Monday, February 28

Our Daily Bread

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Matt. 6:11 NKJV

(This is the fifth segment of The Model Prayer series.)

Daily. Interesting word. The word source for daily in this verse has been debated by scholars. The Greek word seems to be a compound word (epiousios), which has perplexed commentators because it occurs nowhere else in either classical or sacred Greek.

In one old manuscript, only Matthew uses the word epiousios. Luke’s account in Luke 11:3 uses the word epiousa for daily. It means following, next, or the ensuing day or night. Some experts say that the same word epiousios is used in both verses in other manuscripts.

According to the separate elements of the word used by Matthew, epi is a primary preposition, which means of time, place, order, over, upon, at, on, towards, upon, etc. Ousia means substance, property (possessions), or goods. Even this, say the experts, is questionable.

The Greek word for bread used in both verses means not just bread but food of any kind, that which is needful and sufficient for our nourishment. In other words, grant us this day our necessary nourishment.

In ancient times, bread held a great deal of significance in the lives of the Israelites and in their worship, being offered at feasts with other sacrifices. Bread was the confirmation of God’s presence. Being called showbread, meaning bread of presence or bread of face, it was placed in the Holy Place of the tabernacle and the temple.

God told Moses to “put the Bread of the Presence on the table before Me continually” (Ex. 25:30 Masoretic Text), as a perpetual symbol of His presence and provision.

Life depended upon the harvests of the grains, which depended upon the rain. As the sustenance of life, bread was, in a sense, also considered sacred, as a gift of God through His benevolence to allow the rain and the harvests. It remained a daily reminder of man’s unbroken dependence upon God for His provision.

The loaf of bread back then was thinner in shape and crisper than ours today, hence the term “breaking bread,” which signified sharing fellowship at a meal. The giving of bread symbolized hospitality, or as it was called, the bread of fellowship.

Breaking bread meant sharing the fellowship of a meal, which bound the participants in strong ties of friendship, as in covenant, and represented a pledge of reconciliation and peace. According to the law, one was expected to give a stranger or traveler water, food, shelter, and protection.

Bread was the best a poor man could give as his duty of hospitality to a guest. As a guest, to decline an offering of bread violated the sacred law of hospitality. In essence, it said to the host that his bread was unfit for use.

Eating with someone and then betraying them was one of the most despicable acts in the ancient world. As well as Obadiah (Ob. 7) and David (Ps. 41:9), think Judas.

And the writer of Hebrews reminds us from the time of Abraham, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” (Heb. 13:2 NKJV)

As the principal food, bread was called the “stay of bread,” or the support, protector, or sustenance of life. Or, as we would say, the staff of life.

As Jesus came from heaven to give life to the world, He said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35a NKJV)

We need not only our daily physical bread but also, and even more so, our daily spiritual Bread, our Staff of Life. Do we refuse the Bread that sustains life that Jesus offers? Do we then convey to Him that His Bread of Life is unfit for us?

The Bread of Life is the Word of Life. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4 NKJV)

“Lord, give us this bread always.” (John 6:34 NKJV)


Thursday, February 24

Ever Tried to Go to the Other Side...Without Jesus?

Days string out and knot together as if knitted with a ball of yarn. Endless multitudes pursue the teacher for miracles and teaching, giving Him little time to rest. As He attempts some leisure time on the hillside with His followers, another crowd ensues.

Now, the teacher is faced with feeding five thousand plus people with a mere five barley loaves and two small fish. Another miracle. Another knot.

As the men in the crowd realize this teacher is the Prophet foretold in the Scriptures, they attempt to crown Him their king.

The teacher has other ideas.

He slips away from the crowd to the seclusion of another hillside, seeking that familiar solitude with the Father, to untie the knots and find rest.

The disciples wait on the shore for Jesus to join them. The sun’s bronze glaze on the lake has shriveled to a sliver. They can wait no longer. So, they set out for Capernaum...without Jesus.

As Jesus prays on the hillside, silence surrounds Him; as the disciples row across the lake, a squall surrounds them.

Shafts of lightning split the darkness as cymbal-claps of thunder split the air.

The tempest cants the vessel, tossing it about with the rise and fall of the surging waves. Foaming crests heave over them.

