‘Why is God Silent in My Prayers?’


When everything is falling apart, when you hunger for the truth, it is and will always be that prayer opens up a way that we thought was never there before. Prayer can radically change your life… this study is a bit lengthy but from the latest numbers of readers, this one seems to have struck a nerve. Maybe it’s time we revisited it again…. Pray and ask God to speak to your heart, He desires to set you free from all the trappings of religion and sit down with Jesus…

Originally posted on Walking the Berean Road:


 “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”   Luke 18:1

Life is unjust. Upon accepting an award, the late Jack Benny once remarked, “I really don’t deserve this. But I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.”

Have you ever come to a point when you’ve felt like you’re on the wrong side of justice; someone has done you wrong, and with all calls, e-mails, texts, voice mails; your situation just isn’t getting resolved.  Jesus knew that His disciples would be running into many of these kind of situations; where they would be getting the ‘short end of the stick’……. sometimes life just doesn’t appear to be fair.


Jesus uses an example here of a widowed woman who had been wronged, and a cynical Judge who ‘neither feared God nor had any respect for people’; 

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Here I Am Lord, Use Me’


”  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”     Isaiah 6:8

Every once in a while it is good to look back at something you wrote and be re-inspired if you will; especially when the Holy Spirit is the One making the prompting.  And so it is with this past study I made while finishing up my chemotherapy treatments. Truly that was a time of celebration at all God had done and accomplished through that wilderness experience.

The good news is that it’s been 1 1/2 years and everything is going great. I thank the Lord daily for His goodness and favor upon Patty and me and we are excited about all God has in store this new year!

It seems there are many of you from Brazil , the UK, and the Russian Federation that are have been passing this particular study around according to the Word Press Stats for this web site and I’m thrilled to know that everything of what this study is about is being exercised in your lives, that Jesus Christ is the difference maker, not only had He redeemed you, He has given you a purpose for life through Him, and has commissioned you to go out and tell as many people you know and don’t know about Him.  The world doesn’t need new fashions, buildings, heroes; the world needs to know Jesus!  And that is your calling from Him to you that you go out and tell everyone of His salvation through Jesus Christ!  “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord.”


‘So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return void unto Me: but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”  Isaiah 55:11

This is the first time I’ve been led to post not just one lead passage, but two.  It’s only fitting that they be here in this post, since the Holy Spirit went about on this day to join them together, to challenge, exhort, and bless me, as well as my wife Patty, and a whole slew of special guests that God brought together on a day when most people aren’t thinking about these kind of things..and so here goes.

God’s Word has something to accomplish. God doesn’t just speak to hear Himself talk. His Word is not empty, or lacking in power.   He didn’t speak in unfathomable mysteries just to blow our minds, or confuse us, or leave things up to any possible interpretation. When God speaks, He speaks to accomplish a purpose.

God’s Word doesn’t help us if it stays on the bookshelf..   God’s Word won’t accomplish what He wants to do with it if we don’t speak it.  Yes, we do need to study, read and meditate on His Word, but what use is it if stays inside.  We need to speak the Word of God to as many people as we meet.

2 Timothy says we need to be ready to “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they ‘hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

What a wonderful thing that God has provided us with a written Word that we know as the Bible.  It is through His written Word that God communicates with us  every day….


I don’t know about you, but I love guarantees.  Whenever I take my truck into the shop for repairs, I am so happy that the problem was resolved; but do you know what I like even more that it was fixed?  I love a guarantee that if something goes wrong with the repairs, that the shop gives, ‘written assurance’ that it will stand behind their work.


The Dictionary defines the word ‘Guarantee’ as a ‘Promise’ or ‘Assurance’ especially in writing that something will perform satisfactorily for a given amount of time.’ We will make purchases that with a ‘guarantee’ and then hope that the giver of the guarantee will stand behind their product.

unsatisfied face

But what happens when what we bought, not only doesn’t work the way we anticipated, but the company behind it, doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain?

I think most of us have been there. And it can make for an unpleasant situation, because we put our trust,; in the product, and in the person behind the product.

However, we can be sure that when God say’s something is so, we know it to be true, because He has a track record of. ‘saying what He means, and meaning what He says’! Oh how thrilling is that!

happy face

Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the “Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”

I just love the Hawaian translation which reads: “Cuz you know, da Stuff God tell us guys get plenny power, an get life. Wat God say goin go inside us mo betta den one sword dat get two side sharp. Goin check out wat we stay tinking, an wat stay inside our heart, an how come we stay doing da kine stuffs we do. Dass jalike one sharp sword dat can open da joints an da bone marrow stuff.”


