Monday, November 30, 2009

Making a goal

Christmas is coming again!
When you climb into bed on the evening of December 25th, 2009, what will you say about the Christmas season that you just went through?
Was it the best ever?
Was it deeply meaningful to you?
Was it just another Christmas season to cross off the calendar?
Was it depressing and draining?
Will you feel like you're glad it's over?

What is in the Father's heart for you this coming Christmas season?
Have you thought to inquire of Him about it?
Does He even have an opinion...or better yet, a desire for you with Christmas?

These are thoughts that have been coming to my mind and He is leading me to look ahead towards December 25th and make choices now about what I desire for this Christmas season.
From these choices, I feel He is saying to me, "make time and heart-effort to prepare for what I desire for you this Christmas".

December 1st is tomorrow and we will be stepping into the 24 days before Christmas.
Our flesh may feel sudden alarm that Christmas is so soon and we have so much to, sending cards, decorating....

but wait...
we are talking about preparing our hearts as the primary thing.
For now, let's let the others things go on the back burners of our mind.
Let's come back to what the Father wants for you and I this Christmas.
Let's make that the main thing in our thinking

Let's ask for help from the Helper that Jesus gave us...
"Holy Spirit, lead us to Jesus. Lead us into the steps of preparation this Christmas in order to bring our very best gift from our heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen"

Here are a couple of things to help us begin:
1) the name CHRISTMAS means...
Christ..."Anointed of the Lord"
mas...."festival or feast day"
Combined...."festival of Christ (the Anointed of the Lord)"

Try and think about it everytime you see the word "Christmas"...on a card; on tv; in music; on the internet, etc

2) The first Christmas was about God's Anointed one coming to earth as a servant and as our Savior...every Christmas can now be a wonderful reminder that He is coming again; this time as the reigning Lord of Lords and King of Kings that every eye will see and know. We must prepare for that day as Jesus told us in the parable of the 10 virgins. It means we must prepare now. Christmas can be a wonderful exercise for our future in Christ...looking for His return. Remember, we have the Helper that Christ gave us to do this..."ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened to you."

"Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

God's jewels of comfort

From Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd"
God's comfort message...God will care for you and be your personal shepherd if you ask Him.
For: Someone who needs care

"I shall not want."
God's comfort message...God will provide for you.
For: Someone who has any need...physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually...
facing fears of "not having"

"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He lead me beside the still waters"
God's comfort message...He leads you to a quiet place in your life (He gives peace).
For: Someone overwhelmed by busyness and constant unrest..someone weary

"He restores our soul"
God's comfort message...God will heal your soul
For: Someone who is wounded and beat up from life or relationships with others

"He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake."
God's comfort message...The Shepherd has the greatest wisdom to lead you.
For: Someone trying to make big life decisions

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."
God's comfort message...You don't have to fear evil even in the valley of the shadow of death...God is still God no matter what happens to you.
For: Someone facing crisis and a life-threatening situation

"For you are with me"
God's comfort message...The Shepherd is with you (you are not alone no matter what you feel or things seem like).
For: Someone who feels overwhelmed with lonliness or feels rejected by others or feels like a failure

"Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me"
God's comfort message...The Shepherd's rod and staff provide security and protection for you.
For: Someone fearful regarding their safety or the safety of someone they love

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies"
God's comfort message...God is God and He is greater than any of my enemies.
For: Someone afraid of harm from being harassed and oppressed by enemies

"You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over."
God's comfort message...God anoints you with His grace and love and wants HIs blessing to overflow in your life.
For: Someone who is doubting that they are of any value or lovable

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life"
God's comfort have a future full of HIs goodness and forgiving love.
For: Someone fearful, anxious and stressed about what's ahead for them or someone they love

"....and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever"
God's comfort message...there is someplace wonderful for you after you leave this life.
For: Someone facing death or someone you know that is facing death

Pray for this person in need of comfort...if you don't know how to pray, try this...

"Holy Spirit of Truth, my Comforter, speak Your life-giving love message of comfort to ____________ right in this moment as You have done so many times for me.
I surrender myself to You completely and will do whatever You tell me to do so that ____________ experiences Your comfort. If you want to use me to speak Your words, I am willing....if you want me to give something that would communicate Your comfort, I am also willing....or if you only want me to continue quietly interceding, then I am willing. Anoint _________with the soothing oil of your comfort and blessing that they may see Jesus, the Great Shepherd, and want Him more deeply in their life.
In Jesus' name.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

comfortable vs. uncomfortable

The root word in the words, comfortable and uncomfortable is "comfort".
Comfort on the exterior can seem merely like a "warm fuzzy feeling"...but when you add it all up, comfort is much bigger and more powerful and amazing than that.
Why, Jesus even sent a Resident Comforter to live in us, the Holy Spirit of Truth. Comfort must be pretty important to God if He offered such a Gift as that for every believer.