Squinting through the stinging pelts of water, the disciples blink incessantly. As they rub their blurry eyes, terror shrouds their souls. A man walking on the water. The stories of the sea serving up its swallowed souls come rushing to their minds. A ghost! It must be a ghost!

Over all the turbulence booms the voice of Jesus, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (John 6:20 NKJV)

Oh, that trusted voice! Relieved beyond belief, they welcome Jesus into their vessel.

In a heartbeat, their vessel rests on the other side of the lake, in a safe harbor.

Great story. But did you see yourself anywhere in all that?

Have you ever set sail into some new venture of your own making, without waiting on the Lord’s time schedule, and found yourself in the midst of a raging storm?

Sometimes, we think the Lord is taking too long and we launch out without Him. But the Word tells us...

* “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14 NLT)
* “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” (Ps. 62:5 NKJV)
* “Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the LORD will be renewed.” (Is. 40:31a GOD’S WORD Translation)

Sometimes, Jesus waits for the proper time of arrival, just as He did when Mary and Martha needed Him when Lazarus was sick, that God will receive the glory. As Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.” (Is. 30:18a NKJV)

When we encounter times of turbulence, our hearts are tossed from side to side, rising and falling with each wave of crisis. Do we invite Him into our vessel of circumstance or continue on without Him?

David wrote, “Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He saves them. He calms the storm and stills the waves. What a blessing is that stillness as He brings them safely into harbor!” (Ps. 107:28-30 TLB)

Calm may not always immediately surround us, but it can occupy our hearts. We can rest in God’s peace and be harbored in His safety.

The presence of God in the vessel of your heart and your storm makes all the difference in the quality of your existence.

Above all the turbulence in your life, Jesus says to you...

“It is I; do not be afraid.”


Monday, February 21

Sweet Smell of Sacrifice

In ancient Jewish tradition, a mother wove a seamless garment for her son when he left home. Did Mary do this for Jesus? No one knows but I’m pretty sure, if she held to tradition, she must have.

If Mary lovingly created it, Jesus wore it, probably wearing it before His betrayal when He went to Simon the leper’s house. As He reclined at the table, a woman came and broke open her beautiful, alabaster passion box, full of the extremely valuable, perfumed oil of spikenard.

As she lovingly poured it upon Jesus’ head, it likely trickled down His cheeks, seeped into His beard, and gently dripped upon His shoulders, saturating His garment. (Mark 14:3, Matt. 26:6-7)

In Eastern culture, the garment of the bridegroom was saturated with rich perfumes. As this woman lovingly poured out her precious possession upon the heavenly Bridegroom, it permeated His garment.

Almost as prophetic words, the Shulamite woman says of her beloved in the beautiful Song of Solomon, “While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.” (SOS 1:12 NKJV)

Don’t you know that through the long hours of His agony in the garden, during His betrayal, in the courtyard of His judgment before Caiaphas and Pilate, and until that garment was removed, Jesus must have breathed in that sweet smell of sacrificial love poured out upon Him, while this scripture likely echoed in His Spirit, “The odor of your ointments is fragrant, your name is like perfume poured out.” (SOS 1:3 Amp)

As He probably did not wash His hair, the fragrance clung to it. That sweet aroma must have wafted its fragrance of love into His nostrils throughout His torment at the whipping post and while hanging on the cross, more than likely thinking, “This is for all those who will pour out their love on Me.”

Jesus’ sacrifice for our forgiveness and eternal life cost Him His life and was a sweet aroma to God, as scripture says, “God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to Him.” (Eph. 5:2b TLB)

Are our trust and faith as that sweet aroma of the alabaster passion box poured out to Jesus? Do our offerings cost us something, or do they have little meaning to us? If we give God what is of little value to us, how will it be of any value to Him? If a sacrifice is to be a true sacrifice, it must cost something to give it.

A true, sacrificial worship gift costs us the surrender of our money, for we give sacrificially, as the widow who gave her two mites. It costs us the surrender of our time, for we sacrifice it to put God first. It costs us the surrender of our hearts, for we sacrifice our love to those who hate us. It costs us the surrender of our lips, for we sacrifice our praise to God when all seems lost.

What have you given Him? What does it cost you? Will it be, as David said, “that which costs me nothing”? (2 Sam. 24:24b NKJV) Whatever it costs, it must come from a loving and willing heart.

