building the wall

September 30, 2016

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Part one of the tactics of the enemy from our Thursday study of Nehemiah.

Even though we covered at great length the topic of spiritual warfare it is a part of our study on Nehemiah so we will give it some coverage in this regard.

“When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer. Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter…”
Nehemiah 6

What are common tactics that the enemy uses to hinder the work of God?

In this story, the Jews have been living in Israel without walls around the city of Jerusalem. Because they rebelled against God during the reign of the kings, the Lord judged them and sent them to exile in Babylon. After 70 years in exile, small remnants started to return to the land of Israel. In chapter 1, the Lord stirred Nehemiah, a man serving under the king of Persia, to come back to Jerusalem and inspire the remnant to rebuild the wall of the capital city and to help restore the worship of Israel.

In chapter 6, Nehemiah had completed the walls but had not added the gates. Because of the progress and the certainty of completion, the attacks of the enemy increased.

From the beginning of this restoration project, Nehemiah and the Israelites had enemies trying to stop the work. Sanballat and other Samaritans had been trying to discourage Israel. In chapter 2, they became angry and incensed that somebody had come to “promote the welfare of the Israelites” (2:10). In chapter 4, when Israel began to build, they mocked them saying that even if a fox went on the wall it would fall (4:10). However, when they saw that the building of the wall was progressing, they decided to secretly form an army and come against Israel (Neh 4:8). When Nehemiah heard about this, he warned Israel and set up guards to fight in case of invasion. The building continued as they worked with a brick in one hand and a weapon in the other (Neh 4:17), and now all that remained was adding the gates (6:1).

Because of this, the enemies of Israel make one last major assault, specifically targeting Nehemiah. If they can stop Nehemiah, they can discourage the people and finally stop this work. This is important for us to see and consider.

The contents of this chapter, I believe, apply specifically to the spiritual warfare of a believer and especially to leaders. In Ephesians 6, we are called to prepare for this warfare. Paul said, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

Some commentators have said we always live in “the evil day,” the time between Christ’s first and second coming in which we are always under the attack of Satan. However, Paul is clearly referring to times when the enemy increases assaults for the purpose of discouraging God’s people and hindering his work. He said “when the day of evil comes.” We mentioned this briefly in chapter 4.

I think we get a picture of the evil day when Satan attacks Job. He loses his family, his wealth, and his health, all in a very short time period. There is an all-out attack on Job that he must stand against. Similarly, here in chapter 6, we see many different types of attacks that the enemy brings against Nehemiah. Nehemiah is going through an “evil day,” an evil season of assault on his life and ministry.

We also are called to do the work of the Lord. You may be a student, a teacher, a businessman, or a mom, but you should not be mistaken, you are doing the Lord’s work. Nehemiah’s building of the wall wasn’t preaching the gospel, but it was something that everybody eventually realized was “accomplished by God” (Neh 6:16). It was a work of the Lord. In the same way, when we are doing the will of the Lord, wherever he has called us, we are working for him and, therefore, will incur the attacks of the enemy in various forms.

How do we prepare for the attacks, and how do we defeat these attacks?

Yes, we must put on the armor of God, which is primarily a righteous life. But along with that, we must be aware of the enemy’s tactics. Satan wants to immobilize us and keep us from progressing in our spiritual lives, and therefore, he will come with many different attacks. He wants to keep us from building and completing the work that God has called us to. Because our enemy is both wise and relentless, we must be aware of his tricks and schemes. Second Corinthians 2:11 says this: “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

One of the reasons many Christians become immobilized and ineffective in their callings is because they are unaware of the enemy’s tactics. We will see many of these tactics as we study this text. This will be especially important for those in leadership roles just as Nehemiah was. If Satan had one bullet, he would take out the leader because it would affect more people.

God bless from

Please address all prayer requests, comments and questions to the email address above.

