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Matthew 19 part 1–The Pain of Divorce

The more things change, the more they remain the same.  The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus with one of those real controversial issues of then and now—Divorce. Since Adam and Eve–marriage has remained under attack.  The enemy used sin to divide husband and wife at the beginning and continues to do so today.  The enemy has used strife, sexual immorality, social relativism and “tolerance” to so skew the lines that today as in Sodom and Gomorra, Greece and Rome the world has scrapped what a family is and replaced it with what people wish it to be.

Divorce inside and outside the church has broken many great people.  Praise God that he can restore the broken hearts.  He can bless new families that are committed to following him. As in Moses time, God allowed divorce then and does so now—but he hates it.  It is devastating and life altering.  He would rather see us cling to the covenant in all circumstance. He does continue to love his kids even after they have been broken.

As husbands, we need to love our wives and be the servant leader called for in Ephesians 5.  We need to be faithful in both word and deed. Our kids need to say of us—My dad loved my Mom and he loved us! Dads must be centered on God and his word and in prayer daily for wives and kids.  Wives must hold the family together as the chief of operations.  They have to turn the unruly group into a family and the house into a home. Most importantly, couples have to think and act as one. They are a united front against the world, its culture and the trials of parenting, finances and health.

Thank You, Lord for my wife—help her to remain secure in your love, my devotion and the plan you have prepared for us.

God Bless You

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.

Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’[a]And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’[b] Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?”[c] they asked.

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful

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Matthew 17 part 1–Jesus Lets the Friends Take a Peak

Why? Why did Jesus go meet with Moses and Elijah? Why did he take Peter James and John? One of the overwhelming truths of the Bible and the amazing Journey that we are on—is that God does not make a practice of telling why he does what he does.  But, just imagine being Peter James and John.  You are finally getting a glimpse of Jesus as God.  You are watching your friend chatting it up with two great patriarchs of the faith.  If that would not seal your faith…Nothing would.  I am sure that in the difficult days ahead the three of them talked about hangin’ with Elijah.  I always figured Peter for the “Moses, Can I have you sign my tablets?” Truth is the universe was about to change.  Jesus met with two amazing men of God—Peter James and John were reassured that Jesus was God. There are a lot of Y’s right there.

I am encouraged because God did not hide from this. Jesus did not hide this either—God wanted this story told as much as he did the feeding of the 5000.  We need to know that Jesus deity did not attach after death. He was born God, grew up God, was baptized as God and ministered as God.  Now as the day approached, he had to prepare to die as God. We should take three things away—1.Jesus did not need to earn his Godhood- it was there all along. 2. Jesus never tried to hide his authority or deity from the world—they simply could not accept it. 3. The road to the cross was not an easy thing for the Lord—he tuned to Moses and Elijah for support—NO man is an Island.  We need to seek support through the journey.  We cannot adopt the I’m in this alone posture—It leaves us vulnerable to attack and defeat.  Reach out and do not be afraid for your special folks to see God at work.

Transform me Lord—help me to be ready for whatever you have next.

God Bless You

Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials[a]—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.

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Esther 7– Do Unto Others

In Matthew, Jesus tells us to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  In a very real sense, Haman was living that command.  In his pride and selfishness,  he thought his personal desires and dislikes were more important than the lives of others.  God quickly and completely showed him the folly of his thought.  In a day he went from being a star to being an executed traitor.  Every thought and act he entertained was turned against him and used to sentence him. He honored Mordecai, he was captured for betraying the Jews, he was sentenced after seeking mercy from one he had condemned and he was ultimately impaled by his own torture tool.

God tells us to seek him and his righteousness.  All other things will ne added.  If we seek our own gratification and righteousness, we will never be satisfied and as it conflicts with God’s plan we will be disappointed and in Chaos.  It is simply better to seek him, follow him, honor him and care for his chosen.  Help me, Lord to follow your plan, honor your name and care for your people.

