Recently, my wife, Tammi, and I were with a small group of
friends. Brock Gill, an amazing Christian illusionist, was a part of the group.
Someone asked him to do a couple of
“tricks” for us. He had been traveling all day with his wife, and was
obviously very tired, but graciously agreed to entertain us (for free … which
was really cool). read more
“Frank, you don’t have to do this!” Harriett called out to
her husband. It was early afternoon
of Christmas Eve in the 1920s, and the arctic winds were beginning to howl
across the Kansas plains. “A promise is a promise!” Frank called back to his
newlywed wife. “And God has promised me that I would have roses especially for
you by Christmas!” read more
John 3:16 is probably one of the most oft-quoted verses in
the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”
(KJV). We often use it in conversations with those who are lost in order to
point the way to salvation. But at this time of year it takes on particular
significance even to those who are not lost, for it is a reminder that our
tradition of giving to others is a reflection of God’s generosity toward us. WE
give because HE gave. read more
I used to be a consummate Christmas shopper. By the time December hit, I was way ahead of the game. I would have a mountain of bargain finds, admired goodies and toys to die for tucked away on a shelf just waiting to be wrapped and stowed lovingly under the tree. I found that shopping ahead spread the financial burden throughout the year and helped me avoid the last-minute holiday shopping rush. read more
God has a marvelous plan for His church, a plan that will
help release heaven on earth. The prophets predicted a time when salvation,
righteousness, peace, joy, rejoicing and redemption will come to Israel and the
world. read more
Someone once said, "One man's junk is another man's
treasure." Or woman's in my wife's
case. Sheloves yard sales—a lot.
On Saturday mornings, when I should be allowed to sleep in, she wakes me up at
dawn. She is already dressed and has the newspaper spread out on the counter.
The classified section is open, and the page is covered with bright yellow
circles. read more
“What should I wear today?” is a question many of us ask ourselves every day. From a natural standpoint it’s important to honor God in what we wear physically. However, it’s even more important that we know how to dress ourselves spiritually. read more
Removing jealousy from our own lives is hard enough. It's even more complicated when we encounter jealousy from others. How should we handle another's jealousy? What is the proper response? Again, Jesus is our perfect example: We should overlook it.
Jesus did not say to those who were jealous of Him, "The trouble with you is that you're jealous." That would never do. read more
Several years ago a couple I had not met before came to our Lake Mary office. The gentleman and his wife were old friends of several people in our company and had stopped by for a quick visit and to update the staff on what they are currently doing for a living.
They traveled with two very well dressed young men, who stood near them in the background and maintained full attention. Except for their youth these men looked very much like the Secret Service men who guard the president of the United States. read more
To me, morning is the best time of day. I'm sure it's because, especially in the first few moments after waking up, the waters of my mind are still silent and unrippled, giving God uncontested time to speak to me before the demands of mental processing begin to roll in like a relentless tide. I believe those moments are our heavenly Father's time with us as His children to begin to speak His Word into our spirits. It's like being summoned to the breakfast table, knowing fresh bread has been prepared to feed and fuel you for another new day.
Perhaps my favorite mornings of all are those on which God awakens me with a song. So often, the song He puts on my heart is a prophetic word that not only lifts my spirit but also gives strength and direction throughout my day. On mornings such as these, it's easy to live above the circumstances. After all, His mercy, like daily bread, has been fresh again today! read more
"The art of spiritual war is of vital importance to the individual, the community, the nation, the church, and the world. It is a matter of life and death, blessing and cursing, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of study that no one can neglect." -The Art of War, 1:1-1, by Sun Tzu (paraphrased)
Prayer is the simplest of practices, and at the same time, the most mysterious of spiritual disciplines. In it lies the master key to everything God wants for you, and yet no other aspect of following God seems more difficult to fathom. While folding your hands, bowing your head, and turning your thoughts or words toward God is as easy as sitting down to coffee with a friend, what transpires in the aftermath is the most multifaceted and mystifying journey in the universe.