God has wired us to receive comfort in many tangible ways through our senses...
eyes...photographs; Christmas ornaments from childhood; new fallen snow; a tire swing next to a swimming hole; a log cabin; a fire in the fireplace; a rocking chair; a front porch swing...
ears...our mother's voice; a dinner bell; mail being dropped into the mailbox; children's voices on a playground; chicken frying in a skillet; music in all it's varieties; a purring cat....
smells...chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven; fresh bread; steak on a grill; fresh cut grass; rain; clean laundry; a christmas tree; scented candles; lavender...
touch....a hug; a kiss or holding hands with someone you love; a down comforter; a hand-sewn quilt; silk; cotton; hair; a soft teddy bear; a cat's fur; holding a warm cup of coffee on a cold day...
taste...many many kinds of foods...salty, spicy, sweet, savory. Many, many kinds of beverages...

These are tangible means of comfort that each of us receive as a gift from our Loving Father, but He has comfort in much deeper ways as well.

Think how often we turn to receive comfort. Many times a day we don't even realize that we are seeking comfort because we are feeling afraid or worried or upset or tired or discouraged or lonely.
Life throws alot at us.
I guess, those who seek comfort are those who have a need?

How each of us "receives" comfort will be how we "give" comfort.
We can only give what we have first received...that is why the second great commandment is defined, Love your neighbor "as yourself". Who are we to love (as God does) first? Me!
Loving myself as God does means I first receive His love for "me"...then give it to others in the same way. We are learning to love. It's important for us to learn to receive His love daily.

Isaiah 40 begins, "Comfort ye; comfort ye My people...." It is the theme of that chapter.
How does the Holy Spirit direct this to be done?
Tell them good news! In fact, shout it out as loud as you can....from a high mountain.
What are we to shout out as the good news specifically to bring this comfort?

The rest of the chapter, Isaiah, as a messenger repeating the King's words, lavishes on the reader many word-pictures comparing things about God's character with things in nature.
We begin to feel very small...and our problems seem the light of the greatness and bigness and unchangeableness of the God that made and loves us! The "Truth" of who He is and what He has done brings an incredible "comfort"...His truth frees us into the place of safety; which is in Him alone.

Comfort is all about knowing you are "safe". This is what His love does for us individually.

Our safety is hugely important to God...just read Psalm 23 and 91 and John 10. Even when everything is falling apart around us and we are abandoned by everyone else, He says..."I will not leave you as orphans but I will come to you and live with you forever".
Forever is a long time! It leaves nothing unguarded. And our God now lives "inside" us..."Christ in you, the Hope of glory". He's closer than we can define in words.

The truth frees us from fear and all that causes panic and anxiety and depression and takes us into the arms of the Father to live in the safety of His love that is the strongest force in the universe. He actually invites us to be bold about coming anytime.

Comfort equals His love which is revealed in His truth.
I pray you are comforted!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Strongest Weapon

We are all in warfare...whether we think we are or not....whether we want to be or not.
There IS someone who is an expert at being deviously evil who wants to use us to slap God in the face. He lives to see destruction to come to each one of us.
He does not have control...God does. He's already been defeated...his time is short...and he knows it. He is filled with rage against God....against man; because he knows man is who God loves with all His heart. He is out to destroy who God loves.
Since he does not have the power to destroy us, his strategy had to become to lead each one of us to "self destruction".

The recent news event of suicide here in our home town has once again made this clear.

First he tempts us to make a lofty expectation that is centered around our own desires or rights.....when it's not met, then come fear and jealousy and judgment and anger towards those involved with alot of energy. Discouraging thoughts are welcomed in our minds almost without any reservation. He works tirelessly to keep feeding these fires that we chose to let in. Bitterness sets in like gangrene and it festers and swells and begins to poison everything about our loses it meaning and purpose and we feel extremely insignificant.

When this goes on long enough then he can easily bring depression without any resistance. We don't want to let anyone into our life...keep everyone around us an arms length away. The deception here is that if I have to give up my anger and judgments of others then I also have to admit that I am wrong.
And THAT is self pity! We have been tricked and are trapped by our own choices.
Though self pity begins as something that feels like comfort (in a sick way!), it soon becomes very painful and a sure path to self destruction.
We feel trapped by holding on to the crusade that we ARE "the right one".
We've fallen for the bait....hook, line and sinker.
Our enemy has us deceived and trapped by our own pride.

Anytime we start to see our need and soften, he just "yanks" on the pride ring in our nose.
Depression goes lower and lower until "hopelessness" becomes our norm.
We are consumed by our own perspective on everything...."it's all about me, me, me!"
Finally thoughts of suicide begin to sound pretty good...."a way out"....the ONLY way out of the pain that has come from our own choices.
Self destruction.

