Christian Living · faith

Marked for Leadership

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

I got a word in my spirit: leadership. A particular experience both my husband and I have shared came to mind. Actually, my husband has experienced this twice. It has been frustrating for many years. And it’s only been recently that the lesson has been understood.

Sometimes you need to learn how to be properly under a leader in order to be a leader over others.

My husband faithfully worked for a company just under ten years. He’s won employee of the quarter more than once. And he held the record for the highest numbers ever given on an employee review at that location. To give you an idea of the significance, he worked for a fortune 20 company and that location had 100+ employees. That facility had been in existence for a good 25 years at least. I know I’m biased, but my husband truly was that good.

He’s arrived to work about 15 minutes early consistently to every job he’s had since I’ve known him (which is almost 13 years.) He’s highly intelligent, works with excellence and integrity, and is a quick learner. Just one problem. He can’t get promoted.

Year after year on his reviews his supervisor would put “recommended for leadership.” But he was passed over for promotion 7 times at that company. The final time he was told “off the record” an antisemitic statement and a woman who was relatively new and under qualified got the position. She was terrible, and couldn’t do the job properly. My husband was let go soon after. Within a year the facility lost their largest customer and cut 2/3 of the workforce. That lady was among them. My husband was left feeling defeated and frustrated. Why wasn’t his hard work paying off?

Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

He went through something fairly similar after that at another company. This time the company reached out after my husband quit and had new employment. Too late. They did offer him a promotion after he left. But one can’t help but to feel discouraged.

I also was passed over years ago for a promotion many thought I deserved. The position was given to a woman who had mediocre numbers while my numbers were either the highest or among the highest in the company. This was compared to 35+ others. I was so discouraged. That company a few years later closed. They had many serious issues. Even so, the unfairness stung.

Both my husband and I have experienced other rejections too. Seemingly incredibly unfair decisions. At times hypocritical. Last year as we both were talking about this subject we agreed it’s as if we’re marked. Like there’s a big bullseye on us. A sign we can’t see that reads reject us.

We are marked. Marked for leadership.

God has since shown me that, in fact, we are called to be leaders. We do have talents and giftings that involve leading. However, we must learn something. We need to know how to be under leaders (especially bad ones) and handle poor decisions with godliness and humility first. Not everyone has to walk this. But we do. It’s not fun, but it serves a purpose. God isn’t mean. We must trust He knows what He’s doing.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Today, I want to encourage you to keep working hard, as unto the Lord. He sees. He knows. I realize it’s difficult and frustrating to feel held back. I’ve been under horrible management before. Many have. Stay faithful. Prayerfully consider looking for new work and see if God would open up a door somewhere else. My husband stayed a long time, hoping for promotion. But sometimes we truly are trying to climb a ladder up to nowhere.

God will give you wisdom. Seek Him wholeheartedly. Keep knocking. He will answer.

Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:23 ESV Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Christian Living · faith

Maybe Tomorrow

James 4:14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

I have a terrible habit of procrastinating. I just paused after typing that. It’s hard for me to admit for some reason. Not sure why. My guess is admitting I put things off pushes me to face stuff. Things I’d rather shove under some rug or hide in some hidden place.

Delayed obedience is disobedience

Oh, I’ve sure heard that above phrase before many times. And it’s true. I’m only recently realizing how spiritually sluggish I really am. God will speak to me about something and I’ll act on it. Faithfully. Sometimes right away. Other times weeks…months…one instance two years later.

I used to pat myself on the back for “being cautious” and taking my time. I told myself I was being wise, just making sure. I had to throw out fleeces. Ask for signs. Many of them. I’ve improved much from where I was. Even so, I put off things I already know God wants me to say or do. I haven’t really seen it for what it is.

Disobedience. Rebellion.

My husband asked me to do something last week. I finally did it yesterday. He expressed his frustration with me. I replied, “Well, see I did get it done.” The point is I gave my word I’d do it by a certain timeframe. Me procrastinating was actually rebelling against his leadership. And my husband took it personally. And I didn’t get it. Till now.

Today, I want to speak to those who tend to procrastinate. Later, tomorrow, soon, eventually etc. Our lives as believers must be lived with integrity. We must mean what we say and say what we mean (but don’t say it mean.) Furthermore, we are not promised tomorrow. I’ve lived through sudden deaths where I didn’t get to say what needed to be said. I waited too long. Let me tell you, it’s a terrible feeling.

