all things new

Who doesn’t like something new? Nobody, if you ask anyone in retail. There’s something about that new outfit with the price tag still on it, that new book with pages that have never been cracked open, that shiny-new grill that’s almost too pretty to use, that new iphone, or new whatever (you fill in the blank), that has kept the malls crowded and our pocketbooks depleted. Yet, we continue to go back to get more new stuff, since the new stuff that was once new is now old.

Take a look at kids on Christmas day. They tear into each present, paper flying everywhere, squealing with joy as they move from one gift to the next…till they realize there isn’t anymore, turn around and sadly ask, “is that all there is?”

I’m not sure there’s quite an exact synonym for the word “new”. Sure, there’s “novel”, or “fresh”, (according to my thesaurus) or even “latest” or “recent” but when we talk about something being “new”, it connotes a sense of hope… a “new” day, a “new” year, or a “new” outlook.

Newborns bring joy just by the fact that they are teeming with a life that’s just beginning. We love the idea of a new job or a new start. Heck, I always tell friends I feel like a new woman after just one day off!

When I think about newness, I reflect upon how desperately we need to be renewed. There’s a world of people who are in despair, caught in the same prison of the same old struggle with sin, whatever it may be. There are people who are sick of the constant gray cloud of depression, or abuse, or illness.

Even the physical world around us is tired. Nature groans in its turmoil on a daily basis. (Romans 8:22). Even as I write, we are under yet another flash flood warning as we are experiencing the remnants of Hurricane Patricia coming up from Mexico into Texas.

Maybe it’s that I’ve had a long week, watching a loved one struggle with age and all that comes with it. What I wouldn’t give to see him young and vibrant again, able to be the superman he always was.

Dear Lord, we are tired. We are weary, worn out, caught in between this trap of pain and the glory ahead…and yet we know that you do bring newness in this life. You have healed diseases and worked miracles.  

We also know that even in these victories, You will bring the ultimate NEW. You have made the sinner pure and clean in your eyes. You have brought us new life, and there will come a day when You have promised to make ALL THINGS NEW. You will make a new Heaven, and a new Earth. We will have new bodies that will never grow sick or old. We will run, sing, laugh and worship You in a new forever.

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new…” (Revelation 21:5)

As the song says, we’ve no less days to sing Your praise, than when we first begun.






Dear Friends,

Well, here it is, the 100th post since “Ministry in Words” was launched  almost three years ago! It’s a blessing to have the freedom and technology available at my fingertips that allows me to share God’s goodness to so many on a regular basis. I don’t take that for granted, and I give God all the glory for allowing me to continue thus far.

So what better way to recognize God’s goodness than to list 100 of His promises? There are so many, but these are the ones that have meant the most to me lately. My hope is that you keep it as a reminder of His love:


  1. When I cried to You, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. – Ps. 138:3
  2. The Lord will be your (strong) confidence and will not allow your foot to be caught. – Pro 3:26
  3. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and His children have a place of refuge. – Pro. 14:26
  4. For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say. – Luke 12:12
  5. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; – 1John 3:21
  6. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you- John 14:26
  7. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. – 1 Cor. 2:13
  8. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. – 1 Tim. 3:13


  1. The destructions of the enemy are come to a perpetual end: and their cities have you destroyed; their memorial is perished with them. – Ps. 9:6
  2. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my Ps. 18:31
  3. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cupruns over.- Ps. 23:5
  4. O my God, I trust in you; let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. – Ps. 25:2
  5.  By this I know that you favour me, because mine enemy does not triumph over me. – Ps. 41:11
  6. When I cry unto you, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.- Ps 56:9
  7. Through God we shall do valiantly, for He it is that shall tread down our enemies. – Ps 60:12
  8. For, lo, thy enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. – Ps. 92:9
  9. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the – Ps. 107:2
  10. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, (over the enemy), through our Lord Jesus Christ.- 2 Cor. 15:57
  11. Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph (over the enemy), in Christ. – 2 Cor. 2:14
  12. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, (enemy), and has transplanted us into the kingdom of His dear Son. – Col. 1:13


