Marico Early


Let’s Love Our Senior Citizens

Let’s Love Our Senior Citizens

Yesterday I had a free moment, so I decided to see what was new on Facebook.  As I was scrolling through, I came across a video of a man who was 91 years young.   This gentleman was leading a song in church, accompanied by a young man who appeared to be in his mid to late twenties. It was quite evident by their interaction that they had a mutual love for one another, and that they enjoyed performing together.   To see this older gentleman singing so passionately, and with so much enthusiasm brought my heart great joy.   He had a wonderful voice and amazingly he still had a great amount of control and strength in his voice.

It was obvious by his physical appearance that he was quite mature in age.   It was also obvious by the enthusiasm in his voice, and by his demeanor,  that he had a great zest for life.  I think part of the reason that I enjoyed the song so much, was that I could almost feel his energy just by watching him perform.   He sang as though he had lots more living to do.  He was not a sit on the porch, in a rocking chair until I die kind of guy.

I must say that the older I get, the more that I appreciate the senior citizens that still find excitement and joy in life. It is as though they give the rest of us something to look forward to.  I hear these seniors saying, don’t count me out yet,  and isn’t that what we all want?  Not to be counted out yet, but to simply be recognized, loved, respected, and to know that we matter.  This is what all humans want, no matter the age.    So if you are in your twenties, thirties, or even forties,  know that if you are blessed, you will be a senior citizen before you know it, so love your seniors the way you will want to be loved.

What I have also noticed as I have gotten older, is that I don’t feel like the number of birthdays that I have had. Although my outward appearance has changed quite a bit since my twenties and thirties, inside I still feel the same.  I still enjoy a great movie with a bag of popcorn of course or a big scoop of butter pecan ice cream. I still like to dance, and I love listening to jazz to wind me down after a long day.  I still enjoy taking trips and hanging out with friends.  I still like a great party and watching a great basketball or football game.  I love going to plays and I even like performing myself a bit.  I still have dreams and goals. I am saying all of this to say, that just as I still love doing many of the things that I enjoyed when I was much younger, our seniors still love doing fun things too.

So the next time you see a person who is very mature in age, don’t get stuck on the grey hair, the frame that has curved over, or the slowness of their stride, just know that you have more in common than not.   Treat them with the love, honor, and respect that they deserve. 
God has honored them with long life, therefore we should honor them too.

Leviticus 19:32
32 “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.
Exodus 20:12
12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
1 Timothy 5:1-3
Never speak harshly to an older man,[a] but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.Take care of[b] any widow who has no one else to care for her.
Ephesians 6:2-3
“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Proverbs 23:22
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life and don’t despise your mother when she is old.







The Meaning Of Easter

This week has traditionally been referred to as Holy Week, which is the week leading up to Easter.    Because Easter is in a few days, I wanted to bring our attention to the significance of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for us, and why this is as meaningful to us as Christians.   I have created an acronym using the word Easter,  that will explain through the reading of scriptures why Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection provided hope for a sin-filled world.
Through Christ’s resurrection, he proved his power and authority over death, and overall that is evil.  Because death has no power over Him, we as Christians are able to look forward to an eternal life with Christ, an eternal life that only He could provide.   His precious blood has atoned for our sins.  His blood has cleansed us from all unrighteousness, so that we may stand before God and be in right standing.  Can you say hallelujah, hallelujah, and hallelujah and praise God!
E- Empty Tomb
Mark 16:1-8

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.[a

A- Assurance Of Our Salvation
   1st John 5:11-13
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
S- Savior Of The World
John 4:42
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
John 4:14
14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Luke 19:10
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Acts 4:12
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
2nd Timothy 1:10
10 but it has now been revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
T-Triumphant Over Death
  Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Revelation 1:18
18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
E- Eternal Life
  John 10: 28-30
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:36
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
R- Risen He Is Risen!   The resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  Matthew 28:1-9
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet, and worshiped him.
 1st Corinthians 15:20
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

 Mark 16:9
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.

 Acts 4:33
33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all

 Acts 13:37
37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

 Romans 6:9
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

Happy Easter!!!




Part 3 Lessons From Daniel

Lessons From Daniel Part 3

Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
At this time some astrologers[a] came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 
1Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.

