Drawing a Line In the Sand

IT’S FRIDAY BUT SUNDAY’S COMING……

Good Morning my friends,

We all make mistakes.. BIG ONES, small ones & in between ones.. Mistakes usually are made when you succumb to temptation. You say to yourself, “I’m strong enough to handle this” or “it’s nothing…just innocent fun.” I can only speak for myself but every time I have made mistakes in my life they all seem to have one thing in common.. They are followed with REGRET.. Regret making the decision to walk down that path. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve laid awake at night wishing a mistake would just go away. I would get up the next morning and walk down that same path and there it was again. If you want your life to change bad enough you have got to make that decision on your own. No one can do it for you. Your wife can’t.. Your kids can’t… Your girlfriend can’t.. Your mom & dad can’t. It solely lies squarely on your shoulders.. You have got to make a clean break. A clean break start with repentance. Repentance means owning up to your mistakes, drawing a line in the sand, then turning around and go in the opposite direction that you were going before.
I’ve shared many times over the last 2 years or so about when I made the decision to change my life change. I always knew the type of husband and father that I wanted to be for my family. I always knew the life I wanted to live, however I was caught up with trying to live up to a reputation of being the “fun party guy.” I tried to straddle the fence by living in the flesh and then appear to be that good Christian guy as well. You can take a pig out of the slop, clean it up real good, make it sparkle and shine and put a bow around its head. You can call it whatever you wish. BUT it’s still a pig… I was nothing more than a sparkling pig that was headed for hell.. There’s something about hitting rock bottom. You have no place to turn but to God.. I tried everything else of the world and all it did was put me where
I ended up..
In today’s Scripture, David had just made a huge mistake with Bathsheba. David hit rock bottom and turned to God.. He asked to be cleansed from his sins and his guilty feelings.. He owns up to the mess he created and his disobedience.. When I read David’s words.. I knew exactly what he was feeling… I could feel his words in my heart.. I prayed the same prayer.. I wanted and needed to be cleansed from my sinful past.. I could stand it no longer. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and drew a line in the sand.. I turned from it and said I will not continue down that same path and I ran in the opposite direction.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
(Psalms 51:1-12)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Draw your line in the sand and turn from it and go in the opposite direction..

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

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Death is Nothing to Fear

Good Wednesday Morning my friends,

I have several friends that refuse to go to funerals of our classmates that have passed away. When I ask them why, they all say the same thing, “I don’t like funerals.” Truth be known, I don’t think anyone that attends a funeral is not jumping in joy about going. I don’t think they wake up saying, “oh boy!! I get to go to a funeral today.”

Over the last 18 months, I’ve had my fair share of thoughts about dying. Nothing drastic.. Just those normal thoughts that I’m sure ALL cancer patients play-over in their mind.. You know….the what ifs.. Have I done enough?? or will Keri struggle to get our boys trough college and then struggle financially? Are my boys take the reigns and take on life? It’s those things… What is my legacy??

I lived life 40+ years fearing the finality of death but I fear it no longer. Today, I can look death in the eyes and say bring everything you got.. I’m a child of God.. When my time is up my Lord and ONLY my Lord & Savior can call me home. Until the…death can take a backseat and come along for the ride because it is my desire to live my life like the apostle Paul whom said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” I want Christ to be my life because Colossians 3:4 says, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” I want to Christ to be the principle in my life because Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Christ is all I want to know so I can say Romans 14:8, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” I want to share the Gospel with the masses because 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 says, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Jesus tells us in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” And in John14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” As a child of Christ, I don’t have to worry about death because “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.” (Philippians 1:20-26)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you… Magnify Christ in your body either by life or by death.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

There’s More to Planning than A Pen & Paper

Good Monday Morning my friends,

I love “motivational speakers..” Jim Rohn is one of my ALL-TIME favorite speakers. I have listened to hours upon hours off off his material and read most of his books. Jim Rohn & I share the same birthday, but we were born 38 years apart. I’m not into astrological signs and stuff like that so I’m not certain if having a laser-like passion for life is a Virgo thing or not. If our drive for perfection was just a coincidence or in our nature. If being hardworking, efficient, analytical and methodical in challenges is our strong suit or not but I do know that we both success minded & driven..
Jim Rohn taught me that the key to success in life is planning. He said, “The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.” He also said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
When it comes to planning, I learned the hard way that there’s a right way. I’ve learned that I must first submit my plans to the Will of God. I can do all the planning in the world but I should always make them contingent to God’s approval. The apostle Paul did this when he said “God willing” in Acts 18:21 & “if The Lord permits” 1 Corinthians 16:7. When we place our plans according to God’s will we do two things. We say that God does have a will for us and that He can intervene to carry out His will.
If you really want to experience great success you will first seek to discern God’s will and then plan accordingly. Ephesians 5:17 says that God wants us to “understand His Will.” In Colossians 1:9 it says ?He wants us to “be filled with His Will” and in Romans 12:2 it says He wants us to “Prove His Will.” When we know God’s revealed will we can plan accordingly, however until then the right way is to submit our plan to His Will.
I also learned that’s there’s a wrong way to plan as well. The wrong way is to ignore God’s Will. Our Scripture tells us that to plan this way is “folly”. It is folly because life is complex and full of decisions. Whether it’s for today or tomorrow there are many complex decisions that we have to make. It is folly because life is uncertain. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We don’t know if tomorrow will exist or what will happen. It is totally in God’s hands. It is folly because life is frail. Today’s Scripture says that “it is like a vapor”. We can never tell if when or if we will succumb to an illness, disease or be in an accident. It is folly because life is brief. We are only here for a short time.. Since life is so short it’s important that we do Gods will not our own. When we ignore God’s Will and plan this way it is boastful arrogance and sinful. When we do this, we are setting ourselves above God.

