The Full Armor of God

“The Armor of God is a metaphor in the Bible found in Ephesians 6:10 – 18 that reminds Christians about the reality of spiritual battle and describes the protection available.  The full armor of God comprises of the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit”, Christianity.com (2019).

Ephesians 10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”, Bible Gateway KJV (2021).

10” In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having [b]tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having [c]strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] [d]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”, Bible Gateway Amplified (2021).

The first piece of the Armor of God mentioned is the Wide Band of Truth (tightened) meaning personal integrity, and moral courage.  As a Christian it is vitally important to keep our personal integrity intact, in other words we need to live our lives with strong morals and values by upholding strong values no matter the situation or who is watching.  If no one is watching, would you still make the same decisions and choices?  The answer should be it doesn’t matter if anyone is watching, we act the same. 

What is moral courage?  Moral courage is standing up for what you know to be right.  An example of not having moral courage is Pilate. “When Jesus was taken before Pilate to be “tried,” Pilate displayed an absence of moral courage. Pilate was the Roman procurator of Judea; he was the highest official representative of Rome who was responsible for administering justice and keeping peace. When Pilate tried Jesus, he found Him innocent of any wrongdoing saying, “I find no fault in this man” (Luke. 23:4). His responsibility at this point was to protect the innocent Jesus from the Jewish Sanhedrin and mob. He should have dispersed the crowd and taken a stand for right, even if he had to employ his Roman soldiers to enforce it”, Mike Willis (2012).

“Like many politicians, however, Pilate lacked the courage of his convictions. He sought to avoid having to take a stand on the issue of Jesus by sending him to Herod. When Herod returned Jesus, Pilate tried to pacify the Jews by releasing a prisoner for them, offering Barabbas and Jesus. He expected that the mob would prefer that Jesus be released rather than Barabbas. When they chose Barabbas over Jesus, his plans were foiled. He then sought to appease the Jews by scourging Jesus (Luke. 23:16), but the Jews still wanted Jesus dead. Finally, Pilate gave in to their will, trying to release himself from the guilt of his sin by washing his hands of the matter (Matthew 27:24). His display did not excuse his sin of lacking the moral courage to do what was right. He gave in to the mob rather than defending what was right”, Mike Willis (2012). 

Another example of not having moral courage is when Peter denied Jesus three times see Mathew 26: 69–75.

Next, the Breastplate of Righteousness.  The Breastplate of Righteousness is equivalent to an upright heart and an upright heart is one without motive.  “When we say that the heart must be upright, we do not merely mean that it should not be crooked. We mean that there should not be any motive or aim in one’s heart. For the elders to oversee the church, they must have a heart that can say before God that their help to the brothers and sisters and their leading of their spiritual pursuit are with absolutely no motive”, The Elders’ Management of the Church, Witness Lee  (2014).

The church I attend recently went through something like this.  Our Pastor left and we formed a pastoral search committee, for more than one and a half years, we searched for a Pastor and we did so without an agenda.  The only agenda we had was what was best for the church and we were successful filling the position. 

Next, the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].  The Gospel of Peace.  It is so peaceful knowing that as believers, we don’t have to worry about tomorrow.  We live in uncertain times.  We lost someone crossing our main street here in small town America.  And just the day before we lost someone when a train hit a log truck.  Not to mention, all the other things that could happen, heart attack, stroke, tornadoes, flooding and let’s not forget COVID. 

Having peace of mind is invaluable, because of Jesus Christ we can face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news when we do pass, we will have everlasting life in Heaven.

Above all, lift up the [protective] [d]shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Everyday we are attacked by the devil, he will try everything to try and keep us from being a child of God.  He will try anything to get us to question our faith, therefore we must use our shield and our helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit (word of God) to stand firm from the devil’s attacks, especially the word of God.  Every time we are attacked, we should dig deep into the word of God for answers and reassurance.  The more we pray and read the Bible, the more reassurance and protection we have from the devil.

And let’s not forget the Helmet of Salvation.  We can be sure that the devil does lose the battle in the long run.  The Bible tells us so.  We may be attacked while we are here on this earth by the devil, but in the end, in Heaven, there will be no devil.