We usually have a bible quiz for our bible give away, in these last days of September no quiz, just if you need a bible drop us an email and we will see that you get one. Blessings


September 29, 2016

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“So then let us once for all quit the elementary teaching about Christ and continue progressing; toward maturity” (Heb. 6:1, Williams Trans.)

When the standard of the Christian life is low, the responsibility for growth is placed upon the believer. But when it is known that God’s standard for us is His Son, all expectation of maturity must be placed in Him—”for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).



The Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian’s very life, and the Holy Spirit dwells within our spirit to manifest Him, to work out all that is in Him and to reproduce Him in us. We must remember that there is something in the sight of God that is higher than work. There is Christ-likeness. That is our Father’s purpose, and it is His work.



It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to the Lord Jesus. A holy ministry is an awful weapon in the hands of God.



In a great many evangelical churches the Gospel of salvation is magnificently presented, seekers are led to Christ; but the totality of the Gospel, the Gospel in its ultimate category, is by no means so clearly presented, nor maybe even understood by teacher as well as pupil. It is evidenced by exhortation to Christian living being mainly challenges to pray more, study more, give more, witness more, surrender more. The emphasis is predominantly on the active dedication of the Christian to his Lord, and to a much less degree on the dynamic remolding of the believer by his Lord.


“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:10).


God has one goal for you and it’s not blessings, or a new car, or perfect health; it’s become more like His Son, our savior, Jesus. Before or after that nothing more matters, growing into Christian maturity is about becoming more Christ like. We are to bear His image. If God put His own son on the cross, imagine what He’ll do to you in order to have the same likeness.

God bless from

elemental my dear Watson

September 28, 2016

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I want to talk about faith some more as it is a very important part of our core as believers.


So the object of faith is and must be God; and the origin of faith is God, not faith in faith but faith in God.

So the three elements of faith are; knowledge as we mentioned in a previous devotion if you want your faith to grow, study the Word of God (not commentaries and books by great and popular authors) but as the Prophet Jeremiah said: chapter 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.

Second; be in agreement with the word of God, after 35 years of being a Biblical counselor I was constantly amazed at how Christian people could screw up their lives, their children, their walk with God by simply not following the laws, precepts and statutes of the Word of God. We must as the apostle said

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:10

Walk the walk, talk the walk.

And third trust, trust God that this works, Jesus said to be like little children.

So that brings to THE VERSE;

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Niv version instead of the word “substance” uses the word; “realization”

The Nasb version (my personal favorite) uses the word; “assurance”

Faith is the only mandatory and essential initial response of man to the grace of God. A man void of faith cannot please God (v. 6 ). Faith is the nominal form of the verb “to believe.” “Faith” is pistis (Gk.), while “to believe” is pisteuein (Gk.). Both connote the idea of “trust” and “confidence.” Justification is the result of the believer’s faith in the grace of God and in His provision for salvation ( Hab. 2:4 ; Rom. 3:28 ; 4:3 ). The lives of the biblical heroes and heroines enumerated in this chapter reflect the behavior that God approves. The text affirms two primary characteristics of faith: (1) Faith is the substance ( hupostasis, Gk.) or foundation of things for which we hope (see note in center column). The meaning is that faith is the solid, unshakable confidence in God which is built upon the assurance that He will be faithful to His promises. (2) Furthermore, faith is the evidence at work in life itself that God and other unseen things do in fact subsist. However, this does not imply that faith is a blind leap in the dark. Rather, faith is a confident commitment to One about whom abundant evidence bears ample testimony. Faith is a leap—a leap forward into light and comprehension.

So go build your faith by knowing God better, turn off the radio, the tv preachers, and read the word, devote your life to it and watch your faith grow.

God bless from

(to those that follow on twitter, this new computer will not let me post there  so i’m trying to work it out)


September 27, 2016

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To a large extent, we will be pawns of the devil until we stand on the specific facts of the Bible and assert, “I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, and am a new creation in Him on the basis of the finished work of Calvary. He is my life; my death in Him on the Cross separated me from the dominion of all the old creation. As far as my Lord and I are concerned, Satan, sin, self, the world, and the law, all are on the other side of that death. We never get into conflict with Satan until we realize our privileges in Christ. We cannot cross the Jordan without finding the Canaanites in the land.

