Spoiled Grief

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Amos 4:1-6:14, Revelation 2:18-3:6, Psalm 130:1-8, Proverbs 29:21-22

Daily Verse: “Whoever pampers his servant from childhood will in the end find him his heir.” Prov. 29:21

Spoiled grief.

Today’s verse addresses what happens when we pamper people, in this case, a servant. Downton Abby comes to mind, thinking of Robert James-Collier’s character, Thomas Barrow.    An underbutler with entitlement issues, Mr. Barrow’s insolence causes many conflicts in the popular series.

“Jesus wasn’t an enabler,” I often say. The Savior didn’t do the fishing for people; He taught them how to fish. When we pamper people in our lives, as much as our heart wants the best for them, we cause more harm than good.

Unfortunately, giving people all their worldly desires doesn’t make them happy because happiness doesn’t come from things. True joy comes from a heart in tune with God, confession cleansing our hearts and giving us the chance to try again. 

God never meant for us to have no trouble in this life. He promises we will have problems, but in Him, we can overcome anything.

Instead of fishing for people, teach them how to fish. Find enjoyment in the journey as you help others become the best version of themselves.

Lord, bless us with discernment in our relationships, helping others to thrive instead of causing them to flounder. IJNIP. Amen

Rash Speech

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Amos 1:1-3:15, Revelation 2:1-17, Psalm 129:1-8, Proverbs 29:19-20

Daily Verse: “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Prov. 29:20

Rash speech.

God knows I struggle with rash speech, speaking without thinking first. Texting my lifelong friend for prayer support, I asked her to pray about a relationship issue.

“Haha!!! You make me laugh. You’re always in trouble with someone.”

“Yeah, because I got a big mouth. If only I could learn to keep it shut.”

How many times did my mother try to tell me? “Stop and Think!”  The words came from mom’s mouth often. I can see the frustrated look on her face, her hand on her jutted hip, and a high-pitched tone indicating her irritation and sadness that I hadn’t learned my lesson.

Learning to control the tongue takes help from the Lord and a lot of intentionality. Stop and think before speaking. Don’t let your words get you into trouble. Take it from someone who knows!

Lord, forgive us for speaking rashly. Please help us control our tongues, stopping and thinking before saying something that will hurt our relationships. Give us discernment to know what to say and what not to say. IJNIP. Amen

Divine Revelation

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Joel 1:1-3:21, Revelation 1:1-20, Psalm 128:1-6, Proverbs 29:18

Daily Verse: “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint,  but blessed is he who keeps the law.” Prov. 29:18

Divine revelation.

God gives us visions and divine revelations that spur us on our journey.   Praying over a stalemate situation in my business, God gave me a vision. Wanting to increase my space, the owner offered me an area two feet larger than mine for twice the cost; she didn’t realize the size. Feeling frustrated, I turned to God and received an aha moment. 

Instead of moving into one larger space, occupy two locations in the same store, equaling the bigger size and giving me more exposure. God’s divine revelation solved the problem for both of us, offering a compromise. Negotiations continue with the owner, but the Lord gave me a vision for how to move forward.

Seeking and obeying God leads to blessings. The Lord’s guidance gives us direction and helps us continue to become a new person in Christ. Obeying the Creator’s commands allows us to avoid heartache and pursue a life of righteousness. When we falter, we get up and try again.

Ask God for vision in your life. Seek the Lord’s direction, then follow it with all your heart.

Lord, forgive us for not seeking Your direction in our lives. As we turn to You, please give us a vision for our lives. Show us what You want us to do; lead us to where You want us to go. IJNIP. Amen

Enjoyable Behavior

One minute late.

Daily Reading: Hosea 10:1-14:9, Jude 1:1-25, Psalm 127:1-5, Proverbs 29:15-17

Daily Verse: “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” Prov. 29:15

Enjoyable behavior.

Disciplining children teaches them boundaries and enjoyable behavior. As a coach, I find kids love to test the limits, and once they know them, our relationship becomes more fun.

