well we have to learn how to live. This has made me feel better. I hope this makes you feel better. Each one of you who reads this, forwards this, or tells someone about this is a encouragement to me. I appreciate you all. My pray for today and for you is that we would all trust Him more. That we would let go of things that don't really matter and focus our efforts on the things that do matter HIM...

Until next time.

God Bless You!!!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Daily Strength

I came across this prayer in my daily reading yesterday and I want to share it.

Dear Lord,

So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, cursed, or eaten any chocolate.

However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen.

If your like me you probably laughed at this little prayer and thought that was funny. But the more I reread this prayer I find myself relating to it more and more. I see my struggles in this prayer and seem to act out at least one if not more than one of these daily. Sometimes I feel like I commit these offenses hourly. The enemy is always hanging around waiting for me to curse or be self-indulgent and then pounce on me. Now, some days are better than others but some days man, I feel like Hell's fury is comin for me. Its like the enemy has no where else to be but hanging out right behind me. And of course the hurt I feel as a result is deeper as I continue to grow in Christ. I am reminded though that I cannot make it through the day without Jesus's strength. I am so thankful that God is in control and is always willing to give me strength when I need it even if its every minute. In 2nd Corinthians 10:5, Paul encourages us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. We can overcome these temptations if we will outfit ourselves with the means to fight back. Let me encourage each person who reads this posting to remember the words of Paul and know you can overcome. I know it because I have experienced it. I know you can too.

Until next time!!!!!!
God Bless you all!!!!!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Attitude

Attitude is defined as a state of mind; the inward feeling expressed by outward behavior. Attitude is a choice. Its a perspective. Its the inner you. With all that said let me say this:

Attitude is something we all struggle with. Lets take a moment right now and say: I am going to keep a positive attitude and use it to affect others in a good way. Did you say it? You know outlook determines outcome. There are some things we can do to display the right daily attitude:

  1. Be thankful in all things not just the "Big Things". Appreciation is a matter of perspective not a matter of sophistication or personal preference.

  2. Just about everybody has things that need improvement. Take a minute write down areas where you struggle. Try to identify the triggers of those "ugly" areas. Find the triggers, remove them, and finally replace them with things that are more positive.

  3. Look for the best in the people around you and try to help them bring out their best positive qualities. This attention will send your negative thoughts packing.

  4. If you want to change you then start with your mind. You must believe you can change and believe you can change into the person you want to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson said" What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." If you change your thinking everything else can flow.

  5. Happiness is something you decide before you do something. You choose right or wrong, you choose. Coach John Wooden said " Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out." Thanks Coach!!

I hope this post is music to your ears, a blessing to your heart. It has blessed me just thinking about how important our attitude is in everything we do. Reach out to someone today and say something encouraging. It will make you a better person. I firmly believe each one of us has the ability to change for the better. I would encourage you to seek your best in all things you do.

Until next time!!

God Bless all of you..


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank You All

I want to say a special Thank You to everyone who has sent me a message today. You all have made me feel very good for stepping out there. I had no idea I would have received this kind of response. I had hoped I would but have fought back the discouragement of trying something new. You know isn't that the way it is. Whenever we have dreams or aspirations someone or something tells us we cannot do it. You know what! We can do it. I have recently rediscovered that all we need is the right outlook. I mean what are problems other than opportunities in disguise. In the past I would get absolutely paralysed with fear. Why am I unable to move? I couldn't get past it. I seemed to be the world's best excuse maker. All I was really doing was enabling that behavior and not pressing forward. So, to end a great day let me say this:

You can do it. Press forward and every inch you have given fear take it back. Take it back by changing your outlook. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said"Positive thinking is how you think about a problem. Enthusiasm is how you feel about a problem. The two together determine what you do about a problem."

Until Next Time!
God Bless you all.

Inagural Encouraging You Post


I finally did it today. I have been wanting to start this process for sometime now. I was a little apprehensive at first but I am confident this will be a good thing. The purpose of this blog is to share words of encouragement with all of you and to seek encouragement for myself when my batteries run low. It is intended to be a blessing. I am very glad to share with you what I am learning and have learned. I hope this blesses your hearts. So what is encouragement really? Encouragement is defined as inspiring with courage, spirit, and confidence. I like to think of encouragement as helping those around us through prayer, a kind word, a good hug, or a firm shoulder to lean on. We all need encouragement more than we like to admit. I know I need it daily. I have found if we take the emphasis off ourselves and put it on those around us our lives seem to flow. There is always someone in worse shape than we are. Now, that is not to say that your needs are not important but it means we need to stop worrying so much about ourselves and reach out to those around us. Jesus tells us in the Matthew 6:34 to not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. I commit today that I will use this blog to encourage you all. I will pray for you and ask God to speak to your hearts. Its my prayer today that we all look for ways to encourage one another. You are a blessing to me by just reading this. Please tell everyone you can about this blog. I am open to any suggestions on how this can be of benefit to everyone. If you need encouragement with something specific please let me know. I appreciate you all...

Until next time God Bless You!!