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Dealing with Lions

You probably haven’t dealt with many lions recently.  We Americans rarely encounter lions on the city streets or in the back yard.

On the other hand, every one of us must constantly deal with a lion called Satan.  Although he doesn’t inhabit a physical body, he unceasingly prowls about in the physical world. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.  He is an invisible spirit who exerts immeasurable harmful influence in the physical world. Read More→

Bringing You to the Place He Prepared

The Lord promised, “I will send my angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I prepared,” Exodus 23:20.  Just think of that!  The Almighty Creator of heaven and earth directs your steps.  He constantly works to lead you in ways that most benefit his purposes and your happiness.  How measureless is God’s love for us!

Delores and I moved to Singapore in May of 1988.  At that time almost three million people lived in that great city.  Can you imagine house hunting in a mega city where customs and culture are unfamiliar?  Well, let me tell you how God brought us to the place he prepared.

Just before moving to Singapore, a missionary friend of ours dined in a restaurant there.  He struck up a conversation with a Canadian couple who planned on leaving Singapore soon.  However, they needed someone to move into their apartment and assume the lease.  After finishing the meal, both my missionary friend and the Canadian coupe went their separate ways.

A few days later the missionary again came across the Canadian couple.  He mentioned to them that Dee and I would soon need an apartment in Singapore.  They invited him to bring us over to their place when we arrived in their country.

Within a day or two of our landing in the city, we visited the apartment my friend had located.  We loved it!  It amply fit all our needs.  So, we assumed the lease and soon moved into our new overseas home.

What are the chances for an American in downtown Singapore meeting a Canadian who had an apartment available?  Not only one meeting, but two!  Truly, God brings us to the place he prepared.

Dear friends be greatly encouraged; God leads you each and every moment.  No event is unimportant; no circumstance is beyond his control.  He’s always in the process of bringing you to the place he prepared.

Your God is the Director of decisions and Controller of circumstances.

Why Six Days?

God watching over earthIn six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth and everything in them.  Why six days?  Why not just wave his almighty hand and instantaneously bring everything into being?

God purposefully chose to spread creation out over six days, so he could introduce himself to us as the Unfolder.  That’s right, he’s the Great Unfolder of his plans and purposes. Read More→

Catch Another Dream

The Apostle Paul began his preaching ministry by proclaiming Jesus to his people, the Jews. In return for Paul’s kindness, the Jews beat him, stoned him, rejected him, stirred up riots against him and labeled him an agitator, a villain, an impostor and a false prophet.

Things didn’t turn out the way Paul expected. He so ardently dreamed of bringing the gospel to his people, but his dreams evaporated. Read More→

When Everything is Against You

Papa Jacob’s dust covered, heavy-hearted sons returned to Israel from Egypt. With trembling voices, they reported that an Egyptian ruler imprisoned their brother Simeon. The ruler would only release Simeon on the condition that Jacob’s youngest son, Benjamin, traveled to Egypt.

Jacob’s elderly, anguished voice cried out, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me,” Genesis 42:36! Read More→

Hurt But Not Harmed

I used to question the Bible promise, “No harm befalls the righteous,” Proverbs 12:21. How could this statement be true? After all, wasn’t Jesus hurt? Haven’t all believers felt pain?

For a long time I simply read that, “No harm befalls the righteous” without believing it. Then one day, I understood the difference between being “hurt” and being “harmed”.

The Bible doesn’t promise that we will never hurt; it promises that we will never be harmed. The pain of hurting will be turned into a blessing for those God loves. Did not Father transform Jesus’ pain into the victory of resurrection? In fact, Jesus looked forward “to the joy that was set before him,” Hebrews 12:2. He anticipated benefit from pain.

Dear friends, be encouraged; hurting is never fun, but neither is it harmful for those who belong to Jesus.

What Wild Flowers Prove

One November we drove out to Padre Island.  I expected brown dreary winter vegetation on the dunes and pastures.  What a surprise!  Instead of gloom there was glory.  Countless millions of brilliant yellow wild flowers carpeted every inch of the vegetation zone.  I’ve never seen Padre Island robed in such gorgeous apparel.  No matter where you looked fields of flowers stretched to the horizon. Read More→

When Your Life Goes Backwards

The Lord commanded Moses to enter Pharaoh’s palace and deliver a shocking order to the world’s most powerful ruler: “Let My people go so they may serve me!,” Exodus chapters five and eight. Reluctantly, Moses obeyed God. Undoubtedly, Moses expected life to move forward. He imagined Pharaoh conceding to God’s command, releasing the Israeli slaves and sending them on their way to the Promised land. However, life went backwards. Read More→

Demystifying Speaking in Tongues

We can’t read the Book of Acts and avoid the subject of speaking in tongues.  The word tongues means languages.  Basically, the Holy Spirit’s powerful presence enabled Jesus’ followers to speak to God in languages they had never learned.

Acts 2:4 shows 120 followers of Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.

Acts Chapter 10 records Peter’s ministry to a group of non-Christians in Cornelius’s home (See Acts 10:46.) These people received Jesus as their personal Savior and then spoke in tongues when the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Then we read about the Apostle Paul’s visit to a city in Turkey named Ephesus.  There he met twelve followers of John the Baptist who accepted Jesus as their Lord.  Subsequently, “When Paul placed hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues” (Acts 19:6 NIV).

Speaking in tongues was a part of the early Christians’ experience.  What’s it all about? Read More→

Choosing the Effect of Life’s Events

The thing we call time carries us through life’s events. Life started with the even humans call birth. Ordinarily, routine events fill our days: meals, conversations, buying groceries, attending church.

On the other hand, many unexpected and unpleasant events muscle their way into our lives. You don’t choose these. In fact, you don’t even want them. Nevertheless, they come. Read More→