The Little Drummer Boy

At a small group gathering the other night, while my husband and his friend were accompanying with guitars, I looked around the room to see the many smiling faces as songs flowed from their lips filling the room with joy and peace.

 I love Christmas carols. There is something so beautiful and honoring in singing carols about Jesus in the Christmas season. After all, that’s what Christmas is really about, His birth, His life, and His sacrifice for our redemption. 

We sang many of my favorite carols, Silent night, Away in a Manger, and What Child is This? But we did not sing another piece that I like very much, The Little Drummer Boy. There are so many pa-rum-pa-pum-pums in the song, that it’s not immediately obvious what’s going on.  The story kind of goes like this…The little drummer boy narrates and the Magi invite him to come along with them to see baby Jesus: 

“Come, they [the magi] told me . . . a newborn King to see . . . our finest gifts to bring.” 

When they arrive, they gather around baby Jesus bearing their gifts. But the little drummer boy is very sad that he has no gift that is fit to give a king. Timidly, he says that he only has a drum, but asks if he could play it for the baby Jesus. Mary nods her approval, and the little drummer boy plays- Pa rum pa pum pum- and baby Jesus smiles at him while the little drummer played his best for Him.

How special it was that the little drummer boy, who had nothing to give, came to Jesus who was born in poverty, among animals in a stable…a humble child who meets His humble father Jesus. You might say Jesus met him where he was. Our father is like that, you know.

Aren’t we a little like the drummer boy when we first meet Jesus? 

When we first come to Him, we sense in His presence our frailty. We come to Him feeling inadequate, insecure, and poor in spirit. We have really nothing to give, but then again, nothing is necessary. As we surrender to Him, He simply frees us to be who He’s made us to be? He tells us that we are enough and to take our drum and play it, pa rum pa pum pum, so that others may come.

And so, in obedience, we play it for Him and we play our best for Him, declaring that we are small, that we are weak, that He doesn’t need us in the least, but that with all that we are, with every little speck of nothing we have, we are giving it to Him. 

Worshipers of Jesus (like the Magi) encourage their neighbors (like the drummer boy) to consider Jesus — to come and meet Him. And when the neighbors do come, if they will believe, a moment happens when they realize their frailty and comprehend His glory, and then they look deep within themselves:

“But I am broken. I am empty and poor. I’ve got nothing to bring a King. All I have is this drum.” 

Turning to them, Jesus gently responds, “Play it for me and for my glory”, and then with awakened hearts they gladly play their very best for Him…

Pa rum pa pum pum…


Comfortable with an enormous lead over his opponent, the prideful hare decided to
rest for a while. Figuring he had nothing to worry about, he relaxed peacefully by a
tree and soon drifted off to sleep. You know how the story goes. Eventually his slow
and steady contender, the tortoise, who didn’t seem to be a threat, overtook him and
won the race. In this well-known fable, the hare is the epitome of complacency.

1) Complacency is Dangerous for Christians Because It Means You Are Not
Growing. The dictionary defines complacency as “a feeling of smug or uncritical
satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements; a feeling of being satisfied with how
things are and not wanting to try to make them better.” Complacency is often the root
of our failures, at work, in our relationships, and in our walk with Christ. When we
become complacent, it becomes about us alone, our needs, our desires.Complacency
is the perfect tool for the enemy to lure us into a false sense of entitlement. After listing
some of the qualities every Christian should have, Peter stated, “For if these qualities
are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8). In effect, if you are a Christian who
is complacent with your growth in God, you are in danger.

2) The Danger of Complacency can lead to a False Sense of Security.
Complacency tempts us to remember our past laurels while we should be looking
ahead to the next battle God wants us to win. So often we can experience the power
of God in our lives and then assume because he acted like that in the past, he will do
the same in the future. We may develop a false security and no longer seek God in
the present or the future. In Isaiah 32:9-11, “You who are so complacent, rise up and
listen to me; you who feel secure, hear what I have to say! In little more than a year
you who feel secure will tremble, tremble, you complacent ones…” God gave a strong
warning to those complacent and unaware of His sovereignty. In the midst of our
comfortable lives, we often forget who’s really in charge, the One who has all power in
His hands. Our hope must be in Him, not in the earthly things that make us feel safe.