At its essence, prayer is a quest surpassing anything that you could or will ever read about in any thriller novel or adventure story. It is in prayer that we probe spiritual realities, communicate with God, access the arsenal of heaven and expand God's kingdom on the earth. It is as simple as pulling aside to a quiet place and opening your heart to God, and as dynamic as tapping into the power and imagination that created the cosmos. read more
Just the sound of the word inoculation makes my heart pound and my palms sweaty. I hate shots. Period. Most people do. I am convinced, that that is because of how they give them to us when we are too young to have a say so.
Babies get them in multiples. No single inoculation. In fact, the pediatrician groups them by time frame such as 2 month or 6 month. There is no real name given. Just bring them in for the "6 month" inoculations. read more
the Lord has impressed me to share with God's people the importance of putting a
demand on the anointing. The word demand means "a seeking or state of
being sought after." It means pressing forward despite obstacles to get to a
place where the anointing is and expecting it to fall on you.
with the issue of blood put a demand on the healing anointing and received her
miracle. She expected that once she pushed through that crowd, pushed past the
disappointment of years of failed treatments, and pushed against the stigma of
being unclean, she would be healed. read more
I happened to have been named for a Hollywood actor, James Stewart. If you've
never heard of him, that's understandable. He's hardly a pop-culture icon
anymore. He had his day in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, dying in 1997 at age 89.
But once a year—at Christmastime—he's all over the TV map. Sometimes two, maybe
three channels at the same time run his famous, either-you-love-it-or-hate-it
movie "It's a Wonderful Life."
Ironically, during most of that film,
Stewart's character, George Bailey, is miserable. Life for him is anything but
George was a small-town guy who had dreams of leaving his
dudsville hometown, Bedford Falls, for high adventure. He was just about to get
that dream started when real life slammed him. The needs of others arose, and
out of his compassion he responded. Before he knew it, he had sacrificed his own
education for his brother's, kept the family-run savings and loan afloat,
protected the town from the greed of a greasy banker named Potter, married his
childhood sweetheart, and started a family. read more
Early one Saturday morning, I was sitting on the deck watching a female robin build a nest (or rather try to build a nest). She had chosen a location on the downspout that comes off the gutter. The spout was heavily sloped and made of shiny white aluminum. The surface was obviously very slick. I watched for about an hour.
She had made amazing progress. Then suddenly, as she landed on the nest it started to shift. She actually spread out her wings to use them like feathered arms trying desperately to hold the nearly completed nest in place, but to no avail. The nest slid off and fell two stories to the ground below. read more
Have you ever heard the statement, "The battle is in the mind"? I have countless times. I've even ministered on the topic.
But have you ever asked yourself, "What battle?" The battle that goes on in our minds is the relentless siege by Satan upon our thought life that is intended to cause us first to think, and then to behave and speak contrary to the Word of God.
Have you ever been in a predicament and someone appeared from out of nowhere to help you? That's happened to me more than once.
Years ago I took a trip from Oklahoma to Michigan driving an old, worn-out car. During the middle of the night somewhere in Missouri my car broke down. Here I was, a female with no credit cards, no AAA, no cellular phone and very limited cash, stranded in the middle of the night on the highway. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me.
Almost immediately from out of nowhere a man in a pick up truck appeared, fixed my car and made sure that I made it safely on my way. Whether he was human or an angel, heaven only knows. But of one thing I'm certain, he was sent by the Lord to help me out of a potentially dangerous situation. read more
When my husband and I went out to dinner
one night we were served by an extremely helpful waitress. This woman seemed to
anticipate our every need; she even suggested an item that was not on the
Throughout the evening, she served us with both joy and efficiency.
She made our evening so pleasant that the next time we went to that restaurant,
we requested her as our waitress. In a society in which mediocrity has become
the standard, she distinguished herself by her excellence. read more