Hide and Seek

Life with two toddlers is always an adventure. My daughter Amelia, who is two years old, has been really into hide-and-seek. So it’s nothing to walk into my dining room and see little feet sticking out from underneath the curtains, or a ponytail peeking out from the pillows on the freshly made bed. But sometimes she’s a little more difficult to find and it takes some effort to seek her. 

What I realized quickly, is that seeking isn’t running all over the house, throwing open every door, and looking behind every curtain. In fact, the best method is to stop and listen. Listening sends me in the right direction and draws me closer every time.

In our process of seeking the Lord, this practice is just as important for drawing near to Him.

In Jeremiah chapter 29:13, the Lord gave a promise to the people, that if they would seek Him with all of their hearts, they would find Him.

What I’ve found to be true, is that, like it was with Amelia, seeking the Lord requires getting still and listening. 

This life is hectic and we have so many things going on, yet in the middle of it all, God is speaking. God is desiring time with you today. So I challenge you to stop, take some time and seek, and listen, through His word and His spirit today. 

He can be found in your busiest times, in your lowest times, in your highest times… actually, He can be found in all of your moments.


Has God giving you a word for this year? As my wife, Chelsey and I prayed, the Lord, gave us the word “activate” for 2023.

As I dwelt on this and spent time with the Lord, I realized that this word has many implications in my personal life. For one, I’m a children’s pastor at my job is to help kids become activated into ministry. We are also parents who are to activate our own children by teaching them about Jesus, prayer, and scripture.

We also have so many promises from the word of God that we just don’t activate in our life! We have a promise of touching anything together, in the name of Jesus, and yet many times we fail to pray together for a special need. We have the promise of peace if we just pray and give thanks, yet instead we get anxious about situations.

There are also gifts that the Lord has given us that we have allowed to go dormant in our lives. One of mine is writing. Life with two children under two years old has really taken a toll on our formerly structured schedule, but I believe the Lord is instructing us to activate what he has given to us by His Spirit.

I would love to know your word for the year, and if you don’t have one, I would encourage you to pray about it!


Romans 13:11-14

11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.



Doesn’t that sound like a good word? If you ask me if I want provisions for, well pretty much anything, my answer would be yes. Provisions supply us with what we need.


When a hurricane hits, provisions are brought in so the storm victims can live! When school starts, we need provisions in the classroom to help us educate.


Provisions PROVIDE! We know that God provides all we need. He has provisions for us, and they are good! But on the other hand, there are times when the provisions are provided by us, and these are not so good.


What provisions am I talking about? The provisions for the flesh. Let me break this down a little. Let’s say my wife and I visit the doctor only to find out that sugar is absolutely killing my wife. It’s so dangerous that she’s been given a 100% chance of death if she doesn’t stop eating it.


We have a few problems here…

  • First of all, she likes it! I mean it tastes so good right!
  • Second, it’s tough for her to be around it without eating it.
  • And finally, we have all kinds of sweets in our pantry at home.

As a loving husband who does not want my wife to die, what should I do? I’ve got to clean out that pantry! I have to remove the provisions that would lead to my wife’s demise.


The Bible tells us that we too need to “clean out our pantries” of all the things that cause us to sin by feeding the flesh. We all have that struggle we know is sinful. We know we shouldn’t do it. We know the Lord says to turn away and we know it’s a death sentence…after all the wages of sin is death! (Romans 6:23) But we just can’t stop. We keep that “bag of cookies” in the back of the pantry just for special occasions or when we really need one. That’s not going to work! God is calling us to completely clean house! To completely get rid of all the provisions that are allowing us to sin.


If you’re falling back every time you’re with a certain group of friends, you need to cut the provision. If you’re looking at junk on your smart phone, get a phone without internet access. If social media is filling up all your spare time, put limitations in your settings. If you’re slacking off in an area at work, add some accountability and cut the unaccountable time. If you can’t keep your hands off of the person you’re dating, stay in public or around people and eliminate alone time.

Every temptation has a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13), but it also has a way of access… a huge key to freedom is to eliminate the access points that we have control of.


