Pre-Marriage Counseling

Before I perform a wedding, I meet with the couple for 6 weeks to help them prepare and plan for their marriage. It is such a great time to see these couples talk about their love for each other, their hopes and their dreams for the future. Everything they do and think is for that other person. This may sound strange, but as I meet with them, I tell them that their love is not the most important love in their life.

In Revelation 2:4 we read, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Jesus told the church in Ephesus that they had lost their love for Him and given it to others. In reality, Jesus wanted them to give Him their love first before anyone else.

If we really want to love our family and friends, we must first love our Lord. It is through that love for Him that we find the capacity to love those around us. The most important love in your life should always be Jesus.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

The Most Influential Woman in the World

Recently, National Geographic magazine wrote an article saying that Mary was “the most influential woman in the world”. The article said that she is the most virtuous woman to ever walk the earth and has been a spiritual leader to people around the world for centuries. While I believe that Mary is a very special person in the Bible and the mother of Jesus, I believe that there is someone more influential than her.

In Proverbs 31:25 we read, “25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

I believe that the most influential woman in the world is the one we call “mom”. There is nothing more important and influential than a mother who loves the Lord, loves her family and displays the Lord’s love to her family everyday. Ladies, if you want to influence the world, the best place to start is in your house.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Give Thanks

The holidays are officially here! With Thanksgiving this week, before you know it, we will be celebrating Christmas.  We plan and prepare all year, but it always seems as though there is never enough time to do all that we want to do during this season. There are more people to visit, more gifts to buy, more meals to cook, more decorations to be hung. It is fitting that we take time today to give thanks for all of the blessings that the Lord has given us.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 –  18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

As you look at your life today, what are you thankful for? The people you know? The health you have? The prayers that have been answered? The job that you have? The fact that God loves you? Whatever it is, take time today to give thanks “with a grateful heart” for all that the Lord has done for you.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

It’s Game Time!

Not only are the holidays getting closer, but the playoffs for football (college and NFL) are also near. It is this time of year where football teams are playing for their “playoff lives”. That means there can be no mistakes, no bad games, no losses. For many teams, it is “do or die”. Some have already begun to give-up because they have lost too many games. Others are anxiously working towards that moment when they will “clinch” a playoff spot. Football can be very unforgiving — you win you are “in”, you lose you are “out”. There isn’t a lot of grace or forgiveness in football. Aren’t you glad that the same concept doesn’t apply to our spiritual lives?

In John 1:14 John tells us, “14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thanks to Jesus, we have already attained our goal of reaching the “playoffs”. Because Jesus is full of grace, we can rest in His presence and glory. Even though football may be very unforgiving, take comfort in knowing that we are loved by a gracious and forgiving Savior. As you begin your day today, remember “it’s game time”!

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

Every day, we are faced with decisions. From the moment we wake to the moment we go to sleep, our life consists of a series of decisions. It is those decisions that help determine what will happen to us, how we live and our future. If decisions are so critical to us, how should should we handle them?

In Proverbs 2:6 we read, “ For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;”

Regardless of the decision, we must always seek the Lord. As it says in Proverbs, “For the Lord gives wisdom;“. Remember, before you act, pray. It is only the Lord that will give you “knowledge and understanding”.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Tis the Season

Well, it is that time of year again…… Everything has started – the Christmas movies, the Christmas music….. It is amazing how many different ways we can tell and sing about the “Santa” story. In some movies, we see Santa answering peoples “prayers” and making all of their dreams come true. In others, we see Santa save people from disaster. You see, there are many ways that people want to see Santa during Christmas. Even though the “Santa story” may change, we can take comfort that the Christmas story never will.

Hebrews 13:8 tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

That is the real Christmas story. Jesus came, Jesus lived and Jesus real return. It is Jesus and only Jesus that will answer our prayers. Only Jesus will save us from disaster. Even through Christmas will come every year, we can take comfort that Jesus never will.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

“What goes up, must come down”. It is a saying that we have all heard, and probably said. For some, it is a reference to careers. In other words, “be careful how you treat people on the way up, because you will have to deal with them on the way down.” There is also the obvious reference to things that go up in the air. Most likely, they “must come down”. While this is common in our daily lives, did you also know that it perfectly describes our salvation?

In Revelation 1:7-8 we read, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Our salvation is secured because “what goes up, must come down”. Jesus ascended back to Heaven, and we can take comfort that “He is coming with clouds”.  Because Jesus “will come down”, we can rest assured that we “will go up”.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Where Did They Go?

There have been many times during my lifetime where I wonder “where did they go?” Perhaps it was someone I was talking to, but suddenly disappeared. More recently, this question applies to my contact lenses as I try to put them in my eyes. Regardless of the situation, we often wonder “where did they go?” Have you ever asked that question about people in your church?

In Matthew 14:21-23 we read, “21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there” Jesus sent the 5,000 away, but “where did they go?”

As you develop relationships with people at your church, remember to be there for them at all times. During the good, the bad, the difficulties and the celebrations. As you think of your church family, think of those you no longer see. Rather than ask, “where did they go?” reach out to them today and let them know you were thinking of them.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Enjoying the Storm

You might not believe this, but we all can benefit from the storms in our lives. Getting back to my story about the tree that fell in our backyard during the storm — there was blessing. The Lord took something dead and removed it from our lives. In other words, the Lord cleaned our house so something else could grow in it’s place.

In Luke 8:24 it states, “24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm” With a few simple words, Jesus calmed the storm that the disciples were facing. With those same simple words, He can do the same in your life.

We will all face storms in our lives, but not all will have the ability to enjoy them. You see, it is through the storms that the Lord sends our way, He is able to removed the “dead” things from our lives so that He can replace them with living and growing things. As you look at the storms you are facing, learn to enjoy them because out of them will come the Lord’s blessing. Remember, the Lord doesn’t bring storms to discipline us, He brings them to purify us.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Timber!!!

Recently, we had a large tree fall in our back ground. I have to admit that it was not necessarily a surprise. You see, the tree had died and I knew eventually that we would need to cut it down. A large storm came (rain and wind) and the tree fell on its own. Believe it or not, our prayers were answered — the tree didn’t hit anything, didn’t damage anything and it saved us money for having to pay someone to cut it down! As I was looking at the fallen tree, I was reminded of what can happen to us spiritually.

In Matthew 27:24-27 we read, “24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Just like our tree and the house built upon the sand, when we become spiritually dead, the storms in our lives can lead to our fall. The wind blows, we get beat, and eventually “great was its fall”. Remember, we will all face storms, make sure there is still life in our spiritual walk.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!