Biblical Insights for Daily Living

When the Going Gets Tough... 

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At first glance, the statement “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” could mean:  when life is hard run to the hills, escape, do all you can to avoid the hard times!  But JFK’s father and the American coach K. Rockne, who came up with this saying, meant was “when the situation becomes difficult, strong people are able to step up and handle it.”(from English Study, March 25,2019 Article, English Proverbs)  How do you and I become one of those “strong people?”   In today’s world it is easier to run away and avoid the difficult situations we may face than step up and handle it. 

Here are at least three principles that will help you, and I step up and handle the hard times we may face. 

In tough times, rely on God’s Strength, not your own strength. 

This means when you and I encounter difficult situations way over our head, don’t depend on you. The situation may look like there is no way out.  We are going to sink unless rescued.  We can’t do it.  This is a perfect time to call out to God and ask Him to deliver, rescue, give you strength and pull you out of the crashing waves.   Remember Peter?  Christ invited him to walk on water.  “Leave the boat Peter and come to me!”  The amazing thing is Peter did!  He hopped out of the boat and was walking to Jesus!  Yet when he took his eyes off of Jesus and saw the crashing waves, the wind and the sea - he panicked and sank.  The scriptures say, “He was afraid.” (Matthew 14:30)  When Peter saw that he was sinking, he cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me.”  This is the first key to stepping up and handling the tough situation, crying out to Jesus.  Overwhelmed by fear steals and robs us of our strength.  In the weak times of life, we need Jesus.  Jesus reached down and caught him!   Jesus will catch you too, if you cry out to Him. 

In tough times, remember God’s Promises, not what others say.  (See 2 Peter 1:4) 

We can lose our focus if we get our eyes off of Jesus and start looking and listening to what other people may say.  What they say to us may or may not agree with scripture. What is important is this - what is Jesus saying to you?  What are the promises He has spoken to you from His Word, from Scripture?   Those are what we are to remember and rely on, especially in troublesome times and situations.  For example, if I am struggling with bad thoughts about myself or about others and yet God has given me Philippians 4:8 as a promise.  Then I need to remember His Word to me and recite it repeatedly.   “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (NIV)  Do my thoughts line up with this verse? Do they please the Lord? Then pray and ask God to help you apply this verse to your thought life.  That is relying on God’s Promises.  God’s Word will help you step up and handle the hard times. 

In tough times, retrieve God’s resources and use them. 

Don’t depend on your own ability or talent or wisdom or knowledge.  Depend upon God’s ability to work in and through you.  His gifting and enablement are available to help you. (See  2 Peter 1:3) Depend on His knowledge and wisdom to guide you.  Ephesians 6:11 tells this principle this way, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (NIV)    Eugene Peterson states this verse this way, “So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.” (The Message)   How do we step up? Stand up? By putting on and using, applying the resources that God has set out for us, His weapons.  Prayer, God’s Word, The Holy Spirit in our lives, the fellowship of believers - these resources will make all the difference. 

I may not like the difficult situations that I Am facing.  They may tempt me to run the other way and flee.  I may even allow those situations to cause me to be bitter and long for a “bed of ease.”  But if I rely on God’s strength, remember God’s Word, and retrieve God’s resources, then “when the going gets tough,” I’ll be the one God uses to step up and handle them for Christ’s glory. 

How about you?  How have you handled tough times?  Have you experienced God’s strength, promises, and used His weapons to stand against the devil’s schemes? If so, I’d love to hear about it.  Send me an email or make a comment. 

Growing Together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

How to Depend on Jesus when facing the Storms of Life  

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How to Depend on Jesus when facing the Storms of Life 

I have heard it said often that, “Everyone has issues.”   Everybody faces trials and testings, sometimes known as “storms” in this life.  Often these crisis times come by sickness, loss of income, poor management of money, accidents, health issues, poor decisions, and/or being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Some storms we face are literal; hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches, etc.  Some are from bad choices; alcohol abuse, smoking, drug abuse, etc.   How does a person cope? 

For the believer in Jesus Christ, (a person who has put their trust in Christ as Savior—see Romans 10:9-10) we have God’s Word, the Bible, to help us in these turbulent times.  God’s Word helps us face the storms of life.  One particular passage, Mark 4:35-41, reveals how we can depend on Jesus when facing these storms.  Let’s discover together… 

35 On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 [a]Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37 And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and [b]it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, “Why are you [c]afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:35-41, NIV) 

We can face the storms of life by praying. (Mark 4:38) 

Notice what the disciples in the boat did when the storm came upon them.  The squad came up, and the waves broke on the boat.  Scripture says that “It was nearly swamped.”  The Disciples did not waste anytime but woke Jesus up.   This tells me they knew the answer to their problem. It is going to Jesus.  We may not know the answers to life’s trials, but we can go to the “One” who does, Jesus Christ. 

Prayer is a marvelous way to communicate with God.  The Apostle Paul was so convinced that he wrote,“17 pray without ceasing” 1 Thess. 5:17 NASB.  Keep on praying.  Pray all the time.   It is wonderful to know that we can talk to God in prayer continually.  So when we face the storms, trials, battles, difficulties in life, our first response is to go to Jesus and pray. 