Today I challenge you to take a deep inventory of your life. Talk to the Lord and ask Him to show you the doors that need to be closed and trust in His amazing grace to guide you and strengthen you along the way!

That time with the Spider!

Alrighty, time to put your seatbelts on because we’re about to talk about something very serious… and scary. It’s a battle most of us have had to face… a battle that has had many of us on the run…a battle that has caused fear to grip us in the most real way.


By now you may know what I’m talking about. Yes, I’m talking about spiders.


I don’t know about you, but I’m NOT a fan of spiders; however, there was a lesson God taught me through one of these disgusting creatures that I want to share with you. It was a winter morning in Paris, Texas. I was in my bathroom wearing my robe and slippers brushing my teeth when my eye caught something hanging from the ceiling. The blood drained from my face as I realized… it was a black widow.



My life flashed before my eyes… well that’s a little dramatic, but I did panic. I took of my slipper, aimed, and threw it at the spider only to knock it down to the ground. (I may have also made some very awkward high-pitched sounds that we won’t discuss further)


Now before you take my man card away, let me remind you that black widow spiders are indeed dangerous. One bite from one of these can cause some serious damage to a human. It wasn’t wrong to have a healthy awareness of what it could do, but it was a little crazy to let something that small take control of my mind, or in this case, my bathroom. In fact, it’s almost comical that this little enemy could convince me that he’s got more power that I have.




But something happened when I spotted it on the ground. There was a boldness that filled me as I lifted my foot (with the slipper on of course) and stomped the little monster underneath. The battle was over. The fear was gone. The victory had been won!


Was the lesson about a spider? It was actually about a lot more. You see, sometimes we have things that seem to be hanging over our heads, causing us to fear. All kinds of situations that threaten our livelihood. They try to rule the room, strike fear, and take control of your mind and emotions. But something happens when we relocate these things from above us, to under the feet of Jesus!


Check out this prayer form the book of Ephesians



18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.





That includes whatever fearful situation you’re facing today. It’s been placed under the feet of Jesus. I don’t know about you, but that eases my mind and my heart. Jesus, who loves me, and who knows me, and who died for me is in control. And not only that, but through Him I have His incomparably great power to overcome the enemy!


Today I choose to focus on Him and what He has done. This doesn’t mean we don’t have situations that are serious and potentially harmful, but it means we face them from the standpoint of victory. I will tell every “spider” of a circumstance that the Lord is in control and I will fight my battles according to the word.


Sometimes “FACING” fear is really just “PLACING” fear where it belongs!

Today I challenge you to picture your “spider”, whatever it may be, under the feet of Jesus.

Disobedience and Disqualification

This sentence got to me this morning…

“Disobedience may eliminate opportunities for service by disqualifying one from a position of leadership.” (Ryrie study Bible)

1 Samuel 13:13-14
Samuel said to Saul, “ You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

Saul undoubtedly felt the pressure of the battle. The enemy’s army was HUGE. Can you imagine the stress…trying to hold it all together as the leader of an army that is outnumbered. He became impatient and he took matters into his own hands, which wasn’t what God had instructed.
This act of disobedience would change his life. “Would have” is a key phrase here… if you Would Have been obedient, the Lord Would Have established your Kingdom over Israel forever.
Disobedience is no joke. It’s not something we can pick and choose depending on the situation. It’s sometimes very difficult in the face of pressing circumstances to trust God and His timing. But we can never do in our own strength what we can do in God’s strength. We can never accomplish in our own timing what God can accomplish in His.
Your situation may be pressing today, but remember that it doesn’t change what God has already spoken to you. His instructions and commands are to be followed. Don’t freak out and think you’ve been abandoned. Don’t think you’re gonna have to take the reins. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to trust God in the waiting. Immediately after Saul just “did it himself”, Samuel showed up…
I encourage you (and myself) to place obedience to God as the first priority! You can’t prove that you trust the Lord without an opportunity to trust Him.
This is your opportunity! What are you going to do?