Jesus gave you His sweet sacrifice of salvation. Have you given your life as a sacrifice back to Him, as that “sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God”? (Phil. 4:18 NKJV)

(This is submitted for Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on the topic sacrifice. Check out Peter’s site for the other entries.)


Friday, February 18

Your Will Be Done

"Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.”
(Matt. 6:10 NKJV)

(This is the fourth segment of The Model Prayer series.)

God’s heaven...perfect; on earth...not so much.

What is God’s will?

God’s will is what He desires, purposes, and has determined to be done on earth. It is His established kingdom rule in heaven being accomplished on earth by, for, and through His people.

God reveals His will in several ways. One way He chose to reveal some of His will is in His Word. He first gave His revealed will to His people Israel through the Law as a standard of righteousness.

Believers in Christ are not under that Law, as Paul told the Roman church, “You are not under law but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14b NKJV) As God has offered us grace through Christ, He is now our ultimate standard of righteousness.

Do we truly seek God’s will and to live according to His standard of righteousness?

What are we not to do?

To stubbornly and arrogantly insist on our own way. Which means disobedience to God’s Word and His will. In the New Testament, the “self-willed” and “presumptuous” are those “who walk according to the flesh.” (2 Peter 2:10 NKJV)

Paul wrote to the Roman church about those walking in the flesh, “The carnal attitude sees no further than natural things. But the spiritual attitude reaches out after the things of the Spirit. The former attitude means, bluntly, death: the latter means life and inward peace. And this is only to be expected, for the carnal attitude is inevitably opposed to the purpose of God, and neither can nor will follow His laws for living. Men who hold this attitude cannot possibly please God.” (Rom. 8:5-8 Phillips)

What did Jesus say about doing His own will? “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” (John 5:30b NKJV)

Are we seeking our own fleshly will or God’s holy will?

What are we to do?

Scripture tells us...

* “ the will of God with all your heart.” (Eph. 6:6b NLT)
* “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35 NKJV)
* “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT)
* “He who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:17b NKJV)

Just as Jesus, our nourishment “comes from doing the will of God.” (John 4:34 TLB)

Are we seeking the will of God with all our hearts?

What is the proper response of God’s people?

* To act with Godly behavior.
* To present our bodies as holy, living sacrifices to the Lord, not conforming to the world, and allowing the Lord to transform our way of thinking, as the Word says, “Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2 NLT)
* To carry out what He reveals to us. The Word requires that we live “by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4 NLT)

Learning to let go of our tight rein on our lives is essential; handing the reins over to the Lord and His will may seem scary but being in God’s will is the safest place on earth.

Isn’t it more advantageous to be in agreement with His will?

“Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph. 5:15-17 NIV)

What is your response?

~~Lord, Your will be done!


Thursday, February 17

Essentials of the Heart blog tour

Today, I bring you an interview with Susan Weagant, author of Essentials of the Heart. I’m giving away a copy of the book, so if you would like to be in the drawing, please leave a comment at the end of this post. Now, here’s Susan...

Q: Susan, you and your husband serve as Christian Camp missionaries. Share with us how this ministry-focus came about and how it influenced the writing of your book.

A: My husband and I have been missionary supported at Camp Peniel since 1992. The word Peniel comes from the Bible in Genesis 32:30 where Jacob wrestled with an angel. He named that place Peniel because he said that he had seen God face to face and his life had been preserved.

The man who started Camp Peniel had a desire that anyone who came would experience God face to face, either by coming to know Him as their Savior or growing in their walk with Him.

Many spiritual turning points in my life happened at Camp Peniel. Decisions that impacted my spiritual life the most were made at that place. Those decisions and disciplines that I learned there are what has influenced my book the most. It is for that reason that a portion of the proceeds will go to Camp Peniel’s scholarship program.

Q: I understand Essentials of the Heart is blessing both men and women. Did you consider the impact it would have on men when you wrote it? What are they saying about it?

A: I was blindsided by this one. I speak to women’s ministries, so, my audience is women. One day, my friend came to me to apologize for not reading my book that she got a month earlier. I told her that she didn’t need to apologize for that, but she insisted on telling me why.

Her husband had picked up the book and started reading it. She did not want to take it from him until he was finished, but it was taking a long time. (It is a small book so it shouldn’t take him that long.) He finally came to her and told her to go buy two more books because he wanted to give them to his adult sons for Christmas.

I was floored that he would enjoy it so much that he would want his adult sons to read it, too.

