Wednesday, October 29, 2014


This morning at breakfast, my husband said, “Do you know what catalyst means?”

The dictionary definition: A catalyst is an event or person causing a change.

My husband was sharing with me that one of the co-founders of Tesla, Elon Musk, after graduating from college, wanted to do something that would most affect the future in a positive way. He asked himself, “What is really going to have an important effect on humanity as a whole?” He went on a journey to make a car that runs on electric instead of gasoline. His desire was not to get wealthy; it was to contribute to humanity in a positive way and to perhaps be a catalyst of change for other car manufacturing companies in order to expedite and shorten the time it would normally take to manufacture viable electric cars in the future. Initially, most people did not believe that it was possible to make a car that runs on electric, which looks good, and had a good range of performance. In addition, skeptics believed that even if you did make an electric car, it would not sell because of people’s love for gasoline. 

In spite of the comments, Tesla went on to make a model car that meets all of the skeptic’s criteria. They believed that if you build it and people see it, they would more likely choose it.

The conversation that my husband and I were having this morning triggered me to think about God’s purpose for the nation of Israel. God’s purpose in choosing Israel was for them to be a model nation to other nations and that through them, all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). It was a nation in whom would come Jesus, the Messiah, who would offer salvation to the world!  

God desired His people to reflect His loving and compassionate nature by helping strangers, widows, orphans and the poor. He wanted all the nations of the world to know Him and to be blessed!  Israel was to be a light, a model, among the nations. God wanted all the peoples of the earth to see the wisdom of how His people live by God’s given standards. God wanted them to see His blessings upon His people and even His discipline upon His people when they strayed away from Him.

Right before entering the Promise Land, Moses encouraged them with these words:

“...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…” Deuteronomy 30:19

“Israel was on the verge of a momentous occasion. Not only were they preparing to enter the Promise Land and conquer its inhabitants, they were also preparing to establish a brand new culture. The primary focus of this new culture would be on the living God. Every part of it would reflect His nature. In the Promise Land, God planned to bless the Israelites abundantly. In turn, He expected the Israelites to live responsibly, in a culture unlike any that had preceded it.” Commentary

However, the Bible tells us that many times instead of Israel being the change maker, the catalyst to draw nations to know the only living God, His people forsook God and indulged to learn about the pagan gods of the nations surrounding them.

God has a bright future for the people of Israel. But not only does He have a bright future for the nation of Israel, but God has a bright future for ALL who come to Him through Jesus Christ! God still wants His people to be change makers! He wants His people to be lights not so that they can glorify themselves, but so that they can show the world that there is a living God who cares for them, who loves them and wants to bless them through His Son.

How can we make a positive effect upon humanity? One way is by being transformed! In Romans 12:2 the Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and an acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Are you impacting this world in a positive way for Christ? Or, is this world impacting you?

Do you want to do something that would most affect the future in a positive way? Then ask God this, "How can I be used to impact this world in a positive way for Christ?"

Catalyst: A Person or event that causes change or action.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Sweet Taste Of Forgiveness!

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9

Recently I made a decision by going ahead of God and not waiting for His timing. I was hasty in making my decision. Although I prayed for God’s will for more than several days, I made the decision even before the peace of God was in my heart. As soon as I made my  decision, I felt guilt ridden.

It wasn’t a sin in what I decided to do – it was harmless – but I was taking the action into my hands and decided to move forward instead of waiting for God's confirmation. 

Have you ever felt guilty? Usually we feel that the emotion of “guilt” is a bad thing – but see below at what this Bible commentary says about it:

“No one likes to feel guilty. Like an unwelcome guest, guilt shows up at the worst possible time and does not go away no matter how much you wish it would.

Yet the truth is that we need guilt. It is the only proper response to any offense, whether a selfish thought, or premeditated murder. Even a nonbeliever wants a burglar to feel remorse for his theft. Why? Because he should. Guilt exposes the truth that we wish to avoid: We have all sinned. John, who is the author of the book of 1 John, puts it this way: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

But John does not leave us with this dismal picture of ourselves. Instead he goes on to paint a glorious portrait of a forgiving God. This is our only hope: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Guilt does more than just deliver the distressing news. It unlocks the door to forgiveness. Progress, change, reform, and (most important of all) God’s forgiveness all start with confession.”

Confession works against the worst part of human nature, the part that imagines itself to be better than it really is. This mindset always stops short of confessing; it would rather ignore or ease feelings of guilt than admit them. But only open confession of our sins will completely cleanse us. Only when we admit that we are sinners, unworthy of God’s grace, can we make a fresh start.” Commentary

I ran to my heavenly Father, confessed my sin to Him and He reminded me of this glorious truth: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteous.”  My confession to Him, freed me to enjoy my fellowship with Christ! 

I always want God to have His way in my life. Whenever I believe I got my way, I lose. But whenever I submit to God's will and His timing, I always win and you will always win too!

No matter what your sin may be - large or small - never forget this truth: Not only does God forgive us when we confess our sins to Him, but because of Jesus being the perfect sacrifice, He LOVES to forgive us! HE LOVES TO FORGIVE YOU and give you a fresh new start! Our God is a forgiving God! 