What is our strongest weapon against this diabolical scheme that has been laid for each one of us?
Simply, a thankful heart. A heart that is stirred by the kindness of God that is everywhere in our life...down to the smallest things that we often forget to see and connect that they have come from our Father that loves and cares for us throughout eternity.
A thankful heart is a soft heart...a humble heart...a contented heart....a peaceful heart....a heart that can enjoy the simplest things with pure joy....a heart that is bursting with life and zest and purpose and meaning. A happy heart.

Is that what you have right now in this moment?
Stop. Turn to Jesus and ask for a thankful heart...and then fully surrender yourself once again to Him and look around you to begin noticing the smallest things around you to give thanks for.
Jesus has won that way out of self destruction by laying His own life down for each one of us. It's His gift to us...moment by moment...we only need to see our own wrongness and His rightness and embrace Him as "our life" here and now.
Results? A thankful heart.
What a wonderful, rich way to live!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Biggest piece

The Biggest Piece


“I’ll take the biggest piece!”

When I read this statement, it sounds like something a greedy person would say.

But when Jeremiah wrote about his portion (piece) in life, he said,

“The LORD is my portion”. (Lamentations 3:24)

What is he saying?

He is boasting in the Lord…boasting in the “Person” of God…

a real, living Being that he enjoyed relationship with as he lived life.

I guess his statement could have read like this,

“The Lord (Himself) is my portion”.

He is boasting in “who” God is and that that great God is His portion in life.

God is his piece and He is extremely happy and thankful about it!

Think of what our life today would have been like if we did not have God?!

Remember what it is like to be truly alone.

(pause and ponder that)

Jeremiah’s statement flows out of a humble, worshipful heart

that is proud (in a good sense) of the truth that God is His prize possession.


Think how big God is…

…how great God is…

…how loving God is…

…how generous God is…

On an on….

This is who Jeremiah was boasting in….and this is who Jeremiah was saying he had.

He was genuinely grateful that out of everything in life, God was his portion….

his “piece of life”.

I wonder if we’ve ever let ourselves boast in God like this?

I wonder what God would think about us doing that in front of others in some way….?

Why not give ourselves permission…to brag…boast…

express our heart about the One that lives there…

reveling in the truth …“the Lord is MY portion”!

He’s worthy of our praise and adoration!

We are like a little child that has asked for the biggest piece, and God has responded, “yes, I give you Myself!”

The King's ink

The King’s Ink


The King gives different amounts of ink to each one of us.

He carefully and wisely pours that amount in our ink well at the very beginning.

It is enough to last us our whole lifetime.

The goal is to use it all up…to the last drop.

It is a living version of the parable of the talents.

The ink is the expressions of His heart.

He is love.

That is what He puts in us.

I am the pen He has made. He has given my pen a nib that is different than any one elses.

He wanted it to be different in it’s ability to express.

When I am in His presence and connected with His heart,

that is when the pen is dipped into the ink well.

Then the pen is loaded and ready to express the life that is in it.

Sometimes the pen writes….sometimes it speaks….sometimes it draws…

sometimes it dances….sometimes it cooks and sometimes it sings.

Through these, the ink is released and put down and others see the expression of the King’s heart.

Feel dry?

There is still more ink left for you….

Take a dip in the King’s ink….

then release what has been put in you.

“Freely you have received, freely give”

The Rock

The Rock


You and I are getting a lot of bad news daily. It’s literally everywhere in everything.

It’s overwhelming and a black hole that will suck you in if you let it.

People are hurting in every conceivable way…turning to every conceivable place to try and get help (or at least a little hope).

It is alarming to me!

I feel the earth quivering under the turmoil of this age.

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Jesus Christ, the Rock of Ages has made a way for you and I to stand in Him when the storms come and the wind blows and we are threatened by the destruction of everything we have held onto to as our “life”. We dwell “in Him” now…and He in us.

He will sustain us and keep us and help us….no matter what. In the Lord Jesus we have found our security…our life and our home!

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever you had formed the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

Psalm 90:1

With this Hope we go to the world to care and to help and to love…

”Christ in you, the hope of glory”

Uniquely You!


By Rich Davis


Time often brings clarity.

The important things become clearer and clearer.

How does that translate for a children’s book illustrator?

You are not anyone else but you….you are uniquely you!

You have your own style….your own preferences…your own expression.

There is only one You! You are incredibly unique in every way.

All of us journey in finding who that artist is inside of us.

To confuse this journey, we live in a culture that wants to puts people on pedestals…it is looking to make some famous. That’s probably not going to be you and I!

It really is not the address where happiness lives anyway.

Awards and lists and all the “bells and whistles” are fine…but not necessary to “the real you” (as an artist) being content and happy. You have permission to proceed on in your journey to find your significance and uniqueness without having to be distracted by the pursuit of fame and prestige. Fame is perception and very elusive anyway. And, it doesn’t satisfy very long. ..then, like a drug, you have to have a little more the next time.

