The Hidden Door by Dave Branon
It wasn’t the first time it happened in sports, and it certainly won’t be the last. But perhaps mentioning it again can help keep us from making a similar shameful error.
A college coach—one noted for his Christian character—resigned in disgrace after it was discovered that he had violated rules clearly spelled out by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. One magazine article concluded: “His integrity was one of the great myths of college football.”
This was certainly an embarrassing time for the coach, but here’s the most sobering part: It can happen to any of us. The temptation to go behind the hidden door of secrecy in our lives and do things that dishonor the Lord haunts us all. Indeed, we are all capable of turning our own integrity into a myth—of turning our testimony for Jesus into a sham. No matter what the temptation, we are all vulnerable.
So, how do we avoid giving in? We acknowledge the universality of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). We recognize the dangerous results of giving in to sin (James 1:13-15). We keep accountable to fellow believers (Eccl. 4:9-12). And we plead with God for help not to fall (Matt. 26:41). Only God’s grace and power can keep us from falling and pick us up when we do.
The devil is clever, deceiving us all, He cunningly causes the strongest to fall; But we his sly methods are sure to discern By making God’s warnings our daily concern. —D. De Haan Each sin has its door of entrance; let’s keep that door closed.
I pray you have a wonderful Wednesday filled with great things. Take care, stay encouraged & God bless you.
Today has been a great day. I started the morning with my eating breakfast at IHOP. I then went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to finally get an iHome for my iPhone for my work and for work.. I have decided to get some Gospel Music in my office during the day. My goal this week is to start combating the enemy by putting some praise and worship into my day even during the time that I am work. I have also had a great conversation with my internet coach Sotiris tonight. The conversation was very informative. I am blessed and I am excited and I know that my best days are ahead of me. I am also claiming my blessed days are ahead of me. My Labor day has been a very relaxing day. With this said I am going to share 5 of my favorite scriptures regarding blessings . I pray that theses scriptures encourage you. 1) 1 Peter 3:8-9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called-that you might inherit a blessing.
2) Ephesians 1:3-6; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
3) Malachi 3:10; Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you and overflowing blessing
4) Deuteronomy 30:16; Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days.
5) Genesis 2-3; I will bless those who bless you, and he the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
I pray you have had a wonderful Labor Day. Take care, stay encouraged, and God bless you.
Today has been a day of worship. Morning service was a great service. Pastor Busby brought us another sermon from Revelation 21:1-7; The sermon was spirit filled and definitely gave us hope of what is coming when Jesus comes back for us. Afterwards, I had lunch with my family at Logan's Steakhouse in Tulsa Hills.. we celebrated my Mom's birthday. This afternoon I have been relaxing with my wife and enjoying movies and Sunday's Best. Today my mind has been focused on Hope.. tonight I found a great devotional titled He is Enough by David C. Egner I pray your Sunday has been a blessed one filled with great things. Take care, stay encouraged & God bless you.
He is Enough by David C. Egner
Sometimes we are overwhelmed by life. The crushing waves of disappointment, endless debt, debilitating illness, or trouble with people can cause hopelessness, depression, or despair. It happened to Jesus’ disciples. And it has happened to me.
Three statements by the Lord beginning with the words “It is . . .” offer us comfort, reassurance, and hope that Jesus is enough. The first is in Matthew 4 and is repeated three times: “It is written” (vv.4,7,10). In responding to the three temptations of Satan, Jesus gave us proof enough that the Word of God is true and overcomes the most powerful forms of temptation and pressure.
The second statement, “It is I” (Matt. 14:27), was spoken when Jesus told His terrified disciples that He Himself was presence enough to stop the howling storm and calm the raging seas.
Jesus spoke the third “It is” from the cross: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). He assured us that His death was provision enough to pay the debt for our sins and set us free.
Whatever our circumstances, Jesus is present with His love, compassion, and grace. He is proof, presence, and provision enough to carry us safely through.
When trials overwhelm our souls And tempt us to despair, We need to reach out to the Lord And trust His tender care. —Sper God’s love does not keep us from trials; it helps us get through them.
