Category Archives: Spiritual Food

Practical Application of God’s Word; taking what you read and making it visible in your everyday life.

Get Back To Business Part 2: Jesus Anointed You Too….

View This Message on YouTube @ “The Manger” https://youtu.be/jXbpBG7sAdE

Last time we talked about finding God’s Plan for your life by being “about My Father’s business.”
(Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”)

When you focus on Jesus’ purpose, He’ll lead you to yours (Seek Ye First His Kingdom…). This week I wanted to dig a little deeper into what My Father’s business is all about and how Jesus is the example for all of us:

Before we discuss what Jesus did, we have to look at how He did it. In Luke 4 Jesus revealed His power source and assignment. Jesus said so much in so few words. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To. Because of what the Holy Spirit did for Jesus while on earth, He will now do the following for us:

  1. The Holy Spirit Is Our Power Source:

Jesus left His Kingly Throne to come and take on an earthly body. He gave up everything to become like us. Therefore when He declared that The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, what he was telling us is that we need the Spirit of the Lord is upon us in order to do anything. John said it like this: John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. Before we can be about any business…we need The Holy Spirit’s power. One of man’s biggest downfalls is our short term memory. We often forget how powerless we are without God’s help. If Jesus, while on earth needed the power of the Holy Spirit to work miracles, heal the sick and save; why do we think we can do anything without The Vine‘s power. What do I mean, many times we believe that because we’ve earned the diploma or certification and that is why we are successful. Forgetting that it was only God that miraculously made it possible for us to even get into a school, let alone graduate; but somehow we based our success or pulling ourselves up by our own boot straps. Remember (Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure)

Jesus however, tells us what we can expect from the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” & John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you). When we seek Him, He gives us Power and teaches us all things & the bible encourages us in (John 15:7-8 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.   This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.), that we will bear fruit and have what we ask God for; this will show the world that we are Christ’s Disciples as we minister to His children here on earth. Before we can serve the Poor, Broken Hearted, captives or the blind, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Power Source and now we need our assignment.

2.  The Holy Spirit Gives Us Marching Orders:

Because He has anointed Me: Jesus tells us that He was anointed. What does that mean? Strong’s Definition: (5548 xríō) – to anoint by rubbing or pouring olive oil on someone to represent the flow (empowering) of the Holy Spirit & to present someone as divinely-authorized (appointed by God) to serve as prophet, priest or king (set apart, consecrated, and ceremonially conferred; given a position for a particular assignment). So anointing further highlights the empowering of the Holy Spirit, but it also speaks to being given an assignment. If we use military jargon it would be receiving orders. The Holy Spirit will give us marching orders. Jesus tells us his Marching Orders were to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, give the blind sight, liberate the oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Now those orders are being transferred to us.

Since we’re talking militarily, the assignment process is simple; once your billet or assignment is completed, you are transferred and someone else is assigned to your position. Jesus laid out a very detailed target demographic that He was anointed to serve. Great Leaders always Prepare/Train their replacement? Jesus is a great leader and He prepared the 12, then the 70; then the church and He is still training up replacements today; including each one of us. Because Jesus was anointed, we too are anointed because we are in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. When Jesus ascended to heaven, His assignment was accomplished (John19:30… It Is Finished). The disciples then took over Christ assignment or Marching Orders via the Holy Spirit and today the Orders have been passed down to us. So now that we have our Power Source & our Marching Orders, it’s time to get to business.

It is now time To handle “My Father’s business.” We received power and direction now it is time To execute His business. Jesus let us know that the Holy Spirit gave Him power, and anointed him To heal, serve and minister to all of us. We see all thru scripture that His purpose was being manifested, executed and seen on the earth; this is done for the benefit of man & so that God would be glorified.

Next time we’ll go a little deeper into Jesus’ 6 assigned areas, so please join us here at “the Manger” and connect with us at (https://feednhissheep.wordpress.com/)

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Get Back To Business!!!

