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A Story of Eternal Perspective



By Aggie Hurst | February 18, 1986

Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son from Sweden to the heart of Africa—to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to go out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the village of N’dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his town for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. The only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood—a tiny woman of only four feet, eight inches tall—decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, she succeeded.

But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N’dolera to go on alone.

Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth, the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina.

The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. She lasted only another seventeen days.

Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. He dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife, and then took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he snarled, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I obviously can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.” With that, he headed for the port, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.

Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious malady and died within days of each other. The baby was then turned over to some American missionaries, who adjusted her Swedish name to “Aggie” and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three.

This family loved the little girl and was afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them. So they decided to stay in their home country and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry. And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible college in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young man named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there.

One day a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who had sent it, and of course she couldn’t read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting was a grave with a white cross-and on the cross were the words SVEA FLOOD.

Aggie jumped in her car and went straight to a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. “What does this say?” she demanded.

The instructor summarized the story: It was about missionaries who had come to N’dolera long ago...the birth of a white baby...the death of the young mother...the one little African boy who had been led to Christ...and how, after the whites had all left, the boy had grown up and finally persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village. The article said that gradually he won all his students to Christ...the children led their parents to Christ...even the chief had become a Christian. Today there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village...

All because of the sacrifice of David and Svea Flood.

For the Hursts’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden. There Aggie sought to find her real father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke. Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: “Never mention the name of God-because God took everything from me.”

After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. “You can talk to him,” they replied, “even though he’s very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage.”

Aggie was not to be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed.

“Papa?” she said tentatively.

He turned and began to cry. “Aina,” he said, “I never meant to give you away.”

“It’s all right Papa,” she replied, taking him gently in her arms. “God took care of me.”

The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped.

“God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him.” He turned his face back to the wall.

Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted.

“Papa, I’ve got a little story to tell you, and it’s a true one. You didn’t go to Africa in vain. Mama didn’t die in vain. The little boy you won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you were faithful to the call of God in your life...

“Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you.”

The old man turned back to look into his daughter’s eyes. His body relaxed. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together. Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America—and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel’s spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going to ask him afterward if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood.

“Yes, madam,” the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English. “It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother’s grave and her memory are honored by all of us.”

He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, “You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history.”

In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who had been hired by her father many years before to carry her back down the mountain in a hammock-cradle.

The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother’s white cross for herself. She knelt in the soil to pray and give thanks.











If the mountain becomes too high for you to climb, then take wings!  Isaiah 40:31  10-31-2014








The Will of God never takes you where the Grace of God will not sustain you.



There are untold, unexpected, unlimited and unannounced blessings in standing by your Friend(s) through those misunderstood, mistreated and mishap times. God has a surprising way of bringing pure gold out of all that man-made garbage. Yep.



When God gives you the vision, He always has the victory on the way! Just watch!


When you make a friend, you make memories that keep on blessing.



Most friends and family are imperfect . . . like you!



Just saying "I'm sorry!" can do miracles. I was reminded of that today.



Bringing joy to others will make your day every time.



Family: a circle of strength and love, founded on faith. . . joined by God's love. . . kept by God. . . . Together Forever



Sam P. Jones (1847-1906) once said: "Don't put it off any longer, until you are gray headed. Choose you this day whom you will serve. If I were a young man I would want to be “saved”. If I were an old man I would want to be “saved”. If the Spirit of God in Christ had always been cruel to me, I would serve Him for what He was to my mother. O, how good He was to her. How He charmed her to His loving heart, and how sweetly she died! If Christ had always been cruel to me I would love Him for what He was to my precious father. I would love Him for what He is to my precious wife and children. I will love and praise Him forever for what He has done for me and mine."



That person who is getting on your nerves just needs your compassion, forgiveness and patience. Something just may be weighing heavy on their hearts.



If the mountain becomes too high for you to climb, then take wings! Isaiah 40:31



Your past is never your liability, it's always your launchpad!



As I was reaching down to lift up someone in need, God was reaching down to lift us both up. I am grateful.  9-10-2014



God' precious memories of yesterday, His provisions for today and His promises for tomorrow--feel a little fire burning today! God is good.



The greatest miracles come in the smallest packages often without applause or fanfare and going unnoticed until later in life when looking back and counting your greatest blessings.



Be faithful in small things b/c it is in them that your strength lies. Being faithful changes everything.



The Lighthouse still stands after the storms. I thank God for the Lighthouse! And I love the song too.



When you have a person’s unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness, the sky is the limit on what you can accomplish. Be that person so others can let 'er rip!



When you keep your eyes on Him, He keeps His hand on you!
Never stop dreaming and never stop believing in miracles. Keep the faith. Remember, it does not matter what others may say or think or do and it does not matter what the circumstances seem to dictate. The Lord has no such limitations. Even when He's 4 days late, all He needs to do is speak!! John 11: 43 ". . . Lazarus, come forth."
In your wilderness/desert places, there is ALWAYS a well (of your needed resources) that you just have not "seen" yet. Hagar thought that both she and her son, Ishmael, were going to die until ". . . God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water . . . ." Genesis 21:19 So, keep "looking" by faith b/c God's well is there right where your need is, in that desert of your present situation!

The "help" you need that is on God's schedule to arrive tomorrow can't help you if you quit today. God bless.



The more you get to know some people, the more you realize you were only experiencing the tip of the iceberg blessings without knowing about the rest of the iceberg blessings! The Lord is good.



Don't miss your present blessings b/c of past failures/hurts or future mountains. The Lord's eternal gift of mercy and grace has all three, past/present/future, covered!



Life stops when you stop dreaming. Hope ends when you stop believing. Love ends when you stop caring. Friendship ends when you stop sharing.



Never stop doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.



True Friends just keep "accidentally" crossing each other's paths with blessings!



When everywhere you turn you feel the need to do more to help those who need (you!) the most, you are feeling the heart of God. John 4:35



God smiles when a child of any age respects his/her parents . . . and God blesses too!



Another person's hatred of you actually is the "cause" of some of the Lord's best blessings on you!! "And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb. . . " Genesis 29: 31



Some people ask me why I go to nursing homes. Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Yes, I do, especially when it's been a crazy week and you're running out of time. But, here's my answer to myself every single time: Christ would go b/c He loves them just as much as anyone else on the planet. Also, how do you put a price tag (you can't) on those two first-time attendees who trusted Christ as their Saviour yesterday. And, that is what drives my engine! Let's keep working in His fields and keep praying for each other. God bless.



I thank God for my Mother’s



1.  Hands—hard work; healing work



2.  Heart—generous/loving/compassion



3.  Hospitality—she lived to bless others


4.  Humility—it was always about giving/others



5.  Home—help, love, care, safety, answers



6.  Hope—Mom always would hope against hope/pure faith



7.  Hold on—Mom had your back; she’d never let go



There's a Grandmother in Heaven today that would like to tell each of her Granddaughters how much she loves them and how proud she is of them. Enough said!



The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of an attitude of faith (“attitude”) on life. Attitude, I believe, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, your education, money, circumstances, failure, successes, what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 1% what happens to me and 99% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes. So, make your Attitude one of strong, unyielding faith!  Yep, have an “Attitude”!!



A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be your friend. ~Author Unknown



Sometimes we don't know how blessed we are until we get that phone call from a friend with a heartbreaking need. You are blessed more than you realize! And, others sure could use some encouragement from you



The Ant ignores where he is (heat of the summer) b/c he is filled with preparation for where he is going--getting ready for the winter. Proverbs 30:24,25 Get ready for where the Lord is taking you! God bless.



Peter didn't ask for the storm to go away, he just asked to walk on it . . . and he did! Matthew 14: 28,29



A man's birthday is a "day". A woman's birthday is an "experience" that begins weeks before the "day" and lasts for weeks after the "day". I am still trying to figure this one out:)



"I am blessed knowing you believe in me!" --So true! God bless.



Take a look at the pictures of your family, including the pictures of those in Heaven like Mom and Dad. That's all the motivation you need to keep running this race and, maybe, pick up your pace. God bless.



The more you get to know some people, the more you realize you were only experiencing the tip of the iceberg blessings without knowing about the rest of the iceberg blessings! The Lord is good.



Don't you just LOVE surprising and blessing your children. God does too!! Wonder what He's up to for you?!!



A mother’s love is a gift from the very heart of God. When you thank your Mom, thank the Lord too!



When you realize how much God has blessed you, then you'll also realize that nobody owes you anything. Nobody. Matthew 18: 32, 33



When I think of Resurrection Day, Easter, I think of all that Christ did and is doing for me. I am eternally grateful for His remembering me on Calvary.



Your faith has coattails.



It's not your losses but what you recover that matters. "David recovered all" b/c God promised he would. I Samuel 30: 8, 19



What you don’t know would remove that burden you’re carrying. For about 14 or so years, Jacob carried a heavy, never easing, burden believing his son, Joseph, to have died a terrible death never to be seen and fellowshipped with again ( “all these things are against me” Genesis 42:36; see 37:33 & 45:28) and for all those years Jacob was wrong b/c, where Jacob couldn't see, God was working on a different plan!!



I can hear the wheels of God's wagons! Genesis 45:27



Time is a gift your family and friends would like to receive more of from you.



Forgiveness of others is a gift you need to give to yourself. Forgiveness does not justify or excuse the one who hurt you but forgiveness of those who wronged you sets your soul free to soar, like an eagle, to greater heights. God takes care of the rest.



In Exodus 14: 19 the pillar of the cloud was darkness to the Egyptian army (enemy) but a "nightlight" to Israel. The Lord's east wind kept the Red Sea open and dry all that night. So, while the Egyptians saw darkness and only "heard' the east wind, Israel with God's nightlight saw clearly the safe pathway to safety and freedom because of God's east wind. It's what God lets you see by faith that is real!



Little Johnny kept falling out of bed at night. He asked Mommy why and what to do. His Mom replied, "That's easy Son. You never got far enough in. Just get all the way in the bed where you can't fall out anymore." When I heard this, I thought of my walk with the Lord and where I am in His plan for me. Yep, time to get all the way in His plan



Those headwinds make you stronger. God has you in His strength-training program. Let's roll!



You can never outgive the Lord!!!



Our friends are gifts from the very heart of God and those gifts grow sweeter as the years roll on!



