A Red Motor Bike Moment

Red motor Bike

Psalm 121:8 “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

A red motor bike!!!! Merry Christmas!! At 13 years old, he couldn’t wait to try out his new gift. But there are rules: don’t do this, and be sure to do that. Sure enough, the young teen breaks the first rule on the first day and tries a risky stunt that his daddy specifically told him NOT to do.

Ya see, he had reasoned it all out in his own mind. In his mind, it would work. But soon: instant regret, right along with instant pain.  His first thought was to hide the pain so he wouldn’t get caught.

So far-so good, he thinks. No one has come rushing out of the house. No yelling or screaming. The conclusion….. no one saw it. He felt like he was in the clear. All he had to do was hide his pain. That pain could give him away.

That little boy, was my husband Mike. He didn’t know it at the time, but his daddy had been watching from the window the entire time. His father had watched to ensure his son’s safety: ready to run to his rescue should he need it. Mike hid his pain for nothing!

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Remember how Mike’s dad was watching him through the window?  We can see from God’s Word that our Heavenly Father is doing the same. He loves you and wants the best for you. No need to hide your pain, shame or guilt anymore. We all have mess ups. Thank God that He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

Then we can rely on this, “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds.” Jeremiah 30:17. If you’ve had a red motor bike moment in your life, God already knows, and He wants to restore you! Oh how great the Father’s love is toward us!




It May Be Time to Stir Things Up a Bit

AGITATION: Agitation is the act of stirring things up, like the agitation of a washing machine that moves the water, detergent, and clothes around and gets the dirt out.

In order to clean, there must be some agitation.  Take washing clothes for example. No matter how far you look back in history, some sort of agitation was necessary for the process of cleaning.


When I clean my house, I may stir things up a bit, especially when I dust! Sometimes, my house looks worse before it looks better. For example, when I recently cleaned out, organized and purged items from my closet, my house was in disarray. I had stuff everywhere!!!! BUT, I knew it was just part of the cleaning process.

But why did my closet need cleaning? I could barely step inside my closet to reach my clothes. It had gotten cluttered with various storage items. No, it wasn’t always that way, but over time I would slowly put things in my closet that perhaps I wasn’t quite ready to get rid of. I also would hide boxes, bags, etc in there when people would come visit, and then I’d just leave it there thinking I’d get to it later. In time, this behavior crowded me right out of my own closet.

We often do this in our spiritual life…..hold on to things that we should really get rid of…or hide things we don’t want anyone to see. In time, our spirit man can’t fulfill the purpose God intended because of all the un-spiritual junk!

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart Oh God!

When God reveals areas in your life that need a bit of “cleaning up,” it may not feel good, and you may feel a bit of agitation. God may be stirring things up, but He is preparing you for something greater! Don’t begrudge the cleansing, because the reward is more than worth it.


Feeling like Jupiter

The planet Jupiter’s iconic red spot is actually a storm of monumental proportions. This red spot has become a distinguishing characteristic for children trying to identify planets. Imagine three Earth’s put together….that’s how big this storm is. Furthermore, it’s been raging for hundreds of years with winds that reach 425 miles per hour!!

In 1969, Camille, a category 5 hurricane brought 190 mile per hour sustained winds when it made landfall in Mississippi. And who can forget 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states with winds reaching 174 miles per hour.  Just days ago, Hurricane Florence hit our Southern East Coast with wind gusts up to 105 miles per hour.

These furious winds, combined with atmospheric pressure changes, force the ocean to rise beyond its borders creating what we call storm surge.  This results in devastating and destructive flooding. These catastrophic storms are deadly and costly, but thank God they do not last for hundreds of years like Jupiter’s red spot.

Over the years many scientists have pondered not only the size of the red spot, but they are curious as to why this storm hasn’t fizzled out after a few centuries. From start to finish, the average hurricanes here on Earth are measure by hours or days.

Hurricanes always form over the sea, and take days to develop, and grow in size and strength. The warm moisture from the ocean actually fuels the storm. So what eventually stops the hurricane? Without fail, the moment it makes landfall, the storm begins to degrade and lose momentum because it has lost its fuel. Secondly, the solid ground creates friction, further compromising the storm’s structure. Conditions become unfavorable for the storm. Simply put, it falls apart, and will soon come to an end.

Solid ground! That’s the answer! That’s the reason Jupiter’s storm has been raging for centuries. Jupiter: this giant ball of gas, has no solid ground and no defense against the raging storm.

Thank God that HE is our Solid Rock! He is our defense and safe place!

The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock—I take refuge in Him!—He’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety.” Psalm 18: 2 ceb

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:2 nlt

He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him. God is a safe place to be.” Psalm 62:6-8 msg

Are you feeling a bit like Jupiter?  You may be weary from the storm, and your flesh and your heart may fail….. but God will be your Rock and He will give you strength….. always.  (Psalm 73:26 ampc)

Draw near to God (your solid ground), and He will draw near to you, and the pressures of your storm will dissipate. “He will heal your broken heart and He will bind your wounds!” (Psalm147:3)

I thank God that He is our firm foundation, and our solid ground! He makes our storms fall apart!

