He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake

Right vs. wrong is not up for debate. God has set the standard. He is the standard. One way we know we are on the right path is it will never contradict His Word. If we don’t know what’s in the Bible, how can we grow as Christian’s? His Word is the sword of the Spirit. If we don’t have our sword ready to do battle against the world, the flesh and the devil, we will get devoured. The wolves are waiting to attack. Devour His Word…get it into your heart and mind or else you are wolf bait.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

We are to aim for holiness but our aiming is not to elevate ourselves, it’s sole purpose is to glorify God. In all we do, in word or deed, let it glorify God. Genuine believers will desire more of His will.. Though we walk imperfectly, we have an ever increasing awareness of the paths we choose; how it’s honoring to Truth, how it’s elevating God’s Word, and how it lifts up Jesus and when we are in step with His will we are satisfied and content.

“Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

And finally, staying close to the flock, and never taking our eyes off the Shepherd will enable us to stay on the path of righteousness. When we wander off on our own, we are easy prey and more prone to being led astray. The lines become blurred to what is right and wrong. When the Shepherd is no longer in our vision, everything gets hazy and confusion sets in like a poison.

The flock is there to help protect, encourage, correct, give godly wisdom and warn. When left to our own devices, the more vulnerable we become to making bad choices and going down the wrong path.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25

1. Stay in God’s Word.

2. Our holiness is not about us it’s about Him! Give glory to Him in word and deed.

3. Keep fellowship with the church(believers)

4. Keep your eyes on the Shepherd Jesus at all times!

He Restores My Soul

I often times feel like a wild child whose mind is all over the place. Technology can make it worse. The Lord, our Shepherd is the only one who is able to give us real restoration to our souls, yet I struggle to keep from reaching to other things. If I’m worried, why do I obsess on google or web MD instead of running to the feet of Jesus? When I’m weary, why do I seek a distraction like zoning out on tv or social media or reaching for a glass of wine, instead of running to the throne of grace?

When I’m insecure, why do I seek to find a way to puff myself up instead of falling into the loving arms of Jesus who is my portion and the lifter of my head? The great hymn says, “prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”

I realized this restoration process is an ongoing development in His great love and grace. He is continually correcting, encouraging, and leading me even in my tendencies to wander. He pulls me back in, and says, “My child, here is where there is true rest.”

As we grow and mature in faith, we should be wandering less often and desiring Him more. Our restoration is threefold; He restored me, He is restoring me, and He will restore me fully.

This life, because of sin, has thorns and trials. We aren’t free from the effects of original sin just because we are in His protection. But being His child does protect us from these things heading into a downward spiral working for our destruction. Instead, God works it for our good and His glory. It is part of the story of our restoration. The valleys we go through are working something in us. They are not meaningless.

The next time we wander off and we hear the Savior’s call, or that loving hand of correction, this is our great Shepherd pulling us back into Himself. The Lord is continuing to restore us. He doesn’t start something that He won’t complete. We don’t serve an incompetent God. He is all powerful, all knowing, merciful and gracious. He knows every hair on our heads. He loves us and He wants us to trust and obey Him.

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

He Leads Me Beside the Still Water

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be completely satisfied.” Mathew 5:6

When we thirst to be in right standing with God, we will be led to abundant satisfaction. When we submit to Him, we give up our rights and instead desire to be right with God.

This thirst in the inner man can only be filled by first, admitting the Lordship of the Shepherd over our lives, second, putting to death our “wants”, and finally walking in submission and allowing Him to lead us to the well that will never run dry. We cannot come to this Living Water through the back door trying to avoid confession and repentance.

I have this hand towel that says, “All I need is Jesus and coffee.” It’s definitely funny, but in all seriousness, what have you maybe told the Lord you need in addition to Him? What maybe have you not laid down at the foot of the cross, because you are scared you will lose it?

C.S. Lewis described our fickleness; “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Jesus is offering us something far beyond what we can think or imagine, and yet we cling to “mud pies.” The Shepherd wants to lead us to Himself, He is the Water we crave and need.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33

You make me to lie down in green pastures.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice.” Do we recognize His voice? He knows His sheep and He calls them by name.