Satan may challenge my clearance and my acceptance; he may raise all kinds of questions about what I am and what I have done, but he can raise no questions as to the worthiness or acceptance of my Savior. The forgiven man is on an altogether new ground with God; he is on the ground of grace—grace which is set forth in Christ. The apprehension of this is redemption, and it puts the soul beyond the reach of the oppression and harassing of the enemy.

If the first step in the Christian course were definitely understood the saints would have a happier time. If they saw that the power of the old man was broken on the Cross, and that in Christ they are new creations before God, they would walk here in deliverance. ‘You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

“Your great accuser, the Devil, is going about like a roaring lion to see whom he can devour. Withstand him, firm in your faith” (1 Pet. 5:8, 9, Weymouth Trans.).

God bless from

Pray for me, I dealing with a case of shingles

Pray for Ann d, finding her adjustment to a nursing home quite tiresome

Pray for those dealing with discouragement.



September 26, 2016

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Imagine you’re walking by a theater when you’re called to join a three-act play already in progress. You’re told you are playing the part of a character on a journey, and when you step on stage you’ll be expected to ad-lib your part in a way that makes sense within the context of the drama.

What would you do?

Most likely you’d ask the director for more details. What is the story? What is your role? Where is your character headed? Is the play in the beginning (the first act) or near the end (the third act)?

We all face a similar situation. We are born into a world where the story is already in progress and we need to orient ourselves to what is going on. A few of the key questions we need answered are: Who are we? What is our role the world? What should we be doing? Where are we time-wise in the story—near the beginning or near the end?

Knowing what story we are in and where we are in it is fundamental to spiritual formation. It affects nearly every spiritual discipline, from understanding Scripture to spreading the gospel

Here are three reasons why understanding the Bible as a single story is necessary for spiritual formation:

  1. Because the story explains and illuminates our missional role—The whole Bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of God’s whole creation.

  2. Because knowing the true story protects us from false stories—“The question is not whether the whole of our lives will be shaped by some grand story,The only question is which grand story will shape our lives. Only by knowing the true story in all its fullness can we inoculate ourselves from false stories.

  3. Because the story is all about Christ—The entire Bible is one story, and Jesus is the main character. As Jesus said, the Scriptures testify about him (see Jn 5:39), so if we are to become like Christ we need to see Jesus in all of Scripture

You have a Story, how you were lost and then saved, how the Lord answered a prayer, how a bible verse changed your life. Don’t sell your self short and think you have nothing to add to the Christian narrative. Keep a journal, tell someone what God has done in your life.


God bless from

the leader

September 25, 2016

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Thursday on Saturday (it was such a screwball week I forgot the Nehemiah post for Thursday.

What are characteristics of godly leaders? As we look at Nehemiah, we see a man who had a burden for the people of God. He was over 800 miles away in the Kingdom of Persia serving as the king’s cupbearer. It would have been very easy for him to feel like he couldn’t do anything to help or that he could only pray; however, he not only prayed, he also volunteered to help.

The city of Jerusalem’s walls were broken down and Israel wasn’t practically a nation anymore, as they were scattered throughout the world. Years earlier, there were two migrations back to the land of Israel led by Zerubbabel and then Ezra. They had rebuilt the temple and begun a renewal of worship. However, a great deal of work still needed to be done, as the walls of the capital city lay in ruins, leaving it an easy target for looters. Therefore, God calls Nehemiah to continue the work of restoration in Israel.

God is still looking to raise up leaders to rebuild walls around the world: to restore Christians, churches, and nations to himself. What are characteristics of godly leaders—leaders with character, who tackle God-sized tasks for the Lord? How can we become a leader that God uses? Commentator Donald Campbell found twenty-one principles of effective leadership.1 However, in this study we will only consider ten.