Bottom line: the worthwhile pursuit is to find YOU as an artist.

Someone made you….you’re not a random “it” that happened one day in a hospital.

Someone designed you….Someone that saw that He would put the gift of art inside you and you would love beauty and the ability to create things like He does. Someone who loves you as His masterpiece has made only one you. And He smiles when He looks at you and He enjoys you with deep satisfaction. He is the One that placed that incredible gift inside you….He designed you with a purpose that is from His heart of love and you are not just here by chance. There is a reason for your life.

It’s your time on center stage…and the time goes quick.

That is reality.

Finding that unique artist is our privilege and no one else can make that journey for us.

I encourage you in your creative process today, have conversations with your Designer about why you are here now in this generation with the gift you have….He’s the only One who has the answers of those deep questions of our heart. He delights to help those who seek Him as their answer….and He is full of good surprises for each of us journeying along daily. He not only wants to help but has the power and resources to do so.

There is something for you to express…something for you to say….it’s your time and art is your language.

lesson of the squirrel

The lesson of the Squirrel


Recently while driving down a two lane highway, a squirrel taught me a was a lesson that cost him everything.

As I drove in my lane around a curve, I noticed a squirrel that had hopped across the dotted line from my lane into the oncoming lane and was just a hop from safety....but he stopped when he saw me coming (eventhough I wasn’t in his lane) and he even jumped up and made himself face back in the direction he came from. Toward my lane! “Oh no!” I breathed.

That’s when I started blowing my horn in hopes of scarring him back into the direction of safety. It looked like it was going to work when I noticed a car coming from the opposite direction and it was almost to him. I kept blowing my horn.

I looked in my rear view mirror and now saw two cars coming from behind me at a fast pace. My heart was really pumping as all this unfolded in seconds.

Thankfully I went past the squirrel without harming him. That’s when he was finally galvanized to action.

He darted back and forth a couple of times then zoomed right into the path of the two cars behind me. Thump!

I let out a yell in my car and pounded the steering wheel as I watched his violent death in my rear view mirror.

I spoke out loud unrestrained...”Why, Lord?! Why?! Such a waste! He could have easily gotten across the road problem!!!”

I had tried to help save his life and had failed. I felt terrible.

Then, in my heart I heard the still small voice...”the lesson of the squirrel”.

And I saw the numbers 1 and 2.

“ok, the lesson has two parts....” I said.

By the number 1 I saw the word, “aware” and I knew this to mean, “be aware of what is going on around you”.

By the number 2 I saw the word, “decisive”and I knew this to mean, “give yourself 100% to the direction you discern I’m leading and then get moving (don’t hesitate)!”

It was a lesson that came with power.

Crying Out

Crying Out


Some human natures “explode out”….

while others “cave in”.

Both are bent on self-destruction.

Which are you?

I tend to “cave in”.

If you have had this revealed to you by the Spirit of Truth in your daily life,

then He will also show you “the Deliverer”. Only His freeing ways of love can lead

us to deliverance from our self-destructing human nature.

He will not force us, but He will present us with a choice.

It is marvelous and painful to see our own self-destructive nature….and detest it.

But, to see it and try to free our self will only lead to self pity and despair

because it is a hopeless venture.

And, we will really sink down lower than we thought we could ever be.

I’ve been there…many times.

Thankfully, as Corrie Ten Boom said,

“there is no pit too deep that God’s love for us is not deeper still”. (loosely quoted)

And in that place, our Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ, is waiting for us to look to Him and “give up” on our own inability to try and save our self.

He’s made it easy.

We continue to make it difficult.

Help me, Jesus!” (the most effective petition I know)

“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.”

Ps. 34:6

Silent moments; Big choices

Silent Moments; Big Choices August 2007

There is a silent world that each of us owns. It is the world of our inner life. Our thoughts and emotions and our ability to choose….all of these operate vigorously without anyone around us knowing it is going on. Sometimes big choices are made in these silent moments. These choices can be so big that they actually change the course of our life.

In my teenage years, I made one of these “big choices”. I was thought of as a “good kid” that came from a good home. I had been taught well by my parents and church what Christians should and should not do. I knew those things all to well. But in my silent moments, it was a different world than the front I kept on the outside. I was too curious and pulled toward things I knew were wrong. In a silent moment, I made a big choice…..”no one would ever know about the secret things I do or think”.

There! It was done.

That choice caused a lot of darkness and lonliness and misery in my life. It became a silent hell. My enjoyment of anything bad was short-lived. I had no one to share it with….afterall, my choice had been made and I wasn’t going to risk being caught by anyone. I didn’t think I could live with others thinking bad things of me if I was caught.

I’m happy to say that choices can be remade.

Eventually, in God’s time, the misery that was created from that choice led me to want to be free from it. By the grace of God only, I began to want to open my life to others and get free from the heavy, dark inner life that I had nurtured over the past years. This has been an on-going process that I will walk in my whole life.