In the 3rd chapter of Daniel we read that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up a golden image, that he wanted everyone to bow down to and worship.  Anyone who would not worship this golden image, would be thrown into a fiery furnace.   In verse 7 it says that,  all the nations and peoples from every language fell down and worshiped the golden image.

At some point however,  it was brought to the king’s attention that some of the Jews were not bowing down to worship the golden image.  The three that would not be obedient to the Kings decree were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  These three have been referred to as the three Hebrew boys.

These three young men were very resolute in their commitment to God.  They knew that the consequences of not bowing down and worshiping the golden image, would more than likely mean death.  After all who survives a fiery furnace?    That being said, they were still not willing to compromise what they knew to be right, even if the cost was death. They knew that to worship a false god was definitely a violation of what they knew to be true.  They knew that there was only one all powerful and mighty God, and he was not created by the hands of man.   

They also knew that their God was more powerful than King Nebuchadnezzar or the fiery furnace, and that if their God so chose to, He could save them.   What I love about this is that, whether God chose to save them or not they were ok with His will for their lives.  They were choosing to be faithful no matter the cost. They were trusting God with their present and their future.  They demonstrated a remarkable faith in their great God.  Their faith reminded me of this scripture from Job 13:15

Because they were human I feel very sure that they were probably afraid, but they didn’t let their fear overrule their commitment to God.  They did not buckle under the pressure of fear. They remained resolute in their conviction to serve and honor God by being faithful to Him even unto the end. Habakkuk 3:16-19.

A few lessons that we can learn from the three Hebrew boys:
1.  Our commitment to God supersedes any trial or challenge that we will ever have to face in this life.. 
2.  When we are resolute in our commitment to God, He will give us the strength to weather our storms.
3.  We must always stand up for what we know is right even if it is not popular with the masses.
4. Always be ok with whatever God’s will is for your life. He knows what is best.
5. Trust that there is nothing and no one more powerful than the awesome God that we serve. 

Lessons From Daniel Part 2 

Lessons From Daniel Part 2 

Have you ever been guilty of praying and asking God to help you through a situation, and then when it was over, you forgot to say thank you?   Well, sadly I must admit, that I have been guilty of doing this.   I usually make it a habit to thank God for answered prayers, but there have been times in the past when life happened, and I simply forgot to hit pause and say thank you.  For years now, I have been keeping a daily gratitude journal, and that has helped me a lot in remembering to say thank you.  Let’s take a look at how Daniel handled a very difficult situation, and how he responded to an answered prayer from God.

In Daniel 2:10-23, we read that Daniel’s very life was in jeopardy.  King Nebuchadnezzar had sent out a decree in his anger, to have Daniel and his friends killed. This was because he was told by his astrologers, that no one on earth could interpret his dream.  Not only was Daniel willing to go directly to the king and ask why he had made such a decree, but he was also courageous enough to request more time to interpret the king’s dream. I love that in verse 16 it says; that Daniel went at once.  Daniel knew that time was of the essence.  He did not procrastinate.  He moved with a sense of urgency.   But even more importantly he went back to his friends and urged them to pray, that God would have mercy on them and reveal what the meaning of the dream was.

Daniel believed in the power of prayer.  He also believed there was great power when he and his friends were unified in their petition to God.  He had faith that his God would and could protect his life and that of his friends.

That very night after they went to God in prayer, God revealed the meaning of the king’s dream.   In most cases, our prayers are not answered so quickly, but I hope that you know, that whenever God chooses to answer your prayer request, it will be right on time.  In this case, Daniel needed an answer quickly, and God provided quickly.

In Daniel 2:19 -23,  Daniel thanks God, and he gives Him all the praise for revealing the answer to the king’s dream.  Daniel was very clear on who His source was, for all that was good and true in his life.  He didn’t wait to acknowledge God. He praised and gave God His just due immediately.   Daniel expressed His gratitude to God, for giving him the lifesaving answer.

Now for a quick recap on what our lessons are from this passage of scripture.

1.  Daniel asked God for help.  Always go to God first.  Pray Pray Pray!   Obviously, this was not Daniel’s first rodeo. He had communicated with God through prayer before.

2.  Daniel was not afraid to ask others to pray.  He did not try to shoulder the weight of this problem by himself.  Don’t be afraid, or embarrassed to ask others to pray for you.   Remember, there is power where two or more agree in
prayer.  Matthew 18:19.