He calls them to lie down, where? In green pastures. There is life when we hear the Shepherds call. Our freedom is in submission to His voice. It is here that we are protected. We have all our needs met. His mercies are new every morning.

We can’t get to this place of rest any other way except through the open door of the Shepherd. Jesus said, “I am the door.” You won’t recognize His voice unless you first realize your need for a Shepherd. There is a laying down of our “wants”. When we hear the voice of our Shepherd, He will “make us lie down.” We don’t go through the door standing proud, rather we go through kneeling and laying it all down.

“He makes us lie down”. We willfully, lovingly and obediently submit. We see the loving refuge and care on the other side. The grass truly is greener on the other side and the desires of our hearts turn toward the Good Shepherd. We gladly follow the leading of His voice.

When we resist the call of the Shepherd we open ourselves up to being devoured. The wolves will certainly rob us of our rest, peace and joy. Don’t be tricked by the wolves. The fake grass can look really good but one bite of it and it destroys.

Lord make me to lie down that I may know and hear You more clearly. Make me to lay down my wants of imposter pastures so that I may find true rest in your abundant meadows.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want

We are all sheep. We are all led by something or someone. You might say, “I’m no sheep! I follow no one!” I assure you, some belief system or worldview is guiding you and informing you in your decisions. No one acts truly independent.

One evidence of this is our insatiable appetites; our longings, desires and wants. They never stop! These desires prove our dependence, our need. We don’t get to call the shots. We don’t tell our stomachs, “I’m just not going to feed you anymore”, and then expect our bodies to function normally. We don’t decide the order of day and night. We don’t go without oxygen and expect our hearts to keep beating. If, in the material world, we are clearly dependent and are subject to absolute truths, how much more the spiritual need?

Do we think the spiritual is not ordered like the material? Do we think truth is relative in the spiritual?

Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

The Message translation puts it like this, “You’re blessed when you are at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule.”

There is another evidence to prove there is truth and order in the spiritual realm. This evidence is our conscience. Is this not evidence that we aren’t in charge? The law is written on every heart of man. Why feel guilt if I’m truly in charge?

Some philosophers have said, this was a product of religion or society making us conform, and that the only way to be free is to break the bonds from this societal and religious oppression. History has proven that this has not worked.

Psalm 2:3 says, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” The psalmist shows here the world hates the law of God, hates righteousness and wants nothing to do with it. The lust for power and control rages all the greater when the conscience has been suppressed and seared. Our conscience acts to restrain evil. It’s a warning system. So we don’t need to cast off the bonds of religion as if they are holding us back from true freedom, it is indeed the opposite. We are slaves to our lusts and wants and it is this that keep us bound in chains and keeps us from experiencing true freedom.

Sin is following and obeying anything other than God. If we stay out of step with God’s order and harmony, we will continue to be slaves to chasing after these wants. It’s exhausting and it robs us of true joy and peace and ultimately the end is our destruction.

As soon as we acknowledge Jesus, our true shepherd and we turn away from our sin, we will find the shackles of that bondage fall off. We will find true freedom and we can finally say, “I shall not want.”

Our insatiable desires are filled up in Him. He meets all our needs and we begin to desire Him and His will more and more. We are finally fulfilled.

Jesus in His great love made a way for us to be set free from this bondage. God, took our sin upon Himself on the cross. Jesus, the spotless lamb of God takes away our sin.

Will you confess and turn? Who or what is your shepherd? And if the Lord is your shepherd, what “wants” have you maybe not surrendered?

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” Philippians 3:8

8/12/12 My Letter to God

This day 10 years ago I wrote a letter to God and to this day I carry it around with me in my wallet. It’s not a superstitious thing. I just like having it in my possession. Before I get to the contents of that letter, I’ll take you back briefly to the 30 years before.