3) Complacency can cause us to receive the Grace of God in Vain
The saying “use it or lose it” is described in Matthew 25:14-30. When a master returns
from a long journey and sees what his servants have done with the talents he left
them, he’s very unhappy with the servant who didn’t grow his gift. He’s so bothered by
his laziness that he takes away the gift and gives it to someone else who will use it
wisely. Sometimes busyness, fear, or procrastination will cause us to set aside gifts
God has given us, leaving them unused and undeveloped. This is a form of
complacency—when we become so comfortable with having a gift that we take it for
granted and do nothing with it. Whatever talents, gifts, or skills God has given us are
meant to be an investment into His kingdom. We get to express our gratitude by using
them to further His agenda on the earth.

4) Complacency Hinders the Christian’s Prayer Life
No matter who you are, no matter what God has done through you, no matter what
amazing ministry you have been a part of, you are only as powerful as your current
prayer life.
Jesus told them (the Pharisees), “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you
hypocrites in Scripture:
‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.’

“You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions.” He added, “You
have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God to keep your own traditions!”
It’s so easy to point fingers at the Pharisees. However, this could just as easily be any
one of us, our children included, that Jesus is chastising here. He is saying:
*When we are complacent, we “honor” Him with our lips, but our heart is far from Him.
*When we are complacent, our worship is pointless because it is self-serving.
*When we are complacent, we are running after our selfish desires; far away from
Him.We come to a point where it isn’t God’s word that guides our beliefs but the world.

“You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions.”
With that said, are we challenging our ways of thinking?
Are we holding up our traditions to the expectations of the Scriptures?
Are we willing to let God pull us out of our comfort zones?
Are we surrounded by people who tell us what we want to hear?
Are we avoiding individuals who force us to re-evaluate what we believe?
I find so much value in understanding other beliefs and being challenged, because it is
when they challenge me on my beliefs that I am strengthened in what I believe.

“Why do you believe in what you believe?”
It’s a simple question that we aren’t tasked with answering nearly enough — yet it is
the answer to that question that defines who we are. At times we come to a point
where it is much easier to be “satisfied with how things are, and not want to try to
make them better”. After all, it feels more comfortable that way.Yet, I find comfort in
the knowledge that Christ boldly challenged the people. Whether it was the
Pharisees or His disciples, He challenged them with absolute truth, to repent, to
run after God, and to be who they were created to be.

It has been said that spiritual drift (complacency) is a sign of our times and only
becomes worse as the days become uncertain and spiritual warfare increases. The
upheaval of the last days will tempt God’s people to take their eyes off of Jesus. The
book of Revelation gets its title from the opening phrase of the book, “the Revelation
of Jesus Christ,” with “revelation” literally meaning “unveiling.” The book, and hence
the last days, are intended to unveil Jesus to us. There has never been a better time
to focus on Jesus, to see Him clearly, to devote and lavish our time and attention on
Him, to see Him unveiled in all His glory. In these last days we have an
unprecedented opportunity to see Jesus in new, fresh, and glorious ways. Let’s not
drift away from staring at Him in wonder and in hope. We were not created to be
complacent. God desires us to passionately run after Him and to love Him with our
whole hearts. We were created to need Him and to be with Him.

There has never been a better time to be Jesus-centered, Bible-based, missions-
hearted, praise-propelled, faith-filled, Spirit-empowered, and heaven-bound.

COMPLACENCY is the antithesis of who we were created to be.


The Samaritan woman’s life was a wreck. After five failed marriages, she continued
her same lifestyle, but stopped the formality of marriage. She came to the well when
the sun blazed so she could draw water alone and hide from the comments, the
whispers, and the condemning looks (John 4).

King David was a powerful man who abused his power by sleeping with another man’s
wife, Bathsheba. But soon he discovered she was pregnant. Out of fear of exposing his
wickedness, he tried to hide behind a cover-up that soon turned murderous (2 Sam. 11).
One woman suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years. All that time: she lived
unclean, uncomfortable, and uncomforted. She saw Jesus heal others and longed to
receive his touch. A large crowd followed Him wherever He went. So how could she
ask Him in front of everyone? Finally, she sought to hide in anonymity by just touching
the hem of His garment (Luke 8:43-48).

These are three biblical portraits of people who tried to hide their shame in the wrong
places. But the wonderful thing is that all three experienced God’s power to break
shame’s hold over them and set them free. Thankfully, this wonderful experience can
also be ours.

