How Did I End Up Here?

“God does good work in caves.”-how true!

Family Worship Center Devotionals

“I declare from the beginning how it will end and foretell from the start what has not yet happened. I decree that my purpose will stand, and I will fulfill my every plan.” (Isaiah 46:10)

First Samuel, chapter 22, finds David hiding in a cave. David, who was anointed by God to be a king, was now a fugitive pursued by a madman, hiding in a creepy cave, and in the company of outcasts. To call the situation bleak is an understatement. At some point, he must have looked around at his surroundings and circumstances and thought, “How did I end up here?”

Have you ever asked that question? Have you ever wondered how your road led to your current challenges, difficulty, and pain? Have you ever thought that perhaps God had forgotten about you?

Psalm 142 is, “A psalm of David, regarding his experience in the cave. A…

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Below the Surface

I have always said we are not walking by faith when times are good; that is walking in the blessing. We walk by faith when the storm is raging. I love this line – “In the storm, issues of the heart rise to the surface and become visible, both to us and to others.” So true. Enjoy……

Family Worship Center Devotionals

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

On November 27, 2019, a strong storm with high winds and massive waves struck Lake Michigan. The storm uncovered a shipwreck that had been buried for over a hundred years.

A storm has a way of bringing things under the surface out into the open. This isn’t only true in Lake Michigan; it’s also true in our lives. A storm may uncover issues in our hearts that weren’t visible until the storm hits.

In Matthew 14:22-31, Jesus told his disciples to cross the lake without him. While they were sailing, a storm came up, with strong winds and high waves. About 3:00 in the morning, they saw Jesus coming toward their boat, walking on the water.

Peter, impulsive as always, asked Jesus to let him walk on the water, too. Jesus gave Peter the OK…

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Is God Mad At Me?

Is God Mad at meIs God mad at me? I have heard this question asked by people as well as even in movies. When something goes wrong we believe God is repaying us for something we have done in our past; that He is mad. Let me tell you the short answer to this pressing question; Is God mad at me – the answer is a resounding NO! Not at all; He is madly in love with you!

I do not care who you are or what you have done in your life God is not mad at you. He sent His son Jesus to die on a cross for you because He loves you so much (Ephesians 5:25). Even though this happened long before we were born, God sent Jesus to die for our sins BECAUSE He loves us. So why would He send His son if He was only going to be mad at us any way. God is not in the business of hurting you, He is in the business of loving on you. He purses you, He woos you, He wants you in His life and He wants to be in yours. No one who goes through that much pursuit wants to hurt you or just be mad at you.

Our belief system is one of the reasons we think God repays us with bad things. Because people have hurt us and repaid us with bad things we expect God to do the same. Maybe we have been abandoned and expect God to abandon us but He said He will NEVER leave us! (Deuteronomy 31:6) God is not mad at you; He is madly in love with you!

God IS love. This is a concept we really cannot understand. We say we love something or someone however our love is conditional – meaning we act towards others on how we feel in that moment. God’ s love is not conditional at all – He loves us no matter what! Further more God is actually love (1 John 4:8)! So how can love be mad? The Greek word agapos referred to as agape love, is the word used in this verse. It is used when speaking of an unconditional love. This love of God is boundless. Did you get that – His love for you is boundless! Boundless according to the dictionary means having no boundaries. His love for you has NO boundaries! Humans put up boundaries and when they are mad there are huge boundaries – but not God – His love for you has no boundaries!

God does not only give love; He is the source of love and He is the One who created love. It is because of His love that we are able to love. So how can God BE love, give love, create love and be mad at you? Again, God is not mad at you, He is madly in love with you!

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness. (Psalm 145:8) The people we love are not always as this scripture states; we as humans are flawed. We are selfish, we are not compassionate, we are quick to get angry and slow to give mercy or kindness. But not God! He is completely opposite of every person who has hurt you in your life. He is completely opposite of every wrong thing someone has said to you which ripped out your heart. He is completely opposite of every manipulative thing someone did to you to make you do what they wanted. He IS love and He IS in love with you; God is not mad at you (say it with me) He is madly in love with you!

God loves you! God has compassion towards you! God is always there to give you new mercy – EVERY SINGLE morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)! You do not have roll-over or left over mercy – you get brand new mercy every single day – why? So you never run out. God wants you to have an endless supply of His mercy. If He was mad at you why would He give you this abundant supply of mercy?

