Friday, June 23, 2017

Study Time!

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

For a few weeks I have written about a possible series on the Holy Spirit (see Pentecost and WorshipTime:  Pentecost); that series will prayerfully be starting at some point this summer.

Image from Pixabay

The task ahead is arduous; therefore, I will be taking the time to diligently study, read, reflect, write, and pray.  While I have a working outline to guide my studying and writing, I realize the outline will likely change as I learn and grow.


As Paul admonishes his young protégé, Timothy, to study in order to rightly handle, divide the Word of God.  The word “study” in the above passage is to be diligent, to do the necessary work (study, meditation, and prayer) to be approved unto God.  I believe this series is important enough to take the time it deserves in study, prayer, and preparation.  Similar to writing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, this series will not be written quickly.  God will hold me to a higher standard (see James 3:1).

Image from Pixabay

All of that said; I will post when I am able.  Please do not give up on me if I am silent for a few weeks at a time.

Image from Pixabay

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You for the multitudinous blessings You pour out on Your children.  Guide us to take the necessary time in Your Word to learn more about You, others, and ourselves.  Help those of us who preach, teach, and write about Your Word to diligently study Your Word in depth and divide it correctly.  Thank You for instilling in us a hunger for more of You, for more of Your Word, and for Your Holy Spirit Who empowers our Christian walk.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

*Note: This is an edited post shared in 2015 and 2016*
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  (Ephesians 6:4 KJV)

This Sunday, June 18, 2017, is a special day.  A day we set aside to honor those special men in our lives who are fathers—biological and adoptive—as well as spiritual. 

It has been said that any man can be a father but few can be a daddy.  (Fathers create—and can leave, while daddies are there for their children—they nurture and help their children develop.)  They are the ones who discipline and love and protect.  It takes a special man to be a daddy. 

At the outset, I realize some reading this post will have had a challenging relationship with their earthly dad, or perhaps a beloved dad has passed away, or a dad is no longer dad due to a variety of health issues and/or dementia.  My prayer for you is that you will experience God’s comforting, healing presence in the days ahead.

Moreover, there are some reading this post who had a dad that passed away before they had a chance to know him; this is true for me.  Father’s Day can be challenging, yet it is possible to experience the loving presence of God.  

Family Photo Thanksgiving 1971 one of the few photos I have of my dad and me together

I am thankful for some special men who the Lord brought into my life—some for a short season and others for a long season.  I am especially thankful for my spiritual dad who has mentored and discipled me in the faith and taught me so much about living for, loving, and serving the Lord over the last several years.  God knew that I needed a godly male role model and brought him into my life at just the right time. 

Personal Photo

Who in your life is a spiritual father?  How can you be a spiritual father (or parent!) to someone in your life?

In the Scriptures we read that dads are to teach their children about the Lord and treat them with decency and respect, as we see in the above passage from Ephesians.  However, many times this does not happen; children end up hurting and lost, looking to others for the guidance they need.  Some times those they look to do not provide the right kind of guidance—sadly, they end up even more hurt than before.

Despite our relationship with our earthly fathers, we can have a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  He is an amazing, loving daddy.  We can cling to our Heavenly Daddy, like a young child clings to his or her Daddy when hurting or afraid.  Our Heavenly Daddy can and does help us to not be afraid.  He loves us so much; longing only for a relationship with us!

For those of you who are not fathers, thank you for being spiritual fathers!  Spend some time thinking about how you can help the fatherless.

How can you reach out to those without fathers?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Father, thank You for the fathers who gave us life and love.  We thank You for those fathers who teach their children about You.  Encourage the men who are not fathers in society’s eyes—help them to see how they can be spiritual fathers.  Encourage fathers who only see their shortcomings and failures to see what they do well.  For those who do not have fathers or have a difficult relationship with their father, grant them comfort; help them to find spiritual fathers to guide and direct them.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, June 9, 2017

Worship Time: Pentecost

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:1-4 KJV)

In an attempt to keep the concept of Pentecost (June 4, 2017) and the gift of the Holy Spirit fresh in our minds, I would like to offer this opportunity to worship our Redeemer, Sustainer, Savior—our Lord Jesus Christ.  Currently, I am in the planning stage of on a Holy Spirit series—launch date is to be determined.  
Now let us worship the Lord!