I grew up in a Christian home, a pastor’s kid in fact. I am so thankful for this privilege and grace in my life. I really didn’t know a day without Jesus. I grew up going to church. I was taught to honor the Lord and was trained up in His Word. This was a foundation more precious than gold. For my childhood, things were smooth and I felt safe, protected and loved. When I was a young teen, I was sexually abused by a male teacher over the course of a year. My life took a pivotal dark turn. I felt shame and guilt. I was depressed. Being an adolescent, and in this situation, I felt feelings I didn’t even know how to process. As I marched onward through my teenage years I had a hard time trying to navigate through my feelings. I did the best I could. I felt devalued. An innocence was lost and I carried a lot of shame. The way I coped was through intellectualizing everything.

Through my early 20s, I went down a road of bad choices, and destructive behavior. Simply put, I rebelled. I knew better, and I just didn’t care. It wasn’t until the dawn of my 30s that I realized I could no longer resist the grace of God. God was wooing this prodigal back home.

I began to read and study. I desired truth and I wanted to be back in that loving and protected place that I had walked away from. I happened upon, by the grace of God, a workbook by R. C. Sproul called “The Holiness of God” and I looked him up on the relatively new YouTube and I found the video series that went with the workbook. I woke up every morning and watched those videos and filled out my workbook and my mind was being transformed.

I had been trying to be holy on my own, but I very quickly realized that was unattainable and I just gave up and gave in to sin. The “Holiness of God” book and specifically Isaiah 6 taught me, holiness is only found in God. For the first time I really understood grace. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” I realized, yes, I am a wretch, but Praise be to God he doesn’t accept me based on my righteousness, but Jesus’ righteousness and His sacrifice on the cross. It is by His grace that I am given new life and restored fellowship with God. I realized the utter poverty in my soul and it was clear to me how God was accomplishing within me the work he had already begun in me long ago. After a few years of the Lord really working in my heart and bringing me back to Himself, I woke up on Sunday morning Aug 12, 2012 11:42 A.M. and I wrote out this prayer to the Lord……

“Father God in Heaven,

Holy, Holy, Holy, You are Holy! I will praise you forever. In all that I do, I want to glorify you. You are my life, my love. I want always, your light, to shine brightly through me, so that I may not be seen, but only You!

It is not my will, but yours. I am your child, lead me through the good times hold me up in the tough times. Be my rock and my comfort. Thank you for loving me, for forgiving me, for taking me in from the cold.

Whatever this life has in store, I will walk with you. This life is meaningless without you. I will return to your feet to get another step closer to your presence until the day that I am fully transformed. I long for that day to know you in all your glory! And until that day, I will press on.

In Jesus name!

Amen “

It is only by His grace that I stand. Thank you Jesus for rescuing me.

This is my testimony, my story and I share it to testify to the power of the risen Savior and to declare the good news found only in Jesus. He brought me to life and He will do the same for you.

8/12/12 My letter to God

The Sanctifying Race

This past Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church, I was listening to a Christian podcast and they were talking about the fight for holiness and that this is our biggest fight as Christians on this earth.

I’m not going to lie, I was saying Amen because I know this to be true, but on the other side of my mouth I was saying “it’s too hard Lord, I have some other ideas for some fights though.”

The biggest fight isn’t political, cultural, or even being the theology police. Lord, you are telling me the biggest fight is my holiness and taking up my cross.

Then at church, I’m hit with a sermon about getting out of your comfort zone. It was a hard hitting sermon on Matthew 25 the final judgment, and the goats and the sheep. After leaving church, I knew it was a great sermon but very convicting.

The night before I was struggling with negative thoughts, I felt all my short comings piling up in my mind like my daily “to do list” that I sometimes feel overwhelmed with that I seem to never accomplish. I seemed to be confronted with all my sins, past and present.

In my spirit, I was feeling like they say, “lower than a snakes belly.” No one would have known it though. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I did not feel like going back to church for evening service, in fact, I felt I didn’t deserve to be there, but knowing this to be a way for the enemy to deceive me, I got up and went. I had a hard time singing the songs, but I did. In the sermon the preacher preached from Philippians 3 and in this passage, Paul was addressing the church about the false gospel. Philippians 3:3 says, ….”We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Yes! That’s right! No confidence in the flesh! My righteousness doesn’t come from the law it comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”(Philippians 3:9)

As I had my Bible open during the sermon, in the margins I had written before, “I am not perfect, but I PRESS ON! Why? Because Jesus made me His own!(Philippians 3:12) Never give up the pursuit of holiness.”