But it is a good choice that has led me to more freedom as the years have gone by.

It is a process that has slowly progressed and will continue the rest of my life.

I will always be tempted to go into hiding again….but God’s grace is sufficient for me to remain in His light and life.

Yesterday, God’s grace led me to make a very good, big choice in a silent moment again! I was in a circumstance that was chewing me up inside. Emotionally I was very troubled and mentally my thoughts were darting about like a squirrel does when it can’t make up it’s mind which way it wants to go when crossing a road. I needed help, and I knew it.

I felt like a ship that was sinking….partly submerged and being pulled down.

In a silent moment before God, He offered me help. He offered me the body of Christ….people I knew walked daily with Jesus. I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “don’t wait til this trouble has blown over to open your life to others….open your heart now and let them encourage you and strengthen you and comfort you. They are a gift to you from Me to help shoulder your burden.”. And in that silent moment, I said, “yes, I will….I choose to do that starting now”.

Before I even stepped out and began to practise this, I felt a wave of peace, strength and relief flow over me….I knew I had transacted something definite with my Heavenly Father.

The rest of that day, I opened my inner world to the people that the Holy Spirit brought to mind and was amazed how much the burden I was carrying was lifted. A new strength and determination was given me so I could carry on. I felt a whole new way of living was opened to me and this big choice in a silent moment before God is already bearing eternal treasure ….the kingdom of God in my world! How wonderful are God’s ways!

Holy Spirit, reknew afresh in me the desire to walk in the light as You are in the light with my inner world and to always choose Your way of living in this life. Amen

Speak into the air

SPEAK INTO THE AIR November 4, 2007

A very simple thought…..that has a lot of power….words that are spoken into the air.

Words that are kept in the mind are not as powerful as words that are spoken out.

This works both ways…for good and for evil. I think we all can think of examples of this.

In the Kingdom of God, I believe this to be true especially. “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. First we speak….and we ignite the words with faith….it releases the eternal purposes of God. Simple and effective.

Why is this?

When God created everything we read about in Genesis at the beginning….He “spoke His words into the air” and “life happened”. The Great Creator released His power to create through His words….fascinating….but undeniably true!

When the Lord Jesus was described by John, He wrote under the power and accuracy of the Holy Spirit, “In the beginning was the Word….”

“Word” is capitalized….meaning, He’s talking about a Person….the Lord Jesus.

Words are a big deal in the Kingdom of God. They are indeed special and they are chalked full of the power of God to bring His life and His purposes into being. His words carry with them the authority of the King of the Universe that is Supreme and Lord over all things…in heaven and on earth.

Wonderful consideration: He wants to co-partner with us to speak His words into the air around us….to be His agents of giving His life to others and circumstances around us.

But…..they must be His words (not ours) and they must be anointed by the Holy Spirit to be released at the right moment. ( Have you noticed how the Holy Spirit’s work is always punctuated with the issue of “timing”?)

God speaks in many ways….one of the most important ways is by the Holy Scriptures….but let’s face it, that is not the only way….otherwise we would be confined to only quote scripture and life is just not like that. God understands that about being human on the planet earth in the time of history we live in and He has also given us His Holy Spirit of Truth to whisper His words in our hearts. This is wonderful beyond what I can express!



(of the Heart)

Seasons of the heart are like the seasons we live in year to year.

They have many similarities….God wants us to understand His seasons for us.

Our journey through life has many seasons.

Every season has things about it that help us know what season it is….think about what defines winter….spring….summer…fall.

He told us that nature would tell us about Him….what He is like….His character and

The incredible bigness and precision of His person. He made us in His image….He knows that we need “visual” things to help explain and reveal (in simple ways) His person and His ways.

“the heavens declare the glory of God”…..see? Clouds, blue skies, storms, rainbows, stars, shooting stars, galaxies, planets, the sun and moon….they all help us know Him.

He said it would be that way and that “no man would be without excuse” because of the picture that nature gives us. It has much to teach us about Him…if we want to know.

“To everything there is a season”

God made seasons for a reason….there’s reasons for seasons….hmmmm.

I think it’s a good idea to notice seasons….I think God meant to say a lot of things

To us through seasons…..Winter….Spring….Summer….Fall.

Here are some things I’ve noticed:

Seasons were set up to repeat….to make a pattern. I think this was nice of God, we can

At least anticipate what season is coming because their order has happened the same since the beginning. Think about it……year 1…winter, spring, summer, fall….year 2.…winter, spring, summer, fall….year 3….winter, spring, summer, fall….etc, etc…

I don’t think He has ever skipped a season or put them out of order out of all the years man has lived on the earth God created. That’s kind of amazing….really….especially in light of the fact that God creates a new design for every snowflake that ever has or will fall from the sky.