Today has been a busy day.. The day started with breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Tulsa Hills this morning. Then from there we went to Mills Creek to pick out some things for the kitchen. We got a small break, then I attended my niece Catelyns' 2nd Birthday party. We had a great time in the Lord. Then from there we attended the surprise birthday party for Christy Gordon at the Oklahoma Aquarium. The day has been a busy one but I have enjoyed all the festivities. I did get a moment at the keyboard and I sang my new song "Jesus you're Real". I am blessed to be here another day. Each day you are here is gift from the Lord and I praise Him for it. I pray that your Saturday has been a great one filled with great things Take care, stay encouraged and God bless you. I am leaving you with 5 Goodness of God scriptures:
1) Psalms 106:1; Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
2) Psalms 73:1; Trust in the Lord and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
3) 1 Timothy 4;4; For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving.
4) Luke 11:10; For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knock, the door will be opened
5) Romans 12:2; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Today is the day for my monthly totals regarding my goals and everything is looking great. The Lord is moving and I am blessed to be here on this earth for one more day. I am praising the Lord and trusting in His divine will. My friend Mario sent me another encouraging devotional yesterday that I will share with you tonight simply titled.. “Life Changing Choices”
Life Changing Choices Champion athlete Eric Liddell’s decision not to run on Sunday in the 1924 Olympic Games was not difficult because of his deep belief that the Lord’s Day was for worship and rest.
A more agonizing dilemma had come a year earlier when Eric was asked to speak about his faith in Christ to a group of coal miners. Liddell said of his struggle: “My whole life had been one of keeping out of public duties but the leading of Christ seemed now to be in the opposite direction, and I shrank from going forward. At this time I finally decided to put it all on Christ—after all if He called me to do it, then He would have to supply the necessary power. In going forward the power was given me.”
The day after agreeing to publicly share his faith, Eric received a letter from his sister, Jenny, in China. Written weeks before, it ended with this verse of Scripture: “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).
Every call from God is an opportunity for us to say “Yes,” trusting His strength and not our own.
Lord, I’m fearful sometimes when You ask me to do something out of my comfort zone. Help me to remember that as I step out in faith, You will provide the power to obey. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. —1 Thessalonians 5:24
I pray you have had a Fantastic Friday filled with great things. Take care, stay encouraged and God bless you.
Today has been a very interesting day but the Lord has sustained me. I am encouraged in God because He always has my back. No matter what comes my direction He sustains me.. and for that I give Him praise. I will walk with Him being my guide in all situations. I have always heard that you do not not have a testimony with a test and right now I am being tested. But I am not going to wait till the battle is over I am going to shout now. I know in the end the Lord is going to win.. and one of my great friends say that when you get tested just start praising the Lord because a blessing is coming. I am holding firm and looking to God in all things. I am praying that the Lord silence my haters and let them be my motivators. I realize that I only need Him because if He is for me it is more than the world against me. My standing scriptures for the week are the following.. I pray if you are going through something that these scriptures inspire you as they have me here is my top 5 Psalms: 1) Psalms 37:34, Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
2) Psalms 37:1, Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
3)Psalms 36:11, Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
4) Psalms 91:2, I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress my God; in Him will I trust.
5) Psalms 34: 22, Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
I pray your day has been a great one. Take care, stay encouraged and God bless you.
But God Howard Sugden, my pastor when I was in college, preached many memorable sermons. After all these years, the one titled “But God . . .” still makes me stop whenever I come to those words in the Bible. Here are a few examples of verses that encourage me with the reminder of God’s righteous intervention in human affairs:
“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to . . . save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20).
“Their beauty shall be consumed in the grave . . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave” (Ps. 49:14-15).
“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26).
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:7-8).
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard . . . the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).
Whenever you feel discouraged, look up some “but God” verses and be reassured of God’s involvement in the lives of those who love Him.
Creator of the universe Who reigns in awesome majesty: How can it be that You’re involved With such a one as me? God’s involvement in our lives should reassure us of His love.
I pray your Wednesday has been a blessed one filled with great things. My day was blessed and new things are on the horizon. I will keep you posted as things continue to develop. take care, stay encouraged & God bless you
Today has been a busy day. There is a lot going on with my sites.. I am excited about the changes that are taking place. I got a facebook message from David McFadden today regarding my music being put in stores in Arkansas and around the country. I will know more mid September. There is also an invitation for a meeting with David McFadden at His new office. I will let you know the developments of this endeavor. I have also spoken with my internet coach Sotiris regarding new opportunities. We had a 40 minute Skype conversation. I am blessed to be moving in a positive direction. I am still listening to the rough drafts of my music that I received about a week ago. I am praying that the Lord is guiding the music that Jordan is working on.. 12 songs of some of greatest work is in the works. The direction of this music is different then the first project and I am truly thinking there has been some growth with my style and my musicality. I am living each day and praising the Lord for my being. I am truly excited to be sharing what He is doing in my life with you on a daily basis. I pray your Tuesday has been a terrific one. take care, stay encouraged and God bless you.