I don’t press on because of the good I do or the progress I think I’m making. Whatever good I do, I lay it all down at the foot of the cross. I don’t have a tally sheet of wins and losses with my name on it; my score card says, I am bought by the blood of the lamb. Jesus has made me His own! He is working all things together for good in my life. (Romans 8:28)

So the short of it is, once again, God revealed my utter need for Him, and as I walked in faith, despite my feelings, His grace, mercy and love poured over me.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Beware, the world, the flesh and the devil will never tire in proclaiming another gospel, a false gospel. Hold fast to Jesus alone! Walk in faith. Don’t rely on feelings. His Truth stands and His grace abounds. Sanctification is a life long race. The way we run the race is to keep our eyes on Jesus. We don’t compare our lot with other saints. We work in the sphere God places us in and do all to the glory of God. Giving thanks in all circumstances. Fight for holiness; in the power of the Holy Spirit, we work to mortify sin and walk in obedience and faith. Glory be to God!

Count the Cost. Follow Jesus

In the middle of last year, the verse that popped into my head upon immediately waking up was this one, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay its head.” Matthew 8:20

Why did this verse, seemingly, out of left field, come into my head? I literally opened my eyes, and as clear as day this verse was there rattling off in the forefront of my mind. I hadn’t been thinking of this verse or read this verse recently. My first reaction was, well that’s weird, “why did that verse pop up?” My next immediate thought was, “Ok Lord, I will make a point to take note and remember it.”

The next several months began a big journey into, what does it really mean to follow Jesus? Get ready! Following Jesus is costly but worth everything! When you start following him, the battle begins with the world the flesh and the devil.

Is there a spiritual restlessness here on this earth that we are more aware of when we choose to follow Jesus? Are we more aware of our alienation from this world and wanting to be rid of sin?

Augustine said, “Our souls are restless until we find rest in Him”I have always loved this quote, but something of what I was going through made me say “wait, I thought I’m supposed to be resting easy now. Why is the struggle so much greater now?”

So what is the difference between restlessness of not knowing God, not following Jesus as our ultimate fulfillment and, restlessness of our alienation in this world and longing for the next and the spiritual battle we face as followers of Jesus? Job said, “oh that my vexation were weighed and all these trials laid in the balance.”

There is a battle raging, and though we can have peace in the midst of the battle, we need to know what this looks like as a Christian soldier. Walking in faith as a Christian soldier requires courage, and what is the pre-requisite for courage? Fear. Do you think soldiers ever experience anxiety? You bet! A Christian soldier requires obedience. We have direct orders from our commander. We trust and we obey. What is the prerequisite for obedience? Submission.

A dog is the most happy, confident and content when it’s in submission to its master. The dog can even do the job it’s trained for such as a military dog or a police dog, the dog is not afraid to do the work and get in the struggle because the dog has submitted to his master and is confident. We have a master as well, a perfect, sovereign all powerful, all knowing master, and when we are in submission to Him, we can have full confidence that His providential hand is guiding us. We can face the battle courageously.

In war, I wouldn’t describe soldiers as comfortable, but they are steadfast. They are resolute. They are faithful. They are focused on the victory. They act in assurance that there is no other option to win the battle but to persevere. Our peace as a follower of Jesus in this pilgrimage is dependent on our response. Will we choose to be like Daniel saying, I will pray publicly and openly no matter the cost or like David, courageously facing the giant. Or will we be like Jonah, who chose not to obey and in his restlessness ended him in the belly of a fish. Jonah tried to hold on to his own comfort, and the comfort he thought he had, that was taken from him. Our Lord said, “Whoever saves his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake will gain it.”

Biblical comfort and peace look different in light of eternity. Worldly peace and comfort is false security. Following Jesus is the only way. It will be costly but it’s too costly not to; your life depends upon it. Choose to follow Jesus no matter the cost. He reigns victorious and we can trust Him. He is making all things work together for good. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. If you have chosen to follow Jesus, nothing can separate you from the love of God! Nothing!

Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Amen!

Freedom? Why the Weight?

Let me share my recent feelings and experience.

I haven’t been sleeping well at night. There is a heavy weight. I will doubt myself. I’m constantly examining everything. Did I say that right? Did I do that right? Did I have the right motivation? And usually it’s no, no and no and then I get depressed and feel like a failure. I start praying and praising and reading His Word to pull me out of it. I want to be like Jesus and I hate the sin I see in myself and just sin in general.

This is my response to myself…

The gospel doesn’t weigh us down. Our sin weighs us down. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Although, the true gospel makes us more acutely aware of our sin and the weight of it. The burden of sin is heavy, but the gospel is our freedom.

We have been justified by faith. His righteousness is counted to us. The debt is paid through the work of the cross, but this doesn’t mean all our troubles go away.

Pressing on through this life we are being purified. We are being conformed into the likeness of Him. We will go through fire. Just like a diamond has to go through the fire to become brilliant and radiant how much more do we? This won’t be always comfortable, and easy, but rest assured His burden is light in comparison to carrying the weight of our own sin.

Looking ahead, we await our final freedom from death and decay where the struggle with this weight of sin is no longer.

God’s grace is carrying us all the way. My identity is not in my performance. My identity is in Him. “My sheep hear my voice.”The Christian life is one persevering step after another. Be steadfast pressing on to the goal. The goal is the final glorification, being rid of sin and being in the presence of the Lord for eternity.

When our sin trips us up and our flesh gets the best of us, let us not waste a minute to run back to our Shepherd. He is a God of abounding grace and mercy. He knows our weakness. Ask Him for forgiveness and know that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Do you feel the weight of sin?

Rest assured that is a good thing. CS Lewis said, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

Let our hearts and minds not become desensitized and comfortable with sin, but instead take that weight and lay it at the foot of the cross, where we will find our peace and comfort.

Press on brothers and sisters.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

Hebrews 12:1

I Love To Tell The Story


The angels appearing to the women when they were at the empty tomb of Jesus said, “Why are you seeking the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5

One commentary had this to say, “The angels’ question made a point: the living are not to be found among the dead. We should not expect spiritual life among those who do not have it. Many look for Jesus in dead things—religious traditionalism, formalism, man’s rules, human effort and ingenuity. We find Jesus only where there is resurrection life, when He is worshiped in Spirit and in truth.”


Remember old Jacob Marley in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol? He appears to Scrooge as a ghost all bound up in heavy weights and chains. Our life without the resurrected Jesus is chains, but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. The biggest lie, is that if I follow Jesus, He will take away my freedom and fun. Jesus is the only one who gives us freedom. When we are in rebellion against the One who created us, all we will produce is death. When we try to walk in any other way the puzzle piece doesn’t fit, it’s like putting a round peg in a square hole. Jesus is the chain breaker. When you taste the water of Life that Jesus gives, nothing else will compare.


This is offered through Jesus. He is the life giver. He is the way maker. He is the chain breaker. He makes the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the lame to walk. He removes the veil from our face. How can this be? We are conquerors because Jesus conquered sin and death by shedding His blood on the cross for us. That was our penalty and He took it upon Himself. He conquered death at the resurrection. No grave could hold him down. So, we are more than conquerors over sin and death because of the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony, and because we denied our own way and life to follow Jesus. Revelation 12:11


Where are you looking for Jesus? Traditionalism, empty religion, morality, trying to do good, going along to get along, the golden rule, mysticism? Have you experienced this resurrected Jesus? Are you weighted down in chains by your own sin? He died for you to give you life, you also must die to yourself to have this resurrection life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25

The old self has to be put to death. There is no other way. You can’t serve two masters. Jesus wants ALL of you. If you have trusted in Him as Lord, the old self has to be put down, your thoughts, your ways, your philosophies, your ideas, your vices, your pleasures, all your idols, your pride? The Lord will continue to work in us to kill all the things that are standing in the way of the abundant Life found only in HIm. Are you clinging to something that you are not willing to crucify?

“I have been crucified in Christ, it’s no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20