Get the “Would Haves” out of the way today. I Would Have, but ______________.
Whatever filled that blank… surrender it to God today and Trust Him with it completely.

Meant to Rule, Meant to Trust

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” -Genesis 1:28

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”  -Genesis 3:1


We’re meant to rule over many things in this life as believers. Even from day 1 we were created to rule over all the living things of the earth. We were given authority by God himself over the animals great and small… including the serpent.

How crafty it was to speak to Eve through something she had authority over. Because of his words which seeded uncertainty and deceit in her heart, she ultimately doubted the word and intentions of God.


Don’t let something you were meant to rule over change your beliefs in what God has declared.


God still intends for us rule over many things with authority.


Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.  -Luke 10:19-20


As God’s children we’ve been given authority through Christ! But even with victory and authority, we still sometimes allow situations and words to cloud our view and take us down. Fear, which doesn’t belong in our lives dictates our steps. Anxiety, which we’re told not to operate in keeps us from stepping into the place God is leading us.


Circumstances also speak, and though their dictation is internal it’s often deafening and just as misleading as the serpent. We are then faced with these questions… Did God really say if we ask, we’ll receive? Did God really say we can pray for the sick and they’ll recover? Did God really say there’s a way of escape with every temptation? Did God really say He’d never leave us or forsake us?


These questions become real when we’re facing giants we’re meant to rule over. But rather than doubting, we must remind ourselves of the precious and TRUE words of God! YES, God did say that, and I believe Him. What if Eve’s response had been that simple? There’s no doubt the enemy would have tried again at an opportune time, yet she would have won each victory by simply trusting what God had said. What if she and Adam had simply talked about the encounter and conversation with God before allowing it to effect their lives and relationships?


Trust today! If something is speaking into your life, ask yourself this question… AM I MEANT TO RULE OVER WHAT IS SPEAKING INTO MY LIFE AND CAUSING THIS CONFUSION? If the answer is yes, ask God what He has to say about it! Remind yourself of what He’s already said! Talk to Him about it and LISTEN.

If you have questions, rather than acting out in disobedience to “discover your own answers”, talk about it with the Lord. He is the TRUTH.


Don’t let something you were meant to rule over change your beliefs in what God has declared.

Can You Picture It?

As my fellow Texans know, this summer heat has been a beating. Trees are drying out and these days of 100+ temperatures are taking their toll. In the midst of this, Chelsey and I have been praying for God to send rain! We need rain to water the ground and to cool things off.
Well, this morning I go outside to watch God’s amazing response, which was a rain storm… but when I walked onto the balcony I was met with more than rain drops. I found my ceramic pot blown off the table and busted on the ground. There were pieces everywhere.
The crazy thing is, I know to bring that plant inside when it’s going to rain because I know it will blow off the table. What I realize is that I asked for this rain and I knew it would bring some wind, but I hadn’t really envisioned it happening or I would have prepared.
I’m challenged to get the vision inside of my heart for everything I’m praying about so that I can prepare for God’s response!
If you’re praying for your child to come home, get the room ready and stock up the pantry.
If you’re asking God to heal your body, make some plans in faith to get out and do something fun!
Whatever you’re praying about… picture it answered in your mind and in your heart knowing that God is listening and he is faithful to his word!
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24

When You’ve Been Done Wrong

Do you not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will save you.

Proverbs 20:22

How easy it is to desire retaliation when we’ve been done wrong. Often, our instinct is to make the person suffer as we have. If someone speaks badly of us, we are tempted to speak badly of them. If someone hurts us in some way, we selfishly desire vengeance.

Proverbs 20:22 gives us a pride-breaking look into the heart of God. We know that vengeance is the Lord’s but we have new insight when we see the focus of this verse. He doesn’t put the focus on the one who has committed the evil, but rather he puts it back on us.

He says, “When evil is done to you don’t repay it with evil, but wait on the Lord WHO WILL SAVE YOU!

We naturally want this to say, “Wait for the Lord who will make them pay for what they have done!” But God is showing concern for our response to others. Of course he will take care of his children and will respond to those who have mistreated us… yet with grace. God gives us a warning to guard our hearts by waiting on him to rescue us from not only evil, but from ourselves.