Q: Essentials of the Heart is divided into two parts, Decisions and Disciplines. What is the significance of this?

A: “He has made everything beautiful in its time; He also has planted eternity in men’s heart and mind [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun, but only God, can satisfy]…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a AMP)

What that means to you and me is this: God created us with a sense of eternity in our hearts and mind. We know that there is more to this life than the here and now. We sense it deep within us. The only thing that can bring lasting fulfillment to you and me is our relationship with God and growing in that relationship.

That is what has brought me the greatest fulfillment in my life, and it starts with heart “Decisions,” which is the first section of the book. The next section is “Disciplines.” These are daily practices, which are necessary to grow in the Lord.

Q: So the first Essential of the Heart is the decision we make personally for eternity … accepting Christ as our Savior. You list several more Decisions we need to make such as: Who do we want our life to count for, a Decision to Trust, a Decision to Build Intimacy, etc.

I’d like for us to look at the issue of Trust. You explain that though we often use the words trust and faith interchangeably, we first need to understand what they mean. Could you shed some light on this?

A: The word trust, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Faith, according to the Bible, is this: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) The Greek word for faith in the New Testament is pistis, which is a firm persuasion or conviction based on hearing according to Strong’s Dictionary.

If you look at all the definitions, that will give you a better picture of faith. It is important what you base your hope on in this life. Here is my definition of faith: Faith is a firm conviction of hope based on God’s character, God’s ability, God’s strength, and God’s truth when I can’t see what lies ahead. When I base my hope on God’s character and God’s Word, it is then that my faith will grow.

Q: I know your book is blessing individuals. Can Essentials of the Heart be used for a group study?

A: There is a pdf file of study questions for each chapter on my website and it is free to download.

Q: If someone would like to have you speak at their event, how can they contact you?

A: They can go to my website,, for information on my speaking ministry.

(I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author's interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services.)


Monday, February 14

A Valentine Special

There is a beautiful love story of a prince and his peasant bride in Max Lucado’s book, When Christ Comes. The prince is stately, peerless, yet she is common, plain. “His attraction to her baffling.”

She is sometimes “sullen and sour, even cranky.” Not the type you’d want to spend the rest of your life with. Yet, he cannot live without her, so he proposes to her. Soon afterward, he leaves to build their future home and take care of his father’s kingdom duties. He promises her that he will return for her as soon as everything was ready.

In the meantime, she forgets that she is betrothed. She lives as she pleases, not caring that her behavior reflects on her family and on her betrothed. “She forgot to prepare herself for her nuptials. She was even seen doing things that made others whisper.”

Rebellious and forgetful. Distracted and too busy. Preparation for the wedding? What future bride does not plan and prepare for her beautiful wedding day. A prince was coming for her. Forget the groom? How could she!

And how could we. We are that peasant girl, that covenanted bride-to-be. Do we behave as though we are betrothed to our Beloved? No. Our behavior should be fitting of a princess...not a peasant. His return for us should be uppermost in our minds.

Max says we are “amnesic.” “To forget the purpose of gingko is one thing. But to forget our engagement to Christ is another.”

We need a reminder! And here it is:


You, the one He loves truly. You, the one for whom He died. You, the one to whom He yearns to be close. You, The Lord’s espoused, His intended, His precious companion for all eternity.

A wedding day is the culmination of preparation. Everything is ready. And the bride and groom desire to look their best for each other. All decked out in their wedding finery; he, fit to meet the bride, and she, fit to meet the bridegroom.

Where is your focus? Is it on your heavenly Bridegroom? Are you preparing every day for that beautiful wedding? Are you fit to meet your Bridegroom?

When I go to a wedding, I always keep my eyes on the groom. The look on his face is always a precious glimpse into his heart.

He stands there, first on one foot and then on the other. The epitome of royalty in his wedding finery. Ready to whisk his beloved away to their future home. His smile – crooked. His cheek – twitching.

The vein in his neck about to pop from anticipation. Anxiety increases as he awaits that lovely figure in white to take her place beside him.

If you take a closer look into his eyes, you’ll see the reflection of his bride as she comes down the aisle. And you are that precious reflection in the eyes of Jesus, as He waits to take you home with Him.

I wonder...are we all that anxious to “clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” and look so beautiful for our precious Bridegroom? If so, someday we will be thrilled to hear: “How beautiful is your love…my [promised] bride!”