A safe haven is a place of safety, a place of opportunities, a place of refreshment, a place of healing, a place of 2nd chances, a place of new mercies/grace, a place of compassion and a place of understanding. Every child needs a parent and every friend needs a person that is their Safe Haven.
It's amazing how far you are willing to go and can go when someone believes in you no matter what. Don't forget how much your belief and faith in another changes everything especially when you never stop believing. . . yes, never! God bless.
Instead of fussing over the storm rocking his boat, Peter, in the presence of Christ, stepped out and walked on water in the midst of that boat-rocking storm. Let 'er rip!
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting another person up.
When you think of your faith, just remember nitroglycerin comes in a small package!
The enemy's plan worked perfectly and they shouted victory for the deal was done, but then it was the Lord's turn.  Judges 15: 14
When everywhere you turn you feel the need to do more to help those who need (you!) the most, you are feeling the heart of God. John 4:35
It was a hot, dry August back in the early 70's and the crops were running short by about 20%. We didn't have the irrigation needed and we were wringing our hands. It LOOKED bad. Then, without letting the weatherman or us know, we woke up to rain. That 20% shortage turned into a 10% or more surplus. The Lord has reminded me of that from time to time. God bless.
An acquaintance feels sorry for the obstacles that have fallen onto your pathway; a friend clears the decks! I'm telling you. . .
Don't miss your present blessings b/c of past failures/hurts or future mountains. The Lord's eternal gift of mercy and grace has all three, past/present/future, covered!
Being thankful taps God's multiplication principle. For example, being thankful for small things in your life opens the door to some overwhelming, unexplainable blessings. Christ gave thanks for a little boy's lunch of 5 loaves and 2 small fishes which then filled 5,000 men plus their families with 12 baskets of leftovers. John 6:9.
That downtime (life-on-hold) is just your reload/preparation time. Peter thought he was washing/mending his nets b/c the failed night was over but what he didn't know was Christ was about to instantly fill those nets to capacity. Luke 5: 5,6. Are you having any "downtime"?
God has a way of lining up the dominoes. The blessing is when you, by faith, finally see it yourself!
To paraphrase Elijah's servant, "It's just one tiny cloud the size of a man's hand. All this talk about rain, who is on God's side and that's all you got. Not a drop of nothing." Elijah's reply in I Kings 18: 44 was basically, "This is it!!! God's blessings are about to break loose around here and this famine is over!" I like Elijah's faith vision reply!!!!!!!
Just remember, the pendulum always swings back your way! In Acts 28: 4, the barbarians, seeing Paul with a snake biting him, opined (judged!), "No doubt this man is a murderer" until the snake fell into the fire, but Paul kept standing. In verse 6, the pendulum swung back and they changed their mind, "and said that he was a god."
"I don't understand" . . . . You fill in the blank: this job, this location, these problems, these struggles, etc. Just keep trusting the Lord b/c one day you WILL connect the dots. It took Joseph 13+ years, but then "And Joseph remembered the dreams" (Joseph connected the dots and saw God's perfect plan through it all!). Genesis 42:9
David told Abigail that he thanked God for sending her across his path that day. That one "chance" visit changed his direction. 1 Samuel 25: 32 Do you know any Abigails?!! God bless.
A small, tiny and forgotten favor was done for Friend #1 who mentioned it a few months-year later to his Friend #2 who a few more months-year later mentioned it to Friend #3 (who does not know Friend #1!!) who (#3) called today to "return" that favor. The Lord is full of encouraging surprises!
 One of the best ways to receive a blessing is to be a blessing to others.
Don't let the storms change you, unless you let them make you a stronger friend. A friend after the storms is a true friend indeed.
One of the best gifts my Mom gave me was the memory of how much she loves me. Priceless to me! That is a gift I sincerely pray the Lord will let me give my family and my friends.
Christmas is a time of giving and loving. A parent will "give and love" by changing that parent's "pathway" in order to be certain that parent's children/family walks in a better "pathway" of blessings. Another name for that "change" by choice is God's Grace and Mercy revealed in "(f)or unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. . . .and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God. . . . " Isa. 9:6 Btw parent, when you give and love that way, God's blessings will rest on your children, but God's unexpected blessings will overtake you!! Christmas 2013
We focus on giving all the right gifts at Christmas and then, for the benefit of our wallets, it's over until next Christmas. God focuses on giving us the right gifts at Christmas, and then the day after Christmas and the day after that and . . . , b/c with the Lord, it's never over giving you the right gifts in His time. Christmas 2013
There are those who walk into the room and give you hope to go on. That's great. But then, there are those who walk into the room and the cause of your heaviness is suddenly and completely gone. That's off the charts!  11-25-2013
That lonely feeling that overwhelms you at times b/c a faithful friend walked out or a precious family member stepped into eternity is actually a blessing. Yes, that lonely feeling is a reminder of two things: (i) the sweet blessings that person was and still is to you and (ii) that the Lord loved you so much He blessed you with that person in your life. So, the next time you have those "blues", they are just reminding you of how much you have been blessed. Yes, you can shout every single time the sadness (your blessing reminder) hits!
Everyone falls down sometimes. Just remind yourself that you can never fail if you get up one more time than you fall. And, that "getting up" part is His plan for you! Psalm 37: 24
Sometimes the pathway ahead is not so clear, but my Guide is simply the best. Yep.
I visited a friend today in the hospital. He was talking of God's blessings and the great doctors and great nurses helping him. Pushing back tears he told me that at age 54, a doctor stood by his bed in the ICU and told him that he had 30 minutes to live. That was 31 years ago. He is now 85. Btw,when he kept living he was also told at age 54, he would never walk again either. Yes, he's walking and having a great time just telling others how good God is. I really enjoyed the visit with my friend. And, God is good! 11-16-2013
The Lord in Whom you put your faith and trust prior to receiving that bad news didn't change afterward! Keep trusting/walking.
A heart of compassion always has veins filled with forgiveness and hands able/willing to lift up the fallen out of their trouble/need with continuing encouragement from a tongue of kindness and feet moving quickly to the rescue.
 Showing you care in what you do and what you say will bless, build up and make life better for someone who is waiting/hoping/praying for an answer today. It's your move!
The only son of the widow of Nain in Luke 7 died, knowing that he could not help his Mom anymore and would not hear her voice again. But God's Mercy said "No!"
A lifetime with True Friends is not long enough; that's why God gave us eternity!
 Friends are gifts from the heart of God. God bless our friends.
"Sacrifices in life make history!" That is, your sacrifices make His Story of His blessings in, on and through you! God bless.
Happiness keeps you sweet, Trials keep you strong, Sorrows keep you human, Failures keep you humble, Success keeps you glowing, Hope keeps you believing, Faith keeps you walking, but only God keeps you going! Isaiah 40:31
An “older” (a faithful soldier wise from life’s battles) Lion does not turn back or off course for anything.  Proverbs 30:30
When you are thinking about how much you love your family and want the very best for them, it's a blessing to remember that the Lord is ahead of you on both counts!! He loves your family; He wants the very best for them; He's working on His plan for them too!
God's grace never shuts down! ". . . His compassions fail not (i.e., no shutdown!!)." Lamentations 3:22
Remember, we are not moved by what we see. We are not moved by what we feel. We are not moved by our past. We are not moved by our losses. We are not moved by our disappointments. We are not moved by even our own failures. We are moved only by what we believe.
For what I have received I am thankful to the Lord. And for what I have not received I am even more thankful to Him.
Are you paralleling all wrong? Ten spies in Numbers 13 compared themselves to the "giants" and they came up short ("grasshoppers" are short!). The other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, paralleled the right way. They compared the "giants" to their God and the "giants" came up short!  Be certain you are paralleling right! Always compare the "giants" you face to the Lord Who walks with you.
Don't panic when YOUR brook dries up b/c God has a "brook" (blessings) He hasn't told you about just yet! (I love surprises from the Lord!!) Instead get up and get gong b/c God may want to use you in your need to provide a miracle to another person (widow) whose resources, family and hope are almost all gone. I Kings 17
Everybody is looking for and needs a hero. You know him when you see him, b/c He Encourages Revival/Renewal in Others.
In Numbers 13, 10 spies said "No" and only 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, said "Go". Instead of trying to convince the 10 to change their minds, just run with the 2 that have a changed heart. God bless.
When you tell the Lord, "Whatever You need/want done, I'm available. Just show me what's next." At that point, it's God's launchtime, my friend and you/your family/your friends will see your Red Sea and River Jordan open doors that didn't exist before and welcome you across! God always makes a way when we let Him take over (i.e., when we get out of the way!).
When, in his midnight prison hour, Paul's prayers/praises went up, causing the prison to break up and all the prisoners were freed up ("every one's bands were loosed". v.26), none of the prisoners got up to leave b/c they wanted to be charged/changed up the same way Paul was (saved by grace). Acts 16: 28
Friends are the people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little brighter, live a little better, run a little faster and love a lot longer. Your friendship to another means more than you can know. God bless.
The highway discussed in Isaiah 35:8 is the King's Highway reserved for the King and His court with a destination already planned. With Christ as your Saviour, your life has some exciting destinations ahead of you while on the way to your eternal destination. Among other things, that Highway is a highway of safety protected by order of the King Himself. God bless.
When Paul's ship broke up in Acts 27, Paul's faith/trust in the Lord didn't!
You can never out-give the Lord. Your generosity opens the door to His abundant blessings in every area of your life. Proverbs 3: 9,10; Luke 6:38. Giving, whether it be a Mom's love for her child or a "wealthy" man's resources for the poor or a friend's kind words for the discouraged, will be multiplied back to you by the Lord.
God always has a "David" who will stay with His Plan for every "Saul" who won't. 1 Samuel 15: 28 "Lord, please empower me to stay with and in Your Plan. . . please!"
Walking in the midst of the Red Sea on dry ground with a pounding heart and an "I-would-have-never-dreamed-of-this" understanding, "So this is how the Lord is keeping His promise. . . unbelievable!"
In life you can be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer and a true friend rather than a fair-weather friend.
You know the moment.  Yes, there will come that moment of time when the light goes on and you realize that every single one of those “incidents” (disappointments, storms, hurts, mistreatments, absence of that big miracle you’ve been praying for, etc.) was actually one railroad car after another one out of a long line of railroad cars from the Lord loaded with blessings with your name written all over them and you will stop and say, “Unbelievable, the Lord answered every single prayer and I now understand how it’s all connected together for my/my family’s/my friends’ good.”  Romans 8:28 is a promise the Lord keeps! GRJ 6-7-2013
No strength, no solution, but he knew where to stand. And, the impending battle turned into the Lord's overwhelming blessings so much so that after three days (yes , 3!), he still couldn't "carry away" (no more room) all the blessings. Feel a little fire burning. 2 Chronicles 20: 12, 13, 25
The battle you are facing is not yours! 2 Chronicles 20: 15. So, let the owner of that battle win it for you.
I cannot quit on Someone who never has and never will quit on me.
I don't want Christ to one day look back for me and I'm not in my place. That thought keeps me close! God bless
Life is short, live it. Love is priceless, share it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it. Forgiveness is life-changing, give it. Compassion is contagious, show it. Commitment is eternal, keep it. Faith is powerful, walk by it. Salvation is free, receive it. John 3:16.
Sometimes those "bad or hurtful" things just so happen (Ruth 2: 3)to your life in order to push you down life's highway to the Lord's blessings awaiting you. Don't weep over the bumps in the road, revive/reload for God's blessings on the way!
I see you sitting there
I know you are all alone
I know your heart is hurting
I’m making your burden my own
I see the hurt on your face
Only the Lord knows what you’ve been through
Only the Lord knows your burden today
But He sent me b/c He loves you
I see the hope that has died in you
I know all your dreams have gone
But I’m here to remind you again
God can and will turn this thing around
I’ll stay here where you are
I’ll lift that burden off of you
No matter how dark it will get
I’ll stay as long as I need to
I’ll help you down the road
I’ll lighten the load that weighs on you
The Son will come up very soon
God will resurrect your hope and dreams too
You see God is the Master of Breakthroughs
God is the giver of life and hope to His own
God never once abandons His fallen child
God will set a fire and strength within you to go on
And, one day not too long from now
You’ll cross the path of another in pain
And, you’ll stop with a heart that’s been there/done that
And help them like you were helped out of the rain
GRJ 8-7-2013
I have learned that the more I trust Him, the more I trust Him! I am a slow learner.
When it doesn't look like it's getting better, God is doing something bigger in your life. Lazarus' sickness turned into death, well, sort of! Instead of healing Lazarus of his sickness, Christ did something bigger and raised him from the dead. John 11: 4 In fact, Christ had said in v. 4,that this sickness does not end in death, that is, death will be a brief stopping place only, not the end!
Faith: Your Journey with God's Promise!
Don't quit in the victim lane (losses, hurt, failure) b/c the victory lap is getting very close! "The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust." Ruth 2:12
Faith is our lifeline for a lifetime. The faith you have today is all the faith you need for today. Just use it! God bless.
Men/Dads: God has a destiny He designed just for you; the destiny is just beyond your vision and much bigger than your vision. Keep walking by faith. It's just down the road from where you are. Praying for the Men/Dads out there. God bless.
The greatest father is not the one who walks on water, but the one who walks in the footsteps of Him Who not only walks on water but created it! Happy Father's Day to all!
You are the person you've been waiting and praying for to solve the problem. Yep, God is not sending anybody else and He's already here to walk/work with you. So get going! "Surely I will be with thee. . . " --God Judges 6: 16
Joseph forgave his brothers before they asked for forgiveness. In fact, his brothers all had kept the lie going with their father for all those years ( 13 or so years). Joseph's forgiveness was so complete he was worried about them being angry with themselves! Genesis 45:5. Joseph's forgiveness was God's launchpad that put Joseph second only to Pharaoh. Forgiveness equals promotion every time! God bless.
At what point do you stop forgiving? You don't. That takes faith, but it sets/keeps you free. Just let it go and keep letting it go every single day of your life. God is good. Matthew 18: 22
God's biggest miracles are the little ones that get you through each day.  Those little miracles are a part of your "daily bread" that keeps you going. God bless.
 God always has a "David" who will stay with His Plan for every "Saul" who won't. 1 Samuel 15: 28 "Lord, please empower me to stay with and in Your Plan. . . please!"
Walking in the midst of the Red Sea on dry ground with a pounding heart and an "I-would-have-never-dreamed-of-this" understanding, "So this is how the Lord is keeping His promise. . . unbelievable!"
In life you can be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer and a true friend rather than a fair-weather friend.