 Our passage today say’s that the word that “will not return void” is God’s Word and not the word of humans. In other words, people cannot make their desires a reality just by applying Isaiah 55:11…….to whatever situation they desire.   The only word that guarantees is the Word that “proceeds from His mouth”.  Any other word…..doesn’t carry the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God.

          In other words, to say that God’s Word “does not return to Him void” is to say that His Word, His promise doesn’t ever return to Him empty.  An extremely strong declaration of His sovereignty.    Not even Satan himself, can frustrate the purposes of God’s Word.
When God opens an opportunity for us to proclaim His Word, He enables, He unlocks the power in His words through the Holy Spirit in us, to establish the purpose of it’s destination.  That purpose is that the world would know that He so ‘loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that by believing in Him, that we might be saved”
Another purpose of God’s Word is that we, “comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
We are encouraged to build each other up in the faith.
One of the most powerful ways is by sharing the Word of God.  Often times, the Holy Spirit will lead you, in meeting people, in hospitals, in church, anywhere where there are hurting souls, He will send out His ministers to become His purpose in putting into motion His plan, and accomplishing all He has to give to the person you’re talking to as well as yourself.
Yesterday , I had an appointment at the hospital for a ‘Day Surgery’ to remove the ‘port’ that was surgically placed inside the right side of my chest.
The purpose of the port was to allow the nurses, while I was undergoing chemotherapy to stick their needles in so they didn’t have to be poking my arm
trying to find a suitable vein so they could administer the treatment.  This ‘port’ had a specific purpose, and to accomplish all it was designed to do.   To take a page from Pastor Chuck Smith, it performed ‘marvelously’!
While I was waiting for my surgery appointment….. several other things begin to evolve.   God’s Word promises us in Isaiah 43 :5 that He will “send men for us and people for your life, fear not I am with you.”
Well, as promised, God began to send a whole lot of people my way, some bringing the Word of God, some confirming the written Word of God, some to be encouragement throughout this very trying day.
As Patty and I entered Torrance Memorial Hospital hospital at 7:15 a.m. we were met by a much smiling receptionist at the Information Desk.  Then we were sent to an already waiting and no waiting  Registration desk where there was yet one other woman who greeted us with yet another huge, warm  ‘welcome’ smile.  We were escorted by a volunteer to the surgery prep area where we met an RN named Fe. (pronounced Fay)  She proceeded to take blood samples, blood pressure etc.
About the same time in walks in Pastor Tuvai from my church who came in early to pray for the surgery.  During the prayer he makes mention of a Scripture passage out of Isaiah 41:10.
is 41 10
Fe comes in after the prayer and Patty, (My Wife) and I begin to talk with Fe. We find out she is also a believer, and she goes on to quote Isaiah 41:10 as her favorite passage….not knowing that Pastor Tuvai had earlier also quoted from that same verse.   Fey  tells us she is from the Philippians and her name means…….Lydia…..AND  guess what color she is wearing?   You guessed it, purple!
Time passes and it’s time to go to surgery. I am encouraged and strengthened by the spiritual support God has given me in His Word and through these faithful saints.
In walks the man who would wheel me to surgery, his name?………Luke… we chat on the way, my reminding him that his name is in the Gospels, when he responds saying that he also has two brothers named……..you got it….Matthew and John…….and his father is named Mark!  
We run into Shawna and Letty who are RN nurses and find out they both go to my home church.  Once in the surgery room, prepped and ready to go, I ask everyone if I can pray verbally and they all say yes, including my surgeon.  Everything comes out good, and I’m recovering for the next few weeks.
The really exciting thing here is that God’s Word did not return void, empty. From Pastor Tuvai, to Fey, to all those in the surgery room, His Word was given.  It became a very powerful opportunity for God to bring so many people together under circumstances that involved all our faith that God was in control, and that He wanted all us including Patty and me to know, that His Word accomplished all He set it out to do.
God gives all of us many opportunities to share His Word under many different circumstances; and you know what?   There is comfort, strength, and encouragement in His Word for anything you, or someone you know might be going through.
I’m so happy that God was truly glorified throughout this day, and that others were able to see the Holy Spirit make a spiritual link chain throughout this day, and do you know what?  It was the difference maker for all involved.  The thing I learned is that God wants to do this every day.  All we need to do is raise our hand to Him every morning and say to Him, ‘Here I am Lord, send me!”
Here’s Today’s Musical Video ~  Enjoy! 
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“As for you, you were once dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  “ Ephesians 1:1-10

 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have never being born, getting a Second chance coming back and seeing just how many lives you would have touched if you had been born.   That’s exactly what happens in this movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

On April 11, 2013 the USA Network is launching The Moment, a new series hosted by legendary NFL quarterback Kurt Warner who just happens to be a Born Again Christian.   This show will  have nine individuals who will  be taken on a life-changing journey, and given a second chance to go back in time and rewrite their life stories.