Choose your schedule wisely. We are called to be fruitful, not busy. Set realistic goals and meet them. You’ll feel a lot better and others will feel more respected too.

Matthew 5:33-37 ESV “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

James 4:15-17 ESV Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Christian Living · faith

So I Visited a Church and Got a MyPillow

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Passion Church

Recently on Facebook I saw an advertisement from a local church in the Minneapolis area. They’re giving first time visitors a free MyPillow (name brand of a nice pillow.) Many immediate thoughts ran through my mind.

Cheapening the gospel

A sad gimmick

Jesus/Yeshua should be enough

Are they spiritually asleep?

I’ve been to my fair share of large churches. Some call them “mega churches.” Some are OK, and I admit do good things. However, in general I am not a big fan. In honesty, my family could use a new, really nice pillow. And I got curious. I criticized this church publicly. So I decided to visit. I did so alone during a special night service. And I set in my mind to write on the experience before my car hit their parking lot. Hey, writers are gonna write.

There were several men directing traffic as I approached the church parking lot. One pointed to the spot they wanted me to have. I took that one. As I approached the building I was welcomed by several ladies. They were full of smiles. I admit this was the warmest welcome I’ve ever experienced at a church. Almost too warm, if there is such a thing.

I was asked if I was a visitor.

Yep, my first time here.

I was handed a church bulletin and a card to fill out. A lady told me with some excitement in her voice, “Make sure to fill out the card. We’ll give you a free MyPillow.” I nodded. Then I was escorted into the service (I arrived 10 minutes late.) An usher had me sit towards the front in the middle of the row. Slightly awkward and disruptive but I got to say hi to a few people right off the bat. The worship service had the usual mega church flair: smoke machines, big screens, and nice modern designed lights.

After the worship portion of the service, an associate pastor came to the pulpit to give announcements and take up an offering. They showed a brief video. There was a younger lady sitting to my right that started talking to me. She introduced me to her fiance. She was very friendly, offering me candy (a Laffy Taffy.) The ushers were passing out hard candies to people.


The lady then told me about this Easter egg activity they did yesterday. They filled either 10,000 or 100,000 eggs for something. I can’t recall the number but it was a lot. (And as I’m typing this up on my smartphone I just got a text from the church thanking me for my visit.) She asked me if I’m planning to volunteer for the next Easter egg hunt coming up. I said no. She was all smiles telling me her excitement on the event. Then the service started.

I didn’t catch their names, but a husband and wife spoke for the main service in a tag team style. The church is currently in the middle of a series called Pillow Talk. It’s about marriage. The husband was speaking to the men and the wife to the women. Very interesting. I admit, they gave a pretty solid message on biblical marriage. I caught the book titles Love & Respect and The Five Love Languages that they suggested as resources by authors Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs and Dr. Gary Chapman respectively. I agree they are good books hence I’m mentioning them.

Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

The message was basically about having a game plan for unity in a marriage. Overall it was nicely presented. Another video then played with a message from the senior pastor, who was absent at this service. I took notice that one of their charitable outreaches is paying for hot lunches for all of the children in several school districts. In fact, their list of giving is long. The pastor seems genuinely nice and enthusiastic about his faith and helping others.

The service ended with a call to bring people to church to hear about Jesus. Their zeal was, in a way, admirable. The young lady sitting next to me asked me to come back, seeming to genuinely seek connection.

I then waited in line at the back of the foyer for the free MyPillow. There were quite a few of us. A lady gave me the pillow, inviting me back. I immediately left. It’s an odd feeling walking out of a church holding a pillow.

In closing, I have very mixed feelings and this experience led to quite an inner struggle. I’m doctrinally very Messianic, so we have obvious differences there. There is almost a…a cry from my spirit.

If only.

Messianic congregations are often so underfunded and undersupported. They don’t and can’t do outreaches like mainstream churches can. Sadly, the first love experience gets lost in majoring on minors sometimes (sacred naming, tzit tzit debates, calendar discrepancies, clean eating etc.) But they also get wonderful things right.

The beauty of the feasts and His Sabbath. A deeper understanding of biblical culture and how the Old Testament and New Testament go hand in hand. This is why my spirit is grieved.

What if we could combine both?

The zeal, love, and budget Passion Church has combined with a love for a deeper Hebraic perspective would be amazing.

The MyPillow is nice. It seemed others liked getting one too. But, sadly, gimmicks won’t save people’s souls. Yes, you’ll get some in the door. But that’s it.