Most of us, at one time or another, have had to navigate the shadow of shame. It may
have been something we’ve done, or something that’s been done to us. Either way, it
acts like a dark cloak around our heart and soul haunting our thoughts, emotions, and
behaviors. Shame is a complicated emotion. It is a toxic product of guilt and has been
a part of our story since Adam and Eve painfully discovered the effects of sin in the
Garden. Their first instinct was to hide from each other and God (Genesis 3:7–11).
And no wonder. They stood guilty before God and were vulnerable to each other and
Satan in a whole new horrible way.

Even so, God uses our guilt to draw us to Him. This is Godly sorrow and it alerts us to
our need for forgiveness. However, guilt and shame are also used by our spiritual
enemy to shackle and disable us. The kind of shame we often experience is a potent
combination of failure and pride. We fail morally (sin), we fail due to our limitations
(weakness), and we fail because “creation is subject to futility” and oftentimes doesn’t
work right (Romans 8:20). We also fail to live up to other people’s expectations. And
because we are full of sinful pride, we are ashamed of our failures and weaknesses,
and will go to almost any length to hide them from others. Sadly, if untreated, shame
has the power to cast a shadow that can impact the whole trajectory of our lives.

To distinguish the difference:
Guilt is based on behavior = I did wrong.
While shame is based on a flawed identity = I am wrong.
Science tells us that shadows are made by blocking light. Light rays travel from a
source in straight lines. If an object gets in the way, it stops light rays from traveling
through it, which then creates a shadow. By design, sin produces guilt and if our
identity isn’t aligned to God’s grace, we take on the burden of shame, which casts a
shadow from the inside out.

The key to breaking the power of pride-fueled shame is the superior power of humility-
fueled faith in the work and promises of Christ. Shame pronounces us guilty and deficient. Jesus pronounces us guiltless, and promises that his grace will be sufficient for us in all our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9-10). The only remedy to our shame-shadowed lives is reorienting our identity to the cross. This is where shame and glory collide revealing the transformative power of forgiveness. Every time we receive this gift we allow Christ to shine through our shame and destroy its toxic effects. As we surrender our sin-filled ways unto Him, Jesus makes our shame a showcase of His grace. After all, “Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2.)

Please join me in praying the following scriptures over our children and grandchildren.
Ask God to reveal where shame casts the darkest shadows in their lives. May they, by
God’s grace, never allow shame to block the goodness of God and His great plans for
their lives:


The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25).

Here Jesus generously illustrates the urgency of preparedness for His coming: 

(Familiar, but please read carefully)

 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins (the church) who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom (Jesus). Five of them were foolish and five were wise.The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil (the Holy Spirit) with them. The wise ones, however, took flasks of oil along with their lamps. The bridegroom was delayed in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The ten virgins of the parable were entrusted with a serious responsibility. They were to await the coming of the bridegroom (Jesus), expected at any moment, and provide light for the path of His coming. Five of the virgins took their assignment seriously. They did everything possible to be on guard: The wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. The other five virgins were foolish: They took no oil with them. They neglected the only means by which their lamps could do any good. What good is a lamp, which has no oil to burn to make light? They were supposed to shine with light. 

When we first receive Christ we are so excited and quick to shine His light, the light of His Spirit, to others. Yet, over time lack of intimacy with His Spirit causes some to despair in the hard times, becoming disillusioned and walking away. Or perhaps they choose to hold fast to their title, while living lives according to their own purposes. In the parable, these foolish virgins must have liked their position as lamp carriers. After all, I would think that they could have left, if they didn’t like their job. Yet they remained as ill-prepared lamp carriers. Was this about pride and position? Were they thinking, “I have a lamp. I have a lamp. I have a shiny lamp” — with no attention to its emptiness? Their foolishness was to think that mere religious ritual or form was sufficient. Their foolishness was to think that power for light can be borrowed or traded. For example today, one might say, “ Yes, I’m a Christian. No, I don’t study the Bible. I don’t have intimacy with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, that’s too strange, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t…” But the light only shines through the fire of the Spirit, through intimacy with the Holy Spirit. It can’t be bought or borrowed or ignited by religious ritual or form.

