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“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James‬ ‭1:12‬‬

I hung up the phone and hung my head. Had I done enough? Was there something more I could have said…or said now to help? Psychologists have coined the term “Messiah Complex” to refer to individuals who have a firm belief that they are responsible for the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of others. At this point I was in full blown “Messiah Mode!”

The phone call was from a friend who had been struggling for years with relationship issues, self-doubt and fear. On the other hand she was compassionate, understand had, on the surface anyway, a deep love for Jesus. The last few months had been tough. Her family life was hard, her job ended, and God seemed unwilling or unable to help. Her phone call was short but not sweet. She’d had it with God and with living the illusion that he existed and cared about her. She asked me to leave her alone and not bother to pray for her because prayer is worthless.

I have to admit, I don’t blame her. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve struggled or seen the struggles of others and asked the “Why?” question.

There aren’t easy answers. He’s wonderful and confusing all at once. Yet, for me anyway, one thing I’ve noticed is that God’s greatest blessings often seem to come during, or on either side of life’s greatest trials. Had I not known the depths of despair, I never would have experienced the strength of his peace.

I’ll respect my friends desire for distance, but I’ll continue to pray that she sees the God I see. I don’t understand him, but I’m nothing without him. As Peter said when many were leaving Jesus because he disappointed them, “Where else can we go?”


“Life is short”. We’ve heard it said. Perhaps we’ve said it ourselves. There is a lot of truth to the statement. The Psalmist even verifies it…somewhat. We never really know when this earthly adventure will end. Some live over a century; some a few years; some for minutes. Life is short isn’t a mandate to party or fill your life with every creature comfort you can, it’s a mandate to live wisely.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬

Wisdom begins and ends with our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The wise man builds his house on the firm foundation of personal faith in Jesus Christ.


For those of us in the business of serving people we know all to well the meaning of the word ‘burnout’. Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Burnout is the culprit in the demise of many relationships from families to ministry to any other service related activity. It is , I believe, the reason many pastor families break up; the suicide rate is so high in the armed forces, and emergency personnel (police, fire, etc). Could it be a major contributing factor to substance abuse as well.


The Apostle Paul describes two types of people in Galatians six, those empowered by human emotions and those empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Living by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us two things (maybe more). One is the strength to do good when we are unappreciated and expectations exceed our ability to meet them. Secondly we live in the constant reminder that God will eventually reward us for our efforts.


Feel overwhelmed and under appreciated? Remember it’s not your strength or power, but God working through you. He’s never held us responsible for results, he only promises to reward our efforts in his time. Press on mighty warrior!


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love and hate. It seems in many ways lately we have far more examples of hate than love. Love seems to be defined in some circles as a weak emotion, or as measured by what the object of our love can do for us. “How can you fill my desires?” “What will you do for me?” Far too often ‘love’ ends when needs aren’t met; opinions aren’t valued; desires fall short; dreams are shattered.

Especially for us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, love must always be defined by the perfect example of love, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is John 3:16, ““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

But we often overlook the very next verse, and to me this verse sets the stage for the previous verse and life in general. “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John‬ ‭3:17‬) Imagine that! NO condemnation! Paul writes the same thing in Romans, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans‬ ‭8:1‬)

That’s love! Being passionate about a relationship with someone who is, in every way, shape and form different than you with absolutely no chance to measure up to your standards.

Jesus calls us to love! Especially to love those who are brothers and sisters in the faith. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John‬ ‭13:34‬)‭

So how can we, as believers in Jesus do anything other than love? Recently I’ve seen so much hatred expressed on social media. Some has been by non-believers and that’s to be expected. But much Seems to be directed towards professing Christians who may read a different version of the Bible, attend a different denomination, or hold to different opinions on doctrine or theology.

Brothers and sisters. Let us not forget we are to shine the light and love of Jesus wherever we go! John puts it bluntly. If you don’t love, question who your God is.


So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Satan is real. Satan is powerful. He’s a deceptive, conniving, cunning, evil person intent on instilling fear and destruction in our lives. His main goal in life is to rob us of the spiritual blessings God has for us. He wants to rob our peace. He wants us to question God’s love and forgiveness. He wants to spread worry and fear. He’s also a big bully and he knows it. He knows that with Jesus in your life you are empowered with the very Spirit of the loving, most high God. He’s no match for the power within you.

There are plenty of stories out there of little kids who are finally tired of being bullied. They stand up to the bully and he runs away because deep inside he’s really a coward. That’s Satan. Stand up to him. Respect his power but release the power of God’s Spirit and watch him run. We are more than conquers through Jesus Christ our Lord. Remember who has your back!

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