Bad Mood


“Has God ever done anything for me?”

I sometimes ask myself this question when I’m in a really bad mood.  My answer always starts with, “I can’t think of anything at the moment, but I sure can think of a lot of bad things that have happened to me.”

Do you know why we sometimes give in to that way of thinking?  It’s because we get so concentrated on our current circumstances that we start counting our curses and completely forget about counting our blessings.

So, how do we turn that around?  We have to start small and retrain ourselves to count our blessings.  We should start by saying something like, “Thank You, God, that I’m still alive.  Thank You that I can get up this morning!  Thank You for this place where I live.  Thank You for my friends and my family!  Thank You that I have the opportunity to worship You.”

If we thank God for what comes to mind, no matter how small, He will instantly bring more to our attention.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.  Psalm 118:1



Every now and then, God allows me the opportunity to be completely surrounded by His creation.  In these moments, He renews me, reminds me of who He is, who I am, and how much He loves me.


In these moments, the distractions and worries of this life fade away and His presence is all that I feel.

And then there’s today.


Okay, I know I’m only one person so the panic can’t really be widespread, but that overwhelming sensation did come over me and try to frighten me into submission.

Jesus covering

That’s when Jesus reminds me that He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.


And once again, in the midst of the chaos, He renews me once again.

Building a Testimony

What should we say then?  Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply?  Absolutely not!  How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Romans 6:1-2

I had a friend in college named Billy.  He was a friendly guy who was studying to be a pastor.  He was the type of guy that everyone wanted to be around.  Even as a young man, I could see the hand of God on him, guiding him toward an awesome future.  However, Billy had some sinful habits that were keeping him from having a stronger relationship with the Lord.

Late one night, I heard a loud noise in the dorm hallway and ran out to see what had happened.  There was Billy, intoxicated, lying on the floor next to the large trashcan he had just knocked over.  I reached down to help, but he waved me off.  After a moment, he finally managed to get to his feet.  Glancing my way, he said, “Don’t judge me, man!  God will always forgive all my sins.  I’m just building a testimony.”

Lord, help us to never take Your grace for granted.  Help us to always strive to live holy lives, totally dedicated to You.


Jesus shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.  Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked and the rocks were split.  Matthew 27:50-51 HCSB

In biblical times, the temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish religious life.  It was where animal sacrifices were carried out.  It was also the location of the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence, better known as the Holy of Holies.  A large curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple.  Only the high priest was allowed to pass through this curtain and enter the presence of God, and he could only do so once a year.

The curtain was a constant reminder that sin renders humanity as unfit for the presence of God.  Fortunately, at the moment of Jesus’ death, the curtain was torn in two from top to bottom.  Jesus, through His death, removed the barrier between God and man.  Now, because of His grace, we have permission to enter the presence of the Lord with confidence.

Thank You, Lord, for Your grace, which has made a way for us to enter Your presence.

Stepping Down To Be President

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything.  A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial.  1 Corinthians 12:4-7 HCSB

Several times a year, I facilitate a class designed to help people discover and understand their ministry within the local church.  Without fail, someone approaches me after class and says, “I’m glad that I’m taking this class, but I just don’t feel like what I have to offer is really important.  It’s not like I’m one of the pastors or the worship leader.”

Imagine that your body is the Body of Christ.  You have two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ears, one stomach, two lungs, one heart, etc…  What would happen if your liver decided to stop functioning because all of its work was done behind the scenes?  It would stop its detoxification of your body and things would get bad really quick.  What would happen if your ears suddenly decided to stop serving the body?  The other parts of your body would have to overcompensate to make up for the loss.  What if you lost your little toe?  You would suddenly discover how much it helped you maintain your balance.  Every part of the body is important and necessary.

I once heard musician/comedian Mark Lowry tell a story about surrendering to the call God was placing on his life.  He went to his dad and told him that he wasn’t sure that he was hearing God correctly.  Mark wondered if he should seek after a more traditional ministry position within a local church.  His dad smiled and said, “Son, remember this, if God calls you to be a ditch digger, you would be taking a step down to be president.”

If you have a relationship with Jesus, then you are a necessary part of the body of Christ.  Without you, the body of Christ can’t be complete.  Without you, the church can’t fulfill the purposes that God has set before us.

Chance Encounter


You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!  I can’t count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Psalm 139:13-18 NLT

I left the college talent show audition with my head down and walked across the crowded conference center.  Not really wanting to see anyone I knew, I found a secluded patio and decided to lay low and nurse my wounds.  I had never done well with rejection, especially when it involved my singing.

Trying to work through my feelings, I sat on one of the benches, leaned my head back, and closed my eyes.  After a couple of minutes, I sighed heavily and opened my eyes.  To my surprise, before me stood a short, white haired, senior adult woman.

“I’m sorry if I startled you,” she said with a British accent, “But I saw you sitting here and I just had to come and speak with you.”

“It’s ok,” I replied.  “How can I help you?”

“Well,” she said, “I saw you and thought that I might be able to help you.”

“Me?” I asked.  “Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.”

“Well, I felt like God wanted me to tell you something.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, “But do I know you from somewhere?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Ok.  What is it?”

“You, young man, are unique and loved by God.”

“What?” I asked.

She smiled and repeated, “You are unique and loved by God.  He has very special plans for you.”

“And God told you to tell me this?”

“Yes, He did.”

“Thank you very much.”

She smiled once again, turned slowly, and walked away.  I tried to go back into my pity party, but realized that the words from that woman had encouraged me so that I could no longer feel sorry for myself.

That evening, while sitting with 1,500 other college students, I watched as that same lady was introduced as the main speaker for the evening.  Slowly she walked to the front of the stage, looked slowly across the audience, and said, “I am here tonight to tell you something very important.  You should never forget it.  I believe that God wants me to share it with you.  (pause)  You are unique and loved by God.”

I have long since forgotten the name of the woman, but her words still remain with me.  I think of them whenever I feel discouraged about who I am as a person.  It’s true for me and it’s true for you as well.

 You are unique and loved by God.