Matthew 25:5, “As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.” “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8–9). Jesus told us in advance there would be a delay. During the delay all of the virgins slept, those prepared and not prepared. The wise virgins could sleep in peace because they were ready for the bridegroom. Notice two things: Jesus tells us ahead of time there is going to be a delay between the comings. He came once declaring the kingdom of God. And He’s coming again!

The second thing to notice is this: All ten slept, not just the foolish. The wise virgins slept, because they were prepared. Sleep signifies normal, ordinary life of doing what you are called to do and sleeping when you get tired. 

What do you want to be found doing when Jesus comes? Staring into the sky, saying, “Deliver me”? Or seated at a bedside, praying for a sick person? 

As for me, I want to be ministering to the lost. I want to be traveling the world ministering to women. I want to be on a pulpit, God willing, preaching the gospel.  Oh, that we might be found doing the works of righteousness when he comes and sleeping after a nice, hard day of well done work. That would be a wonderful way to meet him. 

Are we ready? Are our children and grandchildren ready? Or have we fallen asleep, like the foolish ones, snatched away by worldly distractions and in effect, carrying an empty lamp? “I go to church. I carry a Bible. I pray before meals. I try to keep the Ten Commandments.” While inside… nothing of intimacy by the Holy Spirit is aflame, not love for the bridegroom, nor love for our fellow man. May we be as the wise ones, in preparedness, continuously being filled with the oil of His Spirit, steeped in faith, hope, love, and charity, and eagerly awaiting that midnight cry, “‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’”(Matthew 25:6) And the “Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

And then that wondrous moment, “He is here. Go meet him. Let your lamps burn brightly with  joy, faith, hope, love, expectancy, praise, wonder, and marvel.”

Patient Endurance

Our enemy, Satan, recognizes our strengths and weaknesses and knows how to push us to our limits. But when we keep standing, keep believing, and keep fighting, the Bible says, “Blessed is the man who endures…when he has been approved, he will receive the crown” (Jas 1:12 NKJV). The word “approved” means victory that qualifies you for greater things. You say, “How long will this trial last?” Only God knows. Goliath defied the armies of Israel for forty days (See 1Sam.17:16). Satan hindered Daniel’s prayers for twenty-one days (See Dan. 10:13). Satan is relentless, so we must be too. When it comes to prayer, your persistence overcomes his (the enemy’s) resistance. 

“Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord…Patient endurance is what you need now…Then you will receive all that he has promised” (Heb. 10:35-36). As for me, in slow seasons I find I am the most vulnerable. I just don’t seem to have learned how to navigate the slow seasons well. Then again, David didn’t get into trouble with Bathsheba until he left the battlefield (See 2Sa 11:1). However, our enemy never steps away, therefore, we must keep fighting. Some of you have been fighting long and hard and in agony for friends and loved ones. Yet God is with you, strengthening you for the fight as only He can do. When we go through difficult seasons we may be calling out, “When will this be over, how long Lord, what will happen?” But faith doesn’t demand details and explanations; it just keeps moving forward, believing God for the right result, because He LOVES us and PROMISES He will never leave us. My friends, we must not flee the battlefield. Rise up!

“Patient endurance is what you need now.” Heb 10:36 NLT

Keep standing, keep believing, keep fighting. Endurance is what we need now!

Deceitful Questions

The most common attack of the enemy is through his questions. The enemy will do all he can to make you question: 1) What God has said and 2) Who he says you are(your identity). When he succeeds in making you ask his same questions, it always leads to deception and unbelief. On the contrary, when God is in the mix, and He leads you to start asking questions, He will always lead you to revelation and ultimately greater faith. You can readily tell what the enemy fears about your life by what he attacks. When the Israelites were nearing victory in the Promised Land, it was then that the enemy attacked with fear, deception and unbelief. Sadly, only Joshua and Caleb had courage to fight for the promises of God.  The others succumbed to fear and unbelief.  With some of my own family conflicts, I’ve come to realize that what the enemy fears about my family life, is the incredible power and strength that unity would bring to our family. Therefore, the enemy attacks and tries to bring division wherever he can. When I focus on my own fears and listen to the doubting questions of the enemy, it weakens my resolve to stand for God’s promises for my family.

In Genesis 3, the enemy deceived Eve with his first question. 

“Did God really say, You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden?”