Are you suited up with the full armor of God?  Are you wearing your Belt of Truth, your Breastplate of Righteousness, the Gospel of Peace, your Shield of Faith, your helmet of Salvation and your sword of the Spirit, because when you do, nothing can touch you, not even the devil!  And rest assured some day we will be in Heaven and it will all be worth it. 

God Bless you, let’s make Jesus famous.  Let’s make Heaven crowded and don’t forget to Love, Pray and Fish. 

Eternity Devotion

The Lord put this devotion on my heart to share with you before Easter, the day Jesus was resurrected, paying our sin debt in full.  Read below the devotion I gave Sunday, March 28, 2021.  I asked a friend to perform Amazing Grace. 

I’ve asked Neil to sing Amazing Grace for us today. 

I love the line in Amazing Grace that says:

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright Shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we’ve first begun”

Today I want to you about Eternity, eternity

Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, I love you.  Help me articulate this message that you have laid on my heart.  It’s hard for us feeble humans to understand eternity, please give me the words to say.  Please be with this church Dear God, lead, guide and direct us as we make important decisions, we want your will to be done.  Please place your comforting and healing hand on everyone on the prayer request list as you see fit and the unspoken prayer requests, I am sure you know their needs.  Be with our country.  I pray that the leaders of this country would come to you in prayer asking your guidance before implementing any policies that affect us all.  Be with brother Zack as he brings the message, you have laid on his heart.  Forgive me of where I have failed you, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.   

First, what is or how long is eternity? The dictionary’s definition says Endless or unending time, A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

When I was coming up with some examples to try and explain what this might look like I thought about when I take our dogs out at night, I oftentimes look up on a clear night and see God’s beautiful and amazing creation and I see all the stars that God spoke into existence.  I see millions of stars and I wonder how many stars are there and does that equal eternity?  Supposedly, the stars add up to a 10 with 24 zeros and it begs the question, does that equal eternity? No it doesn’t

Another example I thought of was, if you have ever been to the ocean and looked out as far as you can see where the water and sky meet and you can see the sun rising or setting, another beautiful example of God’s might, that he spoke into existence.  It’s as if you can see forever, does that somehow equal or represent eternity?  No, that still doesn’t match eternity. 

Then I wondered how many drops of water make up the ocean, what if every drop of water in the ocean represented 10,000 years of eternity, would that somehow equal eternity, there’s roughly 26 sextillion  drops of water in all the oceans, does that add up to eternity?  And the answer is no it doesn’t.

The truth is we are not equipped to understand God’s power and might as human beings we can’t fathom what eternity is going to be like. 

When I think of spending eternity, with our Heavenly Father forever and ever and ever, the ever’s don’t end.  When I think of that it brings a smile to my face.

If we are a born-again Christian, if we asked Jesus into our heart, if we repented from our sins.  If we believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, in a miracle in itself, that Jesus walked the earth free of sin, teaching and preaching, healing the lame and sick, that he died on the cross for our sins and was raised on the third day and sits on the right hand of the Father, then we are going to live forever and ever and ever praising God and that should bring a smile to your face. 

What I would like for you to do is turn to your neighbor and say eternity to them?  Can you say it without smiling?  Can you really think about spending eternity in Heaven without smiling?

The Bible says…John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 6:54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Today when you go from one place to the other, from here to upstairs to Sunday School or to the main Church worship area and you pass by someone, say eternity to them as they pass by and see if they smile or if you can keep from smiling, because it is going to be awesome to live in Heaven and praise our Heavenly Father for eternity, forever and ever and ever.  The ever’s don’t end.

The devotion turned out very good and went right along with the Pastor’s sermon preparing us for Holy Week.       

False Idols

I signed up for a free class with BMA Seminary to challenge myself, to learn more about Paul and his final journeys, to improve my writing, and to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, possibly a Sunday school teacher?  We will see what the Lord puts on my heart. 

As I wrote my threaded discussion post, I was reminded about the time that I put football in front of visiting family.  I’m not implying that family and God are the same thing, but it is easy to put God on the back burner and if I was willing to sacrifice family for football, I was willing to do the same thing with God.