People are hungry for truth. Yeshua.

I walked away from the experience realizing how much the world is hurting. This church’s zeal is, as I said, a bit admirable. But to me it’s immature. They have a “passion” to bring in souls. I can see they try. Unfortunately this falls far short of the Great Commission.

My report card grade for them: C-

The church is loving and giving. Some genuinely seem sincere in their faith. But boy, we as a Body have quite a ways to go to measure up to the early church in Acts.

Lord have mercy.

Christian Living · faith

See the Chariots

2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

As I was praying earlier today, I for some reason felt a heaviness on me. Maybe in me. Hard to explain. I sensed a hopelessness. It was as if there was this huge boulder dropped on my shoulders. The weight was overwhelming. After a few minutes of suffering through this terrible feeling God spoke to my spirit.

You are looking through natural eyes. See with spiritual eyes instead.

I admit I didn’t know how to react. It sounds so abstract really. How do I see with spiritual eyes? How in the world do you explain it? I understood in a sense what God was saying. I’m looking at my circumstances too much. I shouldn’t trust so heavily in the natural when I serve El Elyon, God most high. Even so, I felt lost. Helpless. Then I asked God for something. A little light bulb went on.

God, give me a vision. Show me.

Well, I’d like to say that I got this amazing vision. But, I got nothing. Or…did I? Of course, He still might give me some kind of dream or picture. I don’t think so this time. This isn’t the point. It’s this…

2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

The spiritual realm is very real, and I believe the physical realm reflects it. When you see a lot of chaos going on, to me it signals war. Perhaps breakthrough coming. A shifting in the battle. I’ve seen some interesting and painful changes. When focusing on it with human eyes it’s discouraging. But, when I realize there’s a spiritual realm with YHVH on my side, I “see” the chariots. Victory is coming. Seeing outside of time, I already have it!

Today, I want to encourage you to “see the chariots” in your situation. It may seem absolutely hopeless. Maybe it’s been so bad so long you’ve just accepted it. Or you’ve become depressed and numb. There’s nothing and no one greater than YHVH. Get that deep in your spirit. He’s the I AM. He has no equal.

Ask God to speak to you or give you some kind of picture or understanding. But even if He stays quiet, know this: there’s a spiritual realm you can’t see. And this is where victory lies.

2 Samuel 22:4 ESV I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 24:8 ESV Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

Ephesians 6:11 ESV Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Christian Living · faith

Love Covers, Fear Magnifies

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

I have always wanted to be understood. It has been one of my deepest desires. And yet, it seems those I’ve wanted so much to “get me” do not. Or do they? I have been praying a lot these past couple of days. I took various people and situations to the throne. But towards the end I was talking to God about some specific people. I have felt in the past so misjudged and misunderstood. It hurt. For those that have felt the same way, this is written with you in mind.

God showed me a few things.

  1. I’m understood more than I’m not
  2. You can’t stick your foot in your mouth with your mouth closed (ouch)
  3. Misunderstandings and misjudgments come from improper filtering or improper delivery

Love covers, fear magnifies

First point. It’s human nature to play the victim card. We all have thrown our pity parties. I know I’ve thrown my fair share. But pain and offense truly taint our perception. If one person says no to us we can think the whole world is against us. One hurtful comment seems to block out the 5 previous positive ones. We may genuinely be misunderstood sometimes. But, sometimes it’s more the tone or word choice than the content. I’ve discovered many times I’m at least mostly understood. I’m fairly articulate. I don’t say blue and people think green.

Second point. I have stuck my foot in my mouth far too many times in life. I’m a communicator. And that’s OK in moderation when used properly. However, there have been times things would just settle and be OK. Except I had to say something. Someone reading this needs to learn to fight the urge to always give an opinion. There’s wisdom and strength in being silent in prayer on occasion.

Third point. Misunderstandings and misjudgments do happen now and then. If it’s frequent that’s a signal of a deeper communication issue. In most cases, it comes down to one of two scenarios…

  1. Improper filtering
  2. Improper delivery

First point. Love covers, fear magnifies. When someone is filtering and seeing through fear, every word, action, look etc is nitpicked. Fear causes a person to wall up as a knee jerk reaction even when it’s unmerited. Two people could have a bad day and say something a bit sharp. The person that’s seen through love will be given grace and the person seen through fear will be pushed away or lashed out at.