View This Message on “The Manger” @  https://youtu.be/fw7CPH3FdXM  

I retired from the military 3 years ago and my family moved here to Houston. We’d become used to moving often, about every 2 to 3 years. So knowing now that we would be planted was really exciting for all of us. My family has really settled in well, the kids are in great schools and all doing very well; they’ve made friends and all three have really begun to blossom into their own uniqueness. My wife has also settled in, authoring two books, launching a faith based clothing line and participating at local conferences. It’s all been fun to watch. Everyone was finally living in the GAP; you know that Good, Acceptable and Perfect Will of God (Romans 12:2). Well almost everyone…

Have you ever known that you’re exactly where God’s Purpose is for you…..But you can’t quite put your finger on what it is you’re supposed to be doing? That is where I’ve found myself recently, but what do you do when you’re living in God’s Purpose but still unsure of His Plan……

Unsure of what exactly I’m supposed to be doing, I recently asked God what I was missing. Why do I feel just a little out of sorts? He told me I had to go back; Go back to when you first heard Jesus’ voice. But what did that mean? The Key was hearing Jesus’ voice; So I went on a quest to find His first words documented in the Bible. Figuring it had to be in the Gospels I searched (Matt 3:15 talking to John the Baptist; or Mark 1:15 when preaching to the Galilean’s; or John 1:38 when John’s disciples were following Him)
Matt 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
John 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”

I found it in Luke. While Jesus was still a teenager, He said this to His parents, who were anxiously searching for Jesus after leaving Him behind in Jerusalem….
Luke 2:49…And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

When I read this; Jesus’ words really jumped out at me. Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? Jesus was in the right place and focused on God’s plan for Him on the earth. A plan which was for our hope and future. Even at such a young age, Jesus new how to keep the main thing the main thing. He was tending to Our Fathers Business. I was trying to figure out what my purpose was here in the Houston area; and it was clear. I’d forgotten to first be about My Father’s business. With the many hat’s I attempt to wear, it had become easy to misplace my priorities by doing everything except My Father’s business. So what was His Father’s business? Jesus would provide some insight to His Father’s business” two chapters later during a trip to the synagogue in Nazareth:

(Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.)

Whenever you’re searching for God’s Plan for your life start serving others. Serve those who Jesus was anointed to serve:

-to preach the gospel to the poor
-sent Me to heal the brokenhearted
-to proclaim liberty to the captives
-recovery of sight for the blind
-to set at liberty those who are oppressed
-to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

This word was challenging to me and ignited the service in me. I had just started back doing prison ministry and had new hunger for discipleship groups. I want to challenge those of you who like me sometimes find yourselves asking the question what am I supposed to be doing; Get Back to Business. You will never go wrong being about our Father’s business and you will always find Jesus right there with you.
Listen, I’ve been studying and executing Executive Level Leadership for the past 26 years. One principle that has remained a pillar for successful, corporations, organizations and industries is this. Every leadership philosophy should be aligned with the overall corporate/organization Vision/Mission Statement. If every leader is aligned with the company’s purpose 8 time out of 10 they have to succeed. In Luke Jesus laid out the Vision of why He was here, now it is up to us to align ourselves with His vision and accomplish what it was sat out to do. I mentioned an 8 out of 10 or 80% success rate; the other 20% was based on the organization’s leader. Ours is Jesus, so we cannot go wrong.

Are you looking for purpose and can’t find it???? Align your vision. Are you proclaiming the Gospel to those who need it? Are you tending to the broken hearted? Are you helping the Blind see? So I’ve been walking thru Master Life individually with my two Sons (Master Life is a powerful discipleship series that I highly encourage for those interested in going to a new level in Christ). In the study we are reminded that Jesus’ primary focus on us and for us is LOVE. And that LOVE is to be shown by Him thru each one of us. John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The way we find our purpose is by loving others the way Christ decides; bearing fruit in His name and touching the people He was anointed to impact. When we do this; God is glorified and He will open our eyes to the purpose we seek and the desires He has for us. John 15:7-8 “ If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

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Introducing “The Manger”

The Manger:  https://youtu.be/chtg1-SFIqs

I’m excited to announce a new element to the Feeding His Sheep Blog: I want to introduce everyone to “The Manger,” a YouTube Channel geared to feeding the Lord’s Sheep across the Globe.  From time to time I’d like to begin sharing with you from a new platform; video.