Godly Leaders Are Patient and Respectful towards Authority

Godly Leaders Practice a Lifestyle of Prayer

Godly Leaders Are Valuable Followers

Godly Leaders Are Planners

Godly Leaders Are Humble, and Therefore, Experience God’s Abundant Grace

Godly Leaders Practice Intentional Solitude

Godly Leaders Practice Critical Examination in Order to Build

Godly Leaders Work Hard

Godly Leaders Motivate Others

Godly Leaders Should Expect Opposition

Each one of these qualities are illustrated in the book of Nehemiah, take time to reflect on these, in some way each and every one of us is a leader; maybe not a Fortune 500 company, maybe just as a peer or a spouse. Remember one thing, leaders will all have to answer to God on how they led.

God bless from

Remember Matt and Rose in prayer, just when you think the storm has passed, bam another crisis. They are learning some tough lessons, pray also they stay tender hearted after all this is done.

Remember Vickie and her ongoing fight against cancer.

Pray for frank, 12 years of grief and depression have robbed him of any joy.

hog wild

September 24, 2016

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Well here’s how my Friday went; promise you won’t laugh at least not too hard.

So I came home and first thing I did was to let the dogs out of the kennel, and as usual two went west and two went east to circle around to the front of the house. They know that out front is a feed box for the deer and a water tank for the deer and other animals out there.

As I came around the west side of the house I noticed my Belgium Malinois was in her standing scout position and was emitting a low growl. I crept up to the side of the house and drew my Texas bond defender, which is a two shot derringer carrying two 410 shot shells. I use the Hornady defender which is a soft lead slug with four or five lead discs some in front someone back. It’s a very potent load.

As I peeked out around the corner there in the front yard on the inside of the property was about a 400 pound Hog, wild and very mean. I cocked back the hammer on the pistol, aimed for just below his right ear and pulled the trigger. That hog went down like a sledgehammer had hit him in the head.

So I got the tractor and some chains and was driving out to pickup the hog and decided I would fix the fence first and then drag the hog out the back gate. Trying to round up the dogs and put them back in the kennel which is proving to be an exercise in futility as they were excited by the smell of blood and a dead pig.

I quickly pulled some large zip ties out of my pocket and fixed the fence and went over to the dead hog to wrap a chain around its back legs. So there I am with the tractor running, the dogs watching and snapping at the hog and I’ve got a hog by the back left leg and all of a sudden he decides he’s not dead and begins to get up and take off. This is the really important part of the story I forgot to let go.

So here I am being dragged across my own yard by a 400 pound pig being chased by four dogs that also total about 400 pounds of very excited dogs, and I still haven’t let go. Well as I hear the buttons ripping off my shirt and getting a face full of dirt I finally let go and come to a kneeling position redraw my pistol pulled back the hammer and that’s when I got hit from behind by four dogs after me and the pig. Well the gun went off and shot the pig right up the butt that pig did a somersault rearend  first overhead and the momentum from the dogs carried me onto the pig and the next thing you know I’m wrestling with four dogs and a dead pig. Right here is where I take my first whack to the head on a large rock and it’s like somebody’s clocked me in the head at a Golden gloves bout. I’m trying to make sure that when the dogs bite down it ain’t on me.

Well eventually I fell out of the pack and I’m laying there thinking okay I’m all right and I stand up and must’ve been the excitement because I fell right over bang my head on the same rock a second time and temporarily knocked myself out for about two seconds and yes just like the Road Runner cartoon I saw stars, little planets whirling around my head. Now  I get up on all fours kinds angry and I’m grabbing the dogs and dragging them into the kennel. I finally get them all corralled go back get the tractor wrap a chain around that pig’s leg and I’m dragging it out across the yard and I’m looking behind me to make sure that I have the chain securely fastened around the pigs leg. And that’s when I went under a low hanging branch on a live oak tree and caught myself square in the fore head and knocked myself off the tractor. Well I knock the wind out of myself and fortunately the tractor has a dead man switch and it stops.