  1. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.- Rom. 10:17
  2. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. 1 Cor 12:9
  3. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Gal 2:20
  4. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.- Gal. 5:22
  5. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.- Eph 2:8
  6. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.- Eph 2:10
  7. For it is God who is at work you to make you willing and able to obey His purposes.- Phil. 2:13
  8. Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.- Heb. 12:2
  9. The God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ.- Heb. 13:21
  10. But you, my loved ones, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. – Jude 20
  11. According as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through
    the knowledge of Him that has called us to knowledge and virtue. – 2 Peter 1:3


  1. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Ps. 34:4
  2. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the sea. – Ps 46:1,2
  3.  Say to them that are afraid, “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. – Is 35:4
  4. Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. – Is 41:10
  5. Fear not, neither be afraid: have not I told you from that time, and have declared it? You are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? Yes, there is no God; I know not any. – Is. 44:8
  6. No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord. – Is 54:17
  7. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. – Matt. 6:34
  8. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid – John 14:27
  9. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Rom 8:15
  10. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Tim 1:7
  11. That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. – Heb. 2:14b, 15
  12. For He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” – Heb 13:5b, 6
  13. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. – 1 Jn 4:4


  1. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. – Ps. 103:12
  2. I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember your sins. – Is 43:25
  3. And she shall bring forth a Son, and You shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. – Matt 1:21
  4. For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. – Matt 26:28
  5. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. – 1 Cor 15:3
  6. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. – Eph 1:7
  7. But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. – Eph 2:13
  8. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. – Eph 4:32
  9.  In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. – Col 1:14
  10. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. – 1 Tim 1:15
  11. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Heb 9:14
  12. Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by Whose stripes you were healed. – 1 Pet 2:24
  13. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. – 1 Pet 3:18
  14. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  – 1 Jn 1:7


  1. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. – Ps 32:8
  2. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Ps 119:105
  3. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, 0 Lord endures forever. – Ps 138:8
  4. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. – Pro 3:6
  5. A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way? – Pro 20:24
  6. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go. – Is 48:17
  7. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” – John14:26
  8. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” – John 16:13


  1. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord. – Ps 31:24
  2. Behold the eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy. – Ps 33:18
  3. For in You, Lord, do I hope: you will hear O Lord my God. – Ps 38:15
  4. Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is – Jer 17:7
  5. By Jesus also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. – Rom 5:2
  6. For whatsoever things were written before, were written for our learning, that we through patience of the scriptures might have hope. – Rom 15:4
  7. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you might abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Rom 15:13
  8. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling. – Eph 4:4
  9. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love: and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. – 1 Thes 5:8
  10. Paul, in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began. – Titus 1:2
  11. We are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. – Titus 2:13
  12. We have hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil. – Heb. 6:19


  1. You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore. – Ps 16:11
  2. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Ps 30:5
  3. Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Your name, 0 Lord God of Hosts. – Jer 15:16
  4. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you….. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven. – Matt 5:11,12
  5. These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. – John 15:11
  6. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace , and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace… – Gal 5:22


  1. The LORD executes righteousness and judgment, (justice NKJV), for all who are oppressed.- Ps 103:6
  2. He that has pity on the poor lends unto the LORD, and what he has given will He pay him again. – Pro. 19:17
  3. He that gives to the poor shall not lack, but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse. – Pro 28:27
  4. The LORD is a God of judgment. (or justice. NKJV.) – Is. 30:18
  5. The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know His will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of His mouth. – Acts 22:14


  1. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You. – Is 26:3
  2. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. – Is 32:17, 18
  3. Come to me all you that labour and are heavy laden. and I will give you rest. – Matt 11:28
  4. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let notyour heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
  5. These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
  6. For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Gal 5:22,23
  8. For He is our peace. who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us. – Eph 2:14
  9. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:7
  10. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be thankful. – Col. 3:15


Adapted from http://www.scripturepromises.com/


Do you have any promises that hold a special meaning to you? Maybe one that stood out to you during a particularly hard time in your life? Were you made aware of any when you needed it the most?



Why is it that sleep never seems sweeter than it is the moment I have to get up?

Once that alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button, it’s just not the same. *sigh*

I drift off again, only to dream of lying on a faraway beach with just sunshine, an umbrella drink, and books to surround me.  Ahhh…bliss…

Then the alarm rings again and I remember…oh yeah. Work. The thought jolts my eyes open. No job means no roof over your head, girl, Get up! Well, that’ll do it! So I throw the covers back, stumble out of bed, and join the ranks of civilized society.

