31 December 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year 2018 to our friends who have already transitioned into the new year - our friends in Samoa, Australia, North Korea, China, India, Afghanistan, Greece and many more.

When thinking of a New Year’s verse, there is a section of scripture which has become a staple verse for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Indeed, it has become such a standard recitation for the New Year that I almost developed a lackluster attitude concerning its content. I had lost some of the awe and wonder which accompanied my very first reading of that verse.
Do not remember the former thingsNor consider the things of old.Behold, I will do a new thingNow it shall spring forth;Shall you not know it?I will even make a road in the wildernessAnd rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-19
Yet, as I reflected on the coming year, I began to think about the gift that God grants us with the dawning of each new day. He truly does a new thing ... daily. Each day is filled with opportunities to hear His voice, to feel His presence, to see evidences of His supernatural movement in my life individually and in the lives of others. It holds an opportunity to be an extension of His hands in the earth to be a blessing and encouragement to someone we encounter along this path called life.

And what makes a Happy New Year but a series of happy days, woven together to make a beautiful tapestry of days and weeks and months.

Looking in the dictionary, one of the first definitions of happy is noted as ‘favored by luck or fortune’. It is based on happenings. And while we cannot control all of the things which will happen in 2018 - we can control our approach and response to them. So let's do it with a joy-filled attitude of expectancy … with a teachable spirit and a determination to extract the best life lessons from every situation.

This year …
·         2018 may be a year of reconciled relationships
·         2018 might be the year of renewed health
·         2018 could be the year for a positive financial reversal
·         2018 may hold a series of divine connections and enhanced business effectiveness
·         2018 could see the realization of dreams which have long been dormant
·         2018 could be the year that the LORD connects you with that one special person who will become your life partner

Whatever it holds, know that God will be right there with you … every step of the way.

He is Emmanuel … God with us

He is Omni-present which means it is impossible for Him not to be present in your life.

Even when you cannot see where He is working … or understand how He is working … trust that He is present and that He is working still.

Keep Trusting … Keep Believing!

The year we lost our home in 2011 was nothing compared to the moments in 2017 when I lost hope.

Never lose your hope!!!

You can get through anything as long as there is a hope and expectancy for the next day.
I pray your New Year will be blessed with peace, strength and unending joy.

Happy New Year!


24 December 2017

Endless Praise 2017: Extravagant Love!

Greetings Friends ... Merry Christmas-Eve!

What a wonderful time to reflect on the extravagant love of God.

I am praying that you are enjoying this holiday season. For me … every time I think I have reached the limits of my strength – I find new territories and challenges await. For certain, 2017 has been quite a year for me personally – from health issues, financial challenges, work concerns and areas of spiritual struggle such as I have not encountered in the thirty-one years that I have been following Jesus.

Yet, one thing remains unchanged …


Lately, I have been listening to a song by Bethel called 'Extravagant.

It begins …
“You were a lover before time's beginning
You gave Your love freely withholding nothing
Jesus, my Jesus
You carried the weight of the world on Your shoulders
You stopped at nothing, to prove You were for us
Jesus, my Jesus”

The love of God ... It is truly an amazing love, an amazing grace!

Romans 5:7-8 tells us, Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

He met us right where we were. He loved us right where we were. He loves us right where He finds us and He does not wait for us to get ourselves together. He only beckons us to Himself … to receive the free gift of salvation which He offers. It is truly mind boggling!

Just as the chorus of that song notes:
It's extravagant … it doesn't make sense
We'll never comprehend, the way You love us”

It is a beautiful chorus. 

However, if I am completely honest, it is the second half of the chorus which gives me reason to pause. In referring to that EXTRAVAGANT LOVE, it continues:
It's unthinkable … only heaven knows
Just how far You'd go, to say You love us

Yet – the truth is that we do know how far He would go to say how much He loves us – to show just how very much He loves each and every one of us.

He would leave His majesty and the comforts of heaven, to come to a fallen world, to assume the humble and vulnerable position of a Child, to walk the path of life alongside His creation … to continue that trek beyond the point any of us would have ever been able to endure – to go all the way to the mount of Calvary … to hang and die on a cross

Yet He did not stop there … to descend to the pits of hell to take possession of the keys to death and the grave, to relinquish the enemy of his power and death of its grip …


No, we may never understand the ‘why’ … but we know the ‘what’.