“…God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance…” Romans 2:4

“Self-evaluation is difficult, and it is even more difficult to expose our conduct to God and let Him tell us where we need to change. But as Christians we must pray constantly that God will point out our sins, so that HE can heal them. Unfortunately, we are more likely to be amazed at God’s patience with others than humbled at his patience with us.” Commentary

FATHER, thank you that you give us plenty of time to repent. Thank you for your patience! Thank you that it is your kindness that brings us to a place of confession. Thank you that you never want us to feel condemnation but conviction of our sins so that we can receive and almost taste the sweetness of forgiveness! Thank you that because of the perfect and righteous sacrifice of Jesus, You can be completely just and yet forgive us!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

SANDALS On The Ground

Not too long ago, my husband and I were watching the news regarding some of the military activity that is happening in Iraq. The person who was being interviewed was General James Conwell who headed the U.S. Marine Corps and was commandant from 2005-2010.  He was being interviewed for making this statement about the president’s ISIS strategy, “It doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.” The General was referring to the approach of only using planes to fight the enemy.

During the interview, the General clarified what he meant by such a statement. He was not trying to be disrespectful but was simply pointing out a fact that based on his many years of experience, using the air only strategy is not effective.

One of the points that the General made that my husband and I gathered from the interview was this: In order to be truly effective and to meet the mission’s objectives, you need people on the ground (i.e. boots on the ground) to observe – to listen – to train others and to provide actual feedback to better utilize the air resources in order to attack the enemy. Of course to have “boots on the ground”, also means that some will make the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for others.

In the Bible, from the beginning, we learn that God had a strategy to save mankind from the enemy of our soul! But in God’s case, He sent “SANDALS on the ground”.  The strategy was to send His SON to earth to live a perfect example, to teach – to train – and to ultimately sacrifice His life for us so that we could have peace and eternal life!

I believe God’s “strategy” to send “SANDALS on the ground” was to also leave behind, “boots on the ground”. Jesus trained His disciples so that they could teach, lead and be an example by the power of the Holy Spirit and thus leave behind new boots on the ground!

Are you one of the ones who is wearing His boots today? If so, are you praying, teaching and leaving an example so that when you leave – you are leaving new boots on the ground for the future generations to effectively move forward GOD's mission?

By praying for the specific needs of our government, friends, family and even strangers, we are the “boots on the ground” that sends vital information to the Father for specific needs. Now, of course the Bible says that God ALWAYS knows exactly what we need even before we ask - He is the All Knowing ALMIGHTY GOD! But God in His generosity, invites us to partake in the pleasure of partnering with Him in this war against mankind’s souls. One of God’s strategies is to use people, that is you and me, to share with others God’s great love for mankind! 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

This world has forever been changed by God utilizing His SANDALS on the ground strategy! 

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

H 2 O - HE 2 Our souls!

“As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1-2a

During the summer, my daughter and I planted an area in front of our home with nothing but succulents. Recently I asked the gardener from our Home Owner's Association to take off the cap on the sprinklers right next to the area where we planted. The gentlemen said, “You are only going to get 5 minutes of watering once a week - it is not going to make much of a difference to the plants and besides succulents don’t need much watering.” I responded by saying, “I’ll take the 5 minutes.”

Since then, even with the little amount of watering once a week, my succulents have transformed to become richer in color and healthier looking.  Before this time, I was watering the desert plants only once a month – and they looked okay - but now they look beautiful! Water is crucial to all life  - even the most hardy desert plants need water.

Water is also one of the most essential elements to health. Here are some statistics about water that I enjoyed learning about:

     -  Water makes up 2/3 of human body weight.
     -  Without water, we would die in just a few days.
     -  The human brain is made up of 95% water,   
        blood is 82% and the lungs is 90%.
     -  Just 2% drop in our body’s water supply can   
        trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term  
        memory, difficulty focusing.
     -  Statistics have shown that when the body is well 
        hydrated with pure drinking water, blood 
        circulation is expanded and the immune system   
        can reach and cleanse even mutated cancer cells.

Looking at how rich and beautiful my plants have become with just a little water once a week, made me think of water in a spiritual way.  In John 4:13-14 when Jesus sees a woman getting water at the well, He says this to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

“Many spiritual functions parallel physical functions. As our body’s hunger and thirst, so do our souls. But our souls need spiritual food and water. The woman at the well confused the two kinds of water, perhaps because no one had ever talked with her about her spiritual hunger and thirst before. We would not think of depriving our bodies of food and water when they hunger or thirst. Why then should we deprive our souls? The living, Word, Jesus Christ, and the written Word, the Bible, can satisfy our hungry and thirsty souls.” Commentary

Even the smallest amount of water can facilitate the life in a living object. Similarly, reading God’s Word, even if it is 5 minutes a day can quench and give life to our thirsty souls!

When we find ourselves extremely busy and can only take 5 minutes to study the Living Word – TAKE IT!

"...He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6