Sunday, November 13, 2016


When Ryan proposed marriage, I was completely shocked, so much I couldn’t answer him.  I started to cry and I couldn’t speak.  Finally he said, “Tina, what is your answer?”  It will always be a moment in our relationship I will never forget.  Although Ryan made the complete day special, it was a remarkable step towards adulthood, it was “time” to grow-up.   As we started talking about our future I was very nervous about cooking, cleaning, and learning to be a good wife.  When I shared my concern with Ryan he wasn’t worried about it.  He said, “Tina, you are a smart woman.”  “You know how to read, so I am sure you will figure it out.”  We laughed about my concern but true enough, I learned how to cook.  Now, it’s a laughing joke between us, it was a silly concern.  Now I am not saying I never burnt a dish or under-cooked something, it was a learning curve.  Yet, I will never forget Ryan's special request for fajitas.  I was so excited to make his special dish, I wanted it to be a surprise dinner for two.  Before he arrived home from work I cleaned the house, made the meal, and got myself ready so he would totally surprised.  The aroma of the fajitas filled the entire house; I couldn’t wait for the door to be opened.  As Ryan entered the house he said, “Wow, something smells good!”  “Did you do this for me?”  "Let me wash for dinner!"  "I can't wait to eat it."  As Ryan went up to wash for dinner, I opened the oven to pull out the fajitas it smelled so good, I couldn’t wait to eat them.  As I sat the dish down on top of the oven pads, the dish completely shattered all over the table.  As I stood in the kitchen with the enormous mess, Ryan entered the kitchen.   When our eyes met, I just started to cry, I was so disappointed. 

Sometimes life will leave you standing in utter shock and disappointment; no words can express how you feel.  Crying is a good way of expressing it but it’s not going to get the job done, there is still fajitas and broken glass to clean up. 

Right now, I believe America is a pivotal point of change; we are broken to the core.  Our eyes are upon each other sins, so we are attacking each other.  Instead of realizing our decisions or the lack of responsibility led us to this point, we will never change until we are truthful.  We are ALL responsible for the state of this nation if we claim to be an American.  If we truly claim to be an American, we will uphold the Constitution, pray for our government, be a voice when needed, and be a good citizen.  If we want America to change, it begins with me.  It can’t start anywhere else until I can be truthful with God and myself.  It’s the foundation of where change begins, it’s a decision only I can make.  Decisions are not always easy to make but I have a moral obligation to those who rely upon me for future generations.  Do we really realize our decisions and behaviors now can affect future generations?  If so, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO CHANGE IT? It’s very heartbreaking to watch the foundation of this nation crumble.  When you truly study our nation’s foundation, it was founded upon prayer and the Bible.  Sadly, our nation has turned away from it, we are watching the results.  Are we ashamed of the state of affairs of this nation?  Does it break our spirit about what’s taken place in recent years?  What about the current events?  Does it move you to action for good or for bad?  Or does it just cause you to shake your head with no movement to change it.  

It’s time for America to wear sackcloth, it’s time to bow our heads and reflect upon where we are.  Should we mourn our yesterdays?  Maybe but that’s not what I am talking about, we should be mourning the state of this nation, it’s broken.  When you study the Scriptures, sackcloth was worn for times of mourning over loss whether personally or nationally.  It’s time to be mournful, broken, and truthful before God.   It’s where the birth of revival begins, a repentant heart. 

II Kings 19:1-2 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
As a Christian, preacher, and an American I have a moral obligation to God, my calling, and my nation.  It’s not a responsibility I can ignore, it’s my duty.  It’s a personal conviction of my life, I owe to the future of my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Even if I am only one voice, I will be voice of truth, conviction, and support for this nation.  Maybe the foundation has crumbled but it doesn’t mean it can’t be restored.  Maybe the rubble around us may seem overwhelming but I choose to work towards a solution for a better America.  Can this nation be restored?  Absolutely!  Yet, it will never be restored until we quit blaming each other and realize we are ALL to blame for this mess.  Who’s going to rebuild it?  Either we can pick-up the broken pieces to throw at each other or we can use it to rebuild our future.  What will you do with the stone in your hand?  YOU have a choice in this situation to either be a problem or a solution.  If you truly love this nation as profess: DO YOUR PART by being honesty, walk with integrity, and love each other to rebuild this land.  Truth is we have to be broken and humbled before God, He is the only One who can heal it.   We can’t rebuild anything until we are united to work together for OUR PEOPLE.  Keep in mind the children of Israel were warned several times before the Babylonian Captivity took place.  Instead of having a repentant heart towards the warning; they ignore the voice of God.  As a result the nation was attacked, people in captivity, and their nation was destroyed with only rubble and fire left.  Only a remnant of people worked with Nehemiah to rebuild it, a few  willing people who completed the task.  It’s going to be a major work spiritually and physically to rebuild America, it’s no small undertaking.  We can’t expect America to be rebuilt with only voices screaming; it’s rebuilt with dedicated hands to work and pray.  May we remember what we lost, so we can be focused to restore what’s vital to rebuild.  Maybe we don’t know where to begin; I choose to start with a solid foundation, the Word of God.  I choose to be moved to prayer, fasting, and broken over what’s happening to my nation.  If Nehemiah could transform his nation in 52 days, I choose to believe God will do it again.  It’s going to take faith, dedication, prayer, and hard work but I am willing to pick-up a shovel or open my hand to help someone in need.  What about you?