What the disciples did is come to Christ, asking him a question, “Don’t you care if we drown?”  (v.38) We can come to Jesus with our questions.  A dreadful fear motivated this question.  The disciples were afraid that the boat would be capsized and they would drown in the storm. 

Are you overwhelmed with a “storm”?  The best solution is to turn to Jesus, seek Him and pray.  He will give you the strength to endure. 

We can face the storms of life by trusting Christ 

It is one thing to ask Jesus for help; it is another thing to let Him work.  The disciples woke Jesus up (v.38-39), thinking he did not care.  Jesus get’s up and rebukes the wind and the waves saying, “Quiet, Be Still!” Scripture says the waves, the wind, the sea became completely calm.   Jesus can handle the issues that you and I face.  Our part is to let him work.  We need to trust Jesus - his timing is always perfect.   A dear saint said once, “Jesus is never early, nor late, He is always on time!”  Meaning that Christ is in control, he understands, and he is working on our behalf.  He wants his will accomplished through the storms we face.  We have to let God work. 

We can face the storms of life by putting God first 

What was gripping the disciples in the boat?  Fear!  They were deathly afraid of dying.  When fear to saturates our thinking, overcomes our attitude and actions—it cripples us.  We may miss what God has for us to learn through the storm we are in.  We have to let our Faith in Christ be our first love.  Faith needs to be in charge, not our fear.   Jesus even said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?” (v. 40) They were letting the situation get the best of them.  The storm and their fear hindered their ability to allow Christ to work through them. 

We can face the storms of life knowing that Jesus is ready to rescue us. 

It is comforting to know, despite the disciples’ focus on their fear, that Jesus rescued them from the storm.  He changed the howling wind and rain into calmness and quiet seas.  Jesus does that for his children, because he loves them. 

What storm (s) are you facing?  Are you praying? Trusting? Putting God first? Let him meet you where you are today and you will see him work his glory through your situation. 

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, I had to come to grips with letting Christ be glorified in my health regardless of the outcome.  I had to let go and let God work.   I think one of the greatest fulfillments in life is when God works and shows His Glory in and through a persons storm.   Jesus is worth praying to, worth trusting, worth being first and always faithful.  My prayer is that you discover how deeply he loves you and is willing to see you through the storms of life. 

Have you experienced God working a miracle, revealing His glory in and through you?  I would love to hear about it.  Please let me know by email or submitting a comment. 

Growing together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

5 Ways You Can Show You Care 

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5 Ways You Can Show You Care 

During this prolonged pandemic, with the emphasis on social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, there is a temptation for people to withdraw from each other.  Maybe fear is a driving factor pushing many to focus and look out for “No.1” — “me, myself, and I.”  Maybe it is highlighting self-isolation and interpreting it as self-independence.  Whatever the motivation, God created people to have relationships that are caring, meaningful and helpful.   In the urgency to distance yourself and be alone, here are five ways you can engage in meaningful relationships and help others. 

Pick up the phone and call 

Instead of texting, why not give a personal call?  Hearing another’s voice is encouraging, comforting and helps communicate that you care on so many levels. 

Dr. Nick Morgan states, “Voices are each unique, revealing, and central to your ability to lead change in the world.  And yet we underestimate the importance of a voice all the time.”  He states, “We’re more accurate and can empathize better if we’re paying attention to a voice.” (see his post at

When I speak to others on the phone, they are listening and when they speak to me, I’m dialed in and listening to them.  I’m not distracted. I can focus and communicate that I care. 

Ephesians 5:19-20 states, “19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV) 

It is encouraging to know that when I am talking to someone, and share scripture or pray or even sign a song, I am obeying the Lord by encouraging and building others up. 

Write and send a note or postcard 

I have mentioned in another post how important words are, and that they can change a person’s course of direction in life.  (  Why not take some very encouraging and meaningful words and write a note to someone you haven’t heard from or spoken to in a while?   Why not express what they mean to you or that you are thinking of them?  People get tons and tons of emails, but to receive a stamped, post-dated note from someone who has handwritten an expression of kindness speaks volumes of care. 

Years ago, people would hand-write love-letters to each other and those who would receive the letters, would intentionally keep them (especially if they loved the one writing the letters)!  They would find a shoe box and carefully stash the letters away.  I can imagine them opening the shoe box and reading the letters from time to time. Why?  Because those written words meant something. 

Sending a post-card or a note expresses that you care about the individual whom you are writing to.   It can mean all the difference in navigating through social distancing. 

For the more technical savvy… why not 

Schedule or host a “zoom” or “face-time” call! 

I have a friend who took the time to gather his relatives together and called other relatives to schedule a “zoom” call on a holiday.  The senior citizens of the family loved it!  They could interact and connect and visually see their loved ones who were miles away! 

“Zoom,” “Face-time,” “Google Meets,” “Snap-Chat,” “Messenger” are a few of the many apps and programs that are specific video-call/conferencing specific. One can use these with relative ease to connect with others. 