You know the moment.  Yes, there will come that moment of time when the light goes on and you realize that every single one of those “incidents” (disappointments, storms, hurts, mistreatments, absence of that big miracle you’ve been praying for, etc.) was actually one railroad car after another one out of a long line of railroad cars from the Lord loaded with blessings with your name written all over them and you will stop and say, “Unbelievable, the Lord answered every single prayer and I now understand how it’s all connected together for my/my family’s/my friends’ good.”  Romans 8:28 is a promise the Lord keeps! GRJ 6-7-2013






You can create great, strengthening memories and be an eternal blessing to anybody at any time you choose. . . . your call!





When does a tiny decision turn into a destiny-maker? A Mother's decision, without being asked or prompted, to provide a free lunch for God's work(er) turned into building a room where God's promise of outgiving that Mother was miraculously delivered. 2 Kings 4:8 and Luke 6:38. Feel a little fire burning!



Even when our Mom is in Heaven, her prayers from long ago are still being answered down here on earth in our lives. Thanks Mom for those prayers wrapped in your love for me! We love you.



“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” --Washington Irving



Pray not for crutches, but wings! --author unknown



People are special friends when for you they always find time on their calendar; people are true friends when for you they always find time without consulting their calendar. God bless.



How do we know that Noah "walked with God"? Genesis 6:9 B/c he "kept building" and would not quit even though (i) he never had one single convert, (ii) he had an exhausting job, (iii) God asked him to do something that God asked no other person on the planet to do (iv) God spoke once and Noah didn't hear from God again until the Ark was done and (v) Noah was 100% human, yep, all the same ups and downs you/I have. Yep, Noah "walked with God!!"



Flesh can never destroy or derail what Grace holds onto. And, God's Grace holds for eternity, my friend. God bless.



Gideon said, “But God, I’m poor and have no one to help me in what you’ve asked me to do.” God didn’t promise Gideon any extra resources or people to help, but simply replied, “Surely I will be with thee.” Judges 6:15,16



There are some people that get great encouragement from you. Yep, in their life you are a True Friend. From you, they have learned that only a True Friend has your back when you're down, no matter the situation. Never overlook what the Lord is doing through you in the life of another. Stay the course! God bless.



Commitment, compassion and contentment is a threefold chord that is hard to break.



When the Lord is stirring up/encouraging YOUR faith, He is already at work putting fear into the heart of your enemy (foes, finances, family problems, health) which the Lord will soon remove out of your way even though the enemy overwhelms you. Gideon had 300 men going against 135,000 enemy soldiers. God sent nervous/fearful Gideon ahead of the battle to a place very close to the enemy camp where Gideon heard two men talk of/interpret a dream that Gideon would win. This "token" from the Lord lit a fire in Gideon which was contagious. BTW, Gideon won without lifting a sword!! Judges 7:13,14,15



Just one act of kindness that you perform... may turn the tide of another person’s life!



A businessman has a painting of a "stranded" boat 20 feet from the ocean with its oars resting on the sand. Looks pretty helpless until you read the plaque at the bottom: "Don't worry, the tide always returns to lift me again."




Popeye the sailor man had his spinach that gave him that extra strength. My spinach is the voices of/love for my family and friends walking behind me. God bless.




1.   Disappointments are for a season but the Lord's favor is for a lifetime. So, don't park your life in a disappointment! Genesis 39:21; Psalm 84:11

"You can do what I've called you to do in these "small tasks" and find out what I will do with the rest of your life or you can disobey Me in what you think is not really that important and wonder what I could have done with the rest of your life" --God (Daniel 3:16-18)

We all want God's very best in our lives, but, lately I've been thinking I want to be certain God gets the best as well. . . the best of my faith, the best of my walk, the best of my efforts, the best of my time, the best of my witness, the best of my worldly goods, the best of my compassion/love, the best of my trust, the best of my willingness to forgive, the best of each day. . . .Yep, I'm thinking just maybe, God wants my very best in His Plan. . . .feel a little fire burning! 4-21-2013

God will never leave you in the "it's-over-land" ("It's over for me. I will never get past this loss, failure, mistake, hurt, disappointment, . . . ."). God's Plan ALWAYS includes His Land of Promise (Psalm 37: 4,5), a land of new beginnings, renewed hope, renewed fire, renewed dreams. Come on, drink from His well and leave the "kool-aid" alone!


Trusting God includes trusting God’s timing!


Don’t keep “birthing” Ishmaels when God’s Isaac is on the way.


The hardest walk is walking alone. But it’s also the strongest when “walking on” in faith.


“A true friend unbosom (confides) freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.” --William Penn

Even the “clothes” (how you are defined) of your past losses/failures/mistakes/heartaches will be removed from your life when Christ says it’s time (“…Loose him, and let him go. “ John 11:44). My friend, you don’t live “there” or wear those "clothes" anymore!!

God remembers you always (Isaiah 49:15,16) and b/c He remembers you, others are blessed/protected/encouraged. Just ask Lot (“God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out….” Gen. 19:29) and Rachel (“…God remembered Rachel. . . and opened her womb. . . . “ Gen. 30:22), the mother of Joseph. Yes, God remembers you and. . . . . . . !!!

The sadness on the cross and, then, the silence on Saturday turned into shouting-time on Sunday. Just think of what our first reunion with loved ones in Heaven will be like!! Feel a little fire burning. . . .

Christ hung on the cross so you wouldn’t have to. And, Christ didn’t stay on that cross either. God never intended for you to live a life hanging on the cross of condemnation or criticism or cancelled dreams. You can’t keep paying for what has already been paid for in full. Walk in the freedom that’s yours!

From the time Herod killed all the children from two years old and under, up through the tempting of Christ by the devil in the wilderness, and Jesus giving up the ghost (voluntarily laying down His life) while on the cross, the devil had worked constantly to destroy/derail Christ's purpose/plan, and, finally, on that dark, crucifixion day, was, with the rest of his demons, in celebration mode, knowing "it was beyond even God's help now." But, Sunday was coming! Stay the course. Keep the faith. Keep hope alive b/c your "Sunday" is coming!



That Friday before Easter was very discouraging to the disciples, but Resurrection Sunday was coming! If you're having the same "Friday", just remember that Sunday is on the way in your life. So, don't quit or give up on Saturday!! Oh, yeah!

God always finishes what He starts and He always keeps His promise! 3-27-2013

That person, you know, who is sometimes a huge burden (dead weight at times) and whom you’ve been praying and praying for God to change is not the issue. The issue may very well be YOU and that God wants the focus to be on YOU being a bigger blessing. Yep, it could very well be that the two of you are in each other’s lives b/c God needs you to be the a bigger blessing b/c God knows the person who is the burden just isn’t going to change. So, let go and focus on being the bigger blessing God wants to make you into. Let ‘er rip!! Btw, God has some major surprises/blessings coming your way! So focus on the blessing side not the burden side.

A True Friend listens to what you don't say.


We all go through losses, disappointments, delays, unfair situations and even our own mistakes. That's OK, but just don't make that additional mistake of getting stuck there! Caleb didn't and he got his mountain in Joshua 14!

Many times when the Lord is about to do something really big He starts with something very small (e.g., David and his 5 stones/sling; Moses and his wood staff).

Never get weary in extending your hand to lift another person up so they can move forward.

There is strength in just saying "No"!

When the Lord's hand is on a ministry, mission or man/woman, there is no person, problem or impediment that can stop it/them. Isaiah 54:17

When God gives you that promise/dream/prayer of an oak tree (something really big), He usually answers that promise/dream/prayer with an acorn (something small).

You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your True Friends.

If you will do the ordinary in faith, God will do the extraordinary. Moses held up a wooden shepherd's staff and the Red Sea parted. David picked up 5 smooth stones, slung one and Goliath fell and Samson picked up the jawbone of a donkey and 1,000 Philistines died. Yep, step forward by faith with what you have (staff, stone, jawbone) and God will step into your path with supernatural results.

God always promotes His servants. Just hold on!


I love sugar cookies. But, if I left out, let’s say, the ingredient of one teaspoon of baking soda, those cookies would be flat and not very tasteful.  In my life, at times I may be in a very untasteful situation, but the Master Chef has one or more ingredients He will “add” to my life at the “right time” to make life sweet again.  Romans 8:28 says all of God’s ingredients work “together”.  So, I don’t mind waiting for that next, life-changing, sweet-making ingredient!  2-19-2013

Your negative, mistake-filled, broken past does not disqualify you from having a bright, powerful future walking in the mercy and grace of the Lord. Get moving!

A bump in the road never stops the blessings of God. No matter how your day is going, God has great things lined up in your future. God always has new beginnings, new opportunities, new friendships and new successes in store for His children. Psalm 1: 3

The Lord will always make your very best plans so much better!