Sunday, November 6, 2016


Often we set goals for ourselves or have high expectations for our job, ministry, or our family.  There isn’t anything wrong with setting goals; it’s good to have direction or focus to keep us in the right direction.  Nevertheless, sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan, it has some unexpected turns or adventures.  As we stand in the midst of what we feel is “chaos” in our lives or utter failure, God is using it to bring about His will.  I admit, as I have been re-evaluating my life over the last few years, I felt as an utter failure in the eyes of God.  As a result, I didn’t want to pray or read the Word of God.  Although the only approval I desired was God’s, I felt as if I was un-worthy to step into His presence.  It wasn’t the desire of God, He pursued me with loving-kindness.   Sometimes, I am truly amazed at God’s patience and His loving-kindnesses, it never runs out.  Can I just be really honest?  I was simply mad at God.  So, as a result, I refused to come to Him, so I ran.  Yet, where can I really run from God’s presence? 

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

Oh, I am sure I am not the only person to seek solace in a cave, we all have done it.  We refuse to engage with others or we isolate ourselves to think things out.  No matter how hard we try “thinking it out” causes our hearts to be more frustrated or fall into despair.  As the voice of discouragement speaks into our heart, we begin to accept the circumstances.  We don’t see a solution or a way out of the problem, so it takes to a path of despair to lead us right into the cave.  Alone.  Empty.  Secluded.  Surrounded by utter darkness; no evidence of life around.  We don’t want anyone to see the depths of our wounds or the lies we are wrapped into believing.  Yet, this is where we find a great man of God, at a cave. (I Kings 19:9-11)  What led Elijah to the cave?  It wasn’t just the threat of his life from Jezebel; it was the final straw of a broken heart.  Elijah just had a major victory with the prophets of Baal, he even silenced their voice.  A stronghold on the children of Israel was destroyed through his ministry.  Yet, he was disappointed at the results of Israel’s heart; he wanted revival for his nation.  No repentance, no change.  Now the Queen has placed a summons for his head, so he runs. 

Elijah allowed the discouragement to blind his eyes, so the voice of fear had power to move him.

Discouragement comes from our own broken expectations; it’s not what “we expected” as the result.  It’s not that Elijah doubted God’s Word or His power; he was used mightily to show the truth. What was the truth?  “The Lord-he is God!” (I Kings 18:39)  We are the instrument to be used; God is the one to produce the results.  Elijah wanted a national revival!  He wanted to see the entire nation turn back to God.  Elijah forgot his past victories; so he had nothing to build his faith at the heat of the moment.  When we have major victories in prayer or in spiritual warfare, we can’t let our guard down.  Elijah defeated the PROPHETS but he allowed                                                                            the SINGLE VOICE of the enemy to defeat him.  
In our circumstances we have power to defeat them or allowing our circumstances to overcome us-it’s simply a battle of words.  What do you REALLY BELIEVE?  If we are standing in the cave; we are standing defeated.  God didn’t call Elijah to the cave, he went there himself.  (1 Kings 19:10)  God said, “What are you doing here Elijah?”  So, I will ask you the same question, “what are you doing here?”  Why are you standing in this cold, dark, isolated place?  What do you really believe about yourself? God? And the Word?  God doesn’t call His children to darkness; HE CALLS THEM OUT OF IT! What I love about the Lord is His passion for us; He will come to our aid.  He doesn’t allow His children to walk in misery; He comes to restore our soul.  Elijah was physically, mentally, and spiritually worn out to fight another battle.  Elijah didn’t have the strength to face the circumstances alone, so God ministered to Him.  When was the last time God truly ministered to you?

Oh, we may believe there is solace in the cave!  Yet, the only way out of the cave is to hear the voice of the Lord!  The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord wasn’t in the fire.  And after the fire came a GENTLE WHISPER.  When ELIJAH HEARD IT, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  Right now your circumstances may be speaking loudly but it’s not the voice of God speaking-it’s a gentle whisper.  God wants to speak into your life but you have to allow Him the opportunity.  Your circumstances will speak into your life but only the voice of God has the final say.  Don't allow discouragement to blind your steps, so the enemy has power to move you.  God will call you to Himself; that's where you belong.  You don't belong in darkness; you are a child of light.