 The Bible covers this topic quite well and serves a timely reminder that God sees, cares, and loves you so much, He’s wiling to forgive you of your past life and give you a fresh start, regardless of whatever happened in your past life.

a second chance3

From Rahab to David to Zachaeus  to Peter, the Thief on the Cross the Bible can be trusted to reveal clear and concise examples of people whom God gave 2nd Chances. From  one end of the spectrum to another, we can see clearly how God had all of us in mind when it comes to forgiving our past and giving us a fresh start.


In Joshua 2:1-22 & 6:20-25 we begin with Rahab who was a prostitute, a profession that even 3,000 years ago was not considered to be a honorable profession. To make matters worse she was a Gentile who was living in the city of Jericho, the land of Canaan at a time when Israel was on the verge at conquering that land.  However, here is Rahab of ill repute who had happened to hear about the God of Israel and His greatness.  The story goes that Israel sent spies to scout the land and ended up at Rahab’s house.  What she did would open the door for her 2nd chance. She put her own life on the line and proceeded to hide them in her house. As a result, God grants her a 2nd Chance. Jericho would end up being completely destroyed and it would be Rahab and her family that would survive the destruction, and the amazing finish is Rahab’ name is found in the Gospel of Matthew inside the …….genealogy of Jesus Christ!

a moses

 Patriarch Moses also was a man of 2nd Chances; Two to be exact.  Moses was born in Egypt during a time when it was quite dangerous to be a young Jewish boy. Condemned to death by order of the Pharaoh, God chose to spare Moses’s life.  Moses was instead spared and Moses was raised up as royalty.  He would end up being in a position that would later help the nation of Israel to be freed from enslavement. God save him after Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster while saving a young Hebrew man.   40 years later God gave Moses a second chance to return to Egypt and set His people free.


2 Samuel 11-12, and Psalm 51 we read that David was a man after God’s own heart. But that’s not all he was. He was also an adulterer and murderer—both of which were capital offenses according to the Law of Moses. The story of his affair with Bathsheba and his attempt to hide his sin by having her husband, Urriah, killed by putting him on the front line in battle is one of the most appalling tales of sin in Scripture. But when confronted with his sin, David’s heart broke in repentance and God granted him grace and a 2nd chance.

a z

How about Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke 19:1-10 where tax collectors were even more despised than they are now. Most were greedy, dishonest men who had the power and authority to take advantage of the poor and become rich at their expense. Zacchaeus was just like this, he fit the description.  And yet when  Jesus came to town and He chose to stay with Zacchaeus.  Of course people couldn’t believe it. Why would Jesus, obviously a man of God, choose to even associate with this sinner? This is just the kind of person Jesus came to save—and to give a 2nd Chance!

a peter

Peter in Matthew 26:31-35. I think we can all agree that we have blurted out the first thing that comes in our minds. That was Peter. The rest of the apostles could always count on Peter to be the one who would open his mouth without thinking first.  Even during the final hours before Jesus’s crucifixion Peter boldly proclaims that he would stand by Jesus’ side even if it meant death. Peter emphatically deny that Jesus save His own life. And yet Jesus had plans to use Peter to build His church and give him a 2nd Chance!

 a thief

 Finally we see the Thief on the Cross in Luke 23:39-43, most certainly the greatest need for a 2nd Chance.   There are the two men crucified on both sides of Jesus were these three men. Men who lived their lives in such a way that according to this thief, were more deserving of death.    As they hung, nailed to a cross, next to Jesus. One of the men joined the crowds and soldiers in mocking Christ. But the other realized who it was being crucified next to him and, with death nearby, asked for mercy. This simple act of faith this humble request was heard and answered as  Jesus promised him a 2nd Chance that would lead him into Eternity.

a eph

And then there is you and me….. I don’t know about you but I need a 2nd Chance.  I’m thankful that God is willing to give it.    I think Paul the Apostle says it best in his letter to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 2:1-10. I quote from the Living Bible paraphrase:

“Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins.  You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord.   All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.