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:13-17)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you… Seek God’s plan for your life and then plan accordingly.

I hope you all have an MAGNIFICENT day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

True Friendship is 24/7 and Not About Convenience

Good Saturday Morning my friends,

Last night when I laid down, I put my earphones in and started listening to Dr. Herb Reavis on my iPad. Dr Reavis is the Pastor at North Jacksonville Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fl. He is a friend of my pastor and comes to preach at WPBC once a year or so. As I laid awake last night listening to him deliver his message, I couldn’t help from thinking about a phone call that I received last night. It was about 6:25 when I received a text asking if I could talk. I replied “yea” and my phone rang immediately. I answered the phone and the friend on the other end thanked me for being there and then broke down crying telling me what was going on.
They told me that they felt like I was the most godly person they knew and that I wouldn’t gossip or judge them but knew I would pray for them and what was going on.. I have to admit that I was at a lose of words at first but I reassured that both Keri & I would be praying and that we are always just a phone call away. It does my heart good to know that my friends know that they can count on me & my family when they’re in need. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a hand to pick them up, an encouraging word, a warm hug or a heartfelt prayer that’s what friends do. They don’t judge, step on you when your down, offer their opinion or kick you to the curb. Keri & I have been there.. We’ve been the recipient on both sides.
They told me that they’ve watched my transformation and love reading my morning devotional. I don’t write my devotion for the praise & admiration. I write because I know people struggle daily with the same things that I have. I write with the hope that my experiences will hit home with someone and they will see that placing their hope & faith in God is the key to peace & happiness..
To my friend that called.. Please know that we love you and your family and we will be praying continuously. I told you last night what I felt in my heart about what’s going on and I stand steadfast on my words. Our door is always open so please feel free to stop by..

“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Be known as a friend that someone in need can count on.

I hope you all have a GREAT day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

Apostasy, Deception, & False Teachings Make You Feel Good

It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming!!

Good Morning my friends,

Prophesy is defined by Merriam-Webster as: to state that something will happen in the future. 1: to utter by or as if by divine inspiration. 2: to predict with assurance or on the basis of mystic knowledge. 3: to speak as if divinely inspired. 4: to give instruction in religious matters : preach. 3: to make a prediction.

As we look at today’s Scripture, it’s clearly a prophetic message from Paul in which he reveals to us a revelation from the Holy Spirit about the dangers we will face. Paul speaks about the danger of apostasy, deception and also false teachings. Our society right now is in the midst of these latter times.. Paul said, “some will depart from faith.” You can turn on the tv almost ever night and see a Pastor from a mega church that has shunned Doctrine and instead preaches a message of prosperity. They will not talk about sin, Jesus being crucified on the cross, repentance or hell. They paint a picture of numerous paths of teaching heaven when the Bible clearly states there’s only ONE way to get to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ.. Those preachers lick their finger and stick it in the air to find out which direction the wind is blowing because their only concern is to not upset their congregation and increase their numbers..
Paul warns us about deception that is going to take place. He is referring to demonic spirits that seek to deceive men & women and to entice them away from the truth. He’s talking about our society whom willingly embraces falsehood to justify their own sin and those that claim to be teaching the Bible while using for their own ideas. He speaks about having a seared conscience which is a reference to not experiencing a feeling of conviction for their sin because of their departure from the truth. We can see this running rampant in our society today. We have been programmed to accept and turn a blind eye to the sins in our lives such as infidelity, lust, other immoral acts & corruption. We justify these things by misusing Scripture.
Paul instructs pastors to remain anchored in God’s word, carefully following “the good doctrine.” He tells them to keep their priorities straight and exercise themselves in godliness. To remain focused on the Word and not things that come from man. Godliness is the path to eternal life and happiness.
My friends, the message is clear. I urge you to dig deep in your Bible and find the message that God has sent. You just can’t read a single verse and interpret on your own. Gods Word must be taken in full context. Remain focused on the Doctrine and not the sanctity of man.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:1-16)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for YOU… Bury yourself in the Bible and learn Gods a Word on your own..

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

If You Want to Play then Get off the Bench

Good Thursday Morning my friends,

When you were a kid and playing in your neighborhood, most of the time if you lived around other kids there would always be some kind of game that would break out that involved picking teams. Growing up in Watauga, I lived on a court that at one time had at least 40 kids. We were always playing football, baseball or kickball. A lot of the time we would play all three in a given day if it were on Summer break.