God may at times be silent but He is not still. When you can't hear His voice or see His hand, you can always trust His heart!

Faith is the bridge between today and God's destination for me tomorrow. Let's roll

You are God's biggest priority! Isaiah 49:16

Joy in the Lord is just “trusting” in Him even when the weather, words of others, weariness, your wisdom and your workload try to tell you otherwise. God has your back always, so keep walking




Just one breath of God's favor upon His people flooded them with His blessings three feet deep and extending a day's journey in every direction . . . . What a problem to have! Numbers 11: 31



"Hope against Hope" is the faith that unlocks the very windows of Heaven to God's miraculous way of keeping His promises. It is the example/lesson set by the "Friend of God". Having hope against hope b/c you are "fully persuaded" that God will keep His promise is exactly what Abraham did and it unlocked those windows for another one of God's miracles/promises kept. Romans 4: 18, 21

What does it mean to be called a "friend"? Just thinking about that. To be called someone's friend is a great honor. To be called the "Friend of God" is even better. Abraham was called the "Friend of God." That's the way God "saw" him. That speaks volumes. James 2:23


Four lepers, totally penniless, totally helpless, totally defenseless, totally hopeless, totally powerless, totally friendless but walking in the Plan of an all-powerful God brought in the mother lode with a simple walk. 2 Kings 7: 5. Go take a walk:)

You can tell how much I care for you by the way I treat your children, even if they haven't walked on water lately.

Keep loving people, keep believing, keep walking, keep witnessing and keep the faith. Somebody that has or will cross your path needs to see this in you. It will change their life! God bless


All soldiers get tired, but they are still soldiers!

Standing here with my tea cup waiting for God's "tiny" blessings and God's freight train pulls in. I think I should have brought a 2nd tea cup and a 3rd tea cup and . . . . That's just the way the Lord is!

Even when you let go or give up, God doesn't. That is one thing God, in His mercy and grace, keeps reminding me of. There have been those "weak" or "mistake" moments when I let go of a dream or gave up on a person or just walked away. Fortunately, the Lord never does and "corrects" those "mistake" moments of mine. God is good.  1-30-2013


Unexpected, supernatural blessings for us is just another day for the Lord. "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43: 19

When God allowed satan to "test" Job, God already knew what Job was made of. God knows the same about you! Satan can never get through God's hedge around you unless God chooses to pull it back a bit. If God does then there's a double blessing headed your way. "So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning . . ." Job 42: 12


 God has a way of turning the mountains we face into stepping stones of His grace launching us forward as a part of His will for our lives.

A Nurse friend of mine has a promise she keeps to all those who cross her path in the ER: "You're not dying on my watch!" That's pretty good advice for us Christians and True Friends as well. Be True Friends, not fair-weather friends. Be Christians that go into the highways and byways of life. And, make it "not on your watch!" God bless.

What got Job in trouble with the devil, was Job "feared" (respected, wanted to please, served) God. Job 1:8. It did not say one thing about Job "fearing" man. I'm thinking that was "the difference" in who Job was and why God had the last word with double blessings in the matter. Feel a little fire burning.

God will always exceed your expectations. Ephesians 3: 20

Your past losses are never too much for God's mercy! God bless.



Your time is coming--believe it! Never let people, repeated disappointments or current mountains stop you from pursuing what God put in your heart. It's time to get your fire back by staying in faith and filling up on hope in His promises again! God keeps His promises. God is faithful




The law says: "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Galatians 3: 10. But God says: "Merry Christmas!" John 3: 16. Feel a little fire burning!!

Just counting my blessings from the Lord. . . . I remember one Christmas, Mom was running very short on money (never short on love!). It was in the early 1960's. An Uncle of mine (now in Heaven with Mom) showed up. It was very cold. He walked in, said "Myrtle, this is for you and the children", shook her hand and left in her right hand a 100 dollar bill! I'm not joking. Mom let out a yell and my Uncle quickly left. I guess that yell scared him (not really!) but he didn't want any attention or "thank-you". He just wanted to bless us and He did. Those memories the Lord gives are priceless. 12-25-2012

Not just anyone can do what the Lord knows you can do in the lives of those around you, those that depend on you, those that look to you for wisdom, advice, care, encouragement and unconditional love. Yep, that's why He chose YOU!! Your assignment from God may be costly but your blessings from God will be priceless. Joseph could have bolted when he found out his fiancee, Mary, was expecting but he stayed and got to "raise" the King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen. Matthew 1: 18-23

It's never the cost of the the gift but the caring you show for the person receiving. They may forget the gift but they will never forget that you cared.

'When people know that you care, it breathes a new hope in them' - Anonymous.

“Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends.” --unknown

Pastor Raye wants us to break down the walls and build the bridge

"Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man."
- Author Unknown

The word "And". You be faithful on this side of that word "And" b/c the Lord will write a miracle on the other side of that word "And" with people and possibilities that were never a part of what you saw as available options/solutions. God has options you don't know about which include people that you'd never consider. "And there were four leprous men . . . " 2 Kings 7: 3. Those leprous men were total outcasts that God volunteered for a miracle. Btw, God didn't tell anybody until the miracle had arrived . . . sort of like a Christmas gift you just opened!!

Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life. ~Corrie Ten Boom

God, on many occasions, has people, whom you don't know and have never met, heading your way with God's blessings. Famished and surrounded Israel didn't know about and wasn't thinking about those 4 lepers in 2 Kings 7 as a possible solution to Israel's problem. But that didn't stop the lepers and that didn't stop God. God likes to surprise us!

So, the available options to your prayers really look bad and you're thinking there is absolutely nothing good in any of the choices available. Not a problem. Four lepers thought the same in 2 Kings 7:3. They did not know that Elisha and the Lord had a plan which included their horrible choices. As they "moved forward" by faith, thinking the worst, the Lord moved the enemy out of town leaving behind blessings/food/wealth for starving Israel. The famished turned to feasting, full, running over and satisfied b/c of four lepers making a move of faith. Yep, God's options are never limited to what I "know" are the only "available" options. Oh, yeah….

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” -Joni Erickson Tada

A mother (us guys too!) is always thinking about ways to bless her children (and her family/friends) and is always looking for special gifts/surprises she wants to give/make for them. Love is powerful. The Lord, Who loves us so much more than any mother could, is always doing the same! Amen

You don't have to walk on water to pick someone up when they fall. 12-17-2012

"Love is like the five loaves and two fishes. It doesn't start to multiply until you give it away." --unknown

You didn't "just change." You just refused to change the course you were on and one day you "just arrived" at your destination.





It means so much and is so encouraging when a friend or family member makes and, then, keeps an unsolicited promise of their commitment to you. Christ (yes, it was Christ!) made such a promise to Gideon. And, He also makes that same promise ("I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13: 5) to you/me. God is good.


What the Lord sees in you is what the Lord can do through you. So don't be like Gideon who was surprised when the Lord told him: "The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." Judges 6: 12 12-12-2012

That compassion in your heart is God's gift to make a difference in another person's life. They need what you have! Let 'er rip:) Jude v. 22

God's greater blessing on life's journey is, in my opinion, never about the miles you walk but the friends you walk with


I can remember Mom thanking the Lord and being excited about having enough for my sister and I to buy a $.50 school lunch for the day. I can remember Mom thanking the Lord and crying when a neighbor unexpectedly dropped off a load of dry wood to provide winter warmth from our old wood stove. I can remember Mom saying grace/thanking the Lord for the french toast that was our supper. Now what is it I was complaining about. . . just thinking. God bless


The slow train coming brings the mother lode right on time. Yep, it's coming . . . just keep the faith!

Some of the greatest blessings in life are often those you can’t see with your eyes. For example, those encouraging words from a friend or the persistent prayers of your Mom reaching the throne of God or the presence and protection of the Lord working out the details of His plan for you and those you love. Yes, I’m thankful for what my eyes never see.




God will keep every promise He has made to you and, btw, to your parents for you!

God’s “From & To” Promse: When God made His promise in Exodus 3:8 to deliver Israel out of Egypt, that promise also included a place of blessings (the Promised Land) He was delivering them to. Time and distance in between could not change His promise. And, then there was a 2nd promise from God in Exodus 23: 20 on how He was going to get them there. Always wait and watch for that 2nd promise! It’s coming.

If God can use a dry, dead stick (piece of wood, shepherd's staff) to part the Red Sea, then you have all that God needs to get 'er done. God bless. Exodus 4:2; 14:16.

One of the greatest points in prayer is when you "hear" God say: "Yes, It's time!" So, keep praying for that point is closer than you think. . . "oh, yeah" (Southern version of "Amen").





Once the Lord decided that He was delivering Israel out of Egypt, was there really anything Pharaoh, the Egyptians or the Red Sea could even hope to do to keep Israel there?!!  Exodus 3:8 Do you have a Pharaoh or Egyptians or Red Sea trying to hold you back?  GRJ 11-28-2012


That "pressure/stress" you feel may very well be the Lord's hand "pushing/strengthening" you in the right direction, meaning, the answer is just down the road where He directs. Exodus 5: 22,23; 6:1





Walk slowly, speak softly, love deeply, forgive quickly, smile often, listen sincerely, live joyfully, encourage continuously, pray daily, give often and have faith eternally in the Lord. GRJ 11-26-2012


Peace doesn't mean the absence of problems, but the presence of God. --J. Oswald Chambers

Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes your life just by being part of it. Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop. Someone who makes you believe that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it. This is forever friendship, a True Friend. When you're down and the world seems dark and empty, your True Friend lifts you up in spirit and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Your True Friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your True Friend follows. If you lose your way, your True Friend guides you and cheers you on. Your True Friend holds your hand and tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a True Forever Friend, and forever has no end. –unknown

Your compassion, faith, prayer, forgiveness and "just being there" will change the course of other people's lives.

Every Friend leaves his/her fingerprints on your life. A True Friend leaves his/her fingerprints on your heart. And, those fingerprints on your heart never fade.






1.  We "own" nothing.  It is all borrowed of God Who alone    owns it all (Deut. 10:14; Psalm 50:12).

2.  An accounting will be demanded of us.  We are saved to serve and use what we have as God directs (Luke 16:2,13).

3.  Bigger Barns (houses, bank accounts) do not mean better.  God supplies all our needs. (Philippians 4:19).  Therefore, we need to guard our hearts so as to distinguish between real needs and real greed (Luke 12:15, 20, 21).

4.  Our heart is what you see in our checkbook.  Where our money goes so goes our heart (Luke 12:34).  Would you let God look at your checkbook?

5.  We should serve God willingly and not for rewards.  After all, God thinks of money as "filthy lucre” (I Peter 5:2).

6.  Learn to "lend", not "borrow".  All that we give to the poor is "loaned" to God.  He always pays the best interest and never defaults on His loans (Proverbs 19:17).

7.  What we don't have, we don't need.  There is a time to receive.  Have you checked with God's timeclock lately?        (II Kings 5:26).

8.  Wandering eyes should be trained.  We should pray for God's will, not our neighbor's wealth (Ezra 9:12).

9.  Holes in our pockets are windows to our troubles.  God demands that we consider our ways and replace them with God's wisdom (Haggai 1:5,6,9).