 But God is so rich in mercy; He loved us so much   that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, He gave us back our lives again when He raised Christ from the dead—only by His undeserved favor have we ever been saved—  and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with Him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.  And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich His kindness is, as shown in all He has done for us through Jesus Christ.

 Because of His kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God.   Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it.   It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.”

 a chance

 As the calendar changes and 2014 ebbs away and 2015 charges forth, it’s a good thing to know that we have a God of 2nd Chances! Regardless of what failure, rejection, whatever we did wrong unto others, know that He is willing to erase the past with all its disappointments  and bring you forth into a year of a fresh start.   Maybe today after the unwrapping of the gifts, the pleasantries of gatherings with family and friends you’ve got issues that are choking off your life. Behold, Jesus can and is willing to help you and give you a 2nd Chance. A right relationship with Jesus Christ is paramount to living the life He intended you to live.

a confess

If this is you and you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, you need a 2nd Chance; the Bible says in Romans 10:9 that if you just, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord; and believe from your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Maybe pray something like this and mean it from your heart: ‘Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, and that You died to take away my sins, I believe You were raised from the dead and can help me to have this 2nd chance. I receive You into my heart, come live, and teach me how to live this new chance right!  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and write my name in the Book of Life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Congratulations, you have received the perfect gift, forgiveness of your sins and a 2nd Chance! I suggest you pray and ask God to help you find a good Bible teaching church and a Bible. Read it every day starting maybe in the Gospel of John, and find believers to fellowship.

A chronicle

Maybe you’re already a believer and need to make a new start this upcoming year, you too can have a 2nd chance in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if : “My people which are called by My Name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them and heal their land”. Often times we don’t think we need healing, but if we find we are stagnant in our lives, listless, going through the motions, we need a new start, a 2nd  Chance  that we can live life ‘more abundantly’.  Take a moment today and contemplate where you are today.  Sit before the Lord and ask Him to search my heart and see if there be any wicked thing”and “Cst your cares upon Him because He cares for you.”

Thank You Jesus that You are forever praying for us and looking out for our best interests, forgive us when we assume that everything is alright when they aren’t.  We yield our hands, minds and hearts that always seem to want to do things first and leave in situations and circumstances  that result in disappointment.  We praise You that Your Word is ‘Yea and Amen!”

a amen

Happy New Year in 2015 everyone as we all grow into the loving saving life that Jesus gives us in Him!

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a call

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33;3


 Lord Jesus, I offer up this labor of love in presenting your Word to all those You would lead to this Ministry web site that by the power of Your Spirit, You would transform lives and reveal Yourself to each one, opening their understanding of Your Greatness and love through Your Son Jesus Christ. That we would know the truth and the truth of Your plan for man would set them free indeed, amen.

‘Help, I need somebody,  Help, Not just anybody
Help, You know, I need someone Help!

When I was younger so much younger than today

I never needed anybody’s help in any way

But know these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors..

If you’re a Believer you KNOW where you get YOUR help from, right?  But like this song let’s turn our ‘time-clocks’ back if you will and ask the very same question…. Where did you get YOUR help in a time of need?  I think for most of us it could be answered in anything that would take away the pain of life’s pitfalls.  For some help came from alcohol, for others it was drugs.  Maybe it was sex.  All in all we agree that it more didn’t help than these things made is addicts of the very thing we thought could ‘help’ us.

‘Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate your being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me? Help me, help me, ooh..’

   You know, when the doctor leans over with a clipboard in his hand and goes on to tell you that ‘you’ve got cancer!’ and leaves you with no real help in mind. When the Oncologist reviews your ‘charts’ and begins to review his plan for ‘help’ that will begin the process of healing that will help heal your body….. For me this was very much a reality two years ago as my wife and I pondered and then sought and found where our help was going to come from.

‘And now my life has changed in oh, so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure
I know that I just need you like I never done before.’

What a difference it makes that when your life situations change and you’re left with depending on someone else to help you through it that it becomes so more real to know with confidence that the help you need is far more real and close than you ever imagined?   Instead of independence it becomes more dependent.  Instead of insecurity it becomes secure.