My wife and I use this to connect to our granddaughter, who lives many miles away.  Video calling is a great tool to stay involved in her life and discover all the new things she is learning. 

Take a moment and pray for others 

This is a great way to show your care for others, by specifically and meaningfully praying for them.   If you have been able to keep in touch with them, you know what they are going through - why not talk to God about their needs and circumstances?  God hears our prayers and answers according to His good will. 

1 John 5:14 states, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”  (NIV) 

If possible, make a personal visit 

If you can visit people, why not schedule a visit?   You can meet with them at an outside park or restaurant that is open and safe.  You can meet them for lunch or dinner.  Use your imagination and be creative. Take the time to plan your visit. 

If you make the attempt to visit, even if it does not come to fruition, this will speak of your concern and care for others. 

The Apostle Paul wrote the Roman believers of his desire to see them and visit with them on his way to Spain. 

He stated, “23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.” (NIV) 

He was hoping to be with them and enjoy their company for a while!  Maybe this week you can visit someone and just enjoy their company. 

What have been some ways you have shown that you care for others?  I would love to hear how you have helped others. Contact me and let me know. 

Growing Together 


2 Timothy 1:7


3 Ways Sin is bigger than a Pandemic! 

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3 Ways Sin is bigger than a Pandemic! 

Our world is spinning faster than ever before!  More chaos, confusion, sickness, disease, wars, etc., are happening.  People do not trust each other, especially what they hear on TV.  The Covid-19 has ushered in fear, panic, frustration, economic and physical loss.  But there is something that is worse!  There is an infection is in every human heart.  It is the curse of sin!  

Every human ever born is born with a sinful nature 

God’s Word in the Bible declares, “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:22b-23, NIV) 

Just look at how people treat each other.  Many are angry, disrespectful, God-haters, distrustful, rude and even violent.  In fact, the Apostle Paul describes this conduct in his letter to the Romans.  He says, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.  They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invest ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.  Although they know god’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:23-32, NIV) 

The Apostle writes that the punishment, the penalty of sin is death.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   

Sin is the opposite of God’s Holiness and Righteousness.  God’s wrath is upon those individuals who still have not dealt with this sin problem.    

There is only one solution to remove the penalty of sin 

The solution is putting your trust, your faith, your belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.   Romans 6:23 stated above says that God gives the gift of eternal life.  We find this in Jesus Christ!   Remember John 3:16, “For God so loved the world (you!) that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.”   

As the hymn writer sings, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”   God gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to satisfy the wrath of God, once and for all, so you and I could have eternal life.   Jesus paid it all on the cross, rising again, defeating death and hell and is coming again for all who have put their trust in him.   This is the only solution - Jesus Christ - that will remove the penalty of sin.  Your efforts, your possessions, your position will not save you.  Only your trust in Christ will.  The question is have you put your faith, your trust, your belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?   If not, why not right now ask Jesus to save you from your sins?  He is the “Way-Maker.”   

A sincere prayer from your heart to God, believing and receiving Christ in your life, confessing your sins before God and thanking Him for what He’s done on the cross, forgiving your sins and giving you eternal life is the first step.    

If we do not deal with Sin, its results will be worse than physical death! 

The Romans verses states the word “wages of sin is death.”  What that means is that the paycheck of sin is death - two-fold, physical and spiritual separation from God for all eternity.   Jude 1:12-13 says, “ They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. (NIV)”    

Those who have not trusted in Christ, yet are relying on themselves are powerless like a rain cloud that cannot rain, or a fruit tree with no fruit, and uprooted, twice dead!  What is their reward?  According to Jude, “blackest darkness” is reserved for the lost.    The choice is “sin-filled” or “Savior-filled?”   Which will you choose?  

All Is Not Lost! 

There is still today, still time to repent and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  There is still time to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and tell others of God’s amazing love and grace.  There is still time to take care of the infection of sin with God’s gift of love - faith in Jesus Christ.   Have you done this?  Will you do this?  Do not let the pandemic of your soul go untreated.  Let the Holy Spirit breathe in you the breath and gift of eternal life through faith in Christ.  (See Job 33:4, John 20:22) 

I am grateful that God has revealed His salvation through Jesus Christ.  His gift is available for all.  His love is available for all.   Those who trust in Christ have been forgiven of their sins, the wrath of God has been removed, and the gift of eternity has been given.    

If you have trusted in Christ as your Savior, I would love to hear about it.  Just respond with an email or comment and tell me how you received Jesus into your heart.  Thank you for sharing. 

Growing together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

2 Kinds of Masks!  

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2 Kinds of Masks! (Wearing and Taking Yours Off!) 

There is a lot of excitement today because of COVID-19! City, County, State, and Federal Government Leaders are observing, calculating, legislating, even demanding that Communities require Masks.  One cannot go into a restaurant or grocery store without one.  Studies have shown that wearing a mask limits the spread of COVID-19 virus.  I hear arguments from both sides saying “wearing a mask will prevent you from spreading the virus and keep you from catching it,” to “you can’t tell me what to do, I have rights!” 

