challenges

He Is Well Pleased With You

“He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” – 2 Peter 1:17 Let me re-emphasize two points today! First, no matter what challenges you are facing,  know that Christ died for you and that God loves you right where you are. You are the beloved child of God. Secondly, He is well pleased with you. Believe that he is happy with you. And not just in what you do, but just as the Father was pleased with Jesus, He’s pleased with you and loves you. It’s a truth we must believe and accept. In response to this, we must build our whole lives around it. Can we do that today? As we build our lives in response to God’s love, we can trust Him in

Read More »

A Call Goes Out

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ ” – Isaiah 6:8 Today we conclude our look into the life of Isaiah with one concluding question. After encountering God’s theophany in the temple; a call goes out. This call is not just to Isaiah but to the thousands of people who are worshiping in the temple. And what is the question? All God says is, ”Who will go for us? Whom shall I send?” Imagine everyone frozen at the sound of this question. Experts say that when people are terrified, 10 percent of people run away, 10 percent stand up into a leadership position and tell people what to do, but 80 percent of people just freeze.  I imagine everyone is frozen except for Isaiah, who has now had this unconscious

Read More »

Perseverance

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4 I love the word perseverance. Defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success,” I believe this powerful character trait is of utmost importance as we stand on the threshold of a new year. Though the verses above may be familiar to you, there’s something in them Hannah pointed out to me that I think is very significant. Look at the phrase, “let perseverance finish its work.” Did you notice that it’s passive? In other words, without interference, perseverance will have its way in your life, and you will get to where you’re supposed to be. But why would you not

Read More »

Wisdom’s Framework

“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” – Isaiah 33:6 Even though he was in the thick of trials and up to his ears with problems, King Solomon recognized that there would be more value in understanding how to deal with them than if they disappeared. This is an excellent frame of mind to maintain as we enter the new year.  It’s fascinating to me that God not only honored the wise king’s request for wisdom, He assured him that he would have more of it than anyone else on earth. Beyond that, He promised that all the things he wanted but hadn’t asked for would be added to him — wealth, honor, and a long life. I believe this is because the Lord knew that if his

Read More »

Seek God First

“The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.” – 1 Kings 3:4 Now that it’s December 26, I find myself thinking again about the fact that another year is nearly over. Even more importantly, I am beginning to contemplate the one that lies ahead as I seek to prepare my mind and heart for the new challenges and adventures that await.  For inspiration, I find myself looking to the example of King Solomon. At the time he took the throne, this young ruler, who was the son of the legendary King David, had major problems. His brothers were jealous of his reign, the tribal rulers of Israel didn’t like him, he had some big bad enemies at the border, and he had no idea how to lead the people. Knowing that the

Read More »

You Are Antifragile

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5 Today we will continue with part two of examining three cultural keys. Each point is vital and will add significant value to your life! Yesterday we spoke about the importance of connecting with others. Today’s key is we are antifragile. Antifragile is a word coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, one of my favorite authors. He said the opposite of fragile is not robust, it’s antifragile. Antifragile means that small amounts of harm cause a person, place, or thing to become better.  I consider books to be antifragile. The best way to get a book to sell is

Read More »

God’s Will and Power

“…and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” – Luke 6:19 Recently, our son Cohen had a series of seizures and it was a very difficult time for Hannah and I, to say the least. We tried all the emergency procedures, but the attacks wouldn’t stop. We had to call 911 and have him transported to Children’s Hospital of Orange County. It turned out to be a long couple of days for our family. I understand and can empathize with what it’s like to go through trials, and I thought about how I used to pray. I used to pray, “Lord, please, please, let us out of this hospital.” But I have a new philosophy. I don’t pray that way anymore, because I know God’s will and power.   With this belief, my new approach is that I pray Cohen comes

Read More »

Character Produces Hope

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5 Did you know that perseverance builds character, and character produces hope? The word “hope” in the Bible is translated from the Greek word “elpis.” It is defined as “joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” For some individuals, their suffering, pressures, and tough situations have actually transformed them into positive and hopeful people. Despite everything, they’ve learned to walk through life with an inner strength and joy that’s evidenced to everyone.  Some of the believers I know who have gone through the worst situations are amongst the most positive people I know. Because of their experiences, they

Read More »

Wish You Were Better

“And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” – 1 Corinthians 12:31b We’ve all heard of the expression, “When it rains, it pours,” and I’m also certain we’ve all lived it. Maybe you went from being a little bored to having a ton of responsibility. Or everything was running smoothly, and then challenges were popping up from left to right, leaving you to wonder if you could handle it all. I remember when this happened to me. Hannah and I were planting a church Tree of Life and invested all of our tithes and offerings into the community without taking a salary; I was in graduate school, and I had some odd and end jobs. We purchased our home, and then our daughter Haven was born. It was a lot to handle, and I had a bizarre emotional collapse. As I worked through the tears, I sought the

Read More »

Your Pilot Light

“You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” – Psalm 18:28 A friend once asked me, “what does it mean to live in the Spirit or to have the Spirit inside of you?” I can understand him seeking guidance on this concept, because it perplexes people all the time. As we walk through life, we don’t always feel the Spirit of God on the inside. In response to this, the Lord gave me this revelation when I was contemplating how to answer my friend. When you’re baptized, God puts a “pilot light” inside of you. You know what a pilot light is, it’s in your fireplace or your stove. It’s a little blue, almost invisible light that provides the flame needed to light the gas coming out of the main burner. At times you almost need a flashlight to find it. It hardly gives off

Read More »

Receive your daily eDevotional

Don't miss new updates in your email!