For my wife and I the help we needed was going to come through my surgery and a year of chemotherapy, but the real help, the real healing was to come from the One who created me and formed me.  For the first time in my life, I would go from knowing what I needed to help me to knowing the One who would be doing all the help.  God gave Patty a promise that fateful afternoon in that hospital, that He would be ‘faithful to complete the work He started’  (1 Thessalonians 5:24) when He said that , ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that therein the Son of God might be glorified” .(John 11:4)  He would become our help not just in fixing what was broken, in becoming our very direct~lifeline that we could have access to 24 hours a day and be there to help us in a time of need.

The older I get the more I am realizing that the  most important thing in my life is not  work, business, rushing here and there; but the most important thing is to live truly a life of prayer.   Prayer is the most essential part of my life.  Jesus said that, ” Men ought always to pray and not to faint”  Luke 18:1

When I’m finding myself up against a challenge in my life I am often reminded of God’s Eternal un- diminishing Greatness in Jeremiah 33:3: “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” 


There are often times when I need to see good things larger than the bad things that surround me in this world.  Just last night, my wife and I were weighing the circumstances of how we were going to provide me health insurance since the employer I previously had was taking me off their coverage. Since everything surrounding my cancer follow-ups were tied into this medical coverage; especially my doctor, it quickly became a source of worry. What would happen next?

Perplexed but not defeated, we prayed, and faithfully gave the problem to the only One who can solve it, Jesus Christ. It has   Although we don’t know what to do, we do know who does know, and so we entrust Him to work it out. It doesn’t mean we sit back and just wait for something to happen; although I’ve seen things happen without me doing anything.  But often God allows us to partake in His work by knocking on doors, making phone calls, following through looking for a window of opportunity God would open for us. All in all, praying “with thanksgiving, that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”  Philippians 4:6

a prayer 5

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

 Time is growing short; the city is being squeezed, and the dreaded enemy is one step closer to victory. Some of the locals were holding out hope that it might be Egypt that would come to Jerusalem’s rescue, but destiny was saying that nothing could stop her inevitable defeat.

In those dark days just before the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah is still a prisoner of the king. We see the picture of these people Jeremiah had preached to turn away from their lifestyle apart from God as Jeremiah sits shackled in a courtyard, surrounded by guards. In this humiliating scene, another message comes to the prophet from God. Once again, Jeremiah is looking past the city’s present despair to a future God is showing him: one day God will restore Jerusalem and the people of Israel.

a prayer 6

“Call to Me, and I will answer you. I will tell you of great things, things beyond what you can imagine, things you could never have known.

Have you ever been at a point in your ministry where you thought you had it all figured out and than found yourself in a one on one meeting with God that reveals a particular aspect of your relationship with Him is actually flawed?

Here in this verse we find OT Prophet Jeremiah being counseled by God Himself. For forty years the prophet Jeremiah had warned that Judah and Jerusalem would be destroyed for their sins, and now the armies of Babylon were at the very walls of the city.

Imagine 40 years Jeremiah faithfully preached the Word of God, only to see God’s Word rejected by the people God had called.  It would be very difficult to conceive of a situation more painful than the situation that Jeremiah was facing.

To make matters worse, Jeremiah was cast down into a pit in prison because king Zedekiah didn’t want Jeremiah openly prophesying the coming ruin of Judah. To the human eye it would be without doubt that God’s promises to Israel had dried up and all was going to fail.

And yet, it would be exactly during this time; Babylon knocking on the door, Jeremiah God’s mouth piece locked in prison that God would come to His servant with these words of encouragement.

Maybe Jeremiah in all his human nature was expecting a different outcome. Reading in Chapter 32 he had been praying about this deliverance for his people, but now he finds himself in a pit where he could do……nothing more.  What then would God do now for him?  The  encouragement…. the answer God gives him was PRAY!

The Word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah the second time. And that Word of the Lord was: “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

When all appears at its worse, when everything appears darkest, when we give ourselves over to the hopeless, to the spiritual prisoner it is prayer that God gives as the instrument to confirm in our heart God’s promises even in the darkest of times.

Maybe today  you find yourself shut up in the heaviness of prison, the heaviness of your own heart, and you simply can’t find a way out; so much to the point that your eyes fail to see just how God’s promises can be fulfilled in your own situation.  God says to you, “Call upon Me.”  PRAY!

Old or young, male or female, child or parent. we are called to pray…. God says, “Call upon Me.” 

“When you are in trouble, call for Me, I will come and rescue you”   ‘Call on Him while He is nearby’  ~  “Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you.”  ~  Psalm 50:15~ Isaiah 55:6~ Matthew 7:7

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No doubt Jeremiah had prayed and had prayed intensely.  Those who have ever been in jail or prison can all attest how much improved our prayer life improves. And in it all, God say’s to us ‘Call upon Me!’