I was watching the Dallas Cowboys play a game that if they won and they got help from the Washington Football Team, if they lost, then Dallas could make the playoffs, not that they deserved to make the playoffs.  I was engulfed in the game and my wife said, “Let’s go visit your Uncle.”  We had a family event scheduled, I believe we were going to eat with them and family.  And I said, “I’m not going anywhere until this game is over.”  I quickly realized that I misspoke and certainly shouldn’t have said that.  I recorded the rest of the game and we went to visit family.  While I was there, I heard the outcome of the game and I was no longer interested in watching the game, but I shouldn’t put football before family or God for that matter.  We only have so much time left with our family and we should enjoy every minute we have with them.  We shouldn’t forsake God or family and I should reexamine my priorities.

Do you put anything before God, work, football, fishing, even family, God should always come first.  After-all, God allows us to have everything, to include our career, and our family.       

Well Done My Faithful Servant

Are we doing enough on this earth with the life that God gave us?  Are we doing enough with the talents that God blessed us with?  Are we doing enough with the money or mina that God allows us to have?  Will we be disappointed that we could have done more, or will God say “Well done my faithful servant?  What we do with our lives are up to us.  We can fully submit our lives to God and ask for his guidance on every aspect of our lives or we can live according to our selfish desires.    

In Luke 19:12-27 Jesus gives a parable, The parable of the mina’s 

12 “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.

19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Bible Gateway, KJV 2021)

Let’s look at the Amplified version below:

11 “”While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they assumed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately [as soon as He reached the city]. 12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to obtain for himself a kingdom, and [then] to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, and gave them ten minas [one apiece, each equal to about a hundred days’ wages] and said to them, ‘Do business [with this] until I return.’ 14 But his citizens [the residents of his new kingdom] hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be a king over us.’ 15 When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these servants, to whom he had given the money, be called to him, that he might find out what business they had done. 16 The first one came before him and said, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you proved yourself faithful and trustworthy in a very little thing, you shall [now] have authority over ten cities [in my kingdom].’ 18 The second one came and said, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him also, ‘And you shall take charge over five cities.’ 20 Then another came and said, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I have kept laid up in a handkerchief [for safekeeping]. 21 I was [always] afraid of you, because you are a stern man; you pick up what you did not lay down and you reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to the servant, ‘I will judge and condemn you by your own words, you worthless servant! Did you [really] know that I was a stern man, picking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Then why did you not [at the very least] put my money in a bank? Then on my return, I would have collected it with interest.’ 24 Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas already!’ 26 [Jesus explained,] ‘I tell you that to everyone who has [because he valued his gifts from God and has used them wisely], more will be given; but from the one who does not have [because he disregarded his gifts from God], even what he has will be taken away.’ 27 [The king ended by saying,] ‘But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in my presence.’” (Bible Gateway Amplified Bible 2021)

Let’s take a closer look at this part:

“‘I tell you that to everyone who has [because he valued his gifts from God and has used them wisely], more will be given; but from the one who does not have [because he disregarded his gifts from God], even what he has will be taken away.’” (Bible Gateway Amplified Bible 2021)

We all have gifts that God blessed us with. For instance, I like to write, but I don’t write nearly enough.   I like to give devotions.  It allows me to face my fear of public speaking.  I would love to be able to speak like Dr. Bruce Wilkinson does.  He captivates an audience and grabs their attention.

The Pastor filling in at church asked me “Have you written any new articles lately?” I said “No, I haven’t been inspired” That is a way out.  I should always be inspired.  What’s wrong with me that I am not inspired?  That is the question.  What am I doing with my talent that God gave me?  I need to pray to my heavenly Father to inspire me.  I need to meditate on the word of God and pray how can I serve you, what would you like for me to do for you Dear Heavenly Father.  I should always be inspired for the Lord. 

What is your spiritual gift, what are you doing with it, and will God say Well done my faithful servant?           

Training Day

My workplace closed their offices, giving us the opportunity to telework “as we work together to minimize the impacts and spread of the COVID-19.”

While I was at home taking care of training.  I accomplished Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and while I was doing this training, I got a big dose of reality in the form of the world.  The sin of the world smacked me right in the face.  At the end of the training the transgender person stated, “I am Bobbi, I am a good employee, that wants to work in a harassment free workplace and I’m transgender.”  Next up, Paul states “I am Paul, I am a good employee, that wants to work in a harassment free workplace, and I am an Atheist.”