God Bless You

5 King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?” 6 Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”  Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. 7 The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.

8 Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?” As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[b] stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”

The king said, “Impale him on it!” 10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

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Life Ain’t Fair Esther 3 part 3

There are times when we see life unfold and are positive that “life ain’t fair.”  Haman got his feelings hurt and he in turn sentenced the captives from Israel to death.  When we see things like that occur, it causes us to question God and his love for us.  Truth is, we see only a few pixels of a grand marquee.  We will never understand God’s plan for our lives and the lives of those we interact with, and yet his plan always moves forward.

In our lives, we have to cling to the idea that God really does have a plan and we are an integral part of it. We do not have to understand the plan we simply have to trust that God will bring it to pass.  He promises to protect and provide for his kids—We simply have to walk and trust that even when life ain’t fair, that he will.  Help me, Lord to trust your plan and humbly follow you.

God Bless You

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents[b] of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

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Esther 1 a picture of God’s Soveriegnty

The book of Esther one of the best illustrations in God’s word of the providence of God coupled with submission and humility of his chosen can allow God to provide and protect his own and Glorify himself before men.  The Story begins with the opposite lesson.  Vashti was unwilling to submit to the King and the result cost her position in the Kingdom and opened the door for God to provide and protect his people in a time and place that offered little hope off either provision or protection.

The study of Esther gives us hope that in the midst of oppression and dire circumstance, God himself shines the brightest through those that trust and obey him. Many Kings have reigned and fallen, but God’s plan has continued to progress and his people have continued to stand separate from the fates of the world. If we, like Esther and Mordicai, surrender to his plan and follow his leadership, we can stand as Esther did in peace that God will provide and protect those he loves.  Help me, Lord to surrender to your leadership and honor you with my life.

God Bless You

On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas— 11 to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. 12 But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.

13 He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice. 14 The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.

15 “What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?”

16 Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17 Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18 Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.

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God My Father 2 Chronicles 7

fathers-day-globalI often envision God as the heavenly father. I think that for me, as a father, it is the easiest way for me to understand his desire and compassion for me as a fragile and very human sinner. So much of my life has been and is a battle to make the right choices and follow him in a way that not only honors him but also draws men to him. And when I say men, I really mean my friends and family. I desire more than anything to be the example to my kids of a fully surrendered and faithful man. But, life is hard and circumstances often compromise my ability to be faithful and show my trust in the one who has always provided and always drawn near to me.
When Solomon dedicated the temple, God laid it out very simply. As his kids, if we are willing to follow him, he wants to guard, heal and restore us as a person and as a people. He is also willing to discipline us and even allow us to suffer if that is what it takes to save us from the world and its eternal destruction. Any dad knows how tough it is to discipline his kids. We do not want to see them suffer…But, we will do what it takes to help our kids live lives of freedom and peace. Our Heavenly father is the same. He is a God that parents! Discipline, nurturing and affection are the daily regimen from him. We have to see his heart and know he wants us attentive, healed and restored! Help me, Lord to submit, follow and listen to you!
God Bless You
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’

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God is Life and the Giver of Life

life Giver

When you think of God, you have to hold in reverence the fact that he Gives life. Sure he is the creator, he is the Lord and Master. But to realize that our very lives are a gift from him and his desire is for our lives to be full, rich and meaningful.

So much of our Journey is life taking. Circumstances, relationships and spiritual warfare are constant takers of life. We face daily struggles and often they involve our most intimate thoughts, dreams and people. We would love to find a way to avoid the sucking down of the essence of us. We say things like Ï used to be so happy, so funny, so care free—but the forces we face have made emptied us our life. But, in the midst of it, God was there filling us with his spirit, his joy and his life.

As we draw on God, we are replenished with life. Often it seems it is barely enough for the day…but it is enough. We need to learn to cherish the life he gives and use it to drive us forward toward him. Then we will finally grasp what it truly means to have life and have it more abundantly.

