Keep Fighting!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandon, struck down, but not destroyed. We who are in Christ will face hardships, trials, and suffering in our lives. God will take you through tough times of training and uses them to bring about His character. How we respond to them is a reflection of our trust in Him to produce character and perseverance.

David was a man who knew how to take a punch. He wrote Psalm 25:16-21 and said, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away my sins. See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.” In the mist of David pain and suffering, he always knew he belong to God. What got him through, however, was the way that he strengthened himself, not in his money or his possessions, not in other people, but in the Lord. His hope was found in his relationship with the Lord!

We are all going to get knocked down sooner or later. We will all face frustrations and let downs in this life. But our biggest battle is to believe God is with us when trails show up at our doorstep. Durning these times, we tend to get down, get overwhelmed, become bitter, and begin to ask why. But durning these times, we just have to keep fighting! We must set our feet, take courage, and choose to believe God is real and alive and working out His purpose in us. Lord, help us to embrace our struggles, and show us how to have peace in the midst of our struggles. Get up and keep fighting! Love you guys.

The Secret Place

It’s Sunday and it’s time to worship! I pray that you and your family are doing well. I want to share a short word this morning and I pray you will receive this message. Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” You can tell those people who pray in secret. They shine with the very glory of God. They seem to have a humble boldness about them, a gentle strength, and a quiet confidence.

But for most of us, the pace of life kills our prayer life. Finding time to pray, much less a “secret place” is hard to do with all that we have going on. Jesus understood this, Luke 5:15-16 says this, “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so the crowd of people came near to him and to be healed of their sickness. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” The secret place is where it is just you and God. It’s a place away from every distraction. A place where there is no show and tell. No fancy words used to impress others. Just you and the Creator of the world, where all pretense is gone. If Jesus needed this secret place, how much more do we need to get away and pray?

Make room for God in your life! Lord, help us to find that secret place where we can push aside the business of life. I worship and praise your holy name today!

Share Your Story

Good morning! Today’s devotion is going to be short and sweet. There is nothing wrong with telling about how your relationship with Jesus began, but the big story is how that relationship has changed, and is changing your life today! I want to encourage you to share your story today with someone who needs to know about our Savior.

I pray over you and your family today. I pray over you health and safety. But I also pray, that God will place a fire in you to share your story to those who need to know Jesus. God bless and I will see you tomorrow!

Why Am I Here

Good morning friends! Colossians 1:16 says, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I Here?” You were created by Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ. You will have a hole in your heart until you belong to Jesus Christ. The one relationship you cannot do without is a personal relationship with the God who created you. Just know, God loves you very much, and He wants to be in a close love relationship with you. We were created to live “for Him.”

But Isaiah 53:6 tells us this, “We all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.” To be straight forward, we are running a life that God is supposed to run. And God calls this sin! Sin is the root of selfishness, loneliness, and our guilt in our lives. We are trying to live without the love and the life that we were created for, that only God can give. Most of us know there’s something between us and God. That’s why we try to do good things to get to Him. But doing good can never satisfy the penalty of sin. Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us this, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourself, it is a gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”

The Good News is that even though we did the sinning, Jesus did the dying, paying our death penalty for our sins when he died on the cross. He was buried in a borrowed tomb, but three day later Jesus arose from the grave! Jesus is alive and well, and he lives in my heart! Praise God! John 3:16 says, “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.” The most important decision you will ever make is what to do with Jesus. It’s a relationship you must choose. See you tomorrow!

You Have A Choice/Choose Well

Joshua wrote Joshua 24:14–15 and said, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worship beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the god of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

He wasn’t done yet, Joshua 24:19-20 says, “Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a Holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and sin. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end to you, after he has been good to you.” But in verse 31 the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.” They made their choice.

Joshua closes out and writes Joshua 24:23-24 and says, “Throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” Jesus speaks in Revelation 22:12-13 and says, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” You have a choice how you live your life, choose well! So many times in life we get our priorities out of wack. It so easy to worship the created and not the the Creator. Return to your first love. Run to the Savior this morning and fall at His feet. Get your heart right and confess your sins to Him. Throw away the foreign gods and yield your heart to the Lord. Stop long enough to listen to what God is trying to tell us. God bless and choose well. Because we all are going to be accountable for how we lived.