So here is the dilemma…. What are we to do as a Christ-Follower?   Articles, Blogs and Books are being written, sprouting up all over, to answer this question.   But does the Bible, the Word of God, speak to the issue?    

The First Mask 

If you do a quick search for the word “mask” in Bible Gateway, the results show Luke 12, 13 different Psalms (referring to the word maskil - which is a Hebrew musical term) and 1 Thessalonians 2:5.   The passage in Luke deals with hypocrisy and being real and genuine.  What you say is what you do and who you are!  The passage in 1 Thessalonians deals with the Apostle Paul declaring honesty, not “covering up greed” in receiving gifts from churches.  In Ezekiel 1:11, The Cherubim use their wings to cover up their face before a Holy God.   

So the covering of one’s face is the outward issue and an inward issue.   

Outwardly we are told by governing authorities to wear a mask for protection and to protect others.   I physically have to put on the mask to obey this guideline.  Yes, they are uncomfortable.  Yes, the mask causes my glasses to fog up!  My preference is not to wear one, but…  

Inwardly, what is my motive?  What is my attitude?  Am I doing this from a motive of love for my fellow human being? Am I doing this from a motive of fear that I will catch this virus?  Am I NOT doing this because I am free?  What is my responsibility? 

Let’s look at a few Scriptures that speak to a believers’ attitude and behavior. 

Philippians 2:3-4 states, “3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” 

Philippians 2:14-16a states, “14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.” 

John 13:34-35 says, “34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

John 15:13 says, “13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 

Colossians 3:23 states, “23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” 

Here we have listed at least  5 passages that deals with a believer in Christ’s motive, attitude and behavior.   If I ask myself, “Wearing a mask??? Is that showing love for others?” What does not wearing a mask show? “I don’t love you?” (see John13:34-35)  Hmm… Let’s try another verse, “In humility I value you above myself so I’ll wear this mask?” Or do we say… In humility I value you so I won’t wear this mask?”  (See Phil. 2:3-4)  Hm… one more, When I wear a mask am I doing this as “working for the Lord?” (see Col. 3:23).   Hmm… what conclusions did you arrive at? (If I can’t wear a mask because of medical conditions, that is very understandable!  WE need to be people of Grace) 

As a follower of Jesus, I need to go the extra mile, to serve my fellow man.  To let them see Christ in me, who went to the cross for me and you and all people.  He did it out of service; He did it out of love and He did it above and beyond thinking about Himself.   I want to be like Jesus, don’t you?    

The Second Mask 

Before we leave this topic, there is the other “mask” that all people wear.  They hide behind it, refuse to take it off, stubbornly flaunt it - you know what it is?  It is the mask of Hypocrisy.   This is who I am on the outside, but you will never see the real me on the inside.   The reality is God sees you just as you are, inside and out!  He knows you and despite all your flaws, pride, failures, attitudes, hurt, and yes - talent and gifts.  He loves you!  God, the creator loves you!  He loves you, and He wants you to know it.   

I was reading in Mark 2 and verse 9 caught my attention. “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”  Jesus said that… what struck me was this, Jesus wants you to know… he was talking to the Pharisees, the religious group that paraded their outward religion, yet in their heart was full of selfishness and pride.  They were pretending to be close to God, but were in reality far from Him!  They were wearing a mask.  But this did not stop Christ.  He wanted them to know… know that He had the authority to still forgive sins.   How does this apply today?  Jesus wants us to know that He still has the authority!  He still forgives sins.  No pandemic, no restriction of man, no selfish intent, will or change the truth that Jesus Christ loves you and will forgive your sin.  I’m willing to take off my (hypocritical) mask and let Jesus come in, replace it with His radiance and reflect His character.  It begins with humility, confession and faith in Christ and trust His authority.    

So in this age of a strange, new, normal, let us not provoke one another to wrath (anger) but let us spur one another on to good deeds and love.   Let us think of others more highly than ourselves.  Let us do everything we do for the Glory of God, even if it means wearing a physical mask to protect others - to show we love them.  Also, may we take off the hypocritical mask before others and before God?  Let Him work in our hearts to make us be more like Jesus. 

Let me know what you think?  I am always interested in how you show Christ’s love to others.  Comment below or send me an email. 

Growing together 


2 Timothy 1:7

5 Ways Discovering Your Moral Compass! 

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash 5 Ways Discovering One’s Moral Compass! 

Have you watched TV news lately? If so, one discovers much of society is acting backwards!  People call evil good and good evil!  It seems a person’s opinion and actions have become more acceptable than obeying the law. 

I am not saying that a person cannot voice their opinions. What I am saying is, when a person crosses over from expressing their opinion to doing acts of violence, something is terribly wrong. 

When this happens, we call evil good and good evil!  Our leaders who are in positions of authority are confused, making judgement calls on incidents that clearly violate law, yet justify the actions of the law-breakers. (see CNN Report)  Where is justice? 

We can understand the dilemma that many are feeling.  Even Job in the Old Testament stated, “25 And did I not weep for those in trouble? Wasn’t I deeply grieved for the needy? 26 I therefore looked for good to come. Evil came instead. I waited for the light. Darkness came. 27 My heart is troubled and restless. Waves of affliction have come upon me. (Job 30:25-27, TLB)” 

If we are a follower of Christ, it is heart-wrenching to watch the moral fiber of our nation crumble because of a lack of wisdom, justice and mercy. 

