Where is your heart today? Where is your mindset? There is so much going on in the world today, it is easy to lose your focus and determination for the things of God. Have you lost your place in the rat race of life? read more
Faith can sometimes be that indescribable understanding that whatever happens, whatever takes place, God is in control and we just have to get out of the way and let Him do what only He can do. read more
Have you ever been treated unethically in a business
transaction? Have you ever been grieved by the lack of integrity in a pastor,
evangelist or other minister? Sadly, we live in an age in which leaders in both
the secular and the spiritual arenas seem to be making up their own sets of
rules about how to conduct their businesses, their ministries and their lives.
We may not be able to do much about the current leadership
in these arenas other than pray. But if you’re a parent, you can have a
positive impact on the next generation. How? By instituting ethics training in
your home. This is where it begins. Parents have the God-given responsibility
to guide and instruct their children – the future business and spiritual
leaders of our nation.
Where do we go to find appropriate foundational truths that
lay the groundwork for ethics and morals? How can we purposefully and
systematically train our children and ourselves to do the right thing, even
when it hurts? Joyce Meyer, Christian speaker and author, states in one of her
teachings on integrity, “True integrity is doing the right thing even when no
one else is looking.” Isn’t that what we want in our children and ourselves? read more
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due
season we will reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9).
This is not about tired; it is about weary. Weary is spiritual.
Although tired and weary may at times feel
closely related, they are worlds apart. Tired is physical; weary is spiritual.
When you are tired you are dealing with the physical realm. Being tired means you need physical rest or a
break, some sleep and quite possibly a vacation. Weary does not respond to the
same treatment as tired. You can go away for a month to rest and relax but you
may still be weary.
If you are tired you may need to change some life habits.
You may need to begin to exercise or exercise differently. Perhaps you have a
physical problem that needs medical attention. The point is, tired is physical.
You cannot pray tired away. You do not rebuke tired. You cannot lay hands on
someone and cast out tired. read more
One of the greatest sins in the church is not necessarily
gossip, strife, addictions, adultery or fornication—even though all these
things are sin. What I believe is the greatest sin today, especially in
America, is the sin of prayerlessness or leaving God alone.
We can easily become caught in the trap where our only
consistent time of prayer is offered before each meal and that’s about it. You
know what I mean by the meal prayers,
don’t you? “God is good; God is great. I’m so hungry I could eat this plate.”
I’ve been so hungry before that sometimes I have felt like eating the plate.
One time when I prayed a quick prayer over my meal, I felt
the Lord say, “Now, Hank, did you mean that from your heart?” Like most of us,
I didn’t mean or even hear what I had prayed. Since then, I always feel
convicted when I pray insincere prayers, even if the food is making my mouth
water. read more
Once as I sat on a 737 getting ready to leave the gate at
the airport, my window seat looked directly down at the luggage loading area. A
large tractor had pulled the string of carts up to a long conveyor belt that
ran into the belly of the plane. A worker (I will call him “Larry the luggage
guy”) stood with a scanner in his hand. As his “helper luggage guy” placed each
piece of luggage on the belt that was slowly moving into the plane, “Larry”
electronically scanned the tag that had been placed on the suitcase at
Wow, I thought. What
a great way to keep track of our bags. A
bag is placed on the belt, scanned and moves up the conveyor. Next bag …
scanned … up the conveyor. Bag after bag. Someone had actually created a
marvelous system to prevent “lost” luggage (the airlines will always tell you
it is not
lost; they just do not know exactly where it is).
Suddenly, someone else standing at another vehicle hollered
for “Larry.” He was laughing about something. Larry laid his scanner down and walked over to Mr. Comedian. “Helper” guy seemed
to not even notice. He just continued to dutifully place the bags on the belt
that was still moving into the
plane. Bag after bag was moving up the conveyer belt, but NOT being scanned. read more
Some years ago I was counseling a teenager who had been
raised from infancy by his grandparents. The boy’s father had been killed in an
automobile accident, and subsequently his mother disappeared. The grandparents
had been doing all they could for him at great expense to themselves. It is
difficult for anyone to raise a teenager, and people in their 60s and
70s ought not to have to go through it a second time around.