I know if you are like me you have done some things in your life or things you are ashamed of. Try this – what is the worst thing you have ever done? Think about it. Now think of this – God has completely and utterly forgiven you for it; and not just forgiven you, but He has forgotten it too (Isaiah 43:25)! So let it go! You are already forgiven AND God has already forgotten it – therefore He is not mad at you; he is madly in love with you!

God forgave you once you asked “God please forgive me.” God is not punishing you when bad things come into your life – Jesus already told us we would have trials and tribulations in this world  (John 16:33). God accepts you as you are – He pursued you BECAUSE He loves you and wants you, therefore, God is not mad at you; He is madly in love with you!

Lastly, if you have made Jesus your Savior and you know you will someday be in Heaven with Him – have that same confidence in the fact that He is not mad at you. If you can believe He is your Savior then why not believe He is not mad at you; He is madly in love with you!

    1. God desires for you to walk in victory in all areas of your life; including your mind. He has made a way for you through His Word. you will learn how to take your thoughts captive and step into the full peace of God – No matter your situation! Get your copy:

 “Help! I’m Alone With My Mind. A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts”

Playing the What If Game; How to stop worry head on

word_peace_in_sand_187143Worry, anxiety, and stress can lead us down an unhealthy path. Yes, our emotions of worry, anxiety, stress and the ever present “What if” game can cause us to be sick in our bodies. God has created our bodies so perfectly; they are designed to cope with stress in a fight or flight reaction, however, distress is another subject all together. Distress can lead to headaches,  stomach upset, blood pressure rising, chest pain, and even problems sleeping. Research also suggests that stress also can bring on or even worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Our minds are so powerful it can effect our bodies.

I have played one too many times in my life the “What if” game. What if I can’t pay this bill, what if cancer comes back, what if my child goes off the deep end. This list can get long and overwhelming, consuming our thoughts, and moving on to effecting our bodies. Even Abraham played the what if game in Genesis 12:12 when he worried about the Egyptians stealing his life and killing him. Abraham worried and did not trust God. Abraham found it easier to trust God in the far-off promises God had made to him rather than trust God for his right-now needs. When we worry we are doing the same thing as Abraham.

So how do we stop playing the what if game? How do we stop the worry and start trusting God?

For me there are very practical ways to do this. Start by making a list of all the what if’s you have running around in your head. Then take the time to confess these to God. Philippians 4:4-6 instructs us, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

There are a few things I want you to notice here:

1. We are to rejoice and not be anxious about anything! I know that is hard sometimes but think about the times God has come through for you in the past. He is going to come through again and again for you! We must trust Him and take Him at His word to us. We must read the Word of God as literal to us;  it was left for us as our instruction manual! Do we rejoice about a bad doctors report? No! But we do rejoice in the God who is our Father, who loves us, and will lead us and comfort us. That is something to rejoice in!We are to trust Him. I know it can be scary, I too had that dreaded doctors report over 6 years ago, but I knew that I knew, that God was not going to leave me and I could trust Him! It instructs us to rejoice in the Lord, it does not say rejoice in the report given by the doctor.

2. These verses tell us the Lord is near! That is how I faced the word cancer, I knew the Lord was near to me and His Name was higher than the word spoken to me by the doctor! God is near you, He longs to be near you. 1 Corinthians 16:23

3. Notice the verse instructs us in EVERY situation we are to trust, rejoice, and not be anxious. Every means just that…..EVERY. No matter what is happening, every single situation in our life we are to behave as these verses instruct: to rejoice in the Lord, not be anxious, know God is near, pray, be thankful, and tell God our requests.

4. We are to make requests of God through Prayer and Petitions. Petitions are requests we make to God. Prayer is communication we have with God. The note I want you to see here is we are to let God know our requests or even concerns. That is why I instructed you above to write things down. Now you do not have to write it down to be biblical, I am just suggesting to write them down. Then when you have them down spend the time talking with God about those thoughts and even your feelings on them. Guess what, God is not going to be angry when you tell Him you are angry or upset. He knows already. And just like we would not be upset at a child coming to us expressing their concerns He is not going to be mad either. So express to Him. THEN pray, pray for Him to take the problem, and actually give it to Him and do not take it back from Him. Know when you place it in His hands it is His to fix now, not yours. Which leads us to……..