As believers, we shouldn’t enable wicked or unhealthy behavior but we should give grace and cover our brothers and sisters in love. Give the benefit of the doubt.

Second point. Misunderstandings most often come from tone, body language, or poor word choices. I could say “I love you” shouting with an angry voice while slamming a door. Chances are you won’t feel very loved if I did that. I might mean it, and perhaps I’m angry at something unrelated to you. Obviously though, that terrible delivery will create misunderstanding. Even something as simple as speaking with your arms crossed in a closed posture can create issues.

Often when trying to confront someone people will say, “You always…you never…” This immediately puts the other person on the defensive. We may be attempting to say a totally innocuous statement but it will likely be received with hostility.

Today, I want to encourage you to see others with love (ahavah, agape kind) and communicate with love. Misunderstandings, as stated above, come from how we perceive or how we relay. It can’t be 100% avoided, but it can mostly be. I was taught in Communications class that the burden for understanding falls on the communicator, not the hearer. Occasionally it is the other person incorrectly processing. But not often.

I’ve learned that at times I’ve been so caught up in an emotion or so hyper focused on the message that it was lost in the presentation. When feelings are intense, practice the pause. Pray. Read your Bible. Process fully. Then convey your thoughts. It will make a world of difference.

Happy communicating!

Proverbs 10:12 ESV Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 17:9 ESV Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV Let all that you do be done in love.

Christian Living · faith

Faithful in the Wilderness

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

If you can’t be trusted in the wilderness, you can’t be trusted in the promised land.

I recently posted on my Facebook page a meme that said the above. This got me thinking. What is the wilderness? What is its purpose? And, what does faithfulness in the wilderness look like?

Psalm 78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!

Joel 1:19-20 To you, O Lord, I call. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and flame has burned all the trees of the field. Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

Wilderness: an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.

You can’t think of wilderness in the Bible and not think of the children of Israel wandering for 40 years. This was originally an 11 day trip.

Deuteronomy 1:2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.

But rebellion and complaining turned it into this…

Deuteronomy 1:34-35 “And the Lord heard your words and was angered, and he swore, ‘Not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land that I swore to give to your fathers

Only Caleb, Joshua, and the next generation got to see the promised land. The wilderness became a destination for most, but that’s not its purpose. A wilderness is uncomfortable. It’s uninhabited and uncultivated. There’s often little to no water. Being in a wilderness is, quite frankly, miserable. It’s very tempting to complain, fight against God, or just give up.

You cannot speed up your time in the wilderness, but you can prolong it.

A modern day wilderness is a tough season of trials. Refining. Testing. For my family, we’ve been hit on all sides in just about every way not too long ago. Job losses, financial concerns, health issues, everything breaking down, relationship issues, betrayals, misjudgments, rejection etc. It seems like everything is falling apart. Your life seems to be in shambles.


Life is about seasons. These trying times serve a purpose. And I believe often we are not meant to stay there too long. But, sometimes we challenge God. We weep, yell, and get angry until we’re exhausted. There’s no resistance left to us. Eventually, we come to accept the journey and its purpose.

This is usually when our promised land comes

Why don’t we just have mountain peak experiences? Only God can fully answer that but my opinion is, refining is needed. You only know what someone is really made of when life gets tough. Want a foolproof test of spiritual maturity? Watch someone when they’re offended. Only a person walking in the Ruach (Spirit) will respond well. Human nature is to curse back, get bitter, angry, and seek vindication. But God’s ways are higher.

Romans 12:18-19 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

So…you’re in the wilderness. Now what?! Stay faithful. Keep praising God. Worship Him. Do good. Pray for those that hurt you. Look for ways to be a blessing. Sing a new song to YHVH.

Someone recently sent me a message that they’re singing the Psalms out loud. Try that.

Trust Him.

When we know God is love and He is good and gives good, we can get through anything.

Complain and remain. Praise and be raised. Keep on keeping on! Seasons do and will change.

Joshua 5:6 ESV For the people of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord; the Lord swore to them that he would not let them see the land that the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Isaiah 61:3 KJV To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified

1 Peter 5:10 ESV And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Christian Living · faith

For Such a Time as This

Esther 4:14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Today is Purim. This isn’t a festival Christians in general celebrate nor is it a required feast per Leviticus 23. This is one of those days that falls under the Mishteh category (secular feast such as a memorial, wedding, dedication etc.) Moedim is God’s appointed times/feasts and Sabbaths.