Now, I love what I do and the people I work with, but I think it is safe to say that there’s difficulty in any job on some level. There’s deadlines and demands, and…well, personalities to face. *smile*

By the end of the day, sometimes I just feel shredded, like I’ve been put through one of those machines that make pasta.

pasta machine 2

Work can be draining

No one said it would be easy. In fact, as Christians, we already know from the beginning that it is part of the curse of mankind. After Adam sinned against God, (Genesis 3), he was told that everything he would gain would come from hard work. Even if we are retired or have money to spare, every meal, every luxury, every material benefit we have is a result of someone’s work.

To Adam He said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground…(Genesis 3:18-19)

God created Adam with the capacity to work. He was given the task of cultivating the garden and naming the animals, (Gen.2:15, 19), which could not have been a burden in the perfect world in which Adam lived. Following his sin against God, Adam and Even went from the lush and thriving Garden of Eden to a world that would only yield food by his hard labor. He now came to know the anguish of work and the frustration of fighting thorns and thistles that would produce scratches on his hands and choke his crops.

Now when we deal with the day to day imperfections of our own jobs, whatever they may be….they are reminders of our present-day thorns and thistles.

Work is a blessing

Even so, don’t we have a certain satisfaction in a job well done? Work is also a blessing in that it is part of what it means to be made in the image of God. When He completed creation, God was satisfied with the outcome and said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).We reflect Him when we work productively, and use the abilities and potential He has given us. Through work, He gives us a means to make a living, connect with others, and contribute to society.

One final thought: I believe we must never stop doing our best just because someone isn’t looking over our shoulder, or a circumstance or two doesn’t seem fair. As believers our one grounding perspective is to work as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24 ).

Are you grateful for your job? Express that gratitude with eagerness to take on extra work when you’re asked.  Feeling overlooked? He always sees the effort you put in and your heart in the matter. Feeling overwhelmed? See it as an opportunity for God to see you through.

He will give us His joy to look PASTA the strain!


What are some specific ways you can work as unto the Lord in your workplace?

Why will there always be difficulties at work? How do you think anticipating the “thorns and thistles” of work change our attitude about it?

Do you think that God’s own productivity in creation tell s us something about how we should work?



Dear Friends,

The strange thing about pride is that it is often a character flaw we see so easily in others, and yet seem so blind to in ourselves. To admit that we’re wrong is to admit a lowering of ourselves and our own “self-esteem”. We don’t even see that what is driving this quick reaction is pride itself!

A good friend of mine gave me this list not too long ago,  and I found it to be especially thought-provoking. Pray over it, meditate on it, and consider each with an honest look inside the heart. It’s amazing how many ways pride shows itself.


Manifestations of Pride by Stuart Scott (from “The Exemplary Husband”)

1.   Complaining against or passing judgment on God

A proud person in a difficult situation thinks, “Look what God has done to me after all I have done for Him” (Numbers 14:1-4,9-11; Romans 9:20).

  1. A Lack of Gratitude in general.

Proud people usually think they deserve what is good. The result is this, they see no reason to be thankful for what they receive. As a matter of fact, they may even complain because they think they deserve better. They tend to be critical, complaining and discontent. The proud person is not in practice of being thankful toward God or others (2 Chronicles 32:25).

  1. Anger

A proud person is often an angry person. One’s anger can include outbursts of anger, withdrawing, pouting, or frustration. A person most often becomes angry because his “rights” or expectations are not being met (Matthew 20:1-16).

  1. Seeing yourself as better than others

A proud person is usually on top looking down on others. He gets easily disgusted and has little tolerance for differences (Luke 7:36-50).

  1. Having an inflated view of your importance, gifts and abilities

Many proud people have a very strong perception of themselves. They need a loving dose of reality. They need to hear, “What do you have that God did not give you?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

  1. Being focused on the lack of your gifts and abilities

Some proud people may not come across proud at all, because they are always down on themselves. This is still evidence of pride because one is focused on self and wants self to be elevated. Having a “woe is me” attitude is self-pity which is pride (1 Corinthians 12:14-25).

  1. Perfectionism

People who strive for everything to be perfect often do so for recognition. They may do it so that they can feel good about themselves. Whatever the reason, this behavior is very self-serving and proud. The basic problem is making things that are less important, more important (Matthew 23:24-28).

