The LORD is My ____.

Read: Psalm 23: 1-6

The LORD is My ___.


Psalm 23: 1 (NLT): “The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.”


1.    David’s declaration was that the LORD was his shepherd. David humbly equated himself as a sheep and God as his shepherd.

2.    This Psalm begins like a poem; but after he mentions walking through the valley of death (v4), the Psalm is prayer.  David addressed God directly, “You are close to me, Your rod, Your staff, You prepare, You welcome, and Your goodness.”

3.    David did not say the LORD was his partner, CEO, or co-worker. David called God his shepherd, because of his familiarity and their close relationship.


A few weeks ago, I was able to visit with my birth dad, brother, and sister. The last time I met with my birth dad, was about fifty years ago. Met with my sister and brother for the first time as adults too. We had a great and very meaningful visit. Regretfully, due to the distance, we are unable to visit as much as we would like. Fortunately, we are all friends through Facebook, lessening the distance of time as well as our new found bond.

My birth dad shared how difficult it was for him to give my brother and me up for adoption. He believed the best way to be a loving dad, was to insure that we only have one man, one dad, raising us. His love for us was so great, that he forfeited us calling him “dad”. As a dad now, I can only imagine how difficult that sacrificial life changing decision had to have been.

Like our earthly and birth dads, what we call our Heavenly Father, reflects the type relationship we have with them.  I might be able to tell you every detail of a famous person, but it doesn’t mean I know him.  If I were to say, “The LORD is my Commander”.  That would make me His solder who follows orders. If I were to say, “The LORD is my Partner”, then I would be agreeing with Satan in Gen. 3:4, thinking myself as God’s equal.

All I need to know is that I love Him, He is mine, I am His, and I am hopeless without Him at the center of my life. I get to call Him my Father, my Savior, and my Shepard because I know Him personally.


Loving Father. Thank You for my birth dad as well as the dad who raised me. I love them both. Please bless him, my brothers, and sisters.  In your name I pray, Amen.
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Got Milk?

Read: Hebrews 5: 11-14


Hebrews 5: 13 (NLT): “And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right.”


1.    Teacher or Student; new Christian or mature Christian, the choice is ours.

2.    Later in Hebrew 11:1, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”  God wants to lead us through the obstacle course of our lives, while we trust and rest in Him.

3.    New Christians are like children. They need, perhaps will even demand, easier more “digestible” scripture.  They haven’t matured enough to seek scripture which will challenge their beliefs.

4.    Mature Christians, seek difficult scripture and have put away childish ways. “Adult Christians”, require themselves to feed on sustainable and challenging scripture, so they may grow closer to Christ.


Charles Blondin was one of greatest tightrope walkers of all times.  Abraham Lincoln once compared himself to Blondin in his 1864 Presidential campaign.  Blondin was known for walking across Niagara Falls, employing a variety of theatrical stunts.  He would do it blindfolded, on stilts, once he sat a made and ate an omelet half way across.

Once, after Blondin pushed a wheelbarrow across and back, he asked the crowd, “How many of you believe I can put a person in this wheelbarrow?”

The crowd cheered, yelled, and screamed, “Yes we believe!” Then he asked for a volunteer, and the crowd grew very quiet.  Until one man stepped out of the crowd and got into the wheelbarrow. There is a difference between the crowd, and the man in the wheelbarrow. In terms of my walk with Christ, where am I? In the crowd singing, holding my hands up, praising Him, and saying I believe? Or am I willing to step out in faith, and get in that wheelbarrow to serve Him as He wills.

There is a time to give up childish ways, and cut our teeth on scripture which will challenge our beliefs. Only if we want a closer relationship with Christ.  It is easier to stay in the crowd, not challenge our understanding, study only the popular scriptures, go to church on Sundays or holidays, and ask, “Got milk?”


Loving Father. Challenge my understanding, make me question and thirst to understand You more. I want to grow up, and step out of the crowd. Put me in the game LORD. Do with me what you want. In your name I pray, Amen.
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Going Deeper, Part Too

Read: Luke 5: 1-11
IMG_0526Going Deeper, Part Too
Luke 5: 4 (ESV) And when he had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch”.

1. After listening to Christ, Simon was asked to trust Him even more. Simon “toiled” all night without success. However, the big difference now was that Christ was with him.

2. Once Simon realized he was in the presence of Christ, he became afraid. He knew how inadequate he was, and was humbled.