Tear Down/Build Up/Be Obedient

In Judges chapter 6:24, Gideon built an alter to the Lord and called it The Lord is Peace. Many people around this world are needed this very thing in the lives. They are looking for peace in the middle of a crazy storm. Let’s take a quick look at what Gideon did to reclaim peace in his life! Peace is not having a lot of money or a great job. Having a huge house and a fancy car will not give you true happiness. All that can be destroyed or lost in a blink of an eye.

Judges 6:25-27 says this, “That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven year old. Tear down your father’s alter to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of alter to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him.”

I want to put this in the simplest way this morning. If you are looking for true peace in your life, there are 3 things you will have to do. First, tear down the idols that you have built up over the years! Idols are anything you love more than God. What is that in your life? Tear it down. Secondly, rebuild your alter of God this morning. Renew your love relationship with the Father! Confess your sins to Him, ask for forgiveness, and pursue His presence. Thirdly, be obedient to what He places in front of you! God blesses obedience.

Lord, give us peace that only comes from you! Burn up the idols of your heart, rebuild the alter of God, and be obedient to what He calls you to do! God bless you today.

Waiting In The Right Place

Acts 1:4-5 says, “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them a command: “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” After Jesus resurrection, he spent 40 days with his disciples, teaching them, encouraging them, and equipping them. At one of their gatherings, he told them to wait in Jerusalem and they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:13-14, you see that the disciples were obedient to what Jesus told them to do. They gathered together in one place, and they prayed constantly. For 10 days the disciples prayed together. They were waiting in a place of obedience!

In Acts 2:1-4, because of their obedience, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Doubters became prophets and frightened men and women became bold. Peter preached like he has never preached before! People came, and God opened the flood gate on the greatest movement in history. It all begin because the followers of Jesus were willing to wait in the right place. The place of obedience. They waited in the right place for power!

Waiting means watching for him. If you are waiting on God, you watching for God. If your waiting on God, you are searching for God. If you are waiting on God, you hoping in God. Waiting also means working through conflict, forgiving others, and resolving disputes. 10 days of praying and a few moments of preaching lead to 3,000 people coming to Christ! Are we guilty of preaching for 10 days and praying for a few minutes?

Wait on Him. But make sure you wait in the right place, the place of obedience. Durning this crazy time, God has taken away so many distractions and idols in our lives. Now we have time to get our lives back in tune with Him. Get real and honest with God today. Take time to share you heart with the One who loves you the most. But also get things right in your relationship around you. Wait in the place of obedience, because God is about to swing open the doors of ministry! There is a reason for all this waiting! God bless you and your family!

Rest In Peace Bill Durham

Bill Durham is now in perfect peace with the Father! He passed away last night around 9:45 pm. I can here him singing in full voice and celebrating with Mema, Danny, Debbie, Mr. Youngblood, and Jim Lot! What a reunion! Praise God! He is praising the Lord and the angels in heaven are saying, “Man, this new guy can really sing!” No more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering. Yes, he is walking the streets of gold in full stride! If you know Bill Durham, you know what I am talking about. Mema had to jog just to stay 10 feet behind him.

What can you say about a man who meant so much to so many people? Yes, he was know for his golden voice but, he also had a golden heart! He cared for people, and he loved getting together and laughing, joking, and carry on with his buddies. He lit of the room with joy and passion. He has changed my life forever. I will never forget the day I asked him for Laura’s hand in marriage. I was a nervous wreck! I sat there for nearly 30 minutes trying to get up the nerve to ask him. When I finally did, he asked me, “Do you love her?” I looked him back in the eyes and said, “More than anything.” Then he said to me, “Take care of my baby girl, I give you my blessing.” I will never forget his voice, his face, and his passion for life.

What this man meant to me can not be held in this blog. But I wanted to honor him and his life this morning. He was a giant in his faith, a loving husband, loving dad, and a friend to everybody he met. He never knew a stranger. It’s so hard to let a loved one go, but I can see his smile, I can sense his joy, and I know he is in the arms of Jesus. I can hear the Lord saying to him, “Bill Durham, well done! Welcome home!” Because of that, I will rejoice and give thanks for the opportunity to be Bill Durham son-in-law. What an honor.

Pa, no more need to sing Sweet Beulah Land! You are home. Enjoy your big breakfast this morning! We will miss you, but we will see you again some day. By the way, thanks for the great example you gave me on how to live life to the fullest! Give Mema a kiss for me. Love you.