“Did God really say?” was the first deception. Many people have fallen away as they begin to question the truth of God’s word. However, the Bible is the only book in existence where the author shows up when you read it. It’s alive and His words give life. Others have fallen away because they were confused by His word and don’t fully understand certain passages, so they reject the word and ultimately reject God.

I love Peter’s response to His lack of understanding in John 6:

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

 Many disciples left Jesus after that day because they couldn’t understand and they were frustrated by what he said. 

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

That’s it folks!  You have the words of eternal life! Even if we don’t completely understand the word, even if we don’t completely understand His time frame, His plans, and all the “whys” that can flow from our mouths, 

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

To repel the enemy’s attacks, we must abide in God’s word. Abide means to let the word become us. We are designed to hear from God. We are designed to perceive Him. 

In Luke 3 Jesus had just been baptized and God spoke from heaven saying: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” What an incredible moment! What an incredible word! Then Luke 4 states that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. In the wilderness, “The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

 Note this phrase… “If you are the Son of God.” The last thing God spoke to Jesus before he went in the wilderness was “this is my beloved son.” Satan is attempting to make Jesus question His identity and to react defensively.

 The devil can’t change “who” you are are but he can alter your confidence in who you are, which can lead you to doubt and unbelief. The devil wanted Jesus to prove that he was the Son of God by changing a stone to bread. But Jesus did not need to prove himself and certainly not to the devil! Sometimes when we set out to prove ourselves, it becomes more of a fleshy reaction, a defensive posture, because it’s born out of insecurity. The enemy is working hard to foul up people’s identity. 

As we can see, our culture has really been listening to the wrong questions and it’s taking a toll on the body of Christ especially on our young people. “Did God really say?”  “If you are a child of God?”. The enemy will do all he can to make us question these two key areas: 1) What God has said and 2) Who he says you are (your identity). 

Lord, we pray that You would unlock our hearts that we might be fully alive to our true identity in You. Give us clear revelation to see ourselves the way You see us. Help us to stand in Your truth against all enemy attacks and guard our hearts with all vigilance (Proverbs 4:23). Help us to identify the lies, and reveal to us any places where we are chained to the past in a negative way.  Teach us to hear Your voice and not believe the enemy’s destructive lies and questions about who we are. Thank You for our uniqueness and that we are made in Your image (Genesis 1:27).  Help us to choose to believe the truth about how You see us.  Help us to live a fruitful life and overflow with Your love to others. Give us greater authority in our prayer life. Thank You for the identity we have in You. Help us to live out this truth in our lives every day. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

In The Middle

Today, “In The Middle” is a phrase I’ve been pondering in John 19:16. There’s so much in those 3 words: “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus “in the middle”.

When Jesus was crucified on the cross, we know that there were two criminals that were crucified with Him. At the cross, Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12), one at his right side and one at his left. We would not be amiss in reasoning that the one criminal might represent unbelieving humanity who chooses to reject Christ, while the other represents believing humanity who sees the necessity of repentance and extends His hand to Jesus.

Moreover, both criminals insulted Jesus (Matt 27:44). However, after a time, one of the criminals had a change of heart and repented: “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:41-43) Although both men were in Jesus’ presence, only one man, even though a criminal, chose to receive Jesus and the unconditional love and eternal life He offered him.. “In the Middle” was such a key position for Jesus and it is also for us, as His image-bearers.

In another story “…when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ “NEITHER,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’ The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua obeyed” (Joshua 5:13-15).

“NEITHER?” “Did He say neither?” What a startling response? “No choosing of sides?”… just focusing on a Holy God, on Holy ground, submitting in prayer, and obedient to God’s direction.

Today we see so much division and infighting among both believers and unbelievers. There is so much pressure to take sides and cancel out those who don’t follow suit. Today, I was imagining Jesus hanging on the cross” In the Middle” and thinking about all He represents: truth, unconditional love, faithfulness, peace, intercession and more. By the grace of God, may we choose to stand “In the Middle” surrendered to Jesus, and as He did on that cross: forgive our enemies, love the unlovable, share the truth of His Word with others, and cry out for the lost and those who persecute us. Lord may we not breed hatred and division through gossip, judgment of others, condemnation and self-righteousness. Father, persecution has escalated and the Great Accuser is trying with all His might to divide, tear down and destroy the churches, the believers, our witness and our ministries. May we not be entangled in taking sides, but rather position ourselves “In the Middle” with Jesus. By no means is this a weakened, inactive position. If we believe that, then perhaps we do not understand the fullness of the power that resides within us. May the Holy Spirit strengthen us to take an active position “In the Middle “with Jesus. After all, the One “In the Middle” arose, and in that one single, power-filled moment, mankind was changed forever !