One of my favorite students, who I’ve taught for years, still pushes the limits with me, always seeking new ways to test me. But I love our blossoming relationship. She used to come to class and would never smile; now, her face lights up when she walks on the court. We still spend our lessons arguing, but she trusts my boundaries and knows they come with only good intentions.

Kids don’t know unless we teach them. I can’t imagine the difficulties in raising children to become independent. Making children self-sufficient requires discipline and sacrifice. As always, I pray for parents as they navigate the stormy waters that come with children.

Following Jesus teaches us how to love others, not enable them, and help them become the best version of themselves. Applying Christ’s teachings helps us learn to navigate life’s storms. Live fully in the Son’s shadow.

Lord, as always, I pray for parents and children. Please guide and direct them to discipline their kids and experience enjoyable behavior. Strengthen family bonds with healthy boundaries and hearts dedicated to You. IJNIP. Amen

Life from God

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Hosea 6:1-9:17, 3 John 1:1-15, Psalm 126:1-6, Proverbs 29:12-14

Daily Verse: “The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.” Prov. 29:13

Life from God.

Whether rich or poor, we all get our breath from the Lord. The balance in your bank account doesn’t determine your worth; God does. And the Lord loves you unconditionally, warts and all.

Our imperfections draw us closer to God as we allow Him to work in our weaknesses, turning them into strengths. Talking to a friend going through difficult times, she told me, “God doesn’t put anything in front of us we can’t handle.”

“You know, I thought that exact thing for years. My favorite aunt (whose heavenly birthday I celebrate as I write this) told me the same thing as we walked to my dad’s hospital bed when I was 16 to say goodbye.” For decades, I believed the lie so many of us do, but then God revealed the truth to me.

The Lord does give us more than we can handle because, in our desperation, we lean into His strength. If we could deal with everything independently, we wouldn’t need God. But the Creator never designed us to handle life on our own.

Rich and poor receive life from God and need Him to live it to the fullest!

Lord, forgive us for trying to live life on our own. Please strengthen us for the day ahead; use our weaknesses to glorify You.  Help us climb the mountains before us with Your power.  IJNIP. Amen


One minute read.

Daily Reading: Hosea 4:1-5:15, 2 John 1:1-13, Psalm 125:1-5, Proverbs 29:9-11

Daily Verse: “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Prov. 29:11


Praise God, I have come a long way, but I have experienced moments of uncontrollable anger. In other words, a fool who gives full vent. One of the most memorable times involved kicking a hardback chair and breaking the bones in my foot, resulting in weeks of walking with crutches.

In my old age, I control my anger much better. Learning from those foolish moments of uncontrollable age does no good, only causing me embarrassment. While lying on my yoga mat this morning, I prayed and asked God for self-control for my gluttonous eating.

A few weeks ago, I came off the medication restricting me from eating and drinking certain foods and beverages. Praising God, I have enjoyed all the things I couldn’t have and some in excess. But now I realize the time has come to reign in my celebration and return to my normal lifestyle. And I asked God for the self-control to do it.

If you struggle with uncontrollable moments, ask God to help you overcome them. Let the Lord give you the strength to hold back and not give full vent to your ways.

Lord, forgive us for acting like fools. Please give us the tools to reign in our emotional reactions and exercise self-control. Let us honor You in all we do. IJNIP. Amen

Sense of Security

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Hosea 1:1-3:5, 1 John 5:1-21, Psalm 124:1-8, Proverbs 29:5-8

Daily Verse: “An evil man is ensnared in his transgression, but a righteous man sings and rejoices.” Prov. 29:6

Sense of security.

Doing the right thing gives a sense of security.  Knowing, whatever the situation, you took the high road and went above and beyond helps us move boldly forward. 

On the other hand, when we weave a web of lies and deceit, we’ll find ourselves caught in the net.  Recently, a southern reality show captured Ron and I’s attention.  One character told so many lies she no longer knew the truth from reality, alienating everyone around her and causing heartache to herself.