Now this is the religious part of the story, I try my hardest not to swear or cuss but I have to confess at that moment when I came to I did a whole lot of swearing and a whole Lotta cussing; I pulled out my Mel Pardue four and ½ inch combat tactical knife and the start stabbing the pig out of my frustration. And that’s when my wife walked around the corner of the house and sees me covered in blood and stabbing a pig and cussing like a crazy man. And after being married to me 42 years she did the most sensible thing and turned on the garden hose and started hosing me down.

So that’s how my Friday went hope your Friday went a little bit more uneventful and not so dramatic God bless.

God bless from (deep in the heart of Texas).


September 23, 2016

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Bach Gave God the Glory

  1. S. Bach said, “All music should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the soul’s refreshment; where this is not remembered there is no real music but only a devilish hubbub.” He headed his compositions: “J. J.” “Jesus Juva” which means “Jesus help me.” He ended them “S.D.G.” “Soli Dei gloria” which means “To God alone the glory.”

Theology and Music

Martin Luther said, “The devil takes flight at the sound of music, just as he does at the words of theology, and for this reason the prophets always combined theology and music, the teaching of truth and the chanting of Psalms and hymns.” “After theology, I give the highest place and greatest honor to music.”


There’s no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life melody the music is broken off here and there by ‘rests,’ and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune. Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the ‘rests.’ They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we sadly say to ourselves, ‘There is no music in a rest,’ let us not forget that there is the making of music in it.


The status of music as a universal language offers an outstanding vehicle for the communication of any message, and more particularly, for the message of the eternal Gospel. Lawrence Bixler says that this universal language appeals first to the emotions and then to the intellect. The emotions serve as a doorway to the throne room of the mind.


At a meeting of the American Psychological Association, Jack Lipton, a psychologist at Union College, and R. Scott Builione, a graduate student at Columbia University, presented their findings on how members of the various sections of 11 major symphony orchestra perceived each other. The percussionists were viewed as insensitive, unintelligent, and hard-of-hearing, yet fun-loving. String players were seen as arrogant, stuffy, and unathletic. The orchestra members overwhelmingly chose “loud” as the primary adjective to describe the brass players. Woodwind players seemed to be held in the highest esteem, described as quiet and meticulous, though a bit egotistical. Interesting findings, to say the least! With such widely divergent personalities and perceptions, how could an orchestra ever come together to make such wonderful music? The answer is simple: regardless of how those musicians view each other, they subordinate their feelings and biases to the leadership of the conductor. Under his guidance, they play beautiful music.



CONTINUE to remember Vickie J in prayer as she goes through cancer treatment.

Pray for “little joey” street punk who gave it up for Jesus on Wednesday

Tim p, marriage problems, she’s from a rich family and he’s from the other side of the tracks, they need to move and get away from her suffocating, nagging parents, (my words not his).

get ready to rumble

September 22, 2016


Early in the Christian life we naturally feel that it is our obligation to overcome self and become spiritual. We do not yet realize that time and processing are required before we are able to give up self-effort for our growth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, not our obligation. “God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit” (2 Thess. 2:13).


The self-life is surely our first and most bitter foe, and the believer who will serve God acceptably must learn His way of victory over this subtle and dangerous enemy. The flesh is irrecoverably fallen and you and I make no real progress in the Christian life until we have learned in experience to say with the apostle: ‘For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing’ (Rom. 7:18)..


Paul’s great endeavor, in all his great struggle of Romans Seven, was to make ‘the flesh,’ his old self-life, consent to do that holy law which his new self approved. Paul had not yet despaired of himself. The fact is, he had not yet realized the absolute distinction between the old and the new creations. And it was through this terrible experience that he found the new or ‘inward’ man to be distinct from the old man; that the realm of ‘the spirit’ was absolutely separate from that of ‘the flesh’, that all of the old self, with its life and energy, was to be despaired of, not sanctified.


“For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).