Blessings to you,


Good Friday

Thinking of Good Friday and Jesus’ sacrifice in spite of others responses:
Not everyone will respond to you with kindness. Not everyone will respond with gratitude for the things you do for them. Sometimes it can be difficult, especially when it’s a close friend or family member. However, we should never let someone else’s response decide our level of joy. They may not notice, but God does. He observes every day and every detail of their lives and of ours. Jesus set the path for us. He moved toward the cross with purposeful precision. Nothing ever discouraged Him on His way to Jerusalem. He never hurried through certain villages where He was persecuted, or lingered in others where He was blessed. Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned Our Lord away from His purpose to go up to Jerusalem.

Since “the disciple is not above his Master,” the same things will happen to us on the way to our Jerusalem (the path he has marked out for us).There will be the works of God manifested through us, people will get blessed, and one or two will show gratitude and the rest will show gross ingratitude. However,nothing must deflect us from the mission He has marked out for us.

Ultimately, who are we wanting to please? “God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.” Paul writes, Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord” (Col 3:17 NIV). We must stay the path my friends. Please know that I am speaking to myself as well. Keep giving. Keep caring for others despite how they respond. That’s the way of it—do it for Him!
Blessings to you and your families this Good Friday…


Glorious Vision

Often times we need signs to get where we want to go. Those signs are realities that point to a greater reality as we travel on our journey. For example, an exit sign is real, but it points to something greater… the exit. We don’t need signs when we travel on familiar roads. But, if we go in where we’ve never gone before, (a star-trek ☺ journey), we will need signs to get there. On that journey as a believer, “revelations” from God become those wondrous signs to guide us. The key to navigating those unfamiliar roads and shifting seasons of God is the “Spirit of Revelation”. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” Ephesians 1:17.

It’s been said, ”What I know will help me, but what I think I know will hurt me.” It’s the Spirit of Revelation that helps us know the difference. Hosea 4:6 states “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you”… Isaiah 5:13

Therefore my people go into exile for their lack of knowledge and their honorable men are famished and their multitude is parched with thirst.” Those scriptures are difficult to read and even more difficult on the receiving end. Let’s face it, we can really set ourselves up for a “pain walk” when we really don’t understand what to do and how to do it, but we try to fake it anyway.

The word “Destroyed” in Hosea 4:6 means to cease, to be completely cut off. Without revelation we are completely cut off from the purposes of God on the earth. We can be busy with the Lord‘s work, yet separated from His purposes. Just ask Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)… We talked about these two ladies a few weeks ago, but their story is so apropos in this topic as well. The word of God has such an unlimited range of perspectives. Remember Martha was found busy working “FOR” others and “For” His presence, while Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus “IN” His presence. Poor Martha. Maybe Martha was trying to win Jesus’ approval through pleasing Him with food. Hospitality was pretty important in that culture. We could say Martha had a good motive or did she? Or was Martha a people-pleaser or just works-oriented like so many others… Work before Jesus! Not good. However, Jesus wasn’t there asking for anything. He was there to share the truth of His word and His presence with them. He wanted a relationship with them. And a relationship with Jesus requires that we not just do works or pray and talk “at” Him, but that we take time, sit, wait, and “listen” to Him. What an incredibly intimate opportunity she missed. But Martha had no revelation of His purpose, because she wasn’t listening to Him. She was too busy. We’d rather be “IN” His presence than working “FOR” His presence, right? Sometimes we are just so busy working “FOR”…that we end up missing out on intimate moments with Him and in knowing what He really wants us to do. Jesus admonished Martha saying, “Mary has chosen the better part.” Doesn’t that make you want to take a moment and reassess what you are doing and why? Am I spending as much time “IN” His presence so that my work will be done “FROM” His presence, and therefore, more ordered, organized and multiplied by Him. I’m convicted…Definitely! After all, greater access to Him means greater fruit for His Kingdom.