My heart went out to Paul.  I wanted to find him and talk to him.  Who is this Paul, where does he live?  I just learned I cannot force my beliefs on Paul at work.  Of, course I would not force my beliefs on anyone, but it does beg the question why doesn’t Paul believe?  Did he grow up in a family of nonbelievers?  Did something happen to him to make him want to stop believing?  Was he ever a believer?  As Children of God, these are the people we need to reach and plant a seed with so that God can come in and convict their hearts before Jesus comes to get the church or before he dies. 

Bobbi, while I do not understand, can be forgiven of her sins.  We are all sinners, we can all be forgiven.  The only sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin of rejecting Him and refusing His offer of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ, this alone is the unforgivable sin, because it means we are saying that the Holy Spirit’s witness about Jesus is a lie.

Luke 12:10 “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who [d]blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever intentionally discredits the Holy Spirit by attributing the authenticating miracles done by Me to Satan], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness]. “(Bible Gateway 2020, Amplified Bible)

You can’t even take some online training without a reminder of a sinful world. 

The Greatest Gift of All

Do you realize the greatest gift anyone ever gave us was free?  The gifts that mean the most don’t cost anything.  I’m talking about the gift that God gave us, the gift of grace and salvation and his love.  We tend to get caught up in the worldly, materiel aspect of Christmas, going out buying gifts, trying to give the best gift, and outdoing each other.   

The best gift given cost Jesus his life, but it didn’t cost us anything.  The greatest gift of all time is God’s free gift of grace, If we are a Child of God, we believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, walked the earth perfect and sin free, while healing the sick and lame and teaching. Jesus put all our sins on his back when he dragged that cross and was crucified on it and arose three days later making it possible for us sinners to repent of our sins and be forgiven and live eternally in Heaven with him, praising him for eternity, forever. 

The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (King James Version, Bible Gateway 2020)

Ephesians 2:9: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (King James Version, Bible Gateway 2020)

Romans 5:21 “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (King James Version, Bible Gateway 2020)

Romans 5:21”so that, as sin reigned in death, so also grace would reign through righteousness which brings eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Amplified Bible, Bible Gateway 2020)

1 Corinthians 15: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (King James Version Bible Gateway 2020)

1 Corinthians 15: “Now brothers and sisters, let me remind you [once again] of the good news [of salvation] which I preached to you, which you welcomed and accepted and on which you stand [by faith]. By this faith you are saved [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain [just superficially and without complete commitment].

For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], and that He was buried, and that He was [bodily] raised on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold].” (Amplified Bible, Bible Gateway 2020)

That is the best gift ever received by mankind and it cost us nothing, however, it did cost Jesus his life. 

This Christmas let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas, after all you can’t have Christmas without Christ – God Bless you and your family!                

Memphis Trip

My family and I, me, my wife and two daughters, went to Memphis to visit an old Air Force friend, his wife and three daughters this past weekend 6 – 8 November.  We had an awesome time catching up with them.  We went to the Riverwalk and explored.  The colors are changing so it was just a beautiful drive up there and back and in Memphis as well.  We got BBQ from a BBQ place.  After all, you can’t go to Memphis without getting BBQ, can you?  We even passed by Graceland on the way the BBQ joint. The best BBQ restaurant I have been to is still Allen’s BBQ and catering in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. https://www.zomato.com/hot-springs-ar/allens-bbq-arkadelphia/menu

And on the way to getting BBQ there was a homeless man standing in the middle of the street on the road median and I had some money in my wallet, which I never have money on me and we were stopped there for a few minutes and something was telling me to give the money to my friend to give to him and I just sat there froze and I didn’t act on it.  Now what he does with the money is up to the homeless person.  If he chooses to buy food with it or whatever, that is not up to me to judge, but I missed an opportunity to help someone.  I don’t know if I was afraid to be judged by my friend, or I didn’t think I had enough time to get the money out before we started moving, for whatever reason I didn’t act on a chance to do good.  I don’t normally give to homeless people on the side of the road, sometimes I judge them and think how did they get in that predicament?  But, it’s not our responsibility to judge people.  Are we a bad decision away from being in their shoes? 