Prepare yourself, Bride. Ready yourself for your beloved Bridegroom. Remember, you are engaged. Behave as a proper princess should. Keep your eyes on the Groom. He is returning for you.

As Max says, “You are engaged to royalty, and your Prince is coming to take you home”!!! “Behold, your bridegroom is coming; run out to meet him!”

“Do not let your hearts be troubled…I will come back again
and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”



Thursday, February 10

What Does Love Look Like?

“What does love look like?

“It has the hands to help others.

“It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.

“It has eyes to see misery and want.

“It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.

“That is what love looks like.”

~St. Augustine

Love is a verb...

Love gives...the best of time, energy, and possessions
Love walks...alongside, to uphold another
Love encourage the discouraged
Love offers a hand...up

Love offers a shoulder...for another to cry on
Love believes...the best of another
Love matter what
Love’s spouse

Love supports...when another’s strength is lacking
Love cheers...when laughter is needed
Love praises...rather than tears down
Love comforts...a hurting soul

Love carries...when another’s steps falter
Love a lasting relationship
Love remains silent...when necessary
Love communicates...with kindness

Love cares...enough to do something
Love shows...grace and mercy

Love in action...“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
~~Amy Carmichael

“For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11 NKJV)

What does love look like to you?

(This post is part of blog chain on the topic of love. See the other entries listed in the left sidebar.)


Tuesday, February 8

Your Kingdom Come!

“May Your kingdom come soon.”
Matt. 6:10a NLT

(This is the third part of The Model Prayer series.)

Kingdom...the territory subject to the rule of a king.

Kingdom is rule, dominion, royal power, kingship, and sovereignty.

To give you some idea of the kingdom, I recently posted a great kingdom analogy. In case you missed it, click here.

But what is God’s Kingdom?
It is the rule of God upon a heart. Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17 NIV)

He also said, “The kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20 NKJV) The Kingdom is not in the excellence of our speech but in the influence of our power. In other words, it is the powerful influence of divine truth on the hearts and minds of others.

Where is the Kingdom?
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 10:7 NKJV) At hand, where? “The kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” (Luke 17:21 Amp)

How does one get into this Kingdom?
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 18:3 NLT)

And the only way is the straight and narrow way. Jesus said, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14 NLT)

That gate is the cross of salvation.

What keeps one out of the kingdom?
Of course, the first would be to not accept God’s Kingdom rule into your heart in the first place, to refuse Jesus’ salvation.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20 NKJV)

He also said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21 NKJV)

Oh, to hear these words, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34b NKJV)

Poor indeed is the heart that does not know the extent of the love, forgiveness, and power of God’s Kingdom.

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:10-12 NKJV)

Lord, Your Kingdom come...into many hearts!


Monday, February 7

The Big Show Stopper blog tour

Today, I bring you the blog tour for Ken Dalton’s book The Big Show Stopper, A Pinky and the Bear Mystery. I’m giving one away, so if you’d like to enter, leave a comment at the end of the post.

About the book:

Brady Blackstone, America’s richest and favorite concert performer, dies in a tragic accident while Bear and Flo, along with thousands of northern Nevada’s music lovers, look on in horror.

However, before Bear can maneuver Flo back to their apartment to complete her birthday celebration, they stumble across a clue that makes them question if Brady’s death was an accident.

In The Big Show Stopper, Pinky, a sleazy but successful defense attorney, and Bear, a street-wise ex-bartender, mix madness with mayhem as they meet Brady’s less than grieving widow, a trigger-happy Carson City cop named Ice Conner, travel in first-class luxury with Pinky as he follows a questionable lead to an exotic location, and suffer with Flo in Bear’s old pick up while they drive to another of America’s armpit locations where they discover Brady Blackstone’s killer.

About the author:

Ken Dalton was born in 1938. Unfortunately, Ken was diagnosed with the dreaded polio virus. At the end of World War II, Ken’s family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for a year where he learned how to live through snow blizzards, avoid walking through the large pile of coal in the basement, and survive life as an Army officer’s brat on a base called Fort Warren.

By the age of sixteen, after eleven years of operations, therapy, and braces, Ken’s luck changed dramatically when he met the girl of his dreams at a party. A few years later, they married, produced three wonderful children, and settled into a happy life in southern California.