This is nothing new, Israel exhibited this behavior long ago.  In Judges 17:6 we read, “(For in those days Israel had no king, so everyone did whatever he wanted to—whatever seemed right in his own eyes.) (TLB)” 

It seems we have some leaders who have lost their way, and many people are following doing whatever seems “right” in their own eyes! 

Before we debate on what is right and what is wrong, what is evil and what is good, I believe we can agree that America is off its moral compass!  So here are five ways one can discover and realign their moral compass! 

To know “right” from “wrong,” “good” from “evil,” I must understand the balance between facts and emotions. 

Facts that a society agrees upon are established as law. “Law and Order” is defined as “a situation characterized by respect for and obedience to the rules of a society.” (  So under this definition then, when disrespect and disobedience to the rules of society are displayed, a person or group has broken the law.  When officials or leaders ignore the person or group who are breaking the law, this causes civil unrest and can lead to anarchy. 

When I place my feelings above facts, I will live life on an emotional roller coaster.  If I place facts above feelings, I will live my life in a legalistic regiment fashion.  Yet if I have facts as a foundation supported by feelings, I will live life with a balance view of justice. 

For example:  If I demand justice because my loved one was murdered and yet the facts showed they broke the law, does my feeling of grief overrule the fact my loved one was a law-breaker?  If I demand justice because my loved one was murdered and yet the facts showed they were innocent, they were a victim of crime, or hate-crime, does the emotion of grief over-rule the fact my loved one was a victim?  Does the emotion support justice?  Or is justice flooded by emotions? In the question of what is “right and wrong,” there can be a whole list compiled. It is important to keep one’s emotions in “check” to support to uphold law and order and promote justice. 

To know “right” from “wrong,” “good” from “evil” there has to be a moral standard. 

A moral standard tells me what is “right, wrong, good, and/or evil.”  If I don’t have one, then anything goes… chaos can happen. 

Our society demonstrated a different standard of morality.  Much of what we hear, are politicians speaking on their interpretation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This seems miscued. “The Constitution of the United States established America’s national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens.” (see article)  The problem comes when we neglect the law, ignore it, or re-interpret it to fit and justify our actions, we are slipping down the slope of losing our moral bearings. 

 An absolute is “a value or principle which is regarded as universally valid or which may be viewed without relation to other things. (”  When an individual says, “there are no absolutes!” or they elevate their opinion as an absolute, what they do diminishes core values. There is a “right,” and “wrong.”  There are absolutes. 

There are core values and laws that apply universally across the globe.  One such example is the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”  Taking another human life by murder is wrong.  This is universally accepted across the globe.  To state that it is perfectly legal to kill another human being and call this “good” is in effect twisting, inverting the moral absolute.  The person who does this has disregarded the moral standard and substituted a different one to justify their actions, (their desire to murder) and say that it is “good.” 

As a follower of Jesus Christ, there is a moral standard that is “The Bible.”  The Word of God is God’s instruction to man, to know what is “good” and what is “evil.”  God’s Word reveals how to live with others and what is required. Here are a few verses… 

“Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 12:28 NIV,” 

“Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.  Proverbs 29:26 NIV,” 

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 2 Timothy 2:24 NIV,” 

Many other verses that give guidance and instruction that people need to know and apply to their life and community are listed in the Bible. The moral standard should be, must be the Word of God.  If you need direction finding your moral compass, start with the Bible. 

To know “right from wrong,” “good from evil,” I must understand my limitations. 

I may not have all the facts.  I may not understand fully all the emotions in full “play.”  So I should approach the issue with humility.  I should approach the situation with a listening ear and openness to discover the truth.  I base this on my understanding of the law, and my moral standard - God’s Word. 

Human beings are amazing creatures who are created in the likeness of God.  But this does not mean that they know everything. We are finite in our thinking.  God is infinite.  We are limited, God is limitless.   We cannot know everything about everything.  We only know a limited amount of information to form our opinions.   So I must realize when facing judgement calls, I may not have all the facts.  I may not have all the evidence and I may or may not discover all the facts.  So I must decide then on the limited amount of facts I have.   What do I base my decision on? My emotions? What others say? What I think? The standard of the law?  None of the above? All the above?   It is important to know my limitations and through them seek to discover the truth.  Through them, seek to be open and learn.  Through them, be stretched, yet accept what I cannot know.  I need to trust the process and accept the outcome. 

To know “right” from “wrong,” “good” from “evil” I need to see the “right,” the “good,” behavior modeled! 

Have you ever heard the saying, “Monkey see, monkey do?”  In an article by KSPS/PBS suggests that children will imitate what parents show them.  They will copy what is being modeled. 