10.  Opening our pocketbooks opens Heaven's windows.  Most don't realize that the reverse is also true (Malachi 3:10).

11.  The poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind - my dinner guests?  Consider bringing Christmas to someone else this year who cannot return the gift to you (Luke 14:13).

12.  Not next year, but now!  "Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom" (Proverbs 23:4).  Start today!! GRJ 1993


"For who hath despised (considered to be insignificant) the day of small things (small beginnings)? " Zechariah 4: 10 "Yet now be strong . . . and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:" Haggai 2:4 Words from God to encourage one discouraged person, Zerubbabel, Governor of Judah, trying to rebuild the Temple in the face of enemy resistance and the previous generation complaining that things just weren't the same. God said "Keep building!" GRJ 11-12-12

When Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had a fiery furnace that, b/c of their faith, they could not escape, that very same faith surrounded their lives so that they would not burn. They were faith-coated!!

God has no unfinished plans. Philippians 1:6

Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart.--Anonymous

Be still and know that the Lord who brought you through all your yesterdays, will faithfully walk with you through all your todays and carry you through all your tomorrows. He is forever faithful

Goliath taunted Israel twice a day for forty days. . . and, then it was God's turn! I Samuel 17: 16, 51.

Christ is never beyond the reach of your faith!

Are you a naysayer? If so, you are missing out. Jesus put all the naysayers out of the house before He raised Jairus' daughter from the dead. Only Peter, James, John and her parents were allowed to stay and see the miracle. Luke 8: 51, 54.

Your Destiny in your current situation (God's Plan for you) and Christ's Answer to your prayers are never beyond the reach of your faith just b/c they are beyond your current location. Ask Jairus. Luke 8:49

Just thinking. . . the key is not that Jairus' faith didn't stop his loss (his daughter died), but that his loss could not stop his faith (btw, Christ gave his daughter back to him!).



Thank God for what would have, should have and could have happened, but didn't! Thank God for the doors He opened and the doors He kept closed. Thank God for the friends who stayed and the friends who didn't stay. 11-3-2012

Jesus doesn't need anything you've "lost" (person or thing) to bless you with. All He needs is what you have "left".

Christ took the loaves/fishes, blessed them, brake them and gave them out to others. He does the same with you. Mark 6:41 Just thinking, it's in the breaking that God's multiplication takes place! Amen!

Joseph saw God's plan instead of his "problems" down through the years. Joseph saw God's hand instead of the intended harm by his brothers and others on his life's journey. Genesis 45:5,7. God bless.

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

Lois and Jimmy were glad Superman was standing between them and the bullets bouncing off of Superman’s chest. Joseph stood “before” the famine/death to preserve his family/people/life. Genesis 45: 5, 7. There is someone standing behind you, hoping you won’t move either. God bless





Sometimes those "blessings" you are, give to or do for others may seem as small as throwing bread out in the ocean. You think there is no way what "little" I do can impact anyone. Well, God disagrees with you completely!! "Cast thy bread upon the waters (seas): for thou shalt find it after many days." Ecclesiastes 11: 1. In other words, don't stop b/c God's in it with you!! God bless. GRJ 11-20-12


"For who hath despised (considered to be insignificant) the day of small things (small beginnings)? " Zechariah 4: 10 "Yet now be strong . . . and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:" Haggai 2:4 Words from God to encourage one discouraged person, Zerubbabel, Governor of Judah, trying to rebuild the Temple in the face of enemy resistance and the previous generation complaining that things just weren't the same. God said "Keep building!" GRJ 11-12-12

When Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had a fiery furnace that, b/c of their faith, they could not escape, that very same faith surrounded their lives so that they would not burn. They were faith-coated!!

God has no unfinished plans. Philippians 1:6

Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart.--Anonymous

Be still and know that the Lord who brought you through all your yesterdays, will faithfully walk with you through all your todays and carry you through all your tomorrows. He is forever faithful

Goliath taunted Israel twice a day for forty days. . . and, then it was God's turn! I Samuel 17: 16, 51.

Christ is never beyond the reach of your faith!

Are you a naysayer? If so, you are missing out. Jesus put all the naysayers out of the house before He raised Jairus' daughter from the dead. Only Peter, James, John and her parents were allowed to stay and see the miracle. Luke 8: 51, 54.

Your Destiny in your current situation (God's Plan for you) and Christ's Answer to your prayers are never beyond the reach of your faith just b/c they are beyond your current location. Ask Jairus. Luke 8:49

Just thinking. . . the key is not that Jairus' faith didn't stop his loss (his daughter died), but that his loss could not stop his faith (btw, Christ gave his daughter back to him!).


Thank God for what would have, should have and could have happened, but didn't! Thank God for the doors He opened and the doors He kept closed. Thank God for the friends who stayed and the friends who didn't stay. 11-3-2012

Jesus doesn't need anything you've "lost" (person or thing) to bless you with. All He needs is what you have "left".

Christ took the loaves/fishes, blessed them, brake them and gave them out to others. He does the same with you. Mark 6:41 Just thinking, it's in the breaking that God's multiplication takes place! Amen!

Joseph saw God's plan instead of his "problems" down through the years. Joseph saw God's hand instead of the intended harm by his brothers and others on his life's journey. Genesis 45:5,7. God bless.

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

Lois and Jimmy were glad Superman was standing between them and the bullets bouncing off of Superman’s chest. Joseph stood “before” the famine/death to preserve his family/people/life. Genesis 45: 5, 7. There is someone standing behind you, hoping you won’t move either. God bless






Have you ever wondered why, sometimes, it takes so long to receive the blessing you have been praying for? With me I often discover the time involved in the "delay" is not b/c God is still preparing His blessing for me (it's already done!) but b/c He's preparing me for His blessing. GRJ 11-12-12

A kind word, a telephone call just to say "missed you, where you been?", a smile wrapped around a "Thank you!", a hug, "I'm sorry", "I forgive you", "I love you", "I'll help" and/or "You are the blessing I needed today" would be a great gift for someone in your path today. Just one of these gifts from you will make that "someone's" day


At some point, when you realize the next step forward that Christ is asking you to take, you need to drop some of those weights (person or problem!) you've been carrying too long. Hebrews 12:1. Blind Bartimaeus dropped his blind man's coat. Mark 10:50. The woman at the well dropped her empty waterpot. John 4:28. God never asked you to carry the world on your shoulders. That's His job.


When you ask God for a gift, be thankful if He sends not diamonds, riches, nor pearls, but the love of real true friends.



God's grace is still amazing! "Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?" Ruth 2: 10



You don't have to be afraid of the dark, the unknown journey ahead, the lack of strong friends around you, the weakness of your own hands or the unknown enemy awaiting. Nope, you don't b/c you are never alone, my friend. "For the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." Deuteronomy 20: 4


When your child cries or is sick or is in pain, you feel the same and carry that child on the shoulders of your heart. Your Heavenly Father does the same for you!

Keep your eyes/heart on God's greater plan! Daniel's enemies' plan worked perfectly to get Daniel thrown into the Lions' den. God's greater plan worked perfectly to get Daniel "THROUGH" the Lions' den to cause King Darius to "decree" revival throughout his kingdom. And, those enemies became an early morning snack for those lions which, by the way, was never a part of their plan but was a part of God's greater plan. GRJ 10-8-2012




When everything around you says it’s time to “panic”, God says (i) I will eliminate your problem, (ii) you will be speechless (in awe) and, (iii) you will move forward (walk in my blessings).  “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (speechless!). . . . speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward (cross the Red Sea):” Exodus 14: 14, 15


How are you feeling today? The way you feel does not alter, change, decrease or stop God's faithfulness and compassion for you. GRJ 9-24-12

John Knox was the leader of the Reformation in Scotland. When Queen Mary arrived from France in1561, she requested that John Knox visit her palace for an interview. She did not want him influencing her subjects with the Christian faith.  Later, Queen Mary said: “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.”

Did God get all He paid for?!  “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” I Corinthians 6: 20 



When God’s hand is upon you (and God wants us to pray for this), then supernatural results happen.  “And the hand of the LORD (His power, His blessings, His will) was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” I Kings 18: 46




A very sad day or, was it? : When the widow woman woke up that morning, she thought it was her last meal and the last day for her and her son.  I Kings 17: 12. She didn’t know God already had Elijah “on the way”.  And, when she chose faith to give to God over the fear of her situation, a miracle broke loose (her “last” meal turned into a meal that “lasted” for one year during a famine that was scheduled to have taken her life and that of her son’s).  And, after the famine was over, that widow mother’s sacrifice in the famine had secured a future miracle that allowed her dead son to live again (v. 17).   GRJ 9-10-12



"I used to ask God to help me.  Then I asked if I might help Him.  I ended up by asking God to do His work through me." - Hudson Taylor



Peter, exhausted and a fishing failure for that day, was "one loan request" away from a miracle that only Christ could have planned in Luke 5: 3 when he asked only Peter to borrow his boat. Also, when Christ said to "let down your nets", Peter didn't have all his nets b/c in v. 2 they were washing some of those nets on the bank. "Nevertheless", exhausted, a failure and without all his resources, Peter "launched" and Christ's blessings about sank his boat and his friends. GRJ 9-4-12



Another person's wishes (good or bad) for you never stops God's blessings on you! God loves you, always has, always will. "Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee." Deuteronomy 23: 5




Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them and, if possible, tell them in the way that means the most to them, their love language. And, ask the Lord to help you create/plan more opportunities as well! GRJ 8-28-12

There is always a point (more than one) on your journey with the Lord down life's highway when the Lord "launches" you in a new direction, with a new/greater fire/speed and results that are greater than any you've seen/experienced in the past. Get ready, it's coming! "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43: 19





Charles G. Finney, an effective preacher who was greatly used by God to preach mighty revivals, gave this list of things he believed God wants everyone to do in preparation for revival:



1.  Become thoroughly dissatisfied with self and with the utter bankruptcy of the human race.


2.  Set yourself on having a changed life.


3.  See that God is able.


4.  Do a thorough job of repenting.


5.  Yield to the Lord.


6.  Read and meditate on God's Word.


7.  Give time to prayer.


8.  Begin to speak to others about the Lord.


9.  Expect God to revive you.




People in my office made fun, laughed, joked and even criticized me for a speeding ticket I got two months ago until they learned that two days ago the Judge "forgave" (dismissed) that speeding violation and advised me that it would never appear on my driving record! For some reason they just don't find it worth talking about anymore b/c it's gone. That Judge gave me what I didn't deserve and nobody can make me pay for that speeding violation that, according to my records today, never even occurred. Feel a little fire burning:) GRJ 8-23-12

God is watching (out for!!) you:) God bless



God's "big" miracles often come one step of faith at a time! Keep walking by faith!!

When your friend or a family member hurts, you hurt; when they're sad, you're sad; when they cry, you cry too.   I'm thinking the Lord is that way too for each one of us. He "feels" our hurt, sadness and tears b/c He loves us! GRJ 8-15-2012



A head full of knowledge is a useful thing, but does not compare to a heart full of love, a life full of compassion, a listening ear and a helping hand. GRJ 8-10-12


You can never outgive the Lord but you must take the first step before it is God's turn to reply; and, He will reply using the "same measure" you used with one important clarification: His measure/giving is relative. Just think, when the widow gave all she had, then it was time for God to give all He had. Luke 6: 38; Luke 21: 3, 4.