God Bless You

Genesis 2

7 Then20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.


Deuteronomy 30

For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. the Lord God formed a man[a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.


Deuteronomy 32

“See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.


Ecclesiastes 5

This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.

Isaiah 38

“Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.


Isaiah 42

This is what God the LORD says— the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:


John 6

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.



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The Plan Complete–Genesis 46 final

God’s preparation for our life purpose is complete and detailed.  God Gave Israel the faith and hope to remain alive to see Joseph.  When he saw his son,  years of pain and loss disappeared.  In addition, God prepared the sons to be the shepherds for Pharaoh.  God also prepared Joseph to forgive and welcome his family.  All the preparation was difficult, painful and often seemingly unbearable.  The result was God sparing Israel and beginning the preparation to be his chosen nation.

Since that time, God has worked through life and circumstance to prepare each of us in our lives to complete the mission he sets before us.  We have to embrace his plan, despite our frustration and fear and read his word, pray and serve him with our lives.  There is no way to enjoy the blessing from God without seeking him in the word and prayer.  We walk daily with him and see his hand in our lives. Read, pray and serve and then experience God’s faithfulness.  Help me Lord to faithfully follow you.

God Bless You 

28 Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father[h] and wept for a long time.

30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”

31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”

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Dreams continued–Genesis 41 part 1

After interpreting the dreams for Pharoah’s officials, Joseph sat in jail for 2 more years.  That was probably the most demoralizing thing in the world.  He did what God said, he acted in a way to honor God and he sought God for pharoah’s officials—still no change.  Joseph had no idea that the waiting he was doing would save Israel and save Egypt.  But that was about to change.  Pharoah had dreams and God had an interpreter.  Had Joseph been released earlier, he would have returned to Canaan.  But, now God was about to make Joseph’s dreams come true.

In our lives, we cannot see the end.  We sometimes lose hope that God cares or has a plan.  The truth is he always has a plan.  When he reveals it, it is always the right one.  We can never lose hope.  Even if weeks, months or even years pass.  We have to wait patiently and trust God to do what he will.  When we do, he is faithful to lead and provide.  He will execute his plan and we will see his way is best.  Help me. Lord to follow your plan.

God Bless You

41 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”

14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.

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Quit playing Games with Game! Genesis 27 part 1

Both Isaac and Rebekah were looking to assist God in his execution.  The results were ridiculous.  So much deceit, so much pain.  Isaac knew God’s promise to make Jacob the lineage, yet he wanted to bless his Son Esau.  Rebekah knew God’s plan and protected Jacob, but should she have simply told Isaac the truth.  We do not know God’s ultimate plan.  We simply know he is the ultimate God.  As we wait on him, he blesses us and provides.  Usually there is not a great deal extra, but always there is enough.  In Isaiah God promises strength, sufficiency and amazing power if we are willing to wait for it.  Isaiah 40:31—Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength they will mount up with Eagles wings.  (They will run without tiring; they will make the journey without passing out!) My paraphrase at end.

We must be willing to endure no matter how Long the battle.  We have to walk by faith and remember the Children of Israel they lived on Manna daily for 40 years.  God’s lessons are not always quick, they are rarely fun but when we follow his plan we always see his Glory win out.  Help me Lord to wait upon you and not try to change your plan.

God Bless You

27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see,(A) he called for Esau his older son(B) and said to him, “My son.”

“Here I am,” he answered.

2 Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don’t know the day of my death.(C) 3 Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country(D) to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like(E) and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing(F) before I die.”(G)

5 Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country(H) to hunt game and bring it back, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob,(I) “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’(J) 8 Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you:(K) 9 Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats,(L) so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it.(M) 10 Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing(N) before he dies.”

11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man(O) while I have smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me?(P) I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse(Q) on myself rather than a blessing.”

13 His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me.(R) Just do what I say;(S) go and get them for me.”