  1. Talking too much

Proud people who talk too much often do it because they think that what they say is more important than what anyone else has to say. When there are many words, sin is generally unavoidable (Proverbs 10:19).

  1. Talking too much about yourself

A person who is proud may center on themselves in conversation. Sharing personal accomplishments and good personal qualities with others can be bragging or boasting (Proverbs 27:2, Galatians 6:3).

  1. Seeking Independence or control

Some proud people find it extremely difficult to work under someone else or to submit to an authority. They have to be their own boss. They might say, “I don’t need anyone,” or “I don’t need accountability for my faith and doctrine.” They are often rigid, stubborn, headstrong, and intimidating. They may also say, “It’s my way or no way” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 5:21).

  1. Being consumed with what others think

Some proud people are too concerned about the opinion of others. Many of their decisions are based on what others might think. Some are in a continual pursuit of gaining the approval and esteem of others. Focusing on what others think of you or trying to impress others is being a man-pleaser rather than a God-pleaser (Galatians1:10).

  1. Being devastated or angered by criticism.

Proud people usually struggle a great deal with criticism. Such people cannot bear that they are not perfect or have weaknesses because they cannot accept who they really are (Proverbs 13:1).

  1. Being unteachable

Many proud people know it all. They’re superior. They can’t seem to learn anything from someone else. They respect no one (Proverbs 19:20, John 9:13-34).

  1. Being sarcastic, hurtful, or degrading

Proud people can be very unkind people. Those who belittle other people usually want to raise themselves up above others. Very often this can be quite cleverly done through jesting. Thy may excuse themselves by saying, “That’s just the way I am. That’s my personality” (Proverbs 12:18,23).

  1. A lack of service

Proud people may not serve because they are not thinking of others, or because they want to be coaxed to serve and don’t want to continue if there is no praise. Needing recognition is a sure sign of the wrong motive in service (Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 2:10).

  1. A lack of compassion

A person who is proud is rarely concerned for others and their concerns. They cannot see beyond their own desires (Matthew 5:7; 18:23-35).

  1. Being defensive or blame-shifting

You would often hear a proud person say, “Are you saying it’s my fault?” or “Well, what about you?” (Genesis 3:12-13; Proverbs 12:1).

  1. A lack of admitting when you are wrong

A proud person would make a great many excuses such as, “I was tired,” or “I was having a bad day” (Proverbs 10:17).

  1. A lack of asking forgiveness

Proud people rarely admit their sins or ask for forgiveness of other. They either cannot see their sin because they are blinded by their pride, or they just can’t seem to humble themselves before someone else and ask for forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24).

  1. A lack of biblical prayer

Most proud people pray very little, if at all. Proud people who do pray usually center their prayers on themselves and their desires, rather than God and others (Luke 1:10-14).

  1. Resisting Authority or being disrespectful

A proud person may detest being told what to do. We might say he or she has a submission problem. What they actually have, however, is a pride problem. It is simply displaying itself in a lack of submission (1 Peter 2:13-17).

  1. Voicing preferences and opinions when not asked

A proud person might not be able to keep his preferences or opinions to himself. He will offer it when it is not asked for. These preferences are usually voiced without consideration for others (Philippians 2:1-4).

  1. Minimizing your own sin and shortcomings

A proud person typically believes that their own sin is no big deal. They think they have little sin and others have a great deal of it. (Matthew 7:3-5).

  1. Maximizing other’s sin and shortcomings

To the proud person, other people are the problem. They may magnify or bring attention to the sin of others by gossiping about the other’s sin (Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 18:9-14).

  1. Being impatient or irritable with others

A proud person might be angry with other people because they are concerned that their own schedule or plans are being ruined. They are often inflexible on preference issues (Ephesians 4:31-32).

  1. Being jealous or envious

Often when they do not enjoy the same benefits, proud people have a hard time being glad for other’s successes or blessings (1 Corinthians 13:4).

  1. Using others

The proud person usually views others in terms of what those people can do for them and their interests. Their focus is not on ministering to others. Everything is for them and about them (Matthew 7:12; Philippians 2:3-4).

  1. Being deceitful by covering up sins, faults and mistakes

Some proud people will do just about anything in order for others not to find out negative things about them.