If you’ve been wounded, lied to, manipulated, attacked, or mistreated in any way, put your efforts into waiting on the Lord to save YOU. Don’t respond quickly. Don’t speak hurtful words out of anger. When pain breaks you and the enemy tries to push his way into your heart, resist him by trusting in the Lord. Don’t allow your heart to go into a dark place filled with punitive plans for someone else. He will take care of the problem… but His heart today is to take care of you! Wait for the Lord, and He will save you!

26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:26-27

Instructions… What a relief!

Instructions- What a relief!


Joshua 6

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”


Let’s face it; we all have those obstacles in life that are much bigger than we bargained for. It was exciting at first because we could envision the outcome, but as we begin to realize the magnitude of it, we quickly become overwhelmed. It’s very evident that the process is quite draining if we try to make it work on our own.

I remember eyeing this giant shelf at Ikea one day and I really wanted it in my apartment. My dad wanted me to have it too, so he bought it for me. It was a good day! I could just picture it in my place. I knew just where I wanted to put it. It was going to be amazing and it would make life a more beautiful and full place… well my living room anyways.

The shelf came in a long box, which made the ride pretty interesting in my Kia Sorrento. It stuck out the back window and rested between the front driver and passenger seats. (It also changed the radio station every time I hit the brakes) As soon as I got home, I opened it up to find about 1,000,000 pieces that I was supposed to put together. As I spread them out on my living room floor, my vision of the beauty it would bring was completely overshadowed by the avalanche of screws, wood, and foreign parts that I have no words to describe. How in the world was this mess going to turn into the shelf pictured on the box? How was I supposed to manage this mess?

Finally I decided to take a deep breath, open the instructions, and to follow one step at a time. To my surprise, each step was pretty simple. Then slowly I began to see the shelf take shape. It’s now all put together and it’s even more beautiful because I understand the process.

Sometimes situations in our life can be like this. It’s exciting at first and we know it’s going to be amazing, yet when we see all the pieces it quickly becomes overwhelming. The good news is this, God has instructions and His purpose is not to overwhelm us, but to guide us through with His words and direction.

When God brings us to a place of promise like the Israelites at Jericho, He never intends for us to be overwhelmed. He instead desires for us to simply follow His instructions. As we look at His plan of action, it’s not exhausting. In fact, it was quite simple. March around 1 time for 6 days and then 7 times the 7thday. Blow the horns and shout!

When we need a huge miracle, we tend to think we’ve got to do SO MUCH to receive it. Then the faith shifts to us rather than God.

If you seem locked out of your promise today, know this… Where there’s a place God’s called you to fight, it’s also a place God’s given you victory!Through His word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, listen and simply follow! What He asks you to do may seem strange and countercultural. It may go against everything world tells us will work. But the word says in Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

His ways are different, but His ways are always better. When we find His instructions, it’s such a relief knowing that we don’t have to figure it out on our own!

Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. – Proverbs 4:13

Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold. – Proverbs 8:10

He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, But he who ignores reproof goes astray. – Proverbs 10:17



“He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn’t build His home in us to move away. He didn’t lift us up to let us down.”

Instruction is Life

Proverbs 4:13
Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.

The life God has for you involves receiving, knowing, and following His instructions.
Instruction is Direction or Order. It tells us how something is to be done.

God gives instruction all throughout His word. And Holy Spirit also gives us instruction as He guides us and empowers us in day to day living. Guard your instruction and keep to her, for instruction is your life!

What is God instructing you to do today? What does His word say about your situation or struggle? What has he commanded you to do?

Are you praying for and loving your enemy? Are you giving thanks in all circumstances? Are you crying out for wisdom and understanding? Are you being a doer of His word or are you just a hearer? Are you working at your job as if you’re working for the Lord?

His instructions are life! So to LIVE to the fullest is to follow them! He came to give life and to give it more abundantly. If that’s His desire for you, then you can trust his instructions.