You know, I really like that girl Mary. I’m so grateful to be blessed with friends like her ☺. And what about that other passage mentioned above in Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people go into exile for their lack of knowledge and their honorable men are famished and their multitude is parched with thirst.” Isaiah 5:13”

Yikes…“Go into exile” means to remove, to be exiled from his purposes. Why? Because they were unfit to carry the weight of such a responsibility apart from the spirit of revelation working in their lives. It is costly to have access to knowledge and not use it (Luke 12:56). The word “knowledge” here is experiential knowledge, intimate knowledge. Revelation leads to a God encounter and that encounter forever changes things within us and within others. In fact, those encounters can change our world. Revelation means to lift the veil or remove the cover. Revelation gives us access to the realms of greater anointing available for our children, our grandchildren and for us.

1) Father may the spirit of revelation rest on us. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory, may give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” (Ephesians 1:17-19.)

2) “Open our eyes, that they we behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)3) “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5) Father we ask you to generously pour out your wisdom and spiritual understanding on us.

4) “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18) Father may we have eyes to see what the Spirit is doing. Fill us with fresh vision and order our steps to complete your works.

5) The New King James Version of the above verse says “Where there is no revelation. The people cast off restraint.” In other words they cannot restrain themselves from doing things that work against the purposes of God for them. Father, may we be filled with Your revelation and spiritual understanding. May we restrain ourselves by your spirit from temptation to disobey you Father. May we sit at your feet regularly, listen attentively and obey you. May we rise up by your Spirit and demolish every plan of the enemy to defeat us in Jesus’ name. Amen

***You know, I’ve heard it said…”Well, we need more Martha’s in the world to get the job done.” But that is simply not true. An encounter with Jesus breeds “passion” in our hearts, and a “passionate worker” will far out work a servant’s heart every time!

Blessings, Karen

Single-Minded Daniel

I’m sure you all remember the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. Here’s a little review for prayer:

Remember Daniel was made one of three governors over the 120 satraps (regional rulers) in King Darius’ administration. There was a plot hatched by the satraps, persuading the king to sign a decree saying that anyone worshipping a god or man other than King Darius would be thrown into a den of lions.What was Daniel’s response to the decree?

Daniel 6:10-12 states: “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, “giving thanks” to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men (the satraps) went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree.Notice that Daniel, not saying a word in spite of the decree, heads straight to his room, boldly throws open the windows (which would allow anyone to see), and falls to his knees praying three times a day and giving thanks to God just like he had always done. He’s certainly not cowering in fear. 

What would be our response in crisis? What would our children and grandchildren’s responses be in crisis? 

1) Father please make us single-minded like Daniel and “make our joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”

2) Father please instill in us that our “citizenship is in heaven. And to eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”(Phil 3:20-1)

Eventually a report from the satraps reaches King Darius that Daniel has prayed to his God. Daniel is then thrown into the lion’s den. “So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

“Continually! ” What a profound word demonstrating the model of Daniel’s faithful modeling of God to his godless witnesses, King Darius and his administration. 

3) Father may we “in all things show ourselves to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,”(Titus 2:7)

4) Father may we “Be imitators, just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)

“Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night.” (Dan. 6:18)

Here we see a heathen king favoring Daniel so much that he spent the night fasting for him(probably as he had seen Daniel fasting), refusing his normal evening festivities, and sleepless throughout the night.

5) Father please pour out your favor on us. “Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.(Psalm 5:12

6) For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.(Ps.84:11) Father, may we walk blameless before you in abundant favor.

The next morning the king was greatly pleased to find Daniel alive! “Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:”

“May you prosper greatly!

 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For He is the living God and he endures forever;

his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.

He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Here we see that Daniel’s prayers impacted all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth… One man in obedience by God’s spirit.

 Also Daniel served three kings in his lifetime, Nebuchadnezzar, Darius and Cyrus.  “So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.” And we know that Daniel prospered during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign as well. 

It didn’t matter at all who was king then or even now in our country who is president, vice-president, your boss or any other leader. God is sovereign and his favor pours out on all who are faithful and obedient to Him. 

7) May we understand fully the impact of prayer to transform a nation or nations.

“See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60:2-3)

 May we surrender ourselves to God completely and be single-minded in our love and obedience to God so that we are able to breakthrough any obstacles hindered by leaders or any others for the glory of God and His kingdom.

“Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” (Daniel 2:20-21)