Category Archives: Journal

When You Feel Depressed

From a Devotional on Christlikeness – Stay focused, C Ten Boom said ‘if you look within, you’ll feel depressed, if you look without you’ll be distressed, if you look to Christ you’ll be at rest’. When you understand that God’s objective is to make you more like Christ, you’ll start praying fewer ‘comfort me prayers’ and more ‘conform me prayers’. Instead of asking ‘why me Lord?’ you’ll ask ‘what do you want me to learn Lord’. James 1:4 MSG -So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Thanks Gavin

John 19:6 S.O.A.P.


John 19:6
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him:for I find no fault in him.


Pilate and the soldiers scourged Jesus and delivered him to be crucified. However, Pilate proclaimed that HE found fault in Jesus. He then tells the Jews, “Take YE him, and crucify him.” Interestingly, it was the religious people that insisted on crucifying Jesus.

Action or Application

It is interesting how many times religious people, then and now, deliver Christians to be crucified. Religious people don’t have to be Christians. In fact, they are often governed not by the law of Christ, but by religious laws that produce death and not life.


Lord, please help us to use our words and not death even when we believe that someone is in sin.


A Thought on “Gospel” and “Christian” Music

What do you think of the following thought regarding the difference between Gospel and Christian music?

The focus of Gospel music is evangelism; teaching, ministering to, uplifting, and testifying to the people of God. Christian music is music created by Christians that focuses on our love for God and glorifying Him. Both are important and very needed, but are so fundamentally different that it, by extension, almost necessitates segregation in worship.

EX Ministries – Response to Preachers of LA

Every now I then I check out G. Craige Lewis to see what he’s talking about. I encourage you to watch.

A couple personal disclaimers:

I personally believe that, although he uses scriptures and makes points that are very good, that he oversimplifies his starting assumptions. E.g., assuming that because people are on TV that nothing on the show is reality is a very black-and-white assertion. Of course, I’m sure their is some nudging from the producers as well as editing to show what they want to show.

With that said, I believe God has “already judged [the pastors on the show]” and that true Christians should take this as a queue from God to put their trust no man, but rather in God.

I’ve prayed for G. Craige Lewis over the years and I’ve watched him become more refined.


What do you think of Ex-Ministries? …G. Craige Lewis? …the preachers of LA?

Philippians 4:14-19, Response: Paul, I Appreciate the Appreciation

BiblePhilippians 4:14-19 (NKJV)

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.
15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.
16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, pauses after speaking about learning to be content in all things (one of my favorite passages), to thank the church at Philippi for supporting him in his missionary journeys, not only when he was present but also when he was traveling.  As we approach Thanksgiving (US), reading this and comparing it with present day communication regarding “giving AND receiving” reminds me that how something is received can be AS important as how it is given.

Continue reading Philippians 4:14-19, Response: Paul, I Appreciate the Appreciation

Jesus says: Pay Your Taxes

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. It’s easy for politicians and, frankly, everyone else to complain about taxes; some going as far to try to eliminate them all together. However, while Jesus was on Earth he paid taxes when they were due and when asked publicly his opinion about it he said the following:

Matthew 22:19a Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” … 20b “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Continue reading Jesus says: Pay Your Taxes

1 Corinthians 9:18-22,25 – The Art of Balance

Bible1 Corinthians 9:18-22, 25 (KJV)

18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Regardless of what particular area of “ministerial arts” you flow in, as minstrels you are simultaneously faced with (at least) two, sometimes opposing, goals: ministering to God, and ministering to people. Ministering so that God is pleased is more about your heart and ministering to people is often more about everything else.  It is easy to focus on ministering skillfully -or- ministering “in spirit and in truth;” however, as a minstrel you MUST learn to do both.
Continue reading 1 Corinthians 9:18-22,25 – The Art of Balance

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 – Many Members, One Body of Christ

Bible1 Corinthians 12:12-27 King James Version (KJV)

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

I absolutely love this passage, as well as the next chapter (chp 13, the love chapter), because it reminds me of the importance of the fellowship of believers. We are all brothers in sisters in Christ and remember that none of us have to be Jesus Christ by ourselves. Rather, we ALL make up Christ’s body having different roles that allow his will to be done.

Philippians 3:12-17 – Press Toward the Mark

BiblePhilippians 3:12-17 King James Version (KJV)

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

 Paul, who is attributed to writing the book of Philippians, has a long resume. Even in his days as Saul, he was very zealous in following God to the best of his understanding. Of course, once being a killer of Christians, he was far from perfect. Even still, after repenting he was a great example as shown here. Paul showed a great example of humility as he admited… I am not perfect… YET.

Continue reading Philippians 3:12-17 – Press Toward the Mark

Matthew 2:1-3,7-8 – Come, Seeking To Worship The King

BibleMatthew 2:1-3,7-8 King James Version (KJV)

2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

In this passage we see that wise men and Herod, the king of Jerusalem, were interested in finding baby Jesus.  However, there are two totally different motives driving that interest. When we come to worship services, are we like Herod or are we like the wise men?

Continue reading Matthew 2:1-3,7-8 – Come, Seeking To Worship The King

O Come, Let Us Adore Him

O Come, All Ye Faithful

(hymn – attributed to John F. Wade)

Verse 1:
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
Come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him, born the king of angels:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, The Lord.

According to western Christian tradition, Advent begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas. This year that is Sunday, December 2, 2012.  It is important, as lights and decorations go up around the nation, that we, as Christians, begin reminding ourselves of the true meaning of the season: adoring Christ, the Lord.

Continue reading O Come, Let Us Adore Him

Can Anyone Learn to Sing?

Can Anyone Learn to Sing? Accomplished secular vocalist and vocal instructor Eric Arceneaux thinks so, and I agree with Him. In this honest and amazing testimony of his struggle to be who he is today. He talks about the connection between “talent” and “passion.”


In recent years, I have been pushing the boundaries of my musical skill, not only within the instruments that I play, but also in the instrument God blessed me with, my voice. While it may never be my forte to be a soloist of any particular merit, I have found it to be a blessing to sing, uniting the beauty of music with the expression of my heart toward God in lyrical form. I encourage EVERYONE to do so.

Deuteronomy 8:10-11,18 – Thanksgiving: Don’t Forget to Remember God

Deuteronomy 8:10-11, 18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for all the good land which He has given you. 11 Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His precepts, and His statutes which I command you today,
18 But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

My mother would always reference this verse around Thanksgiving, a time where many of us in America come together and, among other things, eat a large meal. I have come to love this passage myself, and I believe that, like the holiday of Thanksgiving, giving thanks to God is something that we ought to remember never to forget.

Continue reading Deuteronomy 8:10-11,18 – Thanksgiving: Don’t Forget to Remember God