My family didn’t do much except eat sweets and read the book of Esther. Some dress up as a king or queen. It seems, sadly so, that many (especially Messianics) lose the beauty and significance of Purim. It’s more than playing dress up and eating cookies. I’m not going to delve deeply on this, but I do want to focus on one thing. One person with courage can make a huge difference.

We might not be in a position like Queen Esther, but all of us at some point in life will likely get a chance to stand for righteousness. Alone. I had a chance years ago.

As I referenced in my previous blog, I used to work in marketing and business development many years ago. That company had numerous issues (they are no longer in business now.) They had pushed me to be dishonest and were very unethical in their practices. One time in particular stands out to me.

To make a long story very short, as it would take much to explain, a new manager of mine was setting up a man to be fired. She gave him terrible data and the worst companies and information possible. This man was older with health problems. He wasn’t as sharp as many others. This new manager was impatient and annoyed with him. I was the other person on the project. I had been there longer and was trained more than most. I could see instantly what was happening.

I don’t say this for a pat on the back. Just because it was wrong, I helped this guy and told a friend who was a VP there. Eventually the man lost his job, but I bought him some time. He was there almost a year after that. I suggested he look for other work as the workplace was toxic for him. Others started speaking up about the mistreatment after I did. Several quit. That VP friend of mine walked away from a six figure salary to stand against the corruption.

People just kept quiet before. My boss, who was a very unique person, told me once…

I put my neck on the chopping block for you several times.

He wasn’t too fond of me speaking up, but he knew it was right. So he fought hard to save me. I had brought in many lucrative deals. Eventually, after I quit, he stood up too. And lost his job. Soon after he left the company folded.

Today, I want to encourage you to stand for truth and righteousness. Anything godly isn’t popular these days. Make a decision to live as Galatians 1:10.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Queen Esther risked her life to save her people. What will be required of you will be much less. Be obedient and do it. Be willing to humbly say, “God use me however you choose for I was born for such a time as this.”

I don’t speak up lightly. I’m not suggesting nitpicking. Choose battles wisely. But when the time comes to, I hope you stand.

Esther 4:13-16 ESV Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”

Christian Living · faith

Gossip Isn’t Bonding

1 Timothy 5:13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.

I saw a meme online that the Ruach (Spirit) drew attention to. It was on gossip. As soon as I saw it I knew I was supposed to write on this. There’s a particular aspect of it God wants me to address. Many who do it are not malicious. They use it to connect with others.

I’m going to share something a little embarrassing and personal. Almost ten years ago now I worked in an office doing marketing and business development for other companies. It was a high stress, cut-throat environment. People stabbed each other in the backs to get favor or promotion often. The company had a lot of dysfunction. To ease the stress, and bond with others, I gossiped.

Gossip is lashon hara (evil speech)

A man, whose desk was diagonal from mine, was a living soap opera. I mean no disrespect but drama was a regular part of his life. It wasn’t difficult finding something to talk about regarding him. A coworker and I would instant message each other with gossip. We’d make fun of him when he showed up to work via IM. We created memes and would send pictures to each other to laugh about him. It was bad. And I was a professing Christian. I knew better.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

One day I got so convicted I finally stopped. I meant no harm, and looking back at it I see clearly what it was. I chose to create a bond through sin versus constructive communication. I realize now I was very insecure. I made a point to be nice to the guy towards the end of his tenure there. I felt terrible.

When I stopped gossiping with this coworker, our friendship waned. Seeing it diminish testified of the poor foundation it was built on. On my end, I saw I needed to learn better ways to connect. On her end, from my perspective, she needed to do the same. When gossip was out of the picture she’d talk about boyfriend troubles, drinking, and parties. We had little in common.

Build a healthy foundation in relationships.

Today, I want to challenge you to not use gossip and slander to bond. It’s sin. And very destructive. This especially happens in work settings. Husbands and wives often “vent” about each other there. A little healthy venting with a close friend is one thing. But be careful. The line is very fine between audible processing and gossip.

Our speech should be seasoned with grace and love. Kindness. Humility. You are likable and lovable. You don’t need to tear someone else down to connect with others. Remember, knocking someone down doesn’t make us any taller.

Speak love. Speak life!

Leviticus 19:16 ESV You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

Psalm 34:12-13 ESV What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Christian Living · faith

The Idol of Me

I saw this in my Facebook news feed and it really pierced.

Lord, guard my heart lest my identity becomes my idolatry.