Today has been a quiet day.. I did finish my song today and i am blessed the Lord gave me the rest of the lyrics and bridge and key change to finish it. I have been chatting with my internet coach tonight and we are looking to do more promoting with some new tools. I will keep you posted on how everything pans out with this new approach.. The Lord is truly opening my mind to new paradigms and I am growing leaps and bounds. One of my friends sent me a devotional and I am sharing it with you. I pray your Monday has been a blessed one filled with great things. take care, stay encouraged & God bless you
Heman’s Honesty I marvel at Heman, the poet who wrote Psalm 88. His lot in life was unrelieved distress. “My soul is full of troubles,” he lamented (v.3). He was fed up with suffering!
Heman looked back and remembered poor health and misfortune. He looked around and saw adversity and abandonment. He looked up and found no solace. “I am distraught,” he complained (v.15). He was “adrift” (v.5), “in darkness” (v.6), “afflicted” (vv.7,15), and “cast off” (v.14). He could see no light at the end of the tunnel; no resolution of his sorrow.
Heman’s honesty warms my soul. Christians who never struggle confuse me. There’s balance, of course: No one wants to be around those who babble on all day about their troubles, but it does my heart good to know that someone else has struggled.
Yet, there’s more to Heman than mere candor. He also had a stubborn, intractable faith. Despite his many problems, he clung to God and cried out to Him “day and night” (vv.1,9,13). He didn’t stop praying. He didn’t give up. And even though he didn’t sense it at the time, Heman acknowledged God’s lovingkindness, faithfulness, and righteousness (vv.11-12).
I like folks like Heman. They strengthen my grip on God and remind me never to stop praying.
In solitude, on wings of prayer My soul ascends before the throne; My only hope of strength is where My heart and His meet all alone. Prayer is the soil in which hope grows best.
Today has been a wonderful day of worship. I had the opportunity to worship in song at the St. Peters United Methodist Church in Tulsa today. I was greeted by my awesome piano teacher Phyliss Swift and my great friend Music direct Steven Law. We had a great time the service was blessed and I sang 4 songs. 1)This is the day/Nothing but the blood, 2) Like You Do, 3) Breathe and 4) Situation. It was the first time that I sang the songs with just piano. My family showed up at the church and it was a nice time and my sister surprised me and brought my beautiful nieces. I am just overjoyed and blessed to have been in such great company. The sermon was very touching and spirit filled. It was just so awesome to reconnect with people that I consider my family and greet new friends of the St Peter's UMC. I am truly Thanking God for Music.. I have found a devotional by Julie Ackerman Link titled "Thank God for Music" that I would like to share with you tonight.
Music plays a big part in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God enlists musicians to work on His behalf. He uses music to call people to worship and to send them to war, to soothe ragged emotions and to ignite spiritual passion, to celebrate victories and to mourn losses. Music is an all-occasion, all-inclusive art form. There are followers and leaders, simple songs and complex songs, easy instruments and difficult instruments, melodies and harmonies, fast rhythms and slow rhythms, high notes and low notes.
Music is a wonderful metaphor for the church because everyone participates by doing what he or she does best. We all sing or play different notes at different times, but we all perform the same song. The better we know our parts, and the better we follow the conductor, the more beautiful the music.
One of the best uses for music is praise. When Solomon’s temple was completed, the musicians praised and thanked God. As they did, “the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (2 Chron. 5:14).
We thank God for beautiful music, for it’s like a preview of heaven, where the glory of God will dwell forever and where praise for Him will never cease.
Bless the Lord and sing His praises, Bless the Lord now, O my soul; Join the song all heaven raises, Let the anthem loudly roll! —Peterson Those who praise God on earth will feel at home in heaven.
I pray your Sunday has been a blessed one. Take care, stay encouraged and God bless you.