5. Thanksgiving. Thank Him in advance for it being done. Even though you do not see it different in the natural know He is working on it and He is taking care of it. Know just like the last time He came through, He will do it again! He will move Heaven and Earth for you; His child. Trust and be thankful for all He is doing just for you.

One final note: when we do as instructed in Philippians 4:4-6, verse 7 tells us what will happen – “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow God will flood us with His peace, a peace we do not even understand or comprehend. And when we do what is instructed in verses 4-6 He promises His peace will guard our hearts and our minds in Jesus! Jesus is standing guard over our hearts and minds through the amazing peace of God.

Look at the Living Bible translation of verse 7, I love this: “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”

Now take a deep breath and think of His peace and allow your heart and your mind to be quiet and rest in Jesus’ protection. ~

    1. God desires for you to walk in victory in all areas of your life; including your mind. He has made a way for you through His Word. you will learn how to take your thoughts captive and step into the full peace of God – No matter your situation! Get your copy

 “Help! I’m Alone With My Mind. A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts”

Praying for this nation; How to pray during times of trouble.

Everywhere we turn we hear of some horrible event taking place lately. Shootings, natural disasters, and so much more. We can ask where is God? What is going on? I say we need to pray! Pray for our nation, pray for our town, our families – pray. And another thing to add to prayer is remembering that Jesus instructed us to love one another. {1 John 3:23}.

As Christians we must also remember we have weapons to combat the enemy, one is  – The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture. We are to do what Jesus did, so we should be combating the enemy with God’s word just as Jesus did.

Praying the Word is using your Sword and defeating the enemy! Today I am giving an example of a prayer to pray over this nation. Let’s take up our Sword and wield it over our nation and over one another…

1 Timothy 2:1…………Heavenly Father, I give thanks for our government and this nation.

1 Timothy 2:2………..I pray for all men and women having authority over us in any way.
Proverbs 1:23……….Pour out Your Spirit upon them and make Your Word known to them.
Psalm 25:21………..Cause them to be men and women of integrity, obedient concerning us,
1 Timothy 2:2………..that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
Proverbs 2:10……….Let wisdom enter their hearts, and let knowledge be pleasant to them.
Proverbs 2:11……….Let discretion preserve them and understanding keep them,
Proverbs 2:12……….to deliver them from the way of evil and from evil men.
Psalm 1:1……….Make their hearts and ears attentive to godly counsel,
2 Chronicles 20:32………doing what is right in your sight.
Proverbs 2:21……….Let the upright dwell in our government.
Hebrews 12:27……….Cause there to be a shaking in all areas.
Proverbs 2:21……….Let those complete and blameless before You stay.
Proverbs 2:22……….and cut off the wicked. Let the unfaithful be rooted out.
1 Corinthians 4:5…………Bring to light what is hidden in darkness,
1 Corinthians 4:5…………and expose the secret aims of the hearts.
Revelation 2:5………….Let this nation remember from where they have fallen,
Revelation 2:5………….repenting, and returning to doing their first works,
1 Chronicles 22:19……..setting their hearts and their souls to seek the Lord,
2 Chronicles 7:14……….humbling themselves, praying, and turning from their wicked ways.
2 Chronicles 7:14……….Then hear them, O Lord, and forgive their sins and heal our land.
Acts 26:18……..Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light.
Hebrews 3:13………..Soften the hearts that are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Psalm 107:20……….Deliver them from their destructions.
2 Peter 3:9…………Father, You have been longsuffering toward us,
2 Peter 3:9…………not willing that any should perish,
2 Peter 3:9…………but that all should come to repentance.
Isaiah 49:22………..Raise up a standard in this nation.
Zechariah 10:1……….Cause the rains of Your Spirit to flood this land
Habakuk 3:2………….and revive Your work in the midst of us.
Isaiah 59:16………..Raise up intercessors for this nation
2 Corinthians 10:4……….to pull down strongholds over this land.
Isaiah 40:5…………And let the glory of the Lord be revealed!

Holy Father, we thank You for blessing our country. Thank You for honoring our prayers as a nation and extending Your mercy toward us. Thank You for protecting our borders. Your Word is true and we can trust everything that You do. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen!

{Learn how to pray the Word of God and use the Sword of the Spirit in my book “I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer! Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Has Stolen From Me!”