3.  Daniel moved with a sense of urgency.  When matters are important, don’t procrastinate.  Taking care of important things in a timely manner frees your mind from stress and the What If’s.

4.  Daniel didn’t assume anything, he went directly to the king to ask the questions that he needed answers to.  Don’t be afraid to ask what you want and need to know.

5.   When Daniel received his answer from God, he thanked God and gave Him praise and glory.   He did not try to assume God’s glory or take credit for knowing the meaning of the dream.  Daniel remained humble.
Remember all that you are or will ever hope to be is from God.   Apart from Him, you can do absolutely nothing.  Follow Daniel’s example and stay humble my friends, stay humble!


Lessons From The Book Of Daniel Part 1

Lessons From The Book Of Daniel Part 1

Daniel 1:9
Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.
Daniel 1:17
17 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.
Daniel 2:21
21 He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
Hebrews 13:20-21
20 Now may the God of peace—  who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.
May he produce in you,[a through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Daniel.   It is packed full of rich nuggets that you can just chew on for days.  There are so many life lessons in the book of Daniel that are applicable to all of us who want to live a life that truly honors God. And because there are so many lessons, this will be part one of a series that I will be writing on lessons from the book of Daniel.
Daniel truly teaches us how to walk by faith, trusting God each step of the way, no matter how perilous the journey is.  But before we look at Daniel I want us to look at God.

God never ceases to amaze me!   Remember, whenever God wants to use you mightily, He goes before you.  He paves the way, and he carves the path.  There are several examples of this in the Bible.

He went before Moses, first of all, by setting the stage for him to be rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter.  Who would have known that this little baby Moses, would grow up and become the man who would lead God’s chosen people?  Guess what?
God knew!

He went before Joseph.   What others meant for harm, God used for good.  He set Joseph up to become second in command to Pharaoh and put him in charge of all of Egypt.  Even though his brothers tried to kill him by maliciously throwing him into a well.
God had a plan.

Who knew God would use a little shepherd boy, named David to slay a giant and later would appoint him king of Israel.  He would also be a part of the lineage of the Messiah.   Only God could orchestrate such a thing!

You see even before we know what significant things we will be called to do for God, He has already gone before us.  Sometimes He has gone ahead of our years in advance.  He is guiding and directing us when we don’t even know that we are being guided.

Daniel was actually in Babylonian captivity when he comes on the scene, but God had a plan.  He had already given Daniel everything he needed to fulfill the plan.  Let’s take a look at the ways that God equipped and empowered Daniel ahead of time to be prepared to fulfill his mission.

1. In Daniel 1:9 it says that God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.  Can you say favor!
2. In Daniel 1:17 says that God gave Daniel an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom.
3.  God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meaning of visions and dreams.
4. God had given Daniel an unusual amount of courage and faith.
Reading about these four ways in which God equipped and prepared Daniel ahead of time, should encourage you to recheck your treasure chest of gifts, talents, and other special abilities.  Remember, whatever you’re special abilities are, it’s not by happenstance that they have been given to you.  It is for a purpose much larger than anything that you could ever imagine. Whatever God calls you to, be encouraged, you have already been equipped for.

Take a moment to stop and praise God, for all that He wants to do through you. Don’t be afraid to submit to his will, simply trust and obey, and you will achieve things that are only possible by His divine intervention.
The power will be His and yes, the glory will be His also.
Deuteronomy 31:8
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Isaiah 52:12
12 You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives.
For the Lord will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.
Deuteronomy 1:30
30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.


The Power Of One Voice

The Power Of One Voice

So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.
Proverbs 31:8-9
Open your mouth for the mute,  for the rights of all who are destitute.[a]
Open your mouth, judge righteously,  defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Isaiah 1:17
17     learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless,
  plead the widow’s cause.

Today our country is honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This special holiday has been set aside, to honor a man who used his voice to unite instead of divide.  He preached love instead of hate and he encouraged instead of discouraged. He also used his voice to give hope for a better future for those who were oppressed.   His approach and his stance were always nonviolent in nature, not only was he nonviolent, but he encouraged others to be nonviolent as well.

This one-man proved, that if you stand for a purpose that will bless the lives of others, your legacy will indeed live on through those who are the beneficiaries of your sacrifice.  