One sign of the strength of a friendship is not necessarily the number of years you have walked together on life's journey but the number of times you have caught the bullet meant for your friend without your friend ever knowing it.  GRJ 8-2-2012



Jacob honestly believed that “I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning”, Genesis 37: 35. Jacob believed, based on all the “facts” that his big miracle (his son being alive) was gone forever and that door was shut for good.  When the door to your big miracle is closed, God has another door open that you don’t know about.  And, about 13 years later, Jacob found out that God had a bigger miracle in place with Joseph alive, 2nd only to Pharaoh, rejoined with his family in total forgiveness and able to provide for the famine his daddy, Jacob, didn’t know about in Genesis 37.  God provides a bigger miracle every time.  GRJ 8-1-2012


“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.”  Genesis 45: 5. Joseph (a type of Christ) saw God’s faithful hands at work throughout the 13 years or so his father “knew” he was dead.  His brothers didn’t know where Joseph was; God did.  His brothers didn’t know where he had gone; God did.  His brothers lost track of Joseph; God walked with Joseph. His brothers didn’t have a clue; God had His perfect plan. His brothers didn’t know about Joseph’s future; God’s hands held Joseph’s future which included blessings beyond imagination for his brothers and a surprise for his Daddy. 



Hey, Mom (and Dad!): Your prayers for your children/family/friends will continue being answered right on into eternity.  Keep praying, keep the faith, keep believing and keep hope alive b/c the Lord works His plan for every single prayer you pray.  And, His work never stops.  Amen! GRJ 8-3-2012

Keep chasing after God's Will and, remember, His blessings will outrun and overtake you. What's even more amazing is His blessings are always better than the ones I had thought of or even planned! Yep, they are:) "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 28: 2 GRJ 7-30-2012


R. G. LeTourneau was a man of faith in shoeleather and a testimony to me as I look back on his life. The book about his life is very much worth the reading. God bless his legacy and his testimony. God is so good


Sometimes I cry over spilled milk and then I remember that the Lord owns "the cattle upon a thousand hills." Psalm 50: 10 Uuuummmm, silly me:) GRJ 7-30-2012


I think the Lord is up to something greater than all of us! I am excited! "For who hath despised the day of small things?" Zechariah 4: 10 In other words, never despise any small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see His work begin.



Your conversation can draw the person you are talking to and many other, then unseen/unknown people to the Saviour. A conversation of compassion ignited the heart of the one woman at the well in John 4: 29, 30, 39, and 41 so much so that she forgot her empty waterpot and went/told the people in the city of the Living Water.  Many believed her words and many more, b/c of her, came to hear Him and believed Christ’s words, but all that believed were saved that day. GRJ 7-24-2012









Your faith can be the turning point in another person’s life.  It was for the paralyzed man. He was saved and set free of his crippling disease the moment “(w)hen Jesus saw THEIR faith. . . “ Mark 2: 5 Just thinking. . . I wonder who those unnamed faithful friends were that carried that paralyzed man to the Saviour.  GRJ 7-23-2012



If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. --African proverb



It is, Benjamin Nolot said it this way: “Our eyes have been opened to our world in a way we have never seen it before. The people we met, the faces we saw, and the stories we heard have made us different and changed the course of our lives. We have been struck with a wound that we pray we never recover from."




Yes, we Christians get knocked down, many times b/c of our own doings. And, you may have caught a glimpse of me when I'm down. But remember this my friend, we never stay down! My Daddy sees to that!! "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand." Psalm 37: 23, 24   GRJ 7-10-2012






Fireworks in the Church on the 4th! Josh, 12 years of age, used to ride our Church van on Sundays until he started going away on weekends.  However, every Sunday at 9:40 a.m., our Church van would stop at his trailer, knock on the door and leave a tract. This went on for months and months. Several weeks ago, while in his neighborhood passing out VBS invitations, I ran into Josh and we talked.  He said he’d like to come to VBS.  On Monday, as promised, he came.  On Tuesday he was not at home but his Dad told me where he might be.  Well, we found him and he came the 2nd night.  Last night, he didn’t want to come b/c someone (a “friend”) stole his bike.  Josh came anyway. After VBS, the Child Evangelism counselor and Josh “came looking for me”.  Josh had trusted Christ as his Saviour and he gave me a hug. Don’t give up on that Josh in your life.  Christ never gave up on you or me! Don’t you just love fireworks?!! 7-5-2012










So your friend “bothers” you with (i) prayer requests, (ii) asking your advice, (iii) wanting your participation, (iv) wanting you to attend some “special” event, (v) wanting to just share another one of his/her “so-called” blessings, (vi) wanting you to give your time and money to a certain cause, and (vii) wanting to just talk.  Be thankful, he/she is a true friend.  And pray they never stop b/c their “bothering” you shows just how much they believe in you/your heart.  Yep, they do. GRJ 7-3-2012




Don’t stop believing. 

Don’t stop believing.  Keep the faith. Lazarus was dead for four days.  His sisters, Mary and Martha, were upset. They both had warned Christ of Lazarus’ sickness, yet Christ showed up four days late. They both told Him, upon His late arrival, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11. For that moment they stopped believing. But that didn’t stop Christ!  I’m glad our doubts and the inability of others (i.e., dead Lazarus couldn’t help!) will not stop Him from performing His will. And, dead Lazarus heard the Saviour’s voice again!  GRJ 6-20-2012


The Lord has a way, you think, of turning everything upside down and then, later, you realize the Lord was just making it “Right side up” for you all along!!  Oh, yeah, He works that way!  GRJ 6-21-2012


The Happiest Heart

The happiest heart is the heart in motion for the Lord & others.  Matthew 22: 37, 39.





If God is using you

If God is using you, then no one else can!
Think about that, it's true. For example, if God is using you to bless others, then even if those "others" misuse your blessings, abuse your kindness and can't even see your compassion, no problem, b/c God is using you so they really can't! Thus, keep letting God use you no matter what! GRJ 6-13-2012



When God says

"When God says, “’Just Do it' you need to 'Just Do it in faith and abandon the excuses that are holding you back from God's best!!'" Feel a little fire burning! GRJ 6-10-2012



What you see

Never let what you see change what you believe (your faith) in your heart or weaken/destroy the commitments you have made.  “. . . the just shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10: 38





Less than God’s Calling

Tell you a secret that is true for my life: If you do less than what God has called you to do then you will never be happy; you will only have substituted joy. It matters not the reason whether you think you need to do less b/c (i) your spouse says so, (ii) spend more time with children (iii) need to work more for the finances (iv) somebody at church hurt you bad (v) need your rest or (vi) you fill in the blank. For me, no excuse works. Not a single one b/c I don't want substituted joy, sort of like looking at pictures of fried chicken instead of having it on the plate in front of you. For me, that's where friends come in to help. Let's encourage one another to fulfill the calling every day of our lives. No judging allowed either! Encourage and build up one another. Let's roll GRJ 6-6-2012


Change their minds!

Paul was judged wrongfully after a shipwreck and while a prisoner (when it rained it poured in Paul's life!). But after some time and their watching Paul's life, those who judged him wrongfully, well, ". . . they changed their minds. . . " Acts 28: 6 Hey, don't give too much thought to judgments from others! Eventually, the Lord sets the score straight. . . every single time!! Remember also, those who judge never have all the facts and never have seen your heart. GRJ 6-5-2012


Someone and you

For someone, you are the counselor, prayer warrior and faith partner in their life that makes the difference. The Lord knows that, put you there for that purpose and will sustain you to hang in there as a part of God’s plan for that someone’s life.  Btw, did I mention that the Lord will bless you for letting Him "use" you to bless that someone?!

GRJ 6-5-2012


Hold on!

Hold on! It will make you stronger.  But, it is the Lord’s hand holding you that will keep you secure and safe in His plan.



 Your Last Day

If today was your last, does that friend you spent time laughing/joking with yesterday (1) know where you'll spend eternity, (2) know how to get there themselves and (3) already has his/her reservations taken care of, Romans 10: 9, 10, 13; John 3:16; 14:6? Or, does your friend only know that you were just a nice, fun-loving person? 5-22-2012



Bigger Than You

When that Vision on your heart is bigger than you and that hunger in your soul just can't be satisfied, that means that the Lord has the right Plan (His Plan not yours!!)with the right people, the right passion, the right power, the right pathway (course/direction) and the right purse ($$$) to get 'er done in His perfect timing. Thank Him for the vision and for that hunger that just "eats" away inside you. Keep the vision and stay hungry!! Can I get a witness?!!! Feel a little fire burning! 5-22-2012

Keep Your Eyes on the Lord

Never look at how big your mountain is; always look at how big your God is. Never look at how high you must climb that mountain; just take the next step. God is in each step of faith, one step at a time.  GRJ 6-3-2012


The Patience of Job.

We all know about Job’s patience. But remember that patience is only one side of the coin.  The other side is Job’s persistent trust and love for the Lord.  When everything else was gone and all his “friends” either abandoned or accused him wrongfully, Job trusted and loved the Lord through it all.  Job was persistent and his unrelenting persistence naturally resulted in the “Job’s patience” we all hear about.  GRJ 6-1-2012


Helping the Poor- a Wise Investment! “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness (restore him to full health).” Psalm 41: 1-3.


When the Spirit of the Lord moved upon Samson, Samson had to move! Judges 13: 25. The young lion understood this after he thought he couldn't lose the battle that Samson couldn't win. BTW, Samson won!! Judges 14: 6.


Lord, as I walk through this world, let Your Grace light my path, Your Mercy shelter my soul, and Your Love heal my heart. -- author unknown


A daughter is just a little girl who grew up to be a friend. --author unknown




When it’s my time to leave this earth, I want you to have to pry God’s rake and God’s hoe from my cold, dead hands in His harvest fields with my KJV Bible in one pocket, my prayer list in another and a set of invitations in a third pocket that I’m getting ready to mail for the “next” church meeting. The revival of one person causes the revival of many and the salvation of souls.  GRJ 5-23-2012






So, you’re thinking that today is “just another day.”  God can handle that one!