For the most part we always tried to be fair on who would be captains to pick the teams. It was either the two worse players, the two best or two avg. I don’t like to toot my own horn but growing up I was always athletic. I was always one of the fastest & strongest and to top it off I was very competitive. You can bet, if I was playing in something competitive then I was doing everything I could to win. Actually it didn’t matter what it was I was trying to win..
The world we live in is a lot like the games we played when we were kids. We have two sides to chose from. We can either chose to be like most in society and walk down that wide road that leads to destruction or we can chose the narrow path that leads to eternal life. We can chose the easy path and serve Satan or when more difficult path and serve Christ. But you can’t chose to serve both. You can’t have one foot in and one foot out.. You’re either committed to Christ or you’re serving the flesh..

When I walked the aisle on Nov 13th 2011 and gave my life to Christ, I had enough. I had been living my life straddling the fence for 30+.. I had been using Jesus as a “get out of jail free” card. I treated Him as if He was nothing more than “fire insurance.” I called upon Him when I needed to bailed out of a mess and I would promise to be different but my actions never changed. I had never received Jesus personally by faith. I never approached Him with a repentant heart. I was like many others. I went through the motions because living of the world in the flesh was more fun. It was more exciting.. I could drink, do drugs, flirt with all the women and look at porn. I walked the aisle when I was 12, made a profession of faith, fill out a card and became part of a denomination but that was it… I had religion.. Religion was in my life but I wasn’t a Christian. Religion is man trying to reach up to God. Christianity is God reaching down with a blood stained cross lifting me up out of the muck & misery of my sin..

I am on Jesus’ team now. I’m playing to win not to just show up and been seen.. I want to be a star for Him and Him only. It was because of Him that I was snatched from Satan’s grip, turn away from the gates of Hell and now on my way to spend Eternity with my Savior. In today’s Scripture we are commanded by Jesus to get off the sidelines and go play on His team. You don’t have to worry about being the strongest, quickest, prettiest, or skinniest. He wants YOU to be on His team…

Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you… Choose to play with Jesus and go serve Him with ALL you have..

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24

Get In, Get Out or a Get Out of the Way

Good Wednesday Morning my friends,

There’s not much to hope for in this fallen world that we live in but the one thing that we can put our hope in is Jesus. When we put ALL of our hope and faith in Jesus, we can’t go wrong. When you serve Jesus, our Lord will always take care of your business when you first take care of His business. Since surrendering to the ministry, I’ve been able to take a long hard look at my life as a church goer, believer and disciple.

As I look back over the years, I can clearly see that there are three types of disciples that are in churches today. Each of the three can found in today’s Scripture. When we look at today’s Scripture, Jesus has just fed the 5000. The multitudes had began to follow Him. They were seeing Him heal the sick, cleanse lepers and perform miracle after miracle. They were enamored by the new. They had come to receive and be a part of the glory. They got in on the popular but that all changed when Jesus said,

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (John 6:53-58).

The new just wore off.. They weren’t going to be receiving anymore and that’s not what they wanted. The demands were going to be too much.. They didn’t sign up for that.. You see, they were fair-weathered disciples…They were in it as long as the mountain top moments continued but when it was time to start working in the valley and make sacrifices it was time to go. I have seen and still see many “Christian” that are just like this. They’re all in as long as they’re getting what they want and getting their way but when it’s time to go to work, serve and do a little sweat equity it’s was their time to stop. A lot of times fair- weathered disciples can’t be found. They walk no more..

You can see in verse 66 that Jesus didn’t baby his disciples. When “many of his disciples went back and walked no more with Him” he didn’t beg them not to leave nor for them to come back but instead He turned and ask the twelve if “they were going also.” In verse 70 & 71 Jesus called out Judas Iscariot as being a devil. He didn’t sugar-coat anything.. He boldly confronted Judas and called Him the devil to his face.. He didn’t care if He hurt his feelings… Jesus knew he was going to betray Him. He knew what He was dealing with. You see Judas was a fake-disciple. Judas was like many other “Christians.” He never received Jesus in his heart. He never received Him personally by faith with a repentant heart. He like many others, just went through the motions. They walk the aisle, make a profession of faith, fill out a card and became part of a denomination but that’s it… That’s religion.. Religion is man trying to reach up to God. Christianity is God reaching down with a blood stained cross lifting sinners up out of the muck & misery of sin..

In verses 68 & 69 we see an example of a faithful disciples….. Faithful disciples follow Jesus for who He is… They don’t get distracted. They keep on keeping on.. They believe that He is the Son of the living God.. They believe that He is the ONLY Savior.. That He is eternal life. Faithful disciples stick with Jesus because He will quench your thirst & satisfy your soul..

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:66-71)

My CHALLENGE PRAYER for you… Choose to be a faithful disciple…

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day.. Blessings & much love….D

Live your life like it’s your LAST 24!!!!

#last24