3. God asks us, like Simon, to listen to Him, to trust Him, and to follow Him no matter how deep the water gets.

Hurricane Harvey has caused us to either trust God more, be afraid, or both. Those who suffered loss because of Harvey, know more about deep water now. While water flooded out my cars and first floor, I decide to read some of my old SOAP blogs. Seeing that I could do nothing else, I read my blog published a few months earlier on March 4, 2017, entitled “Majestic Trees”. After reading it, I shared it through my Facebook account.

As I read what God was telling me then, I recalled how Joshua was commissioned to be courageous and continue Moses mission to take his people to Jordan, the promise land. Much like Simon, I’m sure he realized that he was inadequate on his own as he was asked to dig deeper and trust God more. Now, as water threatened to remove things which God had provided, He asked me to trust Him and go deeper with Him.

My “Majestic Trees” SOAP blog referred to a time when I was discouraged and afraid. While watching Bob Ross paint a beautiful landscape, I was sure he ruined it with a big black mark down the center. However, like when we believe our lives are ruined, God shows us how He, as the Master Artist will make our lives even better, if we just only trust Him.

As Christians, people will see us and perhaps even mock us. When we go through trials, these same people with watch us. They watch us to see if we really believe in Christ and His teachings.  People will watch us when we are asked to go deeper and are still not afraid because He truly is with us. They will realize that we know something, rather someone, they don’t.  Maybe then, through watching how we react to the storms in our lives, they too will want to know Christ, so they can go deeper too.

Loving and Sovereign Father. Nothing happens without Your permission. You have never lost control. Father please help those who are freighted and have lost hope. As the deep water rises, help them not to be afraid because You are with them. LORD,  strengthen me so that others see You in me and want to know You more. LORD, I am Yours. Do with me what you want. In your name I pray, Amen.


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Keep Asking Questions

Read: Acts 8: 14-40

Keep Asking Questions


Acts 8: 34 (NLT) The eunuch asked Philip, “Was Isaiah talking about himself or someone else?”


1.    Simon, a sorcerer, asked Peter and John if they would sell him the power to provide the Holy Spirit to others. Simon, being a sorcerer, naturally did not understand. Simon asked Peter and John if they would pray for him.

2.    An angle instructed Philip to go south, where he eventually met the “eunuch of great authority under the queen of Ethiopia”.

3.    The eunuch did not understand what he was reading from Isaiah. First half of Isaiah instructs the nation of Judah to repent, while the second half of the book is filled with hope and the promise of the Messiah.  The eunuch’s question originated from the second half. He must have not understood the first half, but he kept on reading anyway.

4.    The eunuch knew he needed to understand, and asked Philip his question.


Based on my current understanding of the bible, what would I ask Philip? “Hey Philip, was God also talking to me in Joshua 1: 5 when He said, “No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.”?

On the other hand, it is easy to identify a person who lacks understanding of the bible if they asked, “Are Christians racist if they believe accepting Christ is the only way to salvation? Regretfully, we seem to hear that question more often today.

The more I study and “SOAP” journal, the more questions I have. My questions always reflect the depth of my understanding.  My questions were simple, when I first started SOAP journaling.  For example, this was not the first time I read Act 8. However this time the eunuch’s question lead me back to Isaiah and to rethink what I would have asked Phillip.  I have learned, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know”.  I learned, from my limited study the bible, that God wants us to ask Him questions.  To incorporate and modify Ms. Frizzle’s quote from Magic School Bus, I’ve learned we are to, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy; but no matter what happens, keep asking God questions.”


Loving Father. I want to trust You more each day.  I want to study Your word deeper, understand more, and ask You more questions. Lead me to those I need, and to those who need You in me. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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Imagine That

Read: Psalm 23: 1-6


Psalm 23:4 (NLT) Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.


1.    David knew about walking through the valley with the Good Shepard. John 10:11, Jesus is the Good Shepard.

2.    Job too; remember when God pointed Job out to Satan. Job 1:8, “Have you noticed my servant Job?”

3.    Death, and public speaking, frightens us the most. Yet, when threatened by death, the only one we can always truly depend on is Jesus.

4.    Courage is not enough, we need Jesus.


“Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today.” If there was no heaven, would you still love and follow Jesus? This question came to me recently, and I can’t get it out of my head. Do I follow Jesus because of heaven? Imagine the type of heaven I could earn, who would want it, would you? Yet there are so many who are required to perform certain acts, prayers, and rituals to earn their heaven.

Would I love, follow, and trust Jesus if there was no heaven? Yes I would. Not to belabor this concept, however, if there was no eternal life with Christ, then that would make Him a liar. Was that the thought behind John Lennon’s lyrics, why people seek out mediums, and believe in ghosts? Do we believe what Satan told Eve in Genesis 3: 4-5? It is easy if we try.

