Saturday, October 31, 2009


“In my Father's house are many mansions: . .
I go to prepare a place for you. . .
I will come again,
and receive you unto myself;
that where I am,
there ye may be also.”
John 14:2-3 KJV

I do not have a picture of the house I lived in as a child, but I do have a clear image of it in my mind. It was a small four room farm house with a lean-to on the north side and a tiny entryway on the south. It had a kitchen, a living room and two bedrooms. It also had a cellar which was just a hole in the ground under the kitchen and living room. We didn’t have electricity, or running water, but it did have a “thunder box” which was especially handy when it was 20 degrees below zero outside.

The kitchen had a dining table with several wooden chairs and a home made bench. It also had a cast iron cooking stove with its fire box, oven and a water heating tank. We used “cow chips,” corn cobs and lignite coal for fuel. Sponge baths were taken in a metal wash tub when everyone else was in bed.

The living room had a kerosene space heater which also heated the door-less bedrooms. It had a peddle sewing machine, a few wooden chairs and a little pump organ which my dad played with one finger.

The lean-to was an unheated storage area. This is where we separated milk every morning and evening with a hand cranked cream separator. I also remember several large wooden barrels with salt brine to preserve pork.

The cellar had home canned goods and raw vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets, etc. Coal was also kept there. We got to the cellar through a trap door in the kitchen floor.

While my earthly father’s house doesn’t exist anymore, my Heavenly Father’s house exists eternally! That same Lord who spoke all of creation into being has been back at the Father’s house for 2000 years now, designing and preparing a special place for each believer. Paul, making reference to an O.T. passage, says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I know this scripture is primarily speaking about God’s plan of salvation, but I think it can also be applied to the place Jesus is preparing for us in the Father’s house.

Let’s Pray-
Jesus, we know our earthy father’s house, whether a shack or a multimillion dollar mansion, will be gone some day. But the place you are preparing for us is priceless and eternal, and what makes it most special, is that you will always be there!! Thank you for this precious hope!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


“Fix your thoughts on what is true,
and honorable, and right, and pure,
and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are
excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:8 NLT

I read the other day that our brain, which weighs only about three pounds, has stored more information in it than the entire Library of Congress. Psychologists tell us that each person has about ten thousand thoughts per day. That’s incredible!

While some thoughts we have may be benign, most thoughts have a far reaching impact on our lives for good or harm. Our thoughts are seeds from which our words, emotions, and actions sprout. Good thoughts lead to positive feelings and actions, and a good outlook on life. On the other hand, habitual negative thoughts lead to self pity, depression, and even poor physical health.

Our mind is constantly bombarded by thoughts from our past, our present, from what we listen to, what we watch, and what we read. The society we live in effects our thinking and actions more than we would like to admit. If we are not careful, little by little we take on the values and ways of the world around us. Paul warns, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2

To the degree that we fill our mind with God’s Word and live by it, it will overcome the influence of the world around us and transform our thinking to agree with his. As Joshua says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” 1:8

The mind of Jesus was filled with the Word of God, and he used it as a weapon to fight off the temptations of Satan. After he had fasted forty days in the desert, Satan put evil thoughts in his mind five times, and each time Jesus fought off the temptation with, “No! The Scriptures say,” and then quoted an appropriate passage. “Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”

Our mind is the battle field where Satan attacks, but by standing on God’s Word we can drive off every evil thought – lust, greed, pride, dishonesty, unforgiveness , self-pity, etc., etc.

Let’s Pray-
Lord, help us to fill our minds with your truth and grace and not fall for the lies of the enemy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


“The sacrifice you desire
is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken
and repentant heart, O God.”
Psalm 51:17 NLT

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, like me, there came a time in your life when you became aware that you were a sinner – separated from God and heaven forever. You realized, to some degree, that you were deserving of God’s holy judgment. It was when you admitted your guilt, and believed that the death of Jesus was for your sin, that you were saved. Drawn by his matchless love, you changed from being an unbeliever to being a believer. The reality of that change of direction was demonstrated by your changed life. The direction you were heading was leading away from God, now you are on his way and he is walking with you. That U turn, was the best turn you and I have every made! It is called repentance.

Though you and I have made that fundamental direction change in our lives, I for one must admit that my every day life is not perfect, and most likely the same is true with you. We still find ourselves with wrong attitudes – thoughts – actions or inactions. If we make excuses for our sin – try to hide it or ignore it, we will become like some of the people in the churches John mentions in Revelation. Five out of seven of those churches were called upon to repent (turn around) because they were drifting off of God’s way. One no longer loved the Lord and other Christians like they did at the beginning. Two of them had gotten into unbiblical teachings. Another had the reputation of being alive, but in reality was spiritually asleep. The fifth one, once on fire, had become lukewarm – they thought they were rich when in reality they were in spiritual poverty. All five were warned if they continued down the wrong way, they would experience God’s judgment. On the other hand, if they changed directions and got back on track they were promised wonderful blessings.

1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Confession of sin and repentance (turning from sin to God) is the hallmark of Christians who are walking in close fellowship with their Lord. The moment they become aware that they have veered off course, they make the correction that brings them back in line.

Let’s Pray-
Lord, I’m not as on fire as I once was. Show me where I have drifted from your way, and help me to stay close to you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!”
Psalm 139:17-18 NLT
When we feel all alone and like no one knows what we’re going through – we need to read Psalm 139 again. (What follows is my rough paraphrase of this Psalm.)

We need to be reminded that he knows everything about us. He knows everything we are doing and thinking even when he seems far away. He sees us when we are driving down the highway or resting in our bed. He knows what we are going to say even before the first word comes out of our mouth.

We are not alone! He’s out in front of us - leading the way and at the same time he follows us with his hand of blessing on our head. How wonderful is that?! It’s really too big for us to fully grasp. We can never get beyond his presence. Even if we got on this world’s most powerful space ship and flew to the farthest end of space – he would be there. Or if we took the most sophisticated deep ocean craft to the bottom of the ocean he would be there ready to guide, strengthen and support us. We can never get away from his presence. No distance or darkness can ever hide us from him.

He knows all about us. After all, he created us. He delicately formed us in our mother’s womb, making us wonderfully complex and unique. He designed us to perfectly fulfill his purpose. We need to be thankful for how marvelously he has made us. He saw our entire life before we were born. Incredibly every day of our life was recorded in his book before we took our first breath. Even now he has precious thoughts about us – more than we could ever count – more than all the grains of sand in the whole world.

After considering Psalm 139 these past few moments, I trust we have gotten beyond feeling sorry for ourselves. If we still feel that way, we are missing something. We need to refocus on the truth that he has always had our eternal best at heart. Everything he has done and will ever do is for our good and his glory. He is always with us, and his mind is filled with countless precious thoughts about us. What can be more reassuring?

Let’s Pray-
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23 - 24 NLT

Saturday, October 3, 2009