  1. Using attention-getting tactics

A proud person may try to draw attention to themselves through dress, bizarre behavior, being rebellious, always talking about their problems, etc. (1 Peter 3:3-4).

  1. Not having close relationships

Proud people often have no use for close relationships, thinking that the trouble outweighs the benefits. They may see themselves as so self-sufficient that they do not need other people (Proverbs 188:1-2; Hebrews 10: 24-25).




Did any of these surprise you?

How do you think pride effects our relationship to God and others?

Why do you think pride is so deceptive?

Can you think of any more?



Here’s something you never want to see… There, in the middle of a what you thought was a delicious, shiny apple is a worm, creeping out as if to defy you to take another bite. Um, no thank you, I’ll pass!

But how does it get inside the apple to start with? We may think it burrows its way from the outside, but the opposite is actually true. A fruit fly inserts a small, hollow tube from her body into a young apple. Then she releases her egg through the tube.  Soon afterwards, the egg hatches into a tiny white worm in the heart of the apple. *

 Apple 2

You may think I’m exaggerating with what I’m about to say, but I believe that bad apples and mankind have one thing in common – we’re both rotten to the core.

This is explained when you study the doctrine of Total Depravity as it refers to the inward condition of man. The Bible says that the heart of man is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5Psalm 58:3Ephesians 2:1-5).  This is not to say that an individual is as bad as he could possibly be, but that every part of him is tainted by his sin, that there is nothing within him that naturally wants to seek God. (Romans 3:10-11). To think that we are anything more is a delusion of pride.

In fact, the thought that we are all inherently evil may be downright offensive in this day and age, when “feeling good about yourself” is the chief goal of self-help books and even so-called Christian books. I’m not promoting an unbalanced, guilt-ridden view of man. What I am trying to do is shine a light on the fact that the Bible never says anything about having a “high SELF-esteem. When it states anything about the value of man, it’s always in light of what Christ has done for us. The thinking that we are polished and pleasing in ourselves alone is as deceptive as a beautiful apple that is really rotten inside.

Which is easier? To be selfish and greedy or to give to others? To lie or to suffer under the truth? The answer is easy. With no constraints, it’s much easier to seek ourselves and our own gain above anything else. To borrow a popular phrase, (and quite accurately in this case), we’re born that way. Think about it. Have you ever met a baby that doesn’t demand its own way? They have no concept of how their actions effect others. They make their needs known no matter what time of the day or night it might be. We don’t have to teach them how to be self-centered. However, they do have to be taught morals, selflessness, kindness or any other trait we hold valuable.

King David referred to this sin nature. He said, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Elsewhere, He states, “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies” (Psalm 58:3).

Like the worm in the apple, sin didn’t originate outside of ourselves, we inherited it within ourselves from our first earthly father, Adam. Genesis 3:1-7 describes the first sin of man, which was Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. From that point on, human nature was tainted and passed down from generation to generation. Think of it this way: Nothing holy can come from what is unholy, like a bad seed cannot produce good fruit.

Romans 5:1 say it in a nutshell:

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”

We were condemned through one man, Adam, but we are justified (made right), through Christ (the second man mentioned, uppercase).

You see, Jesus Christ was never stained by original sin. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (born of a virgin) and not of man. (Matthew 1:18, Isaiah 7:14). This means that He bypassed the sin nature of Adam. Equally important, He alone lived a perfect and holy life; He was the only One suitable to take on the condemnation we deserve, making the way possible for us  to stand blameless  before a holy God.

So if it is clear that no man naturally seeks God, how can anyone be saved? The answer is that God must overcome man’s depravity and open his eyes to his spiritual state, the condition of his core being. To understand that man cannot save himself may shatter the false hope of striving to be “good enough” for God. Yet it rightfully puts the high and exalted view of God as Sovereign, glorious, and our only hope.

To God be the Glory.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6, ESV).



Dear Friends,

We have heard so much about how this country is running from God lately. We’ve seen blatant examples of that in this past week, but can we stop long enough to admit something?

We, as believers, can run from God too. I think we’ve all been there – We run from God when we ignore prayer and let our unconfessed sin fester within us. We run from God when we disregard our nagging conscience, knowing that our fellowship with God suffers for it.