-Daniel Thompson

My former pastor from many years ago posted that as a status. I was praying and processing the idols in my heart.

an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship

If someone were to ask me who or what I worship, I’d instantly say YHVH. There’s nothing or no one else I intentionally reverence to the point of exaltation and glorification. And yet, there are many things I actually do worship.

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.

My wants. My hopes. My struggles. My hurts. My fears. My. Do I worship myself?!

Life revolves around me much more than I would like to admit. Earlier today I got an iced coffee and was a bit irritated at the line I decided to wait in. It was longer than usual. Just after I checked Facebook on my phone and saw a video of a girl in Syria crying. She’s begging for food. How spoiled I am. How spoiled we all are in this western culture especially. We complain about the worship music being too loud while some believers meet in secret for fear of persecution and death.

I’m not getting into shame and condemnation, but yet in this moment I see the wretched sinner I really am.

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

I am not thankful nearly as much as I should be. And I am my own idol more than I care to admit. So, I spent some time more than usual praying for others and reading stories of those suffering.

1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

What a sobering thought to realize at this moment someone in the world is suffering and dying for their faith. It definitely puts so much in perspective.

Today, I want to encourage you to get before Abba and ask Him to reveal and remove idols. Anything you put before Him is an idol. Even doing things for God can be idolatry. I don’t want my identity-who I am or think I am-to be worshiped. God alone gets that.

To slightly play devil’s advocate here, we are instructed to guard or keep our own hearts in scripture. But I appreciate the intention expressed. We definitely need help in doing it right.

Proverbs 4:23 ESV Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Are you your own idol? As for me, I am asking God to break whatever He needs to so He gets glorified. More of Him, less of me. It’s a horribly uncomfortable yet wonderful process I wouldn’t trade for anything.

May He be on the throne in my life and yours.

Deuteronomy 4:24 ESV For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Psalm 40:5 ESV You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

John 3:30 ESV He must increase, but I must decrease.

Christian Living · faith


Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

I have changed blog subjects three times. There’s two currently in rough draft form. It feels like I am going several different directions. Normally I just pause and pray through this. But this time I’ve decided to start typing just to see what might happen. I’ve now got a word in my spirit.


And I feel God is leading me here…again.

I’m being led back to my speech. That interesting little phrase seasoned with salt is highlighted in my spirit. This is where I’m supposed to settle and focus.

Mark 9:50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

According to scripture, we are to “have salt in ourselves” and have our speech “seasoned with salt.” For as common as salt is, it’s surprising how little we-especially myself-know about it. I think most of us know not to use too much for heart health. But not much else.

Looking up salt briefly online rendered this definition…


a white crystalline substance that gives seawater its characteristic taste and is used for seasoning or preserving food.

The Bible references salt being used for a variety of reasons such as for seasoning food and meat offerings (Job 6:6, Leviticus 2:13.) In addition, Ezra 4:14 and Numbers 18:19 uses salt to indicate loyalty and obligation. Ezekiel 16:4 indicates newborn children were rubbed with it and Judges 9:45 mentions Abimelech using salt to keep soil barren. Let’s not forget Lot’s wife, who became a pillar of salt in Genesis 19:26. This is intriguing to me.

Colossians 4:6 and Mark 9:50 are incredibly interesting passages. At first glance, most readers feel they understand the meaning. But upon examining further, it’s a bit more abstract. What does it mean to have speech seasoned with salt? To have salt in ourselves? I admit I don’t fully know how to explain it myself. But I’ll leave you with two things that came to mind.

1. Speech that is seasoned with salt is preserved (salt is a preservative.) Preserve means to maintain or protect. It is in essence words that line up with the Word and glorify God. They protect truth, His instructions (Torah.) Paul uses it here in reference to the Gospel message.

2. Psalm 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Or, in other words, I have preserved your word in my heart…

Today, I want to challenge you to preserve God’s word in your heart-the byproduct of that will be your speech. As I’ve said before a mouth issue is really a heart issue. Make a point to speak God honoring, truthful, loving, and encouraging things. Colossians 4:6 starts out Let your speech always be gracious. That includes when you’re mad, offended, hurt, tired, frustrated etc.

Speak with grace, preserve truth in what you say, and be ready to talk about Christ.

Hide His word in your heart. Speak grace and truth in love. Be salt. Be preserved.

Matthew 5:13-16 ESV “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world.

A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 3:10-11 ESV For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.