The seasons may come in the same order year after year, but there are definitely new and different things that happen each new season that didn’t happen the year before. One fall, the first frost happens in October…the next year the frost may come early in late September. Or one summer it rains 1 time in June through August….the next year it rains 10 times.

Seasons “overlap” each other….they don’t just “stop” and “start”….as one seasons is fizzling out, another season begins to appear…it’s a change that evolves over a period of time. Winter turns into spring through the month of March but you may still have cold snaps happening in spurts as the temperatures begin to get warmer and the wind begins to blow starting to push out the inactivity of winter into the burst of life of spring.

All these physical things about seasons help us begin to grasp what seasons of the heart are about in our life. We’re always in one season or another….they are an endless parade that God has for us.

Seasons don’t last forever….whatever season I am in, it will end…and another will begin. If I like the season I’m in, then that is hard to deal with. If I don’t like the season I’m in, then that is good news!

You can’t stop seasons….you can’t run away from them….they just continue to happen.

Each season has it’s own special activities….and it’s own special clothes you wear.

There is beauty and wonder even in the seasons that we like least….baking cookies in the winter making the kitchen we warmer while a bitter cold day is outside can become a cherished life-long memory.

Peace on earth



As I sat in church today listening to the words that the angels first announced,


it struck me….

When exactly is this peace on earth going to happen?

….it seems like a really long time from now seeing how much violence is in the world.

A gentle thought made it’s way to the front of my mind…

“The peace this is talking about is the Lord Jesus Himself….

that is why I gave Him the names Prince of Peace and Immanuel (God with us).”

He (peace) has come and He is with us moment by moment.

Re-translating the original message we could say,

“Jesus, our peace, is with us here on earth (now)….

and this is for all people’s highest good!”

That’s still the message from the throne of God to us in our great neediness.

If we see this as good news,

let’s respond as the shepherds did and go quickly to the Lord Jesus to worship

and be with Him!

A very wonder-filled Christmas to you and your family!

Rich Davis

Plenty for everyone



The 12 baskets of “fragments” that were gathered by the disciples from the massive feeding of over 5,000 people came from a boy’s simple lunch. It probably was in a small basket at the beginning as well?

What was the “miracle meal” that Jesus used to feed so many?

We all know it….5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

Late this afternoon as I took my walk for exercise, I began to talk to Jesus about my day. It had begun with unusual worry and anxiety. It seemed a million things were screaming at me at the same time, “Don’t forget me!!!!” I felt overwhelmed.

It drove me to Jesus and the Holy Spirit had beautifully taught me the freeing truths of Jesus to help me go into the day. It actually equipped me to experience Jesus in a living way. There was grace for me to trust Him in a new way.

You know, I didn’t come away pumping my fist and whooping and celebrating when He spoke….I was needy and I knew it…I was just so humbled and grateful that He was willing to step into my little world of pressures and problems and help me walk through them.

I was surprised as I took my walk to again begin hearing the Holy Spirit open some new things to me that I had never seen before. They are relevant for me and my present circumstances and the beginning of a new year; I hope they will be for you also.

Notice the numbers in this story….2 fish; 5 loaves; 12 baskets full.

The lunch had ….2 fish and 5 loaves which equals 7 items.

There are 7 days in a week.

12 baskets full….12 months in every year.

The small lunch with simple things represents our day to day living that makes up each week….7days.

The 5 loaves of bread represents the most common part of our life…what we call “the daily grind”. Consider how bread is made. The staple food of wheat (the simple things of our day) are picked and “ground up” (the daily grind) to put it in a form that can make bread…flour.

The flour is mixed with other ingredients and “kneaded” by hand….the hands of God taking the “simple moments of our day” and mixing them all together into a lump. Often we miss the hand of God kneading in our lives daily…but He is anyway.

Then comes heat for the baking process….trials and hardships….the floury dough begins to cook and a wonderful aroma begins to go out to others. At the right time, out comes the wonderful fresh baked bread. 5 days of the “everyday grind” to make the bread that becomes food for the multitude around us that Jesus is wanting to feed. 5 tastey loaves of bread ready to be put into the hands of Jesus.

The 2 fishes? The whole draw with fishermen is the “surprise” that ensues when you fish…you never know at what moment a fish down in the deep is going to bite the bait on your hook. Or if you were in Jesus’ day, you threw the nets out into the dark water and pulled it in to see if you had caught anything.

The fish represents “God’s surprises” of our week where He gives and we see the gift that it is to us in that moment. It’s “unexpected goodness”. Like the fishermen, in order to make the lunch that Jesus will multiply, we need to continuously throw our net out into the deep places to see if we will catch something. God loves to surprise us with His goodness!

That little lunch perfectly represents the weekly moments of our daily life with Jesus.