We may try to cover it up by living as if all is well…or will be well, if only we work harder, do more, or have more fun. Our lives can become blinded with busy-ness and frivolity. There’s no sense of urgency to what is important, and no honesty to ourselves or anyone else. Our souls cry for a time-out, yet our pride yells to keep going. Our pre-occupations become idols that have taken the place of God in our lives. What is revival if we, ourselves, aren’t humble and real and broken before the Lord?

That’s why I wanted to share this song with you. It isn’t often that I run into one that cuts to the chase so well. It expresses the great need we all have, that moment we realize that the charade has to end, and we find ourselves before the Lord in honest confession of the condition of our hearts. I think it will be well worth a listen:

*Jimmy Needham, “Clear the Stage” Inpop Albums, 2012


I’ve thought of the lyrics many times. Here they are with my commentary, and questions that I have pondered:

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols

How am I in the center of my world?

What is the measure I must take to crush the idols in my life?

Do I dare to take that measure?

Jerk the pews and all the decorations, too
Until the congregation’s few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social
Then seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

It’s not about the beauty of our worship centers, is it?

Is there ever a time when it’s more beneficial to retreat, alone?

When we meet together, is it just about the hellos, and the niceties of polite greetings?

Are church gatherings and programs about true fellowship or do they serve as just another distraction?

 Is it right to ignore the desperation we should have to meet with God, in this day and age?

 What brings revival?

What will God impress upon me if I pray earnestly, if I am still enough to sit in silence?

 Are you encouraged of your reward for sober-minded, serious reflection?

‘Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

What is true worship before God?

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper

He said, “Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:10)

Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open

How do we hide from the Lord?

Where is our sense of urgency in prayer?

Are we as aware of our spiritual condition as we think we are?

What will we see if we are honest before Him?

What is the result of confession and repentance of sin?
Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken
I don’t know where you are in your faith.

 Is there something you haven’t trusted to the Lord?

Have you read His word?

Do you dare to put apply it to your life?

Do you believe at all?

If not, have you ever cried out to God to make Himself known to you? I beg of you, Read His word, and with an honest heart of faith, confess your sin and repent. I dare you to then walk in faith, study it earnestly, and see if it does not ring true.

I dare you, and I dare myself.


King David cried out, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)



Same Sex marriageYesterday the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. Going forward, this country will now recognize marriage as man and woman, man and man, woman and woman.

“Love Won”, they say.

The path of least resistance is to remain quiet if you don’t agree, or else be accused of bigotry and hatred.

But what do we say in response to a ruling that is a mockery of God’s laws, a ruling that many believe will tear away at the moral fabric of this country?

I submit to you today that it isn’t ultimately about speaking our minds or having a right to do so. I believe at the heart of the stereotyping and name-calling towards Christians is a rebellion against God, but it is also a backlash on Christians that perpetuate that image by the way they relate to those who have different beliefs.

We are told to speak the truth in love, which is a loaded statement. It’s a balance of conviction and compassion that can only be practiced through God’s work in our own hearts.  My simple perspective is to look to Christ, to Him as our example. When He came upon a woman about to be stoned for committing adultery, (and just for clarity, homosexuality is just as much of a sin, Romans 1:26). What was His reaction?

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”(John 8:1-11)

It’s important to remember that Jesus approached this woman with kindness and genuine love, yet He never shied away from speaking the truth. Notice what He said next:  He said go and sin no more. It was not ok that she committed adultery. It was not ok if she continued in her sin.

Jesus was in balance. His love for this sinner wasn’t just with words, it was demonstrated.  Yet He was bold to speak the truth. I see two extremes among Christians: If we say we love, but don’t do anything to speak the truth, we can’t win anyone to salvation. There is also no salvation with a display of condemnation to someone else. It only breeds hate.Yes, I believe we as Christians must be involved politically. I will say this strongly.

There is no doubt that the government is a God-given tool to keep society from going completely berserk, and we must fight to put the right people in office. Yet spiritual change will not ultimately come as something pressing upon the masses. It begins in the heart, in preaching and sharing the Gospel. It begins from the inside out, as it does with all of us.

Then love will truly win.


I’m challenged to examine my heart first. We must ask ourselves:

  • How do we really view those who don’t know the truth? Do we genuinely love them as human beings?
  • What is the motivation of a condemning spirit? Is it Fear? Anger? Our own guilt?
  • Are you and I prepared for the testing of our faith ahead? What should we be doing right now to understand the challenges ahead?