So why’d we call this channel “The Manger?” When Jesus was resurrected and walked the earth for what is believed to be 40 days; He found His disciples on the water fishing just as he’d found several of them when His ministry first began. You guys might remember Peter, the disciple who was so prideful that he told Jesus he would never deny him, then before the rooster crowed 3 times Peter aggressively rejected even knowing Jesus, and it would be the last time seeing Jesus before his crucifixion.
Peter was at his lowest point, how could he ever be worth anything after this? John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
Yet Jesus sought out Peter and this “worthless traitor” would soon be given His greatest responsibility. Jesus told Peter to Feed His Sheep! He not only restored Peter, He entrusted His most precious possession; His Children (you and I). God wants to do the same with us (if he has not already done so).

We will feed His Sheep today thru this new YouTube Channel “The Manger.” Webster’s defines manger as a long open box or trough for horses or cattle to eat from. It is a place that many can eat from at once time. This channel will be a place where all can eat; and not one plate at a time but as much as they’re able to handle….then even come back from more.

There is also another reason the channel is called “The Manger,” it was the resting place for Jesus. When He entered the very earth that He came to save, the Prince of Peace had nowhere to even lay His head. He was relegated to a dusty old manger even though he deserved a Royal Reception. Jesus will be found in this manger as well. Jesus Christ will be the only food on this Manger’s.
“The Manger” is where we can all be fed and the only item on the menu will be Jesus in all of His glory. Why because everything we stand in the need of can be found in Jesus, 2000 years ago He lovingly came here with Grace & Truth to sacrifice all so that we could become the Righteousness of God.

If the channel blesses you please subscribe: https://youtu.be/chtg1-SFIqs

It’s Settled

Isaiah 1:18 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

 

When we believe Jesus Christ is Lord and He died for our sins……..It’s Settled!!!!!

You are Forgiven…….

2016: A Year of Discernment & Vindication Resulting in Blessings

Each year I look forward to the New Year’s message. It is great to hear how the Lord is speaking to the whole church. It has often been my experience, that the same scripture, principle or theme for the year would be given by God to a number of Pastors I follow, which to me just confirms what God is saying. During Praise & Worship last week God sent me to Chapter 20 verse 16 for 2016. I could not wait to sit down and find this scripture; that is before realizing that there were well over 20 books in the bible with a Chapter 20 and verse 16. However, there are two principles I use when studying scripture; Jesus in the book of John & First Mention. Whenever I want to know something more about Jesus I go to the Gospel to John, this Gospel speaks to the Divine Nature of Jesus. First Mention is when you find a topic first mentioned in the bible, you’ll find God’s original meaning/definition of that topic. So using these principles, I focused on John and Genesis 20:16……are you following yet?

  1. Discernment

John 20:16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”   She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

When I read this I was excited, because I immediately remembered this story. The verse highlights a moment when Mary was in deep despair, after all Jesus had just died and now it seems someone has come in and stolen His body from the grave. Angels were on the scene and had just started a conversation with her, but she could not focus with so many distractions demanding her attention. Jesus was even talking to Mary, attempting to give her peace, but she was so lost in her current circumstances, she had no idea the Lord was talking. “Mary,” a voice pierced thru the chaos and all of the noise, now she was finally able to clearly hear and discern the source of this dynamic voice. It was Jesus. Immediately, everything changed, the Prince of Peace calmed all of Mary’s anxiety and pain, giving her a completely new perspective on her circumstances. Everything that Jesus taught her had now become clear.  Just like Mary, in 2016 we will be able to hear Jesus thru all of the chaos in our own lives. We will discern His guidance and direction like we’ve never experienced before. Where we’ve been hesitant to make major decisions, in 2016 our path will be made plain. Major project milestones that needed to be met in 2015, the Lord will make our next steps clear and He will complete what was started. Where we’ve been afraid to make moves; Jesus will make it Clear in the New Year…… (you know you have to make it rhyme ;). Get ready for clarity in 2016.