When we surrender the lunch to Him as the boy did, He takes it; blesses it and gives it to us to hand out to the hungry around us. Simple divine mathematics …and 12 baskets full are taken up of food after everyone has had all they can eat. God always gives more than we need so we have “plenty for everyone”…He’s that generous!

Yielding our daily grind and surprises from God will yield food for everyone that will last week to week, all year long.

That’s what was preached on the city walking trail in Siloam Springs to me today.

I’m passing this fish on to you and pray Jesus will multiply it for you…I think that is what He had in mind all along?

Punching a ticket

Punching a Ticket


Can you picture in your imagination one of the old train depots….see the smoke billowing up from one of those huge iron monsters and hear the sounds of people talking and the bell ringing and the hissing of the engine. Then see the ticket agent…always seemed to be an little guy with the bushy mustache and the pocket watch with the chain hanging down. He has the hand punch and he’s going from person to person punching their ticket for the train ride.

Why did he do that? What was that about…was it all that important?

Maybe we have thought that it is enough to “have your ticket” and that’s it. But these former times show us that the ticket needed to be “punched” in order for it to be “valid” for that time.


How does that apply to you and me today?

Think of a ticket as something God has given us….an ability or a call that has come from Him to be a way that His purpose for making us is worked out. It’s there inside each one of us. But the ticket has to be “punched”….

you may be one of God’s ticket agents for someone else today.

If you see an ability or call that God has placed on someone else today…if He allows your heart’s eyes to see it…then ask Him how you can “validate” that ticket. It may be by something encouraging you say…or a note…or a gift to them….the Holy Spirit is very creative…just ask Him how to punch their ticket…then step up and do it.

Maybe they can’t take the train ride until their ticket is validated….punched.

All aboard!



Looking out a window when it's snowing while putting your hand up to feel the cold glass....

Quietly starring at a roaring fire in a fireplace on a cold winter evening....

Sitting in a old metal chair in your Grandma’s back yard on a summer evening....

Watching the rings that raindrops make when they hit a puddle in a spring shower.....

Sitting on a large rock overlooking a beautiful valley....

Getting to be in the kitchen when fresh baked bread is taken out of the oven…

Studying a dew-soaked spider web in a boathouse in the early morning...

Putting your tired feet in a bubbling cool creek on a hot summer afternoon....

Taking a walk out in the country with someone you love on a fall day....

Sipping a large iced coke on a hot dusty evening at a small town rodeo....

Life has a lot of very special moments and places in the midst of everyday.

It would do each of us good to notice them.

They are intended for our enjoyment....

To be savored…

To be remembered (over and over).

These are a gift from our Heavenly Father.

Thank You, Father…I do love Your gifts to me!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good”

Psalm 34:8

Rich Davis


Go back to the bus stop

“Go back to the bus stop…”


Recently, a friend was telling me about his conversion experience that happened many years ago.

He is a very sharp intelligent person who battled in his mind trying to figure out the big issues of life. He couldn’t do it. It nagged him….bothered him…pestered him for a good while. He knew he needed to make a choice whether he would completely embrace the Lord Jesus as his…or reject Him and continue on as he had before. He was desperate.

At a bus stop, the Holy Spirit met him there and brought him to the point of decision.

He was not planning on such an unlikely place to make such a monumental decision!

But at last, he did business with Jesus and gave Him all. He chose to follow Jesus from that point on. Great choice!

After he told me this, he began to pour out to me that he was wrestling with some huge hardships in his life and it was weighing him down in a big way. He couldn’t seem to break through in his mind.

When I heard him pour out his heart in that way, the Spirit quickened to me to say to him,

“go back to the bus stop in your imagination and do business with God”.

This is a wonderful use of the imagination that God has given us….we can go to places where God tells us and meet with Him there in our imagination!

Imagine that!

I have places where God powerfully met me and touched me intimately….I can go back there in my imagination and meet Him again with the things that I am struggling with now. It can be a very powerful way to transact heart business with God and also to intercede for others. Maybe they are in similar hard places where I have been. I can intercede for them in my imagination from the memory of those places God healed me.

So, if you feel stuck or dry in your heart and you’re longing for something special from God, why not get quiet before God and go back to YOUR bus stop?

Pour out your heart to Him there and let Him come to you in the way He knows you need.

Maybe He will surprise you with His goodness…again?

His shaping blows

His Shaping Blows


Imagine a very strong blacksmith working in his shop.

Feel the heat, hear the clinking sounds and smell the metallic odor of the place in your imagination.

The blacksmith studies hunks of blunt, shapeless metal.

He chooses one.

His creative imagination sees something beautiful and powerful.

His ingenious mind lays out his process step by step.

Then his strong body moves to carry out his plan. He knows what to do.

He begins by placing the hunk of metal in a very hot fire causing the metal to begin to glow. He continues fanning the fire making it hotter and hotter while he studies the metal. It is changing colors.

Suddenly he takes giant metal tongs and pulls the glowing piece out of the fire with a very strong grip.