I was listening to Bruce Wilkinson speak and he said him and his wife both have a special part of their purse or wallet they put money in and they call it God’s money that when someone is in need or they get that feeling to help someone they have money set aside specifically for that reason.  Hopefully, there will be another chance to help someone, and I’ll be ready to help.   

Listen to The Secret of Success by Bruce Wilkinson here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULjJ7eEhZr4&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR1VZnd6ejPv-TFKqJN6A_zw7o38iYMFlqueEbE_Ljoo7TA9ZN_DWXMrF2A          

All Is Well With My Soul Devotion

Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, be with me to deliver this message that you have laid on my heart.  Thank you for everything in my life, be with the people on the prayer request list, put your healing hand on them and comfort them as you see fit.  Be with this Country, the only one that can help us is you.  I pray that your will be done with the election.  I know you will provide us with the Pastor you have picked out when the time is right, keep the Church strong and in one accord in this time, lead guide and direct us, forgive me where I have failed you, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.  

“It Is Well With My Soul” is a hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and According to Wikipedia, this hymn was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first two were the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire).[2] His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.[3] Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.[4]

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to knowa
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!b

These are rhetorical questions, just to get you to think.  How would you react if you lost your spouse or significant other?  What if you lost your son or daughter?  I’m sure some of these things have happened to some of you in this room, we have all experienced loss, and if you haven’t you will.  What about if something happened to all your sons or daughters?  And your spouse?  What if you lost your job?  What if you lost everything, your family, friends, job, house, all the money in the bank?  Would you be able to say, “All is Well With My Soul?”  I know I would struggle with that.  I pray every day that my family is not taken away, even if the kids go on my nerves sometimes, or get I in a little spat with Manuela.  I still love them dearly.    

Job 1:13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

20. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job 1:20 Amplified Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. 21 He said, “Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb,
And naked I will return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

What if everything was gone, what would we have left?  We would have God left and we are supposed to put God first.  I know it’s hard to think of everything being gone. 

God is the one that blessed us with all our possessions, sometimes we need to be reminded to cherish every minute we have with our family, friends, our Church family and thank God for all our blessings and try not to take them for granted.

End with Prayer thank God for your family, friends, Church family, job, house and land that I am borrowing from you God.  Dear God sometimes we need to be reminded to keep you first in our lives, help us to not take anything you have blessed us with for granted.  We love you, in Jesus’ name I pray Amen.

I gave this as a devotion this weekend, 26 October 2020, and we had a Pastor fill in for the first time at our Church and I was astounded when his message was on the same verses of the same book of Job as mine and the song that the Lord laid on my wife’s heart sang by my wife and three others was also from Job as well.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had never met the young man before, but the Holy Spirit was certainly involved in our preparation in choosing all of our messages.  I was an amazing Church service to say the least – God is Good…All the Time! 

God Places People in our Lives for a Reason Devotion

A few weeks ago, the Lord laid on my heart to give the fourth Sunday church devotion.  I texted my Sunday school teacher and asked who was giving the devotion, he wrote back that his wife was giving it, so I thought it was a done deal until he wrote back saying that she was willing to let me have her spot and she will give her devotion at Youth night, which is in the evening of the same day, anyway this is how the devotion unfolded.

See the notes below for the devotion:     

Prayer – Thank God for the Church and the church visitors and the church members.  Thank him for all my blessings…thank you for sending Jesus, your only Son to die on the Cross for our sins.  Thank you for Brother Dickie (interim Pastor, every two weeks) and family, for sending him to fill in, in our time of need, thank you for using Brother Dickie as a vessel to deliver the message you’ve laid on his heart and may we have an open mind and an open heart to receive that message.  Dear God, send us a pastor, the one you have picked out for us.  Give me the words to say, the message you have laid on my heart.  We love you, in Jesus name we pray, Amen

Good Morning Church family.  It’s an honor to be standing before you today.          

Start out with scripture John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Amplified 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [f]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

We have this written on our refrigerator door “Love Like Jesus”

Talk about the church and how we love one another, that we help each other out.  That’s why I love this church.  I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other church. 