For several years he rewarded them with unfathomable
rebellion, anger and sin until he made his grandparents miserable. I told him,
“They did not have to take you in. You could have gone to an orphanage. You
could have been a ward of the court. They got up with you in the middle of the
night. They changed your diapers and fed you and clothed you. They raised you
at great sacrifice to themselves. Nobody would have blamed them if they had
said, “We just can’t handle it at our age.”
He replied bitterly, “Do you think this is the first time
I’ve ever thought of all that? I know what they’ve done. What am I supposed to
do, spend the rest of my life saying ‘thank you’?” read more
Some time ago, I had an experience at church that I will
During the Sunday morning service, the pastor asked each
member of the congregation to make a list of his sins on a sheet of paper, as
the Holy Spirit led. After a time of reflection and prayer, each person walked
up to the front of the church and nailed his folded piece of paper, which
represented his sins, onto a large wooden cross.
When it was my turn, I laid my folded “list of sins” onto
the end of the crossbar and struck the nail with the hammer that had been
provided. The sound of the hammer
connecting with the nail was deafening—not to my ears, but to my spirit. The
realization that, in effect, my own hand had driven the nails into our Savior’s
flesh was overwhelming.
In that moment I was struck with the reality that because
Jesus knew I would be in this world at this particular time and would not be
able to live a sinless life, He—the One who spoke the world into being—had
chosen to lay down His life for me so that I could have everlasting fellowship
with Him. I already knew this, of course; I have been a Christian for many
years. But the act of virtually nailing Him to the cross with my own hand made
His sacrifice more real than before. read more
Every Sunday we have an early Morning Prayer meeting at
church. We pray from a Psalm for 30 minutes (without asking for anything—a time
purely for praise), then we prayer walk the sanctuary for 15 minutes, and
finally meet back together to intercede for the services and ministry of the
Since we started this intimate time in 2007, we have never
ceased to be amazed at how the Holy Spirit always meets with us. We never leave
without a feeling that we have been in the sweet presence of Jesus.
One week, however, was a bit of a challenge. The prayer room
is just off of the platform, and the praise team has practice at the same time
that we are praying. That has never been an issue. In fact, the muffled music
often adds a “worship” dimension to our time. read more
The church seems to have forgotten that God will direct our steps. We have gone our own way, diverging where our impulses take us. He abides here to guide, empower and instruct the church. Let Him be your guide. Here's how. read more
Brenda worked for our ministry at Elijah House for several
years. She was a beautiful, intelligent, insightful young woman in her 30s who
profoundly blessed many with her gifts of counseling and prayer. Almost
everyone was puzzled by the fact that she remained single.
She had a lovely face and figure, and her shiny auburn hair
would have qualified her to pose for shampoo commercials. She dressed
tastefully and attractively. Her bright personality was charming. She was
conversant on a variety of subjects. Several counselees commented that they
could not understand why men were not lined up at her door.
I’m not describing a superwoman who possessed an unflawed
personality with whom no one could identify. Like the rest of us, she had
wounds in her heart that needed to be healed and habits that had to be
transformed. At that time there was a privateness about her that did not allow
many to know her intimately. But neither was there a sign on her forehead
telling people to remain at a distance. read more
Do you ever feel that it is too late to fulfill the plan and
purpose God has for your life?
If you do, let me encourage you. According to our country’s
legal retirement years, I am several years past retirement age but still work
and enjoy it. I work because I want to, not because I have to. Yet, I know that
until God calls me home I will continue to walk in the destiny He has for me.
God has promised in His Word that with long life and length of days will He
satisfy me (see Ps. 91:16). I don’t allow my age to dictate what I can
accomplish for God.