Jesus will be our JEHOVA-RAAH (Our Shepard who tenderly leads us, Loves us and will keep us safe)

  1. Vindication

Gen 20:16 Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; indeed this vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.”

Genesis tells the story of one of the times Abraham, in fear lied to protect himself while leaving his family at risk (Abimelech, the King of Gerar, could have easily made Sarah one of his wives and took her away from Abraham). Read the story, he did this twice, but don’t get is twisted Abraham is still the Father of our Faith (Thank Goodbess receiving Jesus’ righteousness does not depend on our actions).  Even though Abraham made a poor decision, God stepped in to protect Sarah from any harm, then He turned around to vindicate and  exceedingly bless them both. The word vindicate depicts a coverings or a veiling; I’d like to think of it as our own suit of armor…..can you say a robe of righteousness.

Have you made a bad choice?  One that put your entire family at risk? Maybe you are living out the ramifications of those choices. Guess what?  God knew us while we were still in our mother’s womb.  So He knows every thought we think and every choice we make well before we’ve ever considered it. He will protect us from harm and in 2016 He will vindicate us!!  That thing you’ve been accused of, Jesus is your lawyer and will argue your case.  He will ultimately turn the tables on your accuser.  He will cause those seeking you harm, to restore all that was lost and even more. You see Abimelech, after Abraham  lied to him and put his family in jeopardy, gave Abraham a thousand pieces of silver. Now how much that is worth in today’s dollars has been estimated by different sources to be anywhere from $500 to $200,000. Regardless, Abraham was blessed immensely by the very one that he feared would destroy his family. God will use your enemies to bless you; and in 2016 we will begin to see this happen in our lives.

Jesus will be our JEHOVAH-NISSI (Our Banner, a Banner of Love and Protection).

Recap: While there are so many powerful chapter 20 verse 16’s in the bible. I sense the Lord leading many of us to the Book of John and Genesis, preparing us for the New Year.   2016 will be a year of Discernment & Vindication resulting in tangible blessings. Next year we will see and experience the “Lord our Shepherd” as depicted in Psalm 23. I don’t know about you but I’m excited for the 2016!!!

Don’t Fear Destiny…Check Your Receipt

Numbers 14:4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

Who said these words? Was the leadership so bad that an immediate change at the top was needed? What was so bad that a return trip to Egypt was imminent?

This was a quote from the children of Israel, after a select group of 12 leaders were sent into the Promised Land. They were sent to prepare an assessment of an unfamiliar place they were destined to occupy; a promised gift from their leader. Oh did I mention that the leader they so anxiously wanted to replace was Jehovah God, the very God who’d created them. Yes, Moses was the human put in charge, but the people knew he was merely a figurehead as all of his direction came straight from the mouth of God.

Don’t be so quick to judge; how many times have we latched on to someone else’s leadership (especially our own) and gone in the opposite direction of God’s leading? Yeah, we’ve been there….each and every one of us. Even though God’s not speaking to us like He did with Moses, in a cloud during the day and fire at night, we’ve chosen our ways as better than God’s.

Well why they were so opposed to God’s plan, that they would even consider going back to the enslaved life of bondage and despair they’d recently been delivered from?????   They were PETRIFIED of their destiny and could not believe that God loved them enough to keep His promise. Fear will challenge faith and distort reality. The devil knows that fear hinders faith; which is why God’s perfect love casts out all fear. The Israelites felt they we’re a mess, a failure, weak and insignificant. There is no way they could go up against the Giants of this new land and win. There is no way this unbelievable land, new homes and gorgeous resort style country could be for them. God could not possibly love them enough to keep that promise he made back when they left Egypt. After all, they’d broken His commandments and complained. He would never follow-through on His promise because they did not deserve it.