When asked why I accepted Christ at age 12, my tear-filled response was that I wanted to go to heaven. As life happened, I grew up to learn that the promise of heaven wasn’t enough, I needed a personal relationship with Christ. It’s what you hang onto in the storms that matters. In case of a water landing, what we hang onto for a flotation device is not as important as the life guard who’s always on duty.

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end.” I can’t imagine any type of life worth living without Jesus. Imagine life without Christ’s love and forgiveness, it is easy if you try. Imagine that.


Loving Father. You asked me a question when I was 12, and again this week. The answer is still yes. I’m Yours for better or for worst. Do with me want You want. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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Who Do You Say I Am?


Read: Judges 6: 1-17

Who Do You Say I am?

How was Bill Murray’s character like Gideon?


Judges 6: 12 (NLT) The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you.”


1.    Gideon, who turned his winepress into a threshing floor to hide from the Midianites, identified himself as “the least in his entire family!”

2.    Gideon went from “Who me?” to “Watch me, and do what I do”, as he lead his remaining 300 men to the camp of the “too many to count” Midianites.

3.    When Gideon’s men blew their horns, the Midianites panicked and fought and killed each other.


A study was done with some elementary students.  In the morning they took a test, where the highest performers were called, “the Smart Ones”. The much lower performing students, were called, “the Hard Workers.” As the day progressed the “Smart Ones” chose mediocre and easy tasks to perform, in order to retain their title as “the Smart Ones”.  Whereas, the “Hard workers” chose the more challenging tasks to perform.  At the end of the day, both groups retook the same test.  The “Hard Workers” scored at least 45% higher than the “Smart Ones”, while the “Smart Ones” scored much lower than they did that morning.

How others define us, is not as important as how God defines us. Gideon was not confident in what God asked him to do. He needed a sign and assurance from God. Later on Gideon became the “Mighty hero”, which God had defined him before asked to save Israel.

When the “world” informed me that I had nothing to offer; I believed them for a long time. Then God reminded me that I worked for Him, that I was courageous and fearless in His name, and that I was His. Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and my Savior.  When I start to believe how others define me; I just need to pray and ask God, “Who do You say I am?”


Loving Father. I remember in Mat. 16:15, You asked Your disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Like Peter, I know that You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. When I start to believe what the enemy says about me, help me to remember who You say I am.  Who can stand against me, while You are for me? LORD, show Yourself in me, so that others will see only You, and want more of You. I know who I am in You. Do whatever You want with me.  In Your name I pray, Amen.
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For Crying Out Loud

Read: Psalms 5: 1-12
For Crying Out Loud


Ps 5:2 (NLT) Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I will never pray to anyone but you.


1.    One key to having a close relationship with God, according to David, is to pray earnestly every morning.  In the morning, we’re more rested and our minds are more receptive to God.

2.    David was king right after the Era of Judges. In the book of Judges, as in our lives too, there was a repeating vicious cycle. Sin, always followed by suffering, and then slavery. The Israelites then cried out to God (Supplication), where God delivered (Salvation) them. This lasted a while, before the cycle repeated itself.


Walking through the grocery yesterday, I heard a child crying an aisle over.  It was an angry cry.  A while later, I heard another child crying from around the corner.  However, this time it was a tired cry.  I’m not a psychic or a medium, or even a large.  Just a dad who once had little children cry out to him too.  It would seem, I had retained these acquired important dad skills.  No matter how old my children get, when they cry, I cry. When they are sad, I’m sad.  How much greater is our Father when we cry out to Him too.

Although my children are on their own now, they know I am a phone call/text away, 24/7.  They don’t want me to solve their problems anymore, as it should be. They just need someone who loves them unconditionally, to listen.  I know what they are going though, and they know this. They also know there is nothing which could separate my love from them. How much greater is our Father’s love, and always a prayer away, 24/7.

Unlike our perfect Father, I do not always know when it is necessary to step in, or quietly listen. God always knows what to say, what to do, who to send, and always at the perfect time.  No matter how much we learn or grow, He will hear our cries.  Just like He heard His Son’s on that cross for us.  He understands everything, even our pain and loss. God just wants a personal relationship with us; for crying out loud.


Loving Father. Help me to understand Your word.  Help me to start every day on my knees, knowing that You are at my side. Stop this vicious cycle of sin in me.  Use me to help those who cry out to You. Do whatever You want with me.  In Your name I pray, Amen.
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