This year, for example, I still work PT at my job, write
articles for my Web site, and continue to minister regularly, often traveling
to different states and out of the country. I also attend church and special meetings on a regular basis
and find time to enjoy my grandchildren. Walking in the destiny of God is fun
and exciting! read more
John 17 records Jesus’ last prayer before He went to the
Garden of Gethsemane, where He cried to God before His crucifixion. We don’t
have to ask what Jesus was feeling before He was crushed for us. His desire is
laid out clearly in John. He opens up His heart and lets us listen in on the
most intimate moments of His life on earth.
John 17:24-26 says: “Father I desire that they also whom You
gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have
given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have
known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them
Your name, and will declare it that the love with which You have loved Me may
be in them, and I in them.” read more
In May 1984 Billy Graham spoke at Westminster Chapel. His
subject was “loneliness.” He took his text from a strange verse; Psalm 102:6,
in the King James Version, in which the psalmist likens himself to an owl in
the desert. Graham definitely hit a nerve! There are so many people today who
Loneliness is a painful condition, a dreaded state that,
given the choice, most people would do anything to avoid. It is enforced
There is obviously a significant difference between enforced
solitude and chosen solitude. Some of us appreciate the bliss of solitude.
Jesus needed to get away from the crowds, and there are some who, by nature,
are loners; they love it that way. My friend Robert Amess calls himself “the
complete loner,” but he is not lonely. read more
Years ago, when my husband, Terry, and I were dating, I set
about to fix what I called the “perfect dinner” for Valentine’s Day. On the
menu were Terry’s favorites: baked pasta with marinara sauce smothered in
cheese, salad and buttery garlic bread. How difficult was that? In a word, highly!
You see I was a woman with an unsavory “kitchen past” and a
long list of disasters to prove it. My most recent one was when my popovers
(containing too much baking soda) exploded like hand grenades in the oven!
“Well, never mind,” I told myself, as I braved the kitchen
to fix theperfect dinner. Terry didn’t
need to know about my hidden disasters, just tonight’s grand performance of
undaunted love revealed perfectly on a red linen tablecloth. read more
“Call in! Your
chance to throw a brick or a bouquet!”
The radio host was inviting his coast-to-coast listeners to
air a grievance or grudge against someone—their chance to get even. Or they
could call in and compliment someone. The choice was theirs!
Most were angry callers with a grudge and a beef to air. The
disturbing thing was that they were taking fiendish delight in putting people
down and flattening them before the public. The radio airwaves were thick with
tension and hate.
Then came the call that changed things. A sweet lady was
calling in to tell her teenage niece how much she loved her. “I want to throw
her a bouquet tonight,” she said, “to express my love for her.” read more
In Acts 27, the apostle Paul was a prisoner on a ship with
276 passengers onboard. Launching the voyage in the winter, the ship headed
into a violent sea storm, called Euroclydon. The ship tossed like a leaf in the
wind and was in danger of splitting into pieces. No stars or light from the
moon was seen for many days, and because of the dangerous rocks and quicksand,
it appeared that Paul and the passengers would drown in the murky waters.
Paul had been on an extended fast and was praying for God’s intervention. God released a heavenly
messenger to bring Paul this encouraging Word: read more
I was going to a birthday party. Like any great Pappy, I stopped on the way to the partyto get my grandson, Elijah, a present for his first
birthday. He was at the age where he mimicked sounds. If you asked him, “What
does a doggie say?” His reply was “Arf.”
How did he get to be so cute?
As I walked into the little toy area of a drug store, I spotted
the perfect toy. A drug store doesn’t have a really big toy section I found
out. But here it was: a cute, fuzzy, battery-operated puppy. A long cord was
attached to the toy, with a small box on the other end. It had two buttons on
it, to make the doggie bark and walk. Now this was a cool toy! It was well
worth the $5.99 price tag. read more