Tell the story of Luke and Dee inviting Manuela to church.  My wife helped at Luke and Dee Dee’s farm and they invited her to church and that is how this wonderful relationship with God started or continued for me. 

Tell the story of how we met Miss Lori Goodner.  And that she is at Church and what a blessing it is to have her here and to have her friendship, that God puts people in your lives for a reason.  He used an innocent child to crawl up in her lap and blessed us with her friendship.

Last year when we were registering the girls, Charlotte, 4 and Julie 7, at school.  We were going from one station to the other, signing the kids up for car rider, school bus, lunch meals, etc., etc. and we noticed Charlotte climb up onto someone’s lap.  Embarrassed we apologized, but the lady was not put off by the innocent little one making herself at home in her lap, she said it was fine.  We were able to finish registering the girls and spoke to Mrs. Lori and got to know her, made friends with her on Facebook, making it official, and invited her to church.    

Manuela met Travis at an arrowhead digging school event.  Somehow, we put two and two together and figured out that Travis is Mrs. Lori’s Son. 

We met Neil and Sheila at Jenssen Park at their granddaughter’s birthday party.  Funny story, did you know, Sheila’s maiden name is Taylor, when she married Neil, she didn’t have to change her last name.  We knew Leah Taylor from school which is Neil’s daughter-in-law.  Again, God’s hand in, blessing us with them in our lives. We get to be blessed with specials from Neil and Sheila at church. 

That’s what we are supposed to do, Love one another and invite people to church. 

Second verse: Romans 12:6  

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Amplified Version: Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, [d]with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness. Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.

God gives everyone a special gift and my wonderful wife has been blessed with the gift of giving.  She has a Big, loving, generous heart filled full of love, and all she wants to do is give, generously, you would much rather give that to receive and I love you for that.  I thank God every single day that he put you in my life.  That’s what God does, he strategically places people in our lives for reasons, like Luke and DeeDee, like Mrs. Lori, and Travis, and Neil and Sheila and the rest of you.      

Close out with a prayer, thank you God for putting all these people in our lives, for  Luke and Dee Dee inviting Manuela to church, thank you for using an innocent child to climb onto Miss Lori’s lap, thank you allowing us to meet Travis and his family and for bringing Neil and Sheila and Leah and her family into our lives. Thank you, God, for all the visitors and the members of this church and that hopefully the visitors will be members someday.  Thank you for all your blessings and forgive me for all the many times I have failed you.  We love you Lord, in Jesus name we pray Amen.          

Do We Take Advantage of God?

That sounds strange, how can we as mere humans take advantage of God?  I’ll explain:

Sometimes we take advantage of people; take for instance this weekend.  My daughter was sick Saturday night, so we didn’t want to expose her to the rest of the church congregation and make them sick, so we stayed home from church Sunday.  I had the idea of going fishing.  So, I load up and go fishing and I caught a few, but first I wanted to try the top water bite, since it was early in the morning.  The fish were having no part of that, so I switched to a different lure and caught a fish with it, then that stopped working so I tried a different type of lure, that didn’t work.  I finally fished with what these fish want and that is a fake worm, wacky rig style. 

I ended up feeling guilty because I wasn’t at church on a Sunday, which we were trying to be safe and not get the rest of the church sick, but I ended up feeling terrible, I kept thinking I should have been at home.  My daughter was fine, she woke up feeling great, but I still thought I could have been at home listening to the service on Facebook.  I kept saying let me try one more lure, let me throw just one more cast, let me catch one more fish, one more, one more and I ended up being gone for four hours.  I got home in time to listen to the visiting pastor’s sermon, but I still felt like I could have done more, like I was taking advantage of something. 

We take advantage of someone’s generosity; do we do that same thing to God?  We accept Jesus into our lives, and we are safe, we are saved, but do we get complacent?  Do we sometimes stop going to church? Do we stop praying as often?  Do we stop praising God as much as we used to?   Do we stop reading our Bible’s as often as we used to?  Do we stop preparing for Sunday School like we did before?  Do we take advantage of God’s mercy and grace, everyday we do.

I’m sure we can all do a better job of spending more time with God, praying, attending church, praising God, singing songs, studying our Bible etc., I’m going to try and not take advantage of God’s grace, until next time, God Bless you!