There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit

O Spirit of the Living God

Breathe on Me Breath of God

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Spirit of the Living God

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord of All, as we journey onward through this year encourage us to fan the flame within us, so that we will burn ever so brightly and be hot for You alone.  Remind and encourage us to keep the spirit of Pentecost alive in our hearts and minds each day.  Help us to keep our hearts ready to receive a Pentecostal outpouring of our own.  It is only through the baptizing in the Holy Spirit that we will have the courage, strength, and ability to live a Christian life.  Through the Holy Spirit’s work Jesus’ disciples were empowered to do what they could not do before—be bold witnesses for Jesus—we, today, need that same empowering.  Thank You Lord, for sending Your Holy Spirit and for His work in us and around us even today.  In Jesus Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, June 2, 2017


*Note:  This is an edited post from Pentecost 2015 and 2016.  I will most likely be starting a series on the Holy Spirit; please stay tuned.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  (Acts 2:1-4 KJV)

Image from Pixabay

Sunday, June 4, is Pentecost, the day we celebrate the birth of the Church.  It is a day of joy, a celebration of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to His children.  Without the Holy Spirit we could accomplish little—what little we did accomplish would be in our own power and/or strength.  (As a side note: on May 15, 2005, I was water baptized.  In the future, I will share more in a post dedicated to water baptism.)   

Pentecost is the fiftieth and last day of the Easter Season—when the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the church (for more please read Acts 2).  The Holy Spirit came to those who had been waiting and praying for the One promised by Jesus before His ascension.

Image from Pixabay

Likewise, we too, may have to wait for the Holy Spirit to baptize us, to empower us to live a Christian life and to do the ministry God has equipped us to do. (Many times this is separate from the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in us at the moment of our conversion.  At some point in the future, I will address this in an additional blog post or series of posts.)  Receiving the Holy Spirit baptism changed things for me in a very positive way. 

The color red, symbolizing the tongues of fire that came down upon the apostles and those gathered together, is the color of the church at this point in the year.

What else does the symbol of fire represent to you?

What comes to mind?

What does fire do (cleanse, purify, destroy)?   

Image from Pixabay

Yet, Pentecost is much more than this.  Pentecost is when Jesus’ promise (see John 14:15-17) to send a Counselor, a Comforter to be with and empower those He left behind was fulfilled.  It was at this point that the apostles had the power to preach, to heal, to speak in tongues (unlearned languages and spiritual languages), and to cast out demons.

Without this gift of the Holy Spirit, the disciples would have remained fearful (and stayed in hiding) of the religious and political authorities.  We, likewise, without the Holy Spirit are weak, yet when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we can do great things!  Consider the great men and women of faith who have done great things for the Lord (for some examples please see Believing God: Those Who Believed God).

I believe this gift—the baptism of the Holy Spirit—with the speaking of tongues and everything else received by those early followers of Jesus is still available to us today.  It has not died out as some believe.  Just because we do not see certain things much, if at all, today does not mean that the gift given at Pentecost is no longer available to us.  More likely, it is due to us getting too smart for our own good!  Fear gets in the way too.  The Holy Spirit is not to be feared; He is a gentleman and will not come where He is not welcome, nor will He behave in ways that would cause fright.

Image from Pixabay

What experiences have you had with the Holy Spirit?

Have you experienced Pentecost in your life?

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
(John 16:7-8 KJV)

Please join me in prayer:

Dear Jesus, Thank You for fulfilling Your promise of sending the Holy Spirit to us. Thank You for the work that the Holy Spirit does in our lives.  We realize our need for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to live as a Christian and to walk as You walked, Lord.  Without the Holy Spirit baptizing us, we will rely on our flesh to live as we are to live and to fulfill the ministry that You have called us to; something that we cannot do for the long haul.  Come Holy Spirit, fill us with Your presence and empower us to do what we cannot do on our own.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Come Holy Spirit, Come!

Image from Pixabay

Friday, May 26, 2017

Sermon: Revive Us Again!

I am pleased to share with the readers of my blog an audio and a video of a church service I led March 12, 2017.  It is always a blessing to share what God has placed on my heart with His people.  The reason I do what I do here on the blog and when I preach and teach is God empowering me through the Holy Spirit.  On my own, I simply could not do what I do! 

Revival is from God; it is not something that anyone of us can generate!  In this way, God gets the glory, not man.  This is good to keep in mind when we pray for revival or hear about revival.  Keep in mind, there is a “cost” to revival—listen to hear what the cost might look like.

If you would like to read the text of this sermon, please search the archives of this blog—a few weeks ago, I shared this message in a slightly different form over two weeks. 

To listen to the audio (it is clearer than the audio on the video), please click here:  

To view the video, please click here:  

You can also find the audio and video on the right side bar of this blog.