That was their mindset, it was what they believed about God. Oh, it’s hitting home now isn’t it?? You’ve felt like this before, maybe even right now. I’ve been there. With all of the wrong that I’ve done in my life, how could God possibly want to see me “living the dream?” The dream that is salvation, freedom, blessings, health and prosperity….you know the blessed life. I do not deserve it…..but God loves me so much (John 3:16).

You know what we have that the Children of Israel didn’t? A receipt for God’s promise. Jesus Christ is our blood stained receipt for God’s love and destiny for our lives. God has paid for our future, one of eternal life with Him, by giving His Son as a sacrifice for all of our sin, past and future. So God knew our future before we started our past and just like us He knew the promise for the Children of Israel. They did not see God as Joshua and Caleb did (we’ll dig into that a different time).   It’s time for us to check our receipt and know that because of Jesus’ work on the Cross, the destiny God has given us is paid for. Although there are giants occupying that place now, they will fall because Our God is Greater, Stronger and More Loving than anything that will ever stand in our way.

Change your mind and like Joshua and Caleb say, “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’   Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

The First Happy Meal

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

Today we began what we hope to be our final home church search, as we have settled in the Houston area for good. As far as we know what God’s plans are. We don’t always look forward to this because it has very often been a very long and arduous process for us, because Jesus Christ and His finished work is not the focus of many churches out here today. Anyway that is not the topic of today’s blog.

In the message we heard today, the preacher gave an illustration using some of McDonald’s old jingles and other fast food chains. I could not help but think of the Happy meals I used to each as a kid and now my kids enjoy. Well at least my daughter, my boys feel “too old” for those kid meals.

Today’s verse really serves as a reminder to me about just how grateful we should all be that Jesus gave us the first “Happy Meal.” Let me show you:

Prior to this verse, the disciples were with Jesus and departed to go find food. They were in the middle of a 70 mile trip from Judea to Galilee. So after leaving Jesus to rest at this well, they came back with a meal for Him, so He could be replenished.  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. What they did not realize is that Jesus had already had a Happy Meal of His own. I use the term Happy here because the Hebrew word for blessed (Esher) means Happy or Happiness and it blessed Jesus to do God’s will and to finish His work. But really it blesses us for Jesus to do God’s will and Finish His work. Because that work was finished on Calvary’s cross and redeemed us all. Jesus’ great act of love is what feed Him. This was truly the first Happy Meal….Praise be to God!!!!

It’s Not My Past I’m Worried About…..What About My Present?

Rom 8:1-2 “Free from Indwelling Sin” 8:1 there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

I was all set tonight, I got a lot of work done earlier in the day and evening so I could sit and watch the game unabated. Then I received a devotional with this text and was reminded about not being weighed down by my past. I thought that was pretty cool, but as I read more, I thought I’m good with my past, as a matter of fact I embrace that I was a mess and have been redeemed by Jesus’ blood. My concern and struggle at times is my present….I still mess up and fall. I know that I’m by myself because everyone else that is saved keep it all together. J But I will share why this text is so valuable to me.

Even the heading; “Free from Indwelling Sin” speaks volumes. Indwelling means to be permanently present in (someone’s soul or mind); possess spiritually. We are free from the indwelling of Sin, sin is no longer present in us when we are saved. Jesus died on the cross for all of our Sin, past…present… and future. This is the blessing, God provided a way for all of the guilt and regret of sin to be destroyed forever. On The Cross

We no longer have to deal with the guilt and regret of Sin because Jesus took it from us and placed it on His shoulders. God then destroyed them both and put them in their place….Hell with Satan. Which is why Satan always attempts to give it back to us. When we sin, Satan tells us we’re dirty, filthy and deserve to die for what you did. BUT GOD tells us to “look at the cross and remember what Jesus did,” He goes on to say “you’re Holy, Anointed and greatly loved.” When we know this to be true, “there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus

Be Blessed!!