“Kids learn many of their lifetime habits, good and bad, by mimicking their parents. Monkey See, Monkey Do. What parents model is extremely influential to a child. Many parents preach a healthy lifestyle to their kids, but then do not do it themselves. Kids do what parents do, not what they say.”(see Monkey See, Monkey Do article) 

We need to practice doing good and do what is right.  This needs to be modeled before others.  The apostle Paul even urged others to imitate him! (See 1 Corinthians 11:1) 

To know “right” from “wrong,” “good” from “evil,” I need to practice the “golden rule.” 

What is the golden rule?  Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (ESV)” 

How you would like to be treated by people? That is how you treat others. Jesus said it another way, “Love your neighbor as yourself!” (Matthew 22:39) 

How can I consistently do this?  by first loving God with all my heart, my mind, my soul, and strength and then His love in me gives me the ability to love others the way He loves them.  God’s love in me will realign and rebuild my moral compass.  His Word in me will give me wisdom to understand the times in which we live.  His Spirit filling me (Ephesians 5:18) will give me the ability to be the example for Christ that I need to be. 

This is just a few of my thoughts on discovering one’s moral compass.  I do it through understanding the balance of facts and emotions, having a moral standard to live by, knowing my limitations, having a moral example and following the “golden rule.”    How do you define your moral compass?  I would like to hear from you.  Email me or post a comment below.  I trust this encourages you in your walk with God. 

Growing together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

2 Kinds of Speech! 

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash 

2 Kinds of Speech: Praising & Cursing! 

James 3:9-12 “9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” 

James, the leader of the Church in Jerusalem, who penned the epistle of James, the half-brother of Jesus, states that the believers were practicing two kinds of speech!  Praising and cursing! 

One minute the worshipers were praising God!  The next minute they were cursing their fellow man.  This is the idea James is trying to communicate:  Belief matches Speech!  Our conversations should reflect what we believe.  If we are Christ-followers, then our speech should reflect this. 

I am reminded of what John said in 1 John 1:6,8, “6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth…8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”   John echoes what James says, our speech should line-up, match our beliefs.  If we say we love God but hate our fellow man (who is created in God’s image) then we are only fooling ourselves. 

What does it take to have our speech match our beliefs? 

Our speech can match our beliefs when our mind has been transformed. 

Another scripture that reveals transformation is Romans 12:2, “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”   To break the world’s pattern is to allow God’s Spirit to renew your mind by His Holy Word.  Soak up scripture, memorize it, meditate on it, apply it to your life, recite it to others.  This will allow the Lord to season your conversations with His Word and His grace. 

I remember as a child; I had an awful time trying to break the habit of cursing.  I went to prayer often, asking God to help me.  Memorizing Scripture and thinking about God’s Word made the nasty words disappear! The Lord was renewing my mind. 

Our speech can match our beliefs when our heart has been cleansed from sin. 

It is very hard to act like Jesus when sin is still infecting one’s life.  Unconfessed sin only makes matters worse.   Trying to cover up one’s sin only makes matters worse.  Confessing sin to God, brings cleansing, healing and reconciliation.   God pours out His grace and mercy and begins to rebuild one’s life with His righteousness.   His Spirit places a longing in one’s heart for Holiness.   There is no need to cover-up or hide sin.  Confession is a natural flow of one’s loving relationship with God.  (see 1 John 1:9). 

A clean heart, being right with God allows one to be and function in a right relationship with others.   Seeing others as God see’s them is freeing, respectful and a kingdom principle.   It is part of loving others as God loves them.  It is allow His love to flow through you so you can love them the way He does.   Hateful speech does not lead to the path of healing or reconciliation.   Loving speech, listening ears, humility and forgiveness leads to the path of healing and reconciliation. 

It is easy to be angry and let your tongue fly off “the handle.”  It is very hard to control your anger and listen, then offer words that promote understanding and healing.   But it will lead to peace.   Proverbs 15:1 states, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (NIV)”  A heart cleansed from within can speak words that reflect God’s love. 

Our speech can match our beliefs when our entire body has been set apart to God 

Here again, look at Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.(NIV)”   Notice what is one’s “true and proper” form of worship?  To offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God!  So we are to set apart our body as a temple of God.  His Spirit dwells with-in the believer and makes the believer Holy.   God does this.  When this transformation takes place, sin’s control is broken.  Christ sets the captive free!  Sin is no longer your master, Jesus Christ is! 

You can act like Jesus when talking and relating to others. You can be like Jesus every day.  Being filled with Holy Spirit is key (see Ephesians 5:18).   Walking in the Spirit is necessary (see Galatians 5??) Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life breaks the hypocrisy and brings wholeness.   This is living on a higher level! 

Your speech can match belief when your mind is transformed, your heart is clean and your body has been set apart as an instrument of worship! Others will know you as the “real deal,” not a hypocrite, not a phony, but a lover of God who loves people.   If ever we need to love like God loves, it is today.  Why not ask Him to help you be a person who praises Him and love others with His love?    I would love to hear how God is working in your life.  Let me know by making a comment or sending me an email. 

Growing together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

Why God Created Man in His Image! 