We have a choice, high road or low one.  Although we can’t control the world around us, we can control how we respond.  When difficult situations occur, we can choose to become bitter or better.  Bitterness takes root quickly; we must work to become better, not letting the negative emotion begin to grow. 

Live a life of singing and rejoicing by consistently doing the right thing.  Avoid self-made traps by choosing better over bitter.

Lord, forgive us for choosing the low road and getting entangled in our traps.  Please give us the courage to do the right thing, no matter what.  Help us become better, not bitter.  IJNIP. Amen

Predominate Righteousness

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Daniel 11:36-12:13, 1 John 4:1-21, Psalm 123:1-4, Proverbs 29:2-4

Daily Verse: “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov. 29:2

Predominate righteousness.

Sadaq, the Hebrew word for righteousness, means innocent, not guilty of a crime or offense.   Jesus took the punishment for our sins and made us righteous, free of guilt. As we follow Christ and mimic His ways, we learn a new way to live. Instead of putting ourselves first, we submit to God, loving Him and others.

As God’s family multiplies and more people put their faith in Christ, relying on Him, people rejoice. We live for a common purpose, striving to improve daily.

But when the wicked rule, following their desires, people groan. Power corrupts people; history shows it repeatedly. Abusing the less fortunate to better themselves, selfish people don’t care who they hurt to get what they want.

Each morning requires a fresh submission. You must decide who you will follow today, God or the world. Sometimes, we make the wrong choice, but thankfully, the Lord’s waiting for us to return to Him.

Stay focused on God and live life to the fullest.

Lord, thank You for Jesus and the righteousness we gain through Him. Please help us stay focused on our purpose as we follow You daily. Let us become better lovers of You and people with each day that passes. IJNIP. Amen


One minute read.

Daily Reading: Daniel 11:2-35, 1 John 3:7-24, Psalm 122:1-9, Proverbs 29:1

Daily Verse: “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.” Prov. 29:1


A stiff neck portrays an obstinate person who refuses to bend. No matter what the subject, once they settle on an answer, it doesn’t change. Trying to change a stubborn person’s mind takes divine intervention.

Because stubborn people don’t see the error of their ways, they meet unexpected destruction without healing. But the person who submits to God, following His ways, avoids trouble.

Praying for stubborn people invites God into the equation. Only the Lord can soften hearts.   We can love them unconditionally and not take offense when they disagree with us, which will develop a safe place for them to explore a different viewpoint. But often, pride lies behind the stiff neck.

Stubborn people often have physically stiff necks. Our thoughts do affect our bodies. Obstinate people carry tension, which creates stiffness.

Become flexible, submit to God, and let Him lead the way.

Lord, forgive our stubbornness. Please help us become pliable and open to rebuke, knowing it will make us more like Jesus. Let us share Your love with the world as we submit to You and receive Your guidance. IJNIP. Amen

Generosity’s Rewards

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Daniel 9:1-11:1, 1 John 2:18-3:6, Psalm 121:1-8, Proverbs 28:27-28

Daily Verse: “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.” Prov. 28:27

Generosity’s rewards.

“You can’t out-give God, “I always say. As much as I try, I never succeed. Making giving a priority brings unexpected blessings. Knowing I will help make someone else’s life better motivates me to give more.

My business partner works with people experiencing homelessness. Every Monday, you can find her at the local church organizing and giving food and necessities to those in need. Donating to the organization she volunteers for makes me happy. Knowing what I give goes directly to those in need compels me to donate often. I take something to work with me to give about once a week.

And I try not just to send used items. Now and then, I buy things my partner tells me they need and donate them. Reading glasses remains their favorite item so far.

Giving to those in need doesn’t always mean money. Clothing, blankets, and other necessities help. We live in a country of abundance, share the wealth, and better the lives of those in need.

Lord, thank You for our abundant blessings. Please give us generous hearts that share freely the gifts we receive from You.  Let our blessings flow into us from above and out to others. We love You, Lord; we give our lives to You. IJNIP. Amen