When You’ve Finished Your Race

2 Tim 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

On Friday, May 15th, 2015 I retired after 20 years of Active Duty service with the United States Coast Guard (the country’s premiere military/humanitarian service). What an unbelievable 24 total years it has been, when you include my time at the CG Academy. As I was preparing my final speech as an Active Duty Officer, I could not help but be drawn to Paul’s letter to his colleague and mentee Timothy, in preparation for his departure. I was able to use this text to highlight many very important things I’d experienced over my career both professionally and personally.

I like this text because:

Paul discerns that God is bringing him to the end of his mission. We often want clear direction of what our next step in life should be. Trust that the Lord knows and wants to direct you. “Trust Him with all of your heart… and he will direct you path,” which includes the closing of one chapter and opening of the next.

Paul really appreciated his battle. God gave Paul a passion and led him through many obstacles. He also allowed Paul to win many to his side of the battle along the way. This ensured that many would be able to continue the battle after he left. We have the opportunity to touch many along our journey and there should be many left to keep the fight alive.

Paul took some time to acknowledge his many accomplishments. His work was significant, much of which is still being realized even today. It is really easy to keep pressing and never acknowledge all that God has accomplished through us. God delights in using His Son/Daughters to carry out His work and we must acknowledge it and appreciate God’s hand is bringing it to pass.

He held his faith in high regard. The text says that he “kept the faith,” the Greek word for kept means to attend to carefully, to take care of, observe and hold in very high regard. He took very good care of his faith, feeding it, exercising it, acknowledging its source and guarding it from outside influences. Paul understood that his faith was the most significant part of his journey. It’s what sparked his passion, strengthened his endurance and help to visualize the promise. Remember that what you believe will impact your actions in life.

Lastly, Paul saw the big picture. He saw what his ultimate goal was. When we see the big picture the journey is just a little bit more tolerable. The Crown of Righteousness he knew was waiting on him, made the tough times seem a little bit better and the fun time that much more enjoyable. See what is at your finish line, it will help you press beyond your breaking point and look forward to your future.

Paul’s Valedictory letter to Timothy and the church is a perfect model for reflection on our life’s journey. A model that helped me articulate God’s greatness during my 24 years in the Coast Guard. I’m so grateful for His active role in my career and life……and I’ll tell it everywhere I go; including the next chapter….

He Is Risen…..&…..He Is Coming Back

John 20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,   7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

Today is a glorious day….We as a Christian church are diverse and mixed, but on Resurrection Sunday every church preaches in unison the Gospel message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!! The bible tells us that when Jesus is lifted up He will draw all men unto Himself. Which is why so many come to know Christ on Easter, even today many where drawn to Jesus. Wouldn’t it be something if we did that every Sunday!!!!

Anyway, John reminds us in this text that even though we are celebrating the greatest story ever told, His story is not over. You see Peter found an empty tomb and that was wonderful it meant that our Savior conquered death and the grave; in doing so secured eternal life for each of us that believe in Him.   Now check this out; Peter found an empty tomb, the linen cloths Jesus’ body was wrapped in and lastly the handkerchief which wrapped His head. To understand the significance of the folded handkerchief, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition. The folded handkerchief or napkin (the best translation) is best summed up in these two stories of Hebrew tradition.

1) First is the story of traditional Jewish hospitality. For the Jewish guest, if he/she was well received and thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality of their host, at dinner’s end he/she would simply fold the napkin and place it at the end of the table to demonstrate their satisfaction with the evening and a desire to return again. If the guest was pleased and planned to return the host would find a folded napkin on the table, just like Peter found when he arrived at the empty tomb.

2) Secondly, a story of the Master and his servant.  “When the servant set the dinner table for the master, and then the servant would wait just out of sight, until the master had finished eating. Now if the master was done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done’. But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’”[1]

He is Risen and as we celebrate today remember….He is coming back!!!

[1] THE FOLDED NAPKIN; http://www.propheticrevelation.net/misc/the_folded_napkin.htm