And what He did was to give His life a ransom for many … for you … and for me

Therefore, while we understand that Christmas is a great time to remember His birth, we also know that it is just as great a time to reflect on His life, death and resurrection – an act of EXTRAVAGANT LOVE to bridge the gap between us and God, to afford us the free gift of salvation and eternal life.

It is just a matter of whether we will receive it or not.

In that beautiful song that I mentioned, there is a line which responds to this EXTRAVAGANT LOVE – 
Here is all my love
It's Yours, no conditions
When You pull me close
No, I won't resist it”

Understand that He pulls every one of us close to Him.

He is Emmanuel – God with us!

Therefore, no matter how your Christmas season is shaping out … no matter what you have faced this year … no matter the disappointments that may have arrived at your doorstep … irrespective of the failings you have encountered…

He still stands before you…
With an everlasting, unchanging and unfailing EXTRAVAGANT LOVE!

And while it is often incomprehensible, it is FULLY available … to each and every one of us.


When He pulls you close … don’t resist.
Give all your love … freely … and fully!

A demonstration of EXTRAVAGANT PRAISE …
In awe of an EXTRAVAGANT GOD who is always deserving of the highest praise. 
In response to an EXTRAVAGANT LOVE …


I pray you have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!


08 September 2017

Endless Praise 2017: Praiseworthy!

Greetings Friends!

I have not written here [or anywhere not related to school] in quite some time. When we last left off – ironically – I was writing about praise predators, things that will derail our Endless Praise. And, wouldn’t you know? I got completely derailed by life, working 55-60 hours per week, continuing my college studies and taking care of my mom four-days a week. Then illness struck … three times! I do not say that to garner sympathy but to emphasize that sometimes life just happens. However, the important thing to keep in mind is to pick right back up where you left off and … keep moving forward. The endless praise remains … even in the midst of the trials … even when we feel unworthy and worn out.

He is worthy of praise … His love is praiseworthy!

Several weeks ago, I heard a song which captivated me and had me in tears. It was the song Reckless Love by Bethel. It is a powerful song about the amazing and endless love that God has for each one of us. And, its lyrics reminded me of His relentless pursuit of me …

“Before I spoke a word … You were speaking over meYou have been so, so good to me …Before I took a breath … You breathed Your life in meYou have been so, so kind to me …Ohhh … the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of GodOh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.I couldn’t earn it …And, I don’t deserve it …Still You give Yourself awayOh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”

Simply amazing lyrics!!!
Yet, that is not what had me in tears.
As I struggled to make sense of some of the situations I was experiencing and crying out to God, wondering where He was in the midst of my situations – I was reminded, through this song, that my focus was all wrong.
Self-focused and self-absorbed, I had reached a point where I failed to continue to see His reckless love as something truly marvelous, something to observe and to stand in awe and wonder. The song goes on to state:

“There’s no shadow You won’t light upMountain You won’t climb up … coming after meThere’s no wall You won’t kick downLie You won’t tear down … coming after me”

It is that love … that amazing and unyielding love which He has for all of creation. And, while there are ample situations which I have brought upon myself, there are some that have occurred as a side effect of living life – of being human … in a fallen world. And as I wrestled to understand why the Father would let me endure those situations, I was reminded that He will allow those who have been reconciled to Him already to endure whatever it takes to bring that one home to Him. The same way He allowed His own Son Jesus Christ to endure the unthinkable as He shone His light into the darkness of all time … ascended the mountain of Calvary, suffered and died on the cross, kicked down the walls of death, hell and the grave … and came after me … and you … after that family member … after that neighbor … after that criminal … after that spouse … after that ex-spouse … after that boss, that co-worker, that friend, that enemy. And the most amazing part of that truth is the reality that He did it for each and every one of us without condition. That amazing song by Bethel continues …

"While I was Your foe, You love fought for meYou have been so, so good to me …When I felt no worth, You paid it all for meYou have been so, so kind to me …"

You see, He did not wait until I was in a place of wholeness – for I could never be whole or complete without Him.

He did not base His love for and His pursuit of me upon my goodness – for I could never be good enough.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

No, before I ever made a decision to follow Him – He gave His all for me without expectation of anything in return.

Because love, true love, does not make demands of others that it be reciprocated.
True love only makes demands of itself that it be communicated and demonstrated.

God demonstrated His love in His giving … Christ demonstrated His love in His dying
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16)
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

God, in all His goodness, reminded me –
Through this song and through so many other ways in these past few months –
This is how He loves me and how He desires me to love others.

And that right there … that is praiseworthy!

Have a Blessed Evening Friends!