“Just another day” in your life might just bring a surprise blessing from God that begins a new path of miracles for you and other needy/hurting people around you that (i) simply launches your faith, (ii) makes you forget those failures that weigh you down and (iii) supercharges your heart to know that, with God, all things really are possible even at your age and, yes, God can & will do it again through and in your life beginning on “just another day.”J


It was just another day for Elisha out plowing in the fields with twelve pairs of oxen. Been there, done that with mules. He was just a farmboy sweating and working in the dirt behind some smelly, old oxen.  He didn’t even know it, but God had Elijah coming right down Elisha’s street that “just another day”.  And, Elijah did something that sweating farmboy Elisha would have never dreamed of.  Elijah casts Elijah’s mantle across that farmboy’s shoulders, calling Elisha into the ministry walk that later secured Elisha a double portion of God’s spirit that Elijah had enjoyed. I Kings 19: 19 and 2 Kings 2: 9.  GRJ 5-25-2012




God’s Wagons of Blessings


·         God has additional blessings on the way to you right now. Remember when Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, that Jacob at first didn't believe until Jacob saw the wagons filled with the blessings from Joseph (Joseph was a type of Christ). We need to, by faith, believe that God's wagons are on the way before we see them. And they are. BTW, and those wagons are filled with enough blessings for the journey. Genesis 45: 26, 27   5-9-2012

 Prayer Changes Everything

The Lord has been showing me the importance of our prayers and how the Lord takes the people we pray for and turns them into blessings we never, ever would have dreamed of or expected. A missionary couple visited our church about 5 years ago. It was just the Mr. & the Mrs. then. I put them on my prayer list, thinking I'd never see them again, and just prayed for them. Last Sunday, this same missionary couple, now with four children, was in my Church teaching Sunday School (the Mr. taught us men and the Mrs. taught the ladies) and preaching (he had a great message on Gideon’s 300 men v. over a 100,000 man army). As I was sitting there listening to the children sing, the Mrs. sing and play the piano and later, him preach, I thought, “Lord, You take the people we pray for and bring them back into our lives to bless us in ways we never even thought of. I think I’ll just keep praying.”  And, then, on Sunday night the Lord brought Pastor Onesmus, whom I also have on my prayer list, all the way from Kenya, Africa, to preach a wonderfully, challenging message on the Lord’s desire to have close fellowship with us. Amen. Keep praying and let God keep blessing! GRJ May 13, 2012.


Forgive unconditionally

When you forgive you are set free! When you forgive you receive. When you forgive you stop blaming God. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” Luke 6: 37. We are to forgive those who have “trespassed” against us and to love/bless our enemies. Matthew 5:44; 18: 35. Joseph unconditionally forgave his brothers who wanted to kill him. My belief is that there are no exceptions to unconditional forgiveness.  If we do anything less, we are blaming God, we also are leaving ourselves in bondage and we do so, often, for ulterior motives (control, self-pity, want to hold onto the hurt, manipulation, etc.). I had one fellow tell me that he “just refused to sweep things under the rug.”  I told him to sweep it under Christ’s blood! GRJ 5-17-2012


"BUT, I'm just a mother, what can I do?"


How many times have you heard someone say this or perhaps have said it yourself?  We often overlook just what a responsibility we carry as mothers. 


Sarah Edwards, wife of the famous 18th-century preacher Jonathan Edwards, was a mother who took her job very seriously.  A study done in 1900 by A.E. Winship lists some of the accomplishments of the 1,400 Edwards descendants he located.  The Edwards family produced:


          13 college presidents

          65 professors

          100 lawyers and a dean of a law school

          30 judges

          66 physicians and a dean of a medical school

          80 holders of public office, including:


                   3 United States senators

                   3 mayors of large cities       

                   3 state governors

                   1 vice-president of the United States

                   1 controller of the U.S. Treasury


What does God want to do with you and your family?  Are you willing to pay the price of time, discipline, and love (as found in I Corinthians 13)?  Our leaders of tomorrow depend on you, MOTHER!  Mother’s Day, May 2012.




            Lester Roloff, founder of the Roloff Home for Girls, a Christian organization in Texas, was asked by a very concerned mother if he would let her daughter come to the Home.  This girl was not only addicted to drugs, her brain had been virtually destroyed by them.  She lay in a bed unconscious, not knowing anyone, having no brain activity, getting nourishment from a feeding tube.  The doctors said there was no hope for her.

            Brother Roloff regretfully told the mother there was no way they could take her daughter because they did not have the facilities or staff to take care of a person in that condition.  After going back home, the lady earnestly prayed for her daughter and begged God to heal her. She believed God definitely told her that her daughter would be completely healed.

            The mother then contacted Brother Roloff again and told him she thought that was the place God wanted her daughter.  He reluctantly agreed to let her come but told the mother he did not know anything they could do except let her hear the Word of God.  The girl was placed in a bed, still unconscious, and the Bible On Tape was played in her room constantly, day and night.  After a few weeks, some movement, very slight, was detected in the girl's hands.  Every few days there was more activity in the girl's body until, after a few months, she woke up.  Nothing at all had been done for this girl other than being fed physically and being fed spiritually by having the Bible played in her room 24/7.  This girl was soon able to enter the program there with the other girls and graduate.

            This story was told by Dr. Lee Roberson, president of Tennessee Temple College, in 1974 when this lovely young lady came up to the platform to receive her diploma, graduating summa cum laude.  Never underestimate the power of God's Word or of prayer! 5-5-2012





The Place of Your Sacrifices

The sacrifices you make for the Lord become the place from which God’s surprise blessings and God’s miracle that you need will come back to you. The Shunammite woman sacrificed her resources to build a room onto her house to bless God’s work through Elisha by providing a resting place and food for him in his travels.  And, AFTER her sacrifices, it was through Elisha that God gave her a son she didn’t have and then, after the son died and she had carried his dead body to that room, God gave him back again to her.  You can never out-give or out-sacrifice the Lord. . . Never! 2 Kings 4: 20, 21.  GRJ 5-14-2012


·         Not God’s Last Miracle

·         The Lord Who gave you one miracle, didn't give you His last one!  


A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s unchanging, unconditional, steadfast love can make possible what is impossible and change what cannot be changed. The Mother, after her child had died, told her husband, “It shall be well”; told Elisha’s servant, “It is well”; and told Elisha, “I’m not letting go of God’s promises to me through you”(Raye’s interpretation!) in 2 Kings 4:23, 26, 31.  This Mother spoke in faith against the facts, would not stop believing against all odds and received God’s miracle (her son alive and well and returned to her).  Yes, Mothers, you do make that kind of difference!! 2-14-2012


Your Last Day

If today was your last, does that friend you spent time laughing/joking with yesterday (1) know where you'll spend eternity, (2) know how to get there themselves and (3) already has his/her reservations taken care of, Romans 10: 9, 10, 13; John 3:16; 14:6? Or, does your friend only know that you were just a nice, fun-loving person? 5-22-2012


Bigger Than You

When that Vision on your heart is bigger than you and that hunger in your soul just can't be satisfied, that means that the Lord has the right Plan (His Plan not yours!!)with the right people, the right passion, the right power, the right pathway (course/direction) and the right purse ($$$) to get 'er done in His perfect timing. Thank Him for the vision and for that hunger that just "eats" away inside you. Keep the vision and stay hungry!! Can I get a witness?!!! Feel a little fire burning! 5-22-2012


The Top of God’s Heart

That prayer request/need that occupies the top of your heart also occupies the top of God's heart as well!


Never Stop

If you truly love and care for someone, then you throw away the option of ever stopping that loving and caring for that someone. And that someone knows it too! GRJ 4-24-2012




The Harvest

Although you will never see all the blessings from the Lord for your faithfulness of heart, others will see and receive the same because of your faith like they did because of David’s. David’s son, Solomon, reaped the harvest of a lifetime!  “. . . they . . . went unto their tents (homes) joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David His servant, and for Israel His people. I Kings 8:66






Little Things

·         Always enjoy and appreciate the "little things" and those "little moments" in life where you can bless another person and/or when another person blesses you. It's not the "big events" but those every day, "little events" that ignite the flames in your heart and you can use to ignite the flames in another's heart. Yep, the little blessings, like just talking with a friend, add up to the big event we call life. The Lord fills us with all those little blessings all along life's highway. Sometimes we just have to stop and count our blessings. Other times, we just have to stop and be the blessing another person needs. Go ahead, put a smile on somebody's face today, whether you feel like it or not!! Have a great day. GRJ 4-18-2012



God’s Ability not Yours

Never measure the problem you face by your ability to handle or cope with it (“I can’t handle this!”), but by God’s ability.  “When we have exhausted our store of endurance, when our strength has failed before the day is half done, when we reach the end of our many resources, our Father’s full giving has only begun.  His love has no measure, His grace has no limits, His power has no boundaries known unto man.  For out of His infinite riches in Christ, He giveth and giveth and giveth again!”









·         Do you ever feel trapped?! What Israel saw as an inescapable trap of defeat against the Red Sea, God turned into an unending testimony of miraculous victory. Whatever God leads us or allows us to walk into, He will also lead us out of. What we cannot do for ourselves, God will do for us. God is never limited by our limitations. Exodus 14.   3-28-2012




·         When there’s no escape route

·         The barrier you are backed up against will become the blessing you walk on to victory/safety with the Lord. In Exodus 14 the Red Sea had Israel blocked in with the enemy (sickness, financial woes, friends that turn on you, whatever) approaching. In v. 21 the Red Sea, on God's timetable/plan, moved out of the way "all that night". Parents watched the Red Sea do the impossible all night. Parents wondered if God would continue to hold up the Red Sea (their only way of escape/blessing) as the hours went by through the night until morning. Would God continue the blessing? Parents had to wait until God said "go" before crossing with their enemy waiting to destroy/enslave them. Parents had to walk to victory inbetween the walls of their destruction on both sides saluting them and the enemy coming after them. And, the Parents got to witness those same walls destroying their enemies chasing after them. The Parents found God to be faithful, the barrier to be a blessing and their trial to become one of their eternal trademark testimonies. They did a little shouting too.  3-29-2012





Your Heart

Your heart’s commitments will launch another person to do greater things than they ever dreamed of.  Never underestimate the impact of your commitment, faith, compassion and relentless determination on another’s life.  Daniel’s faith caused King Darius to issue a “revival decree” b/c King Darius’ heart saw an eternally steadfast God in the life of a steadfast Daniel.  Daniel 6:26





First Love

So you love someone.  That’s great. When you love someone, then (i) you’ll have to make time for other things, like work, chores and people, b/c you’re addicted to spending all your time with/for that someone, (ii) you’ll have to restrain yourself from paying out all you have on or for that someone, (iii) being able to focus on other things, like work, breathing, etc., will prove difficult b/c that someone consumes your heart/thought process, (iv) you’ll give up anything and everything that would harm and/or take away from your love for that someone, (v) you’ll look for ways to create/do those “little things” in that someone’s life that make eternal/sweet/special memories, (vi) your unconditional love for that someone will be the anchor that just keeps holding and holding, and (vii) in this “love process”, without you or that someone noticing it, you’ll launch that someone into the fulfillment and capturing of dreams that, until that someone met you, they only chased. Our love for Christ is called and, we’re to always come back to, our first love by renewing the fire through a renewal of our commitments to Him by our feet/heart in motion. Revelation 2:4.


Waiting is Never Easy

Waiting can be very stressful. You may be “waiting” but God never is. In fact, while Israel was “waiting” all night (Exodus 14:21), God was busy preparing the pathway for Israel that only God could do.  “Waiting” resulted in (i) God making a way where there was no way, (ii) God causing the Red Sea to do what was never a human option or consideration, (iii) Israel resting under God’s night light, v.20,  in order to make the journey, and (iv) God making a memory that would encourage Israel to trust the Lord in those impossible situations where there is no human option of escape or deliverance whatsoever. When all my options are gone I still have the Lord and He creates options I never could dream of.  3-30-2012





Your Faith is the Difference

Your faith will make the difference especially if you're the only one that has the faith for the current job, journey, mountain, sickness, heartache, broken friend.  It only takes one, that's you, who will not bend or backup.  God restored all in spite of (i) a total lack of faith by everyone around David, I Samuel 30:6 (they talked of stoning David, what love, huh!!), (ii) the total lack of help, support or strength from anyone, especially those taken captive and in need of rescue, v. 2,3 and, (iii) a total absence of anyone to encourage David, except for the Lord. v. 6.  When it came down to David alone (been there with Goliath already!), David's faith walked against all of this and recovered all, v. 18, 19.  Keep going with your faith even if you are going against all odds.  God often works best in those hopeless, discouraging, stressful situations that have clouded our lives for the moment.  3-17-12



·         God’s Love



·         I was just thinking. . . God will always love me unconditionally no matter what. Yep, I don't have to meet His expections. My Mom always loved me that same way too. Uuuummmm, and my True Friends love me unconditionally as well without any silly expectations or conditions attached. Oh, yeah, that's love.