He chooses a huge hammer and lays the glowing metal on a massive anvil.

With fierce determination he begins to shape the metal blow by blow….over and over.

Sparks fly and an ear splitting sound rings out as he pounds away.

At first it seems he doesn’t know what he is doing…just hammering away on a glowing hunk of metal. But slowly the piece begins to take a different shape; something long and narrow….then more blows….you begin to see a sword.

For a long time he bangs away. You’re fascinated.

Finally, the blows stop.

Great drops of persperation roll down his face and He smiles with satisfaction at his work. He plunges it into a large barrel of water.

A hissing sound; the water bubbles and steam rises.

He’s done.

Incredibly, the hunk of metal has been transformed into something else…something strong…something with purpose…and it bears the Maker’s excellence.

God is our Master Blacksmith and we begin as the worthless hunk of metal.

But He doesn’t see us that way.

He cannot make us into something new without the intense heat and the shaping blows of His hammer. It’s the only way.

Life’s blows can be His shaping blows. To yield to Him is to believe that He has an incredible outcome for our life, no matter what happens.

He is shaping us to look like the Lord Jesus….and He knows what He’s doing!

I Surrender

I surrender (Period!)


SURRENDER and TRUST with God go hand in hand…in that order.

It is impossible to fully trust God until we have entirely surrendered to God.

There is no partial surrender in God’s kingdom.

It is all the way…or nothing.

The result and prominent sign of this “full surrender and full trust” is GLAD OBEDIENCE.

These three things are “Kingdom words and Kingdom ways”.

And, they are words completely submerged in the Love of God.

Because we love God, we surrender, trust and gladly obey.

This is what an intimate relationship with God looks like.

SURRENDER to Jesus first. (deny yourself)

Fully TRUST in Jesus second. (have faith in God)

Give GLAD OBEDIENCE to Jesus last. (if you love Me, obey My commandments)

Don’t expect yourself to be able to “trust and obey”

if you haven’t completely surrendered first.

Surrendering to God is not a “feeling”, it is a choice of our will.

To win….Give up first.

“I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my precious Savior, I surrender all”

I am wounded

“I’m wounded…”


“I’m wounded….”

This is something I am admitting in this season of my life.

It’s hard to be “the needy one”….I’ld rather be the one that “has it together”.

But, surprisingly, I’m finding that my own healing has begun just by

coming out of the closet of my thoughts and admitting “I’m wounded”.

It is helping me.

It’s not a quick fix…but it is part of the process of God’s healing for me.

Adrenaline can carry someone fighting in a fierce battle even when

they have been badly wounded. They may not even realize they have a deep wound.

But when the fighting is over, the pain begins to come and the wound

is quickly discovered.

It feels good to be honest….life beats us up every day. We just can’t dodge every bullet that comes our way. Some of them are going to pierce our souls.

Part of God’s redemption in these painful places is that Jesus

becomes more intimate to us out of our need for healing.

We all need Him.

If you have discovered that you have wounds too…

I invite you to join me in admitting…

“I’m wounded…”

Then cry for help from Jesus…He hears you and He will not fail you!”

“Give me more grace, Jesus, to cooperate with how the Holy Spirit leads me

to Your wholeness again. And, Jesus, thank You so much.”

Keeping an Appointment

Keeping an Appointment

September 14, 2008

Abraham Lincoln had a heavenly appointment in the last five years of his life. All the years prior to this were years of preparation. He was a gift from our Heavenly Father to a whole nation that was torn apart and doomed to self destruct.

The day he left Springfield, Illinois to move into the White House and begin his presidency , he said:

“…I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon (George) Washington. Without assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.”

He was sensing God’s call on his life and was embracing it even though he knew it would be very difficult. Abraham Lincoln willingly stepped into an incredibly volatile and inflamed situation and was able to be God’s help. At the end of this five years, what he had done to fulfill that call resulted in a bullet to his head.

How are men like that prepared and made ready to fulfill a call God places on their life?

Simply, the Holy Spirit (Christ called Him our “Helper”) prepared him fully in the midst of many other hard places in His life. Mr. Lincoln had a lot of “shaping blows” from God’s forging hammer. His mother died when he was a boy…a business failure resulting in huge debts…He had repeated failures in his political life… two of his sons died…He struggled with severe episodes of depression…these setbacks would have devastated most people.

But these struggles were the very things God used to shape him ….through these he learned that unless God was his help, he didn’t have a chance.

Ephesians 2:16 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Have you considered that you also may have a “God appointment”? It may be a special call for a special season ahead for a whole group of people God has placed in your life?

Perhaps all the “life blows” you’ve been going through are shaping you (perfectly) for the God destiny of good works that He always intended for you to be privaledged to carry out for His glory?

You’re not just here haphazardly…you are called of God….and….

“faithful is He who has called you and He will also do it”.