What is abundantly clear is that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s one voice became the voice of millions.  It is also abundantly clear that God was leading him for a divine purpose. Don’t ever forget that there is power in your one voice when you have a divine purpose.  His one voice was connecting to others, to bring changes that would affect generations to come.   I truly believe that we all have a voice that can make a difference.  Our platform may be different, but we all have a God-given voice.   

May I ask you; What difference you are making with your voice?  Are you speaking on behalf of the homeless, unwed mothers, abused wives, abused children, human trafficking, or the mentally ill, etc.  The list literally could go on and on.  Where is your passion?  Because wherever your passion is, is where your voice should be also.  Your voice can be used in your community, your church, your job, and your home.  

Today I challenge you to get clear as to where your voice will be the most impactful.  This will require much prayer, getting still before the Father, and listening to His voice as He gently directs you.  Be brave and speak up. The world will be blessed by what you have to say.  

The time to start is now!

Don’t Play The Shame Game

Don’t Play The Shame Game
Genesis 3:7-11
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
Isaiah 61:1
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]

I have titled today’s blog, “Don’t Play the Shame Game,” because shame is one of the main tools that Satan uses to shut us down.  If he can make you feel guilt or shame, he knows that he can control and manipulate your thoughts and your actions.  Shame is simply another trap to hold you in bondage, even longer than the incident that brought you to that point in the first place. 

Recently I read an article, and the author expressed their fear of sharing that they had been having suicidal thoughts.  They expressed that God had delivered them from these thoughts, but they were still hesitant to share with others what they had been going through.  This broke my heart!  To have lost hope to the point that they were having these thoughts in the first place had to have been difficult enough.  I would imagine the feelings of shame that come with this, making it even more difficult to open up and share. 

I can assure you that if you are allowing shame to hold you, hostage, today; there is someone else that has been through what you are going through. You are not alone. There is nothing new under the sun. Do not allow Satan to make you think that you are alone, and do not allow him to isolate you. 

When I was sixteen years old, I was the victim of attempted date rape.  Praise God I was able to fight the guy off and escape.  I literally ran for my life, with him chasing me through a college campus.  Boy did the shame and embarrassment set in.  What would people think if I shared this?  Would they think that I had poor judgment in selecting a boyfriend?   What would my dad do to this person if I dared to tell my parents?  All sorts of thoughts ran through my head. All of a sudden, I was protecting the perpetrator.  What was I thinking?  I did not know it at sixteen, but these were all tricks of Satan.  I carried that secret until I was an adult, and why?  Because of the shame and embarrassment attached to it.

What I have come to realize is that, where there is a shame, sin is always attached.   Somewhere and somehow, Satan is involved.   Shame was first seen in the garden after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit.  Satan had tempted them into doing something that God had asked them not to do, and then he slithered away leaving his victims in shame. Genesis 3:7-11.   This is the same thing that Satan the perpetrator does to us; he tempts us, violates us with his lies, and then leaves us, his victims in shame.

Remember this, Romans 8: 28 says that God can work good from all situations.   When God allows you to go through something and He gets you safely on the other side of it, I truly believe it is to be shared.  It is an experience that now has become your story for ministry purposes, to help someone else through their journey.  Please don’t let people think that they are alone. Share your story.  You see your story is not about you, it is about God, and His power to free us all from the bondage of Satan’s grip on our lives.  Satan comes to rob, kill, steal and destroy.  Jesus came to give life and to give it more abundantly and to free the captive.  God gives life and Satan takes life.

Be like the woman at the well.  I feel sure that she felt some shame when Jesus told her how many husbands she had, but she was willing to run and share all that Jesus had told her.  She shares with others of her encounter with Jesus.  John 4:39-42.  Instead of surrendering to shame, share with others how the power of God showed up and rescued you. You are no longer captive, you have been set FREE.

John 4:39-42
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.

42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”



Have You Set your Goals Yet?

Have You Set your Goals Yet?

 Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

Psalm 20:4
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Today as I write this, we are almost one week into the New Year.  The excitement of Christmas seems to bring an energy that I have to actually wind down from each year.  To be honest, I am just now getting to the point that my house and my life are quiet enough to hear God’s voice.  I really have to get quiet and listen for the direction that He desires for me to go.  

This is the time of year that I like to take a couple of quiet days and evaluate how my life is going.  I like to check in spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially and just assess where I am.  

 I have found that if I don’t check in with myself,  it is easy to get complacent in certain areas.  My goal is always to grow and to improve in every area of my life, and I hope that is your goal also.

