“YOUR SONG BOOK TO LIFE”

“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.”  Psalms 96:2 NIV   Read:  Psalms 96   One of the most repeated commands in scripture throughout your Bible is to sing.  Singing sure seems a lot more beneficial than being angry or depressed.  Our society defines our actions in songs.   Some songs are good and lead us to worship, while others songs have become popular with words of vulgarity and crime.   Radios blare songs of love and songs of hate.  What you choose to listen will help define your thoughts, actions and how you deal with people and situations.  Are you listening to songs to model you as GOD wants or are your listening silently praising the world of Satan?   Of the over one hundred scriptural instructions to sing, almost all direct us to sing praises to our LORD.   The book of Psalms is your ‘song book to life’.   There are more declarations to praise our GOD in Psalms than in all other verses of scripture. The Psalms teach us to not only sing but they teach us to sing in praise as we worship, study, hear, learn, teach others, help others, share HIS Word and pray.   When is the last time you enjoyed the book of Psalms?   Like the old cowboy in the chili commercial said…”Well, that’s been too long!”  Sing the Psalms.  You will be glad you did.  Do it today.   Today’s prayer:  “LORD, Thank YOU for being my GOD.  Thank YOU for guiding me through YOUR word.   Today, I will make an extra effort to sing...

“TIME TO HARVEST CROPS!”

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:11 NIV   Read:   Hebrews 12:4-12   In my weekly drives from San Antonio to Aransas Pass to work on the house being remodeled for the Pastors’ Retreat, I pass through the coastal plains.   With the warm climate, their planting season is very early.  This results in their harvest time being in the middle of the summer.   Maize and feed corn were harvested six weeks ago, while huge cotton bales have been lining the roads for the last few weeks.  As the months go by, harvest time will continue northward over the next month or so.   There are times in each of our lives when we by choice or not harvest what we have sown.  There are times to reflect upon and embrace our work and our efforts during these years our LORD has given us.   Are you prepared to harvest the crops you have planted?  Will your grain bins be overflowing, your cellars stocked well and your barns full of the livestock of your life?  Or, will you harvest the disappointing crops of your errors and sinful ways?   You have a choice.   Take the time to read today’s scripture reading, Hebrew 12: 4-12.   GOD tells us in order to harvest well, we must be disciplined in our lives.  We are to plant and care for our crops so they yield a full harvest.   Unlike growing seasons, we can plant daily.  Your storehouse and barns are...

“DON’T LIVE THERE!”

“But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”  2Peter 1:9 NIV Read: 2Peter 1:5-10 I once read;  “Leave tomorrow behind, you don’t live there anymore.”   We all too often live in the past, full of regrets.   Or maybe, you are looking back at the doubts and insecurities of past errors. Where are you living?   If you are living in the past, ask yourself why.   What does the past offer that the future doesn’t?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing. Simon Peter wrote GOD’S perfect Word in today’s scripture reading and completes GOD’S Blessings with a comforting instruction of our future in verses 10 and 11. “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.  For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.”   Now, that’s where to live! This reminds us of the future we all can have.  It is not based on yesterday.   You can’t go back to all the yesterdays of your life.  But, you can follow the scriptural words of Peter and do each and every thing GOD tells us in today’s reading. Goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love are all instructions for today and the future.   These are of not instructions of the past you cannot change.   They are the instructions of the future you can live in. Today’s prayer: “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for hearing my prayer.   Help me today to shed...

“IS TRUTH DEAD?”

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  1John 1:8 NIV Read:  1John 1:5-10 “IS TRUTH DEAD?” was the entire cover of Time magazine this past April.   The story was about the truth and lack of truth in the politics of our great nation.   Still, the subject is worth exploring as the lack of truth reflects the mood of our nation and society all too much.     Does everyone you know always tell the truth?  Always?   How about you?   Do you always tell the truth?  Always?  I wonder if everyone I have ever met always tells the truth.   It would be great if everyone did.  Yet, it seems even the best of us ‘stretch’ the truth or leave part of it out when we speak. The truth is the only truth in this world we are spending time is the Holy Scripture of GOD.   Every word of every verse of every book is the only Truth you can depend.  As you are caught up in the evils of this world, take a break and enjoy GOD.  Enjoy all of HIS truths knowing HE will lead you to the truth in your life.   Jeremiah wrote of Judah in chapter 7, verse 28: “Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.”    Are we a nation like Judah?   It is not just about politics.  Are you being truthful to all you know and meet?   Isn’t it time we...

“IMAGE OR INTEGRITY?”

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”  Proverbs 11:3 NIV Read:  Proverbs 11:1-8 Cowboy boots, silk dresses, ragged t-shirts, sequined tops, short shorts, coats and ties all present an instant image.   We are judged by what we wear and how we wear it.   We are also judged by what we say and do as well as how we say and do things.   Image is what we want others to believe we are.   Integrity is what we really are.   Read that sentence again!   Image does not matter when GOD knows who we really are. Our demeanor is an instant statement of the image we want to project.   If you believe in the ways of the world we live, image is everything.  As much as Satan wants us to believe, image is not everything. When we can’t depend upon the image another presents, we can count on integrity.   So often, integrity has nothing to do with image.   Job had integrity.  We read in Job2:3:  “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.  And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.'” Job maintained his integrity.   He lost his children, his livestock, his wealth and his health.   Still, he maintained his integrity and GOD restored him. How about you?   Are you projecting an image or does your integrity or lack of integrity prove who you are?  ...

“EVER RAISE YOUR HAND?”

“Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven.”   Revelation 10:5 NIV Read:   Psalms 134, Revelation 10:1-11   As I grew up, I realized there were times it was best not to raise your hand and times to raise your hands high.   One of the first lessons was in Spanish class.   When you have problems with your native language, I learned to never raise your hand when taking a second language class.   Another time, I learned to never raise your hand was in Marine Corps boot camp.   But, there are two times to raise your hand…proudly!   There are times we all should step up and volunteer without being pressured to help.  Raise your hands to help others. The other time to raise our hands is in praise to our LORD.  One hand or both…reaching out to Heaven gives us a humanly effort to honor our GOD. When was the last time you reached out with raised hands to GOD?   HE is closer than you might think and always within reach…just waiting for you.  You don’t have to be in church to raise your hands in praise. Raise your hands to GOD in praise right now.  Now, didn’t that feel good? Today’s prayer:    “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for being so near that I can always reach out to feel YOUR presence and be touched by YOU.  Today, I will raise my hands in praise of all YOU are doing in my life.  Amen.”  ...