What’s Holding You Down?

“Hallelujah You have won the victory
Hallelujah You have won it all for me
‘Cause death could not hold You down
You are the risen King
Seated in majesty
You are the risen King”
THE ANTHEM by Planetshakers

As we sang these promising words one Wednesday night, God reminded me that had He NOT “gotten up” there would be NO victory. Then He added, “It’s the same with you. If you don’t get back up-there will be NO victory!”

David got up from the grief over the death of his son, and became a victorious King.
(2 Samuel 12:15-20)
Hannah got up from her barrenness, and became the mother to many: one of whom was the most renowned prophet in all of scripture. (1 Samuel 1:1-18)
Peter got up from his shame of denying Jesus (Luke 22:54-62), and went about healing and doing other miracles under a mighty anointing (Acts 5:15-16).
Elijah got up from his suicidal depression.
(1 Kings 19:1-8)
Lazarus got up from the grave, and lived! (John 11:38-44)

What is holding you down today?

  • Guilt/Shame/Condemnation
  • Grief/loss/Betrayal
  • Depression/Past Hurts
  • Sickness/Disease/Physical limitations
  • Financial burdens
  • Addictions/Bad Habits/Sin
  • Insecurities/Anger/Bitterness

Holding on to any of these things will create a stronghold in your life: holding you down and keeping you back from the wonderful plans God has for you.  If you stay down, you will live a life weighted by the very burdens that Jesus’s death and resurrection set us free from.

Just like Jesus called Lazarus to get up and come out of the grave, He is calling you and me to get up and come out from under these things that can so easily overwhelm and torment us. He doesn’t want us imprisoned! He wants us free!

I’m here today to tell you…..Don’t quit. GET UP!! It’s the only way to victory! These “things” don’t have to define you, and they certainly don’t have become a fixture in your life that holds you down. Don’t let anything keep you from His purpose which is “to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10tlb). He has won the victory! He defeated death to give us life! So live!! Get up and live!

No Need to Get Worked Up Over Old News

Me: (My 18year old daughter calls my cell phone while I’m at work) Hello?

Daughter: Hey, are you okay? Breaking news just interrupted my show; there’s a shooting near your work.

Me: Really? I’ve not heard anything, and we normally do (I work downtown).

Daughter: Yup, it’s on right now, and says it’s near your work. I just wanted to call and make sure you were okay. Love you.

Me: Love you too.

I go next door and mention this to my co-worker, who promptly begins searching the news for more information. I work at a child care center located downtown: if there is an active shooter in the area, our school goes on lock down. My coworker’s concerned look became puzzled when she couldn’t find any news about it. Once I got home, I asked my daughter if there were any updates on the shooting.

Daughter: Yeah……about that…..Breaking news DID interrupt my show today, but then I realized I was watching an old recording of Dr. Phil.

We had a good laugh, and I couldn’t wait to get back to tell my coworker. I loved, and appreciated the concern my daughter had for me, but the truth was: she had gotten worked up over something that happened weeks ago, if not a couple of months ago. The emergency was long over. The immediate crisis had been handled, and was now under control.

We’ve all experienced hurts in our life, right? Well, some impact us more than others. There was one particular hurt that cut me deep, and I wept and grieved over it. Days passed, and it was all I could think about. Weeks passed, and it was all I could think about. Months passed, and this situation would randomly stab my thoughts, causing a twinge of pain. Though the matter had been dealt with, prayed over and forgiveness given, those hurtful moments were still camping out in my mind. It was old news!! Yet, the recording of my hurt would replay MY breaking news over and over.

This continued to happen on and off for months. It begin to make me mad: to have my thoughts invaded with old news as if it had just happened. Every time I thought I had moved on: BOOM! Replay! And the truth is, sometimes I would entertain the flash back of “breaking news,” even though it ripped the bandage right off my wounded heart. Re-living those moments made my anger and hurt fresh, even though it was old news that had already been dealt with.

One day, after another unauthorized replay of old news: I heard something in my spirit that even *I* thought was odd. It was something I’d never heard before: only a dog goes back to his vomit. Wait, what?? Is that a scripture? I looked it up, and much to my surprise…..I found it was a scripture that appears only twice in the entire Bible.

Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”

2 Peter 2:22 “They prove the truth of this proverb: A dog returns to its vomit. And another says, A washed pig returns to the mud.”

The light bulb finally clicked on: if my hurt didn’t go down good the first time, why would I keep returning to it over and over the same way a dog returns to his vomit? God was showing me that replaying those hurtful events that were already dealt with, was foolish! A waste of His time and mine.

I had washed my mind in forgiveness and prayer only to make it dirty again with unhealthy thoughts about those that hurt me. God wanted me to stop responding to old news!!! It was over! I needed to let it go.