What follows is a description I provided with the YouTube video:

Sermon delivered March 12, 2017, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Albia, Iowa.  Video is from the traditional service.

Hymns included (not all are on the video): O Spirit of the Living God; Spirit Song; and Revive Us Again.

Scriptures:  2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51:1-12; Psalm 85:4-13

Currently, I am a lay speaker in the United Methodist Church; my status is such that I can preach in my church and others when called.  (I am one of several lay members who are called by the Lord to lead worship and preach the Word of God when our pastor is away.)

Let us all consider what it means to pray for revival and to expect revival in our own lives!

From My Heart to Yours,


Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
(2 Timothy 3:14-15 KJV)

*Note:  I shared this post in 2015 and 2016—the message is still timely, in my opinion.  I have edited it slightly for this year.

Personal photo

This Sunday, May 14, we celebrate Mother’s Day. Therefore, it is a great time to reflect on the special women (our mom and others) in our lives who nurtured us; perhaps, they still nurture us, even if from afar.  There are so many different types of mothers:  those who give birth to and raise their child/children, those who are brave and allow their child to be adopted, there are adoptive mothers, foster mothers, and spiritual mothers.  So many different ways to be a mom to many—great is the impact of moms on the lives of those they nurture.

At the outset, I realize some reading this post will have had a challenging relationship with their mom, or perhaps a dear mom has passed away, or a mom is no longer mom due to a variety of health issues and/or dementia.  My prayer for you is that you will experience God’s comforting, healing presence in the days ahead.

Likewise, some women reading this post will struggle due to their longing to be a mom.  My heart goes out to you, so many of us with “mommy hearts” (this includes me) know we are to nurture another person.  In my case, I have found contentment in being a nurturing presence in the lives of my friends.

Personal photo

In thinking about some of the ladies who have nurtured me spiritually I recall a couple of dear ladies from my earliest years—both were apart of my life due to Sunday school and church attendance.

Many times, if it were not for our mom we would not be in church. It seems spiritual nurture, many times, is dependent on mom. As a little girl, I attended Sunday school and church faithfully, thanks to my mother. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of church and Sunday school.

Particularly, during the early years (pre-school through second grade), two ladies—Ruby and Clara—taught my peers and me a lot about Jesus and His love for us.  

For many of us, Sunday school and Vacation Bible school teachers have a huge impact on us and how we grew in our faith.  What sort of impact did your Sunday school and Vacation Bible school teachers have on you?

Personal Photo

How have you been nurtured by your mom or your spiritual mothers (teachers, aunts, cousins, friends of the family)?

How can you nurture someone in need?  Look at how Paul encouraged Timothy regarding his faith that he learned from Lois and Eunice (his grandmother and mother) (see 2 Timothy 1:5). 

Therefore, in reflecting on this special day let us think about everything that moms do for their off-spring (this includes spiritual moms too!).

Moms do a lot for us.

They care for us when we are ill.

They comfort us after bad dreams.  

They encourage us on difficult days.

It is clear that moms everywhere deserve this special day of remembrance.

How can we thank our moms (birth and spiritual) at this special time?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord of All, thank You for our mothers who gave us life and nurture.  Thank You for the spiritual mothers in our lives who taught us about Jesus and His love for us and who influenced our growth in the faith and faithfully prayed for us—giving us encouragement at just the right time.  For those who long to be a mommy grant them a special sense of Your comforting presence.  Bless our mothers today and always.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Happy Mother’s Day!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Spiritual Nourishment

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  
(Romans 10:17 KJV)

*Note:  In June 2016 I shared the following post on spiritual nourishment.  Due to a variety of factors, I am sensing that it needs to be shared this week (with some editing).

From time to time God’s children go through dry times or perhaps even a time that could be defined as a “dark night of the soul”.  Truthfully, I am currently journeying through such a time.  This heightens my awareness for the need to deeply nourish my soul (beyond Sunday morning worship).  Therefore, I would like to encourage you to take the time to view one (or more of the videos) found on the right side bar under the heading "Spiritual Nourishment".  

While Pastor Richard is not my pastor, he is a dear brother in Christ.  I have found his messages to be meaningful and nourishing.   It will be worth your time.  

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord, Open our hearts to what You have to say to us through Your Word and from Your servants.  Thank You for the Truth that comes in reading, studying, and hearing Your Word.  Stir up within us a hunger for You and Your Word that cannot be easily satisfied.  Even in the midst of our struggles we seek You and Your face, simply desiring to know You more fully.  Thank you for those who capably preach and teach Your Word, pointing us to Jesus.  In Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,