Those storms in Your Life


Those storms in your life do not necessarily mean you or your life is out of control. We all have storms through no “fault” of our own. Those storms arrive on our doorstep for many reasons, including to (i) make you stronger, (ii) increase your faith, (iii) help you to understand another person’s storms, (iv) give you a testimony that influences others for Christ, (v) realize in a greater way the eternal, unconditional, compassionate faithfulness of Christ, (vi) just let you see that, with Christ, you can walk on water even in the midst of your storm, (vii) push you to enlarge your “coasts” of influence, and/or (viii) let you see that Christ was never surprised by the storm but already had His plan in place. You may think of additional reasons.  I wonder if Peter thought the storm was worth getting to walk on water in Matthew 14:29.  I’m certain Peter never forgot what Christ did for him that day including picking him up when his distracted faith was causing him to sink. And you will never forget either the blessings of Christ in every storm of your life.  3-15-12





It’s great to be faithful.  It’s even better when someone thanks you for your faithfulness.  But you know what being faithful or having faithfulness is all about?  It’s about being addicted.  You say that someone is a faithful husband.  In reality, it’s b/c he’s addicted to you (just can’t get enough of being around you).  You say someone is faithful in the ministry.  Actually, he/she is addicted to the ministry and the Lord, just can’t get enough.  You thank a friend for their faithfulness.  They just think the world of you. They are just addicted to you as a friend.  You can trust their friendship b/c of the addiction.  They’re not going anywhere b/c they can’t.  They are an addict.  Yep, this is one addiction I don’t ever want to recover from.  I want to be an addict to my wife, my children, God’s ministry and, oh yeAh, my friends.  “. . .they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 16:15



Keep Plowing

Don't let the storms of life change your course, your character, your commitment, your convictions or your companions. Keep your hand on the plow, your eyes on the finish line, your feet in your boots ("die with your boots on") and your faith in your Saviour. As an old farmer would say, "Keep plowing, the sun is not down yet!"



Hold on to that person

When you’re tempted to give up on somebody, don’t!  Christ has never and will never give up on you.  Hold onto that person with compassion and mercy.  You may be that person’s only ray of hope.



Outside your human vision

When you’re under stress/fear because of what you’re facing, remember, it is then that God has His greatest protection/victory just outside your human vision. Elisha’s servant was stressed out until “the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17






God often speaks in a “voice” we can hear/recognize (our language).  If I am normally critical, judgmental and unforgiving then that often will be how God “speaks” to me.  I think I prefer a forgiving, compassionate, understanding, 2nd chances and encouraging “voice”.  Don’t you?



True Friend’s Bridge

A True Friend allows you to make mistakes and still loves you/believes in you anyway.  A True Friend will not let you burn the bridge between the two of you.  A True Friend’s compassion, love and forgiveness make that bridge fireproof!



Walking with the Lord Jesus Christ does not keep you out of life’s fiery furnaces, but it does make you fireproof.  Daniel 3:27



·         God’s Sweet Blessings




·         You don't see or hear or smell anything, but the sweet blessings of God especially for you are already in the works. No joke. Remember in Exodus 3, when God appeared in the burning bush to Moses to get him to deliver Israel from Egypt? Israel didn't know anything about it. Nope, not a thing. Yet, God chose Moses over Moses' objections to get the job done. And, initially when Moses showed up, Pharoah made things much worse and Israel told Moses to get lost. But God wouldn't let Moses abandon the task b/c God had a Red Sea blessing of deliverance on the way that Israel didn't know about. Yep, God is preparing a person or persons right now to show up with God's blessings just for you. You may not even know them. And, God may have to persist with you to get you to finally get moving toward your Red Sea of blessings. But, God has it in His pipeline as a part of His perfect Plan for you. And, it's ok to thank Him before you see or hear or smell those sweet blessings. 2-29-12

·         It’s what God sees

·          So, someone has misjudged you, condemned you, misinterpreted you, abandoned your friendship, and verbally accused you wrongfully. Never a problem. David's brother, Eliab, did the same in I Samuel 17: 28. Eliab was wrong (could only see the outward appearance). God was right (God looks on the heart). And, David, walking in God's will, God's power and God's plan, eliminated Goliath. And Israel celebrated God's victory in v. 52. Btw, ol' Eliab celebrated too. Do you get God's drift? It's what God sees, knows and is doing in your life, not another person trying to play the role of your Holy Spirit, that counts.

·         ____________________________________________________________

·          Are you facing a battle?

·          Remember, the anointing comes before the battle. I Samuel 16:13. If God has brought you to a battle, He has already anointed you with the strength and faith to win the battle and go beyond it. Btw, the anointing is His strength and His presence with you all the way.



Is that Mountain in your way too high?

·         Also, if you're facing a mountain that you think you can't climb, remind yourself that your God created and owns that mountain and He can either set you on top ("God. . .set me upon a very high mountain", Ezekiel 40: 2) of that mountain or just give you the faith to speak its complete removal ("If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove" Matthew 17:20) or just give you some angel food to climb the thing (discouraged, depressed Elijah was given angel food--not angel food cake!-by God and "went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God." I Kings 19:8).



Testimony of a teenage boy!


        Did you hear of the teenage boy who changed the mind of a king in one conversation?  David did in I Samuel 17.  In verses 32 and 33, when David offered to go and fight Goliath, Saul wouldn’t hear of such a thing b/c of David’s youth, his inexperience and the size/experience/strength of Goliath.  Nothing added up for David’s bold statement of faith.  Been there myself a few times! Then, in verses 34-36, David told of God’s past blessings about David’s victory, as a teenager, in killing a lion and a bear and recovering the stolen lambs.  David’s testimony was so convincing that Saul “believed” that David’s God could do it again and told David to go get Goliath in the power of the Lord, v. 37. Now, I know that a teenager has no strength to kill a lion and a bear.  It had to be the Lord.  I also noticed that David did not talk about his burdens, such as, sheep that died, bad weather, stumped toes, scrapes, bruises and his father, Jesse, forgetting to call David to Samuel’s sacrifice.  No, David counted his blessings, not his burdens.   With the grace of God, you and I can do the same by faith. So, count your blessings today and leave those burdens far behind you.  Then, have a little fun with the Lord and go slay Goliath!  David did while all of Israel trembled in fear.  Faith has a way of doing that!!












God’s Will

Some people ask me, “How do I know God’s Will for my life?”  If you wake up every morning and do what God wants you to do that day (pray, read His Word, witness, go to work, give it your very best, make mistakes, etc.), then that is God’s Will for your life.  Yes, make all the future plans you want, but knowing God’s Will is simply doing the daily walk and God will direct your steps in His will for your life. “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16: 9.  All the surprises, disappointments, failed expectations, friends who leave you and those times when your heart breaks are woven into each step that God directs. Romans 8:28. God will not let you miss a turn, His schedule or, even your future plans.  In fact, you’ll discover that God makes your future plans a whole lot better than even you planned.  Hey, so what does God want you to do today? Go ahead, just do it and you’re right on course!




·         That Friend beside you




·         It does not matter how tired, discouraged, disappointed or heartbroken you are right now; just keep walking forward with a smile on your face and a word of encouragement in your heart because that friend walking right beside you may have only your smile and your encouragement left to get him/her through one of the most difficult times of their lives that you know nothing about. Putting your faith in Christ, keep smiling, keep walking, keep encouraging, keep believing because Christ, your True Friend, is doing the same for you right now and He will see you both through. Let’s roll!!





·         What the Lord sees in you

·          It does not matter what others fail to see in you. It does not matter what they think or what conclusions about you they have already come up with. What matters, and the only thing that matters, is what the Lord sees in you, b/c He sees your heart held in His hands and molded by His will for you. Jesse, the father of David, failed to even call his son, David, when the Prophet Samuel asked for ALL his children to come to the Lord’s sacrifice.  I Samuel 16:5, 10, 11. But God didn’t forget, made Jesse go get the “boy” and God anointed David, a MAN (God saw the boy David’s heart molded by God’s will) after His own heart, to be King, v. 13, long before David ever took the position of King or became a man.  I Samuel 13: 14. God’s choice and anointing on you for His task for you takes place often LONG before God’s timing brings it to pass.  Hey, someone in your life failing to see that potential/miracle/blessings in you. . . so what.  God’s vision is perfect and His timing is right.  Amen to that.




                              YOUR GOLIATH

He is mean

He is untrustworthy

He is bigger than you

He is stronger than you

He is a liar

He hates you

He has stabbed you in the back (more than once)

He is loud

He yells

He is intimidating

There seems to be no way past him and he won’t move

He constantly tells you that you are a loser

He constantly challenges your faith

He mocks your trust

He mocks your friendships

He tells you there is no such thing as a True Friend

He tries to get you to question all the acts of kindness from others

He tries to tire you down in your faith

He tells you to burn all your bridges

He tells you that you must fight in your own strength



But, you believe in/trust God.  So pick up the stone, take that step forward of faith and let ‘er rip.  God’s power/guidance/plan is in that stone.  And, Goliath is in for the surprise of his life (his last surprise, btw!)!! And, you won’t have to listen to/face Goliath anymore! Amen.



    “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17: 45-47        





May God . . . 

remember you like Noah,

favor you like Moses,

honor you like Mary,

fight for you like the Israelites,

prosper you like Isaac,

promote you like Joseph,

intervene for you like Esther,

protect you like Daniel,

use you like Paul,

heal you like Naaman,

answer you like Elijah,

anoint you like David,

walk with you like Enoch,

and keep you safe like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.




Christian  A B C 's

Act instead of Argue

Build instead of Brag

Climb instead of Criticize

Dig instead of Depreciate

Encourage instead of Envy

Fight instead of Faint

Give instead of Grumble

Help instead of Harm

Invite instead of Ignore

Join instead of Jeer

Kneel instead of Kick

Love instead of Lampoon

Move instead of Mold

Nurture instead of Neglect

Obey instead of Obstruct

Pray instead of Pout

Quicken instead of Quit

Rescue instead of Ridicule

Shout instead of Shrink

Try instead of Tremble

Undergird instead of Undermine

Vindicate instead of Vilify

Witness instead of Wilt

eXterminate instead of eXcuse

Yield instead of Yell

Zip instead of Zigzag




You may not understand those bumps in the road

And, it makes no sense that the journey is so long

But with God in the driver’s seat, everything will become clearer

Because you’ll see His answer, when God turns the next corner