This wasn’t the first significant hurt I had experienced, and it may not be the last. But I have learned a valuable lesson. “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” Philippians: 4:8 .

Wildfire Part III: The Countermeasure

CLICK HERE FOR Wildfires Part I: The Condition

CLICK HERE FOR Wildfire Part II: The Cause

Please enjoy the final devotion in this series below…….Wildfire Part III: The Countermeasure.

Wildfire defined: an unplanned fire (unexpected and unforeseen).

But WE as Christians know that trials and tribulations will come. We don’t have to be caught unprepared. NO, we shouldn’t walk around fearful and full of forebodings, but we should not be ignorant either.  John 10:10 tells us the exact purpose of our enemy: to steal and to kill. Peter plainly tells us, “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

So now that we know, how should we should prepare?

  1. Avoid spiritual drought conditions which puts us at a much higher risk.
  2. Avoid spiritual carelessness. Live carefully. Keep your guard up because, “Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack” (1Peter 5:8).
  3. Make a pre-emptive strike: Fight fire with fire!!!

Firefighters often employ a countermeasure called a Controlled Burn or a Prescribed Burn: it’s more of an offensive move than a defensive one. This tactical approach doesn’t wait for a fire storm to spread out of control.

This countermeasure is also referred to as a fire of restoration (repair, rebuilding, and renewal). When we get saved, our hearts and minds are renewed in Christ. But there’s more: the baptism of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist said that when Jesus comes, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).

The Holy Spirit in us gives us fire power!

If you want to know what the power of the Holy Spirit looks like, take a look at the disciples. Firstly, Jesus taught and trained them. Then, the Holy Spirit empowered them (Acts 2). Through them, the power of God healed people, raised the dead, and cast out demons. Jesus said that every believer would be able to do what He did and even more because He was sending us the Holy Spirit (John 14:12). Wow! Remember Luke 3:16: that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire! We can fight fire with fire!!

Not only do we have offensive power, but we have defensive power when we put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:16 tells us that the shield of faith will quench the destructive fire of our enemy.

Thank God that He loves us enough to give us the power to overcome. Yes fire storms will come, but we can rest assured that God is on our side, working all things for our good. He even said that trials will perfect us, make us whole and we will lack nothing (James 1:2-4) much the way a Controlled Burn brings restoration and renewal.

Fight fire with fire! We are not powerless!

Wildfire Part II: The Cause

CLICK HERE TO READ   Wildfire Part I: The Condition

CLICK HERE TO READ Wildfire Part III: The Countermeasure

“Your Forest-Your Fault –Your Loss.”

“Forest Fires Aid the Enemy,”

“Our Carelessness, Their Secret Weapon.”

These slogans predate Smokey Bear, but with foreign and domestic fire threats to our homeland running high, the wartime council began the fire prevention campaign during World War II. The war council had seen firsthand the destruction in our homeland from foreign threats as shells had exploded in an oil field very near a National Forest, but what they feared most was domestic threat. Statistics revealed then and now, that our own people were to blame for destructive wildfires 9 out of 10 times.  Just a few years later in 1950 this was sadly proven true when the wildfire that made Smokey Bear become a living legend, would destroy 17,000 acres and risk the lives of hundreds of men.

The Condition: drought

The Cause: ONE camper. One careless act. One devastating outcome.

The enemy that was most feared was living in our homeland: us! I submit to you the WE are often the cause of our own trials and tribulations: not necessarily purposely, but carelessly. Sometimes we play with matches when we know better.

The WWII slogan reapplied: “Our carelessness, ‘Satan’s’ secret weapon!” Sometimes Satan doesn’t have to “do” anything at all to make our lives miserable because WE are doing good job of it all by ourselves.  Just like the war council saw fit to teach and train people on the importance of acting responsibly, and the dangers of carelessness; God teaches us in His Word to live a life full of purpose, full of abundance, full of power, and free of needless destruction.

I can’t speak for you, but I will tell you that I have made bad decisions, and have suffered the consequences. Ever said, ‘if I could do it all over again, I would do things differently?’ I certainly have. We say this because we know that WE were responsible; WE had the power to make a difference.

Hang in there with me, there IS GOOD NEWS!

Did you know that:

  • Fire is required for the reproduction of some trees. Without a fire, these seeds can lie dormant for decades
  • Fire is required for the long-term survival of 33 native plant species
  • Fire rids the forest of diseased plants and trees

This is a great example of what God does for us. He gives us beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3). He replaces our mourning with joy. He forgives us and restores us! We will have new growth! New Life!! A Second chance!

Satan would love to sit back and blame us; belittle and condemn us for making mistakes. He would love to see us sit in the dark ruin of our own wildfire: devastated and wasting away. We might be ‘the cause’ sometimes, but with God we are ‘NOT a lost cause.’ He loves us so much that He is willing to make ALL things work for our good! (Romans 8:28)  So even though I may create my own mess, God still turns it around for my good.