In 1977, Ken, Arlene, Bob Wiltermood, and his wife Norma, designed, built, and operated a 2000 case winery named Pommeraie Vineyards. They produced award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. However, after Bob died, the winery was sold. Ken and Arlene moved to a hilltop in Healdsburg.

With the winery gone, and time on their hands, Ken and Arlene started to perform with the Camp Rose Players. Twenty years and forty productions later, both are still acting and singing.

Life was good. All Ken had to do was learn some lines and bow when the audience applauded.

Then, ten years ago, in a moment of madness, Ken started to write. His first article was published in Golf Illustrated in August 1996. More golf articles followed in national and regional magazines including Golf Magazine and Fairways and Greens.

After a two-year stint on the County Grand Jury, Ken felt the need to begin his first novel.

Now, after a decade of struggle to learn the craft of writing, Ken has become the publishing world’s latest overnight sensation.

Link for the ebook: Amazon

Link the paperback: Amazon

Ken’s website:

To follow the book blog tour, click here.


Thursday, February 3

I Had a Dream

I had a dream.

Walking along a city street, I pass by houses of all types of contrasting architectures. Beautiful mansions. Humble shacks. Sweet cottages. Different shapes. Different sizes. Different appeals.

I decide to peek in some of the windows to see how the people live there. Some sit quietly by their hearths, their peaceful faces lit by the fire’s glow. The sound of fighting prevails in other residences; some families reconcile before bed and kneel together in prayer.

Joy and thankfulness fill some homes, while sadness or grief fills others. Love permeates many households, yet hate and unforgiveness abound in some.

As I move on, I see habitats in different stages of completion. Some sit abandoned. Basement foundations protrude out of the ground. Yards have building supplies of lumber, nails, and bricks laying in piles.

As I peek in more windows, I see that some dwellings stand vacant, yet occupied with all sorts of critters. Some homes are exceptionally clean while others are littered with trash. Some are clean but empty. Others appear weather-beaten and neglected.

In some homes, family members lie on sick beds, frightened. Others stand around the death bed of a loved one, in tears, yet rejoicing as that one is about to depart for heaven.

So puzzled, I ask the Lord, “What does all this mean?”

“My child,” He whispers in that gentle yet powerful inner voice, “these homes represent the hearts of My children, no matter whether they are elegant mansions or humble shacks. My children’s hearts come in all shapes, all sizes, all appeals.

“Many hearts are filled with bitterness and quarreling; some obey My Word to not let the sun go down while they are still angry.

“Many heart-homes contain sadness or grief, longing to be comforted. Some receive My comfort because they seek it; others struggle along without Me.

“Each heart lingers in some stage of completion. Some merely lay a foundation of salvation, forgetting to build on it. While others, distracted through difficult trials or busy schedules, have never built on that foundation and lack all I offer to help them get through their day. Still others abandon their foundation altogether.

“Some hearts build haphazardly on their foundation, resulting in a faulty edifice. The winds of heartache or misfortune blow upon it and the walls collapse.

“Some have allowed Me to sweep their heart-homes clean; some remain clean but empty and cold, refusing My love. While others refuse My cleansing and remain unkempt, allowing trash and irritants to move in.

“There are frightened hearts, and bodies that lie on sick beds. Death stares them in the face, but heaven would be their eternal destination if they only asked Me.

“Love, hate, unforgiveness, joy, many things can fill a heart-home.

“I offer so many supplies with which a child of Mine may use to build on that foundation. I love it when My commands and My Word are laid in place with the cement of obedience, but it breaks My heart when they are left lying on the ground.

“The most precious to My heart are the heart-homes that sit in peace by the hearth, aglow with the warmth of My love, despite the storms raging outside.

“I want to continually add to each foundation, to enlarge each heart-home, as Jabez prayed, ‘Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me!’ (1 Chron. 4:10 Amp)

“I would enlarge those precious hearts that seek Me and desire My presence, as Ezekiel said, ‘and the rooms became broader as they encompassed the temple higher and higher, for the encircling of the house went higher and higher round about the temple.’” (Ezek. 41:7a Amp)

Oh, that I would use the cement of obedience to build a heart-home for my Lord that would be most precious to Him, that is aglow with His love and expands as it encompasses Him more and more.

What kind of heart-home are you building for your Lord?