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Why God Created Man in His Image 

When one thinks about the origin of man, where did mankind come from?  People often turn to science and say “man developed into the species it is today through evolution!”  Or people turn to other theories to prove mankind was an accident or designed intelligently.  But when we look at the Holy Scriptures, the Bible sets forth the truth that God created man in His own likeness, in His image.  Genesis 1:26-27 states, 

“26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 


So God created mankind in his own image, 
    in the image of God he created them; 
    male and female he created them. 

God created man in His image to know Him! 

God gave man His image - made in the likeness of God.  This means that man can know God as God has revealed Himself.  Man can have a living relationship with the Creator.  There is purpose in God’s design.  God said man is to rule over His creation and take care of earth.  There is personality in God’s design.  He made man, both male and female.  Each individual is unique, just as there is no two snowflakes alike - each human being is unique.   

God made man in His image to choose (Free Will!) 

This ability to know God and the ability to choose between right and wrong, having a moral compass, sets humanity apart from all other creatures.  Theologians have called this “Free-Will”.   God gave man the ability to choose.  Joshua, the leader of Israel, after Israel came in to the promise-land, challenged the people of God by saying,  

“15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15 New International Version (NIV) 

God desires mankind to choose Him! He did not make people to be robots.  His desire is for us to know Him and make Him known.   

So being made in his likeness shows up every day by the choices people make!  Being made in His likeness shows up through mankind’s searching for God.  Some people substitute, replace the God of Creation with man-made idols or images.  Some people place themselves as their god and live accordingly.  Some people seek false religions while others deny the existence of God.   Each of us has to make a choice, as Bob Dylan’s song, “Serve Somebody” states, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes Indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody…” 

God made man in His image so man could love others with God’s love 

The choice is up to you.  How you live your life shows that you are made in the image of God.  God gave you the ability to know Him or reject Him.   Those who know Him have discovered that God gives them His ability to love others the way He loves us!  Those who reject God struggle more in loving others who are different.  This difference becomes a road-block to God’s love.  This difference allows anger, hatred, slander, malice, bitterness, revenge and prejudice to take the seat front and center.  God’s design is for His love to take the seat front and center.    

How does one enter a relationship with the Creator God?   By an act of believing faith! 

Listen to the words of Jesus… 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16, NIV. 

27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matthew 11:27 NIV. 

John the disciple of Jesus said, “9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11, NIV 

Have you trusted in Christ as your Savior?  If not, you can do so now, just by praying to God, asking Christ to come into your life, forgive you of your sin, and deciding to love and live for Him.  God gives you His Spirit and His gift of everlasting life.  You are now a child of God, if you asked Christ into your life.   You can love others the way God loves you.    

If you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior, I would love to hear about it! Please comment or email me your testimony! Keep shining for Jesus in all you do! 

Growing Together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

A Time to Grieve 

Photo by Johannes Krupinski on Unsplash

A Time to Grieve 

Over the last few weeks our country has gone from pandemic isolation to protesting racial injustice.   As I have observed the news reports, viewed videos, and heard conversations that spanned the spectrum of speaking truth, to politicizing tragic events, to justifying violent behavior, my heart has been grieving. 


I grieve for those who are treated unfairly. 

Like the George Floyd’s of our society, when force has turned into violent behavior, it should remind all people that all people are fallen creatures.  When protests turn violent, people breaking and entering, destroying property, setting buildings on fire, etc.  It should remind us that all people are fallen creatures.   Violent acts in response to violent acts does not make it right.  The Bible declares that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  All of us, every human being lives under sins curse.  When people let their sinful nature rule their lives, violence, anger, malice, slander, and every other kind of evil deed can occur.  It grieves God’s heart and as a follower of Christ; it grieves mine. 

I grieve for those who are silent. 

I grieve, because those who have spoken out, have condemned those who have not.  They have assumed that the silence is in favor of racial prejudice. While this may or may not be true, it is dangerous to generalize all of society and spew hateful words or condemnation. Could their silence mean they are trying to listen?  Trying to discover and discern the truth?  Trying to understand the circumstances?  Trying to act from reason instead of pure adrenaline and/or anger?  Yes, it should infuriate us when injustice takes place, but to react in anger and violence makes us no different from the one who first committed the crime.   The Religious leaders put a woman before Jesus caught in adultery and asked what would he do, when the law demanded death?  The religious leaders were trying to catch Jesus off-guard.  Remember what he said?  Notice John 8:3-11, 

“3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’” 

6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 

 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 

Jesus revealed that there is no one who is righteous, and that showing compassion, mercy and forgiveness is way better than throwing rocks.  His encouragement to the woman was to leave her life of sin.  To those who know Christ as Savior, there is no condemnation from God. (See Romans 8:1)     Jesus did not even speak out, he just wrote in the sand… his act of silence brought mercy to the one condemned.  Jesus calls us to a higher standard!  

I grieve for those who are in solitude, self-isolation and alone. 

I remember Rick Warren stating once that “all people need to be loved and to love.” In fact he states, “The distinguishing mark of a Christian is not a cross, a crucifix, a dove, or a fish on a bumper sticker. The sign of a Christian is love. How many people know you’re a Christian because of your loving lifestyle?”   In the same message he tells that believers are not meant to live as “hermits” in isolation. ( Why? Because people need each other.   There are many who are feeling alone. Some choose to be, while others are forced to be.  We, the church, need to pray daily for them. We need to show God’s love to them.   God can break through their solitude and fill their loneliness with His love.  He came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10). 