Those that know me that given almost any circumstance that in all likelihood I’m going to recommend a book, so with that in mind, the best book on this subject is Watchman Nee’s book; “The Normal Christian Life and Charles Sheldon’s book, “In His steps” the latter book for decades was the number two best selling book in the world. (with the bible being number one)


Thank you to all of you that pray for our prayer requests  lists, we get more comments on the privilege of praying and the thanks for all those that have asked for prayer, there has been many answered prayers, so God bless and thanks.


Comments, questions and prayer requests to


September 21, 2016


Once and for all times

I have come to Jesus by faith (John 1:12). Because of this, I am made a member of His family. In this position, I am justified. As one who is justified, I am declared innocent and righteous. I am no longer guilty before the Father and He has covered me with the righteousness of His Son. I now have clothing fit for heaven. I probably don’t feel it, but it’s true. I don’t need to feel it for it to be true. I simply need to believe it. And the glory of this is the sufficiency of His work and offering. It is forever! See Hebrews 10:14, once again. His one offering need never be repeated! My salvation is assured. Throughout the Greek text, the word apax is used. This word means “once for all,” and that’s the emphasis of the Hebrews passage. God has perfected forever those who believe. We have perfect standing before Him because we are justified. So justification is a legal declaration by God that I am no longer guilty. I am innocent. It is also a declaration that I am just as righteous as His Son because I am covered with Christ’s righteousness.

The Grow Up Part

The doctrine of sanctification. This is how the world and I see me on a day-by-day basis. This is the growing part of my life in Christ. The original text says those who are perfected forever are “being sanctified” (being made holy). Although sanctification has a positional aspect—we are set apart for Christ—it has practical aspects as well. I am in the process of being sanctified. Sanctification begins the moment I place my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus and it continues on until the day I am with the Lord.

Get Involved

Although I have been made a new creature in Christ Jesus, this has not exempted me from the trials of daily life. I turn to the Word of God for further understanding and I find myself increasing in knowledge. The Word is sweet to my taste and there is a preciousness about it I have now discovered. It has become “the joy and rejoicing of my life.” I begin to learn how to “walk in the Spirit,” to allow this Heavenly Guest Who lives within me to manage my life. I have not relished the ideas of being controlled by anyone to this point in my life, but now it seems reasonable in the light of confessing Him as Lord, to let Him be my Lord and God.

This is new and strange to me, and I must learn how to do this. I learn to acknowledge my sin and confess when I fail Him (1 John 1:9). I am involved in a process when I enter the state of “being” sanctified. This is far different from my standing which is perfect and settled once and for all—it is very unsettled and imperfect.

Being a Christian is messy, really, there’s still guilt and shame, there are mistakes and misunderstandings, people we bare our souls to that rat us out and then can’t figure out why we want to leave church. There are churches that tell us stand up and others to sit down, raise your hands, now don’t, rules no rules. And after a while we can mix up this “stuff” with our idea of salvation and then we are on the rocks. Whew!

Being saved is easy, it’s the walk, the sanctification that’s hard.

My Choices

My sanctification, is a matter of growth or degrees. It is highly relative. What I am actually involved with is working to bring my state nearer the level of my standing. In the course of these workings, which will take a lifetime, I will have many ups and downs. I will slip and fall, but the Lord upholds me with His hand. I will learn to walk in the Spirit only to make choices that again involve carnality. Hopefully I will learn lessons from each failure that will enable me to follow the Savior more closely. As I make the Scriptures a part of my life, I will be cleansed, John 15:3, Psalm 119:9,11. But at best, my state is characterized by many failures, yet hopefully a gradual movement toward a perfection that will be mine when I am with the Lord. At that point, the process of sanctification and glorification is complete

The key word here is gradual.

Blessings from

Pray for Mary R.. healing of the hurts caused by the church,

Sally P, she’s a 33 year old runaway, back on Heroin and left behind 3 kids with her grandparents.

Scott, 41 and fell off the wagon after 9 months of sobriety. But has checked in to a clinic this time.