So may I as ask, have you set your goals for the New Year?  Don’t wait too long to set your goals and write out your plans.  Before you know it, the first month of the year will be over.  Remember, your goals must be written down.  Be sure that you write down a date as to when they will be achieved by.   If it is not written down with a date, it is only a dream.   

When you pray about your goals, be totally open to what God may want to do through you this year.  Don’t limit Him.  Give Him room to work mightily in your life. Only He knows the awesome plans that He has for you this year. It is ok for us to have desires and plans, but remember God’s plans always supersedes our plans.  His ways are higher than ours and He always knows what is best.  So if the year doesn’t go exactly how you planned know that God can see farther down the road than we can.  Trust His wisdom and His timing, for He knows that plans the He has for you.

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

A Pandemic New Year

A Pandemic New Year

Proverbs 16:3
Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself.[a]  Then every plan you make will succeed.
Psalm 37:5
Commit everything you do to the Lord.  Trust him, and he will help you.

As I sit and write today, it’s a couple of days before New Year’s Day 2022.   Who would have ever thought at this time a year ago, that we would still be reeling from the effects of Covid, and now the new Omicron virus?

Because our world is still in a pandemic, New Year’s celebrations for many will look different again this year.  It will be much quieter than years past I am sure.

Keeping this in mind, I would like for you, not to focus on what you can’t do this New Year’s.  But instead focus on how blessed you are to still be here, and here in your right mind at that.   Take this opportunity to enjoy a quiet relaxing day.  Start by thanking and praising God, for allowing you to witness another New Year roll in.  Remember thousands didn’t make it.   Consider yourself truly blessed, and approach our King with a grateful heart.  God loves it when we express our gratitude to Him.

This is a great time to sit and write some of your thoughts down and to pray and ask God for protection, provision, and guidance for the coming year.  It is also a great time to consult with God, about the dreams that he has placed in your heart.   Get still and listen for his sweet but powerful voice.   As you wait in stillness, you will start to realize what your goals should be for the New Year.  Stay encouraged, knowing that if you are still here, He still has a purpose for your life.  Listen for your assignment, and surrender to His holy and perfect will.  When you do this and move in obedience to all that He will ask of you, you can absolutely count on having a great year.

Will you be without difficulties or challenges this year?  No, you won’t be.  You will absolutely experience some of both.  But when you are surrendered to God, even during your difficult times, you can have a life that is peaceful.   Make your first commitment of the New Year, to serve God no matter what.  By doing so, you will reap rewards that you could not have ever imagined.

 My prayer is that you are simply blessed beyond measure in 2022 and that you look for, and see God’s hands working in all that you experience in the coming year.  Whether good or bad, I pray that you will choose to believe, that He will work out all things that happen to you, this year for your good.   And trust and believe that He loves you deeper and wider than you will ever know.

May God bless you with the happiest of New Year’s, and may you be safe at every turn!

Psalm 90:17
17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful.
    Yes, make our efforts successful!


Nuggets From 2021 And Preparation For 2022

Nuggets From 2021 And Preparation For 2022

WOW! Can you believe that another year is quickly coming to an end?  It seems that by the time I get used to writing the correct year on my paperwork, it’s time to start over again.  It makes me wonder where on earth the time is going.

Today I just want you to take a few moments and reflect back on this past year.  I would like for you to ask yourself a few questions (Basically this could be considered as a self-evaluation).  Be willing to take a look at the good the bad and the ugly that have happened in the last twelve months and be gut-level honest with your answers.  Hopefully, this will help you to assess what you would like to happen differently in your life in 2022.  Most importantly pray and ask God for wisdom for each new day that He blesses you with.

 1.  What are the things that you are grateful for that happened in 2021?
 2.  As you look back on this past year, what things would you have done differently in 2021?
 3.  What things are you eagerly looking forward to in 2022?
 4.  Was there a time during this past year that you know for a fact, that had it not been for God’s intervention you would not have made it?
 5. What are you thankful for that God did not allow to happen?
 6.  What are the life lessons or nuggets that God revealed to you in 2021?
7.  What are you willing to commit to doing each day in 2022 that will help you to grow closer to God in the New Year?8.  What are the areas that you have found it hard to be obedient in?
9. What is your personal struggle?
10. What do you feel God is calling you to do in 2022?

May God richly bless you as you say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.