I grieve for those who speak out! 

I do, because of the emotion of anger, frustration, and hatred, that is the undercurrent of their speeches.  Yes, Black lives do matter!  Yes, the truth be-told! ALL LIVES MATTER!  Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1-2).   That means then I have a responsibility to treat others the way God treats me!  (See John 13:34-35)  If we cannot grasp that - then I need to treat others the way I want to be treated.  I knew this, when I was growing up, as the “golden rule.”  (Matthew 7:12)  We have forgotten this in our society.  We have lost respect for one another.  We have called evil good and good evil.  We as a country are living as if we have no hope. 

But we do have hope - Andraé Crouch wrote this chorus, “Jesus Is The Answer For The World Today,  Above Him There’s No Other Jesus Is The Way…”   Jesus is the hope for this world.  He is the answer.  Until all people everywhere realize this truth, there will be unrest and injustice. 

Our speech can reflect a higher purpose and calling.  The words we say can build up, yes-correct and rebuke and educate and train.  God’s Holy Word is the believer’s textbook that needs to be lived out in the life of every believer. 

Where does that leave us? Leave you? Leave me? 

I pray that all people everywhere will discover the love of Christ, believe in Him, and show His love to one another in this hurting world.  I pray you will do this too!  I pray that I will love the way Jesus loved others.  This could be the start.    Lord Jesus help us, we pray. 

Growing together, 


2 Timothy 1:7

3 Ways I Can Love My Neighbor! 

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash 

3 Ways I can “love my neighbor!” 

In recent days there have been cries of pain, anger, hatred, resentment, tears, malice, slander, acts of violence, and protests in various forms.   Christians are those who believe and follow Jesus Christ, they are called to be like Jesus. 

Especially in times of turmoil, our love for the Lord needs to be reflected in our speech, conduct, thoughts and actions as a testimony of God’s love.  Jesus loved his neighbor.  Jesus did not show any racial prejudice.   He knew what it was like to be despised and rejected, but he always responded in love and mercy.  Even to the religious hypocrites of His time, the Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s - Jesus spoke the truth and challenged them to see the error of their ways.   By looking at Jesus, we can learn at least three ways to show love to our neighbors. 

Speak the Truth in Love 

Jesus spoke the truth, but He always did it with an attitude of love.  In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus said these words, 

“43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (NKJV) 

Jesus lays before his listeners that people need to love their enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you! 

What would your world look like if people around you did this?  What would your world look like if you did this? 

A soft or kind word can turn away wrath. (See Prov. 15:1)  Jesus wanted his followers to show love by blessing others, doing good to others, and praying for others, especially those who express hatred toward you! 

Show love by blessing others! 

Turn on the news and one can hear stories of hatred being spread throughout our country.  What would it look like, if instead of spewing hatred, anger, slander, and violence, people spewed out “blessings!” 

The dictionary defines “blessing” as “the act or words of a person who blesses, a special favor, mercy, or benefit, a favor or gift bestowed by God, the invoking of God’s favor upon a person, praise; devotion; worship, approval or good wishes.” ( 

By blessing others through my speech, showing favor or praise to others — these acts would express love for others and elevate respect and dignity for humanity. 

Show love by doing good to others! 

I remember a few years ago, many people were encouraging people to practice “random acts of kindness.”  This is when you would, for example, pay for a stranger’s meal or groceries without them knowing it.  Sometimes they would know it, but it wasn’t for personal recognition.  The act of kindness was an act of doing good to others!  Helping them by providing for their needs without being asked or required.  You saw a need and acted on it. 

Jesus did this!  He saw the need of your heart and my heart.  Our heart-condition was infected with sin and Jesus gave His life so that those who believe in Him would be made righteous, clean, free from sin.   He did this so we could know how much he loves us.   His death and resurrection is God’s ultimate act of kindness. 

We show love for others by doing good deeds for them, especially those who hate us. 

Show love by praying for others! 

Jesus encourages his followers to pray for those who persecute them!  We are to pray specifically and intentionally for our enemies.  How?  By asking God to convict of sin, change and cleanse their hearts, renew their minds.  We can pray and ask God to silence their anger, turn their hatred, and deliver us from their attacks.  We can pray that God will show his love to them through us! 

This is hard to do, if not impossible.  The only way is to rely on the Holy Spirit, to help us love others the way Jesus does.   Jesus even prayed as he was being crucified, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!”(See Luke 23:34)  One way I show love is by praying for my enemies, asking God to forgive them, asking God to help me forgive them. 

In the light of recent events, as I search my heart, I need to show Christ’s love more.  I need to bless others, do good to them, and pray for them.  Those who appear to be my enemy, I need God to flow through me and reflect His love to them. 

How about you?  How have you shown love to others? I would like to hear your stories.  Please comment or email me.  May we all strive to not only live at peace with each other but may we love one another as Christ loves us. 

Growing together, 


 2 Timothy 1:7