Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Very Reluctant Prophet

Jonah ran
Far from his calling
Swiftly in the opposite direction
From where the Lord prescribed
The Ninevites were enemies of the Jews
The thought of them repulsed Jonah
The antithesis of all he held dear
They had brought nothing but misery to his people

Yet God loved them
And the Lord called Jonah to them
To proclaim His living and active word
Jonah’s rebellion caused the sea to quake
When he was thrown into the violent waters
The sea's turmoil ceased

God sent a great fish
It swallowed Jonah whole
Three days and three nights passed
Jonah repented in the belly of the sea creature
In the belly of the whale He offered God
His sorrow and his praise

The obedient fish spewed Jonah
Upon the shore
To the Ninevites he marched
Proclaiming God’s word
Forty more days and Ninevah will be overturned”

A spirit of repentance swept across the land
Multitudes dwelt in the valley of decision
Salvation embraced this wicked city
Jonah’s gloom returned
He longed to die
His heart remained bitter
But God loved this great city

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On the Throne of Our Hearts

Here is a devotion I wrote that was published today at It is titled On the Throne of Our Hearts.  Here is the link to it...  This website posts daily devotions from a variety of writers.

I hope it is a blessing to you.  Have a Happy New Year!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Divine Appointments

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 
Acts 1:8

Some years ago, I decided to take a music theory class at a local junior college. I introduced myself to one of the students there named Frank. I always greeted him warmly when I saw him. In my heart I believed that he needed to know the Lord. One day after class had finished, I was about to leave the school building and drive home, when I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to stick around for awhile. I believed the Lord wanted me to minister to someone, but I didn't know who. I had my guitar with me. Sometimes after class, I would pick out a small music room to practice in. But that was not what the Lord wanted me to do – at least not yet.

In my spirit, I felt the grieving of the Holy Spirit so I prayed in tongues silently, while I waited in the cafeteria for God's further direction. Honestly, I felt a little bit foolish waiting around like this, but I believed the Lord was leading me. After twenty minutes had transpired, I saw Frank waltzing through the cafeteria. I said, “Hi Frank.” And then, “Would you like to hear some of my songs? We could go to one of the practice rooms upstairs.” He said, “Sure. I'd like to hear them.” We made our way to a practice room and I played a few of my songs. I could see that the Lord was moving in my friend's heart. Then I witnessed to him about the free gift of salvation, and he accepted Christ into his heart and life. Hallelujah!

After the music theory course was over, I lost touch with Frank. But about four years later, I ran into him again. He told me he was doing well. He said he played in the band at a church he was a part of and that he was living for the Lord. That was music to my ears.

As I write about this story, I am motivated to allow the Lord to use me in ways like this again and again. I hope you feel the same way. You may be thinking that you cannot be used by God in such a way, but let me encourage you that you can. A good prayer to pray is to ask God for divine appointments. God has a way of bringing us into the lives of people we are uniquely qualified to minister to. In my case, I ministered to a music student, with my music. You may have other skills. You may have unique knowledge and experience that make you able to reach certain types of people.

Let's open up to the Lord by asking him for divine appointments and the boldness to reach people. Jesus is a Master at putting such appointments together. He has empowered you and I to be his witnesses. The word “power” in Acts 1:8 can also be translated ability. Jesus has given us His ability to be witnesses. Let's rise to the challenge.

Dear Father God,

I ask you to give me divine appointments. I want to reach others for the Kingdom of God. Lord, use my unique skills, knowledge, and experience to minister to others. I ask you for the boldness and ability to carry this out. Thank you Lord! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Achieving God-given Dreams

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor. Proverbs 12:24

My wife and I celebrated our honeymoon in Hawaii during the summer of 2002. One day, while on the island of Maui, we discovered a music store. I am a guitar player, so I naturally began trying out different instruments. Then a disheveled man in his thirties strolled into the store. He wore tattered clothes and his dark hair was out of place, but he picked up a guitar and then a ukulele and made the two instruments sing. It was evident that the man had musical skill.

The store owner approached him. “Bob (I don't remember his real name), why don't you work for me as a teacher?”
Bob replied with a smile, “I don't think so. I like my life the way it is.”
Bob lived on the beach; he decided not to work, even when he was offered a job that he probably would enjoy.

So what does this story have to do with accomplishing our dreams? I believe that God offers to everyone a dream, vision, or revelation for his or her life. If we are living for Him, and we seek Him, the Lord will reveal to us the plans He has for us. Then it is up to us to apply diligence toward the fulfillment of the vision God has instilled in us. The Scripture says that diligent hands will rule. This means that God will make us leaders as we apply ourselves in the direction He has revealed to us.

I'm not sure what Bob's purpose is. I hope he is doing more with his life than watching the waves go by. Taking a job as a music teacher would be a good first step for him to become productive. Maybe you've heard it said that God cannot steer a parked car. When we become faithful in little things, God will see to it that we step into the bigger dreams of our lives.

Let's ask God to reveal to us His vision for our lives, and then let's apply diligence toward the completion of our goals. In the parable of the talents, the Master added talents to those that were faithful and He said to them, “Come and share in your Master's happiness.” There is joy in pursuing and achieving God's goals for our lives.

One of my goals is to write songs that are a blessing to the body of Christ. During that trip to the music store, my wife bought me a compact traveling guitar. This was a wonderful gift. I have used it to lead worship in small groups, and I have also used it to write songs.

Whatever the dreams are in your heart, determine today that you will not let time slip from your grasp. Work hard to see the dreams in your heart, come to pass. Do this with a desire to further Christ's kingdom and bring Him glory. Then your life will drip with significance.