There are times when like Jeremiah we have prayed….and prayed… and yet we might hear what God would say to Jeremiah ; ‘Jeremiah, though you have prayed and prayed intensely, this is still My encouragement to you: Pray. Call upon Me.”  God’s  response…….. Pray on.

Although Jeremiah had prayed, God calls him to continue because, as long as I am in this body of flesh, I need the command to pray or else God would not give it.

a wrestle

I often forget to wrestle with God in prayer. I am so prone to set aside plenty of time for myself and for the world but a few moments for God?  Oye vay, now that I find myself forgetting.   I give the world around me my best, and whatever is leftover for prayer……THIS church is why God says: “Call upon Me!”

This is why, I believe, one of the most realistic and beautiful pictures of prayer in the Bible is found in Genesis 32:22-32 where we see  Jacob wrestling with God all night and not letting God go. THAT to me is prayer: wrestling with God.

a prayer 3

Are you troubled?     “Call upon Me”

Are you at your wits’ end and you see now no way out?  “Call upon Me.

Are you lonely?  “Call upon Me”

Do your friends or family fail you? “Call upon Me.”

Are you struggling with anger or rage? Call upon Me”

Do you feel you are distant from God?  “Call upon Me”

a burfen

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”  Psalms 55:22


Maybe today you are searching for answers to your life; maybe you’ve tried religion and you feel you’ve come up short. After all the ‘good feelings’ you thought would make you better, you’re left looking into a mirror, not liking what you see when it’s just you alone. Call upon Me.

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Maybe Babylon has come knocking at your front and you feel outnumbered, unqualified, and empty handed. Call upon Me.

Maybe you’re a prodigal son or daughter and have run away from God, only to discover your inheritance is spent and have nothing but the shirt on your back…Call upon Me

Maybe things have so spun out of control in your life where you’ve tried everything and you find yourself contemplating taking your life..Call upon Me.

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Good news,  God is a God of second chances! No long list of instructions from God.  No  “rub prayer beads. recite ‘Hail Marys.’” No, God’s Word simply says, “Call upon Me.” It doesn’t say, “Come through a saint, come through the virgin Mary, come through some priest.”  It says Call upon Me..

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“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”   Isaiah 65:24     ‘I’ll anticipate their prayers and respond before they know it;even as they speak, I will hear.

Prayer is all of  God’s grace. God giving to us what we don’t deserve…God working in us to seek Him and God graciously supplying our need,  by His promise that rests upon His character which is immutable.

a aw  A.W. Pink  is quoted:    ” God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations…….Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” James. 1:17.

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 “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

With so many variables in this life, finding truth can be difficult to find. But when God says “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee” you can be sure that God ‘says what He means and means what He says’ “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

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God is immutable in His essence…….in who He is, He never lies, you can count on Him to come through for you. This means that there was never a time when He was not; and there will never come a time when He shall cease to be.

God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6) is His own unqualified affirmation. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

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He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.  He is perpetually the same. He only can say, “I am that I am” (Exodus. 3:14). He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor His glory ever fade.

 His truthfulness is immutable, for His Word is Eternal!

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“forever settled in heaven” (Psalm. 119:89).

His love is eternal: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah. 31:3)

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And “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).

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  A sparrow is being pursued by a bird of prey, a hawk. In desperation the sparrow  flies into a cabin where a man catches the sparrow and proceeds to throw the sparrow violently to the ground and kills it.

Would God do that? No. When He calls us to seek His face, and when we, out of this present life, by His grace, fly to Him in all of our fears and toils, will He not have mercy? Will He not hear us? Will He not rush to our side and rescue us?

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The Word of God is trustworthy, His promises are faithful so we can be assured that no matter what circumstance, hardship, temptation, trial you are facing right now, nothing can cut you off from the ear of God.   Jeremiah was in prison.  There was nothing the king wanted more than for everyone to forget about the prophet Jeremiah. He wanted the veil of silence and forgetfulness cast over this man. And Jeremiah knew that at this time no one remembered him, really, and there was none to whom his soul was counted dear. And yet, God says, “I will hear and I will answer.”

My own experience confirms that He does hear and answer my prayers, not because of any worthiness of my prayers but because  as a child of God. I have Saviour in Jesus Christ, who “ever liveth to make intercession for me at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 7:25

What’s more, as a child of God I can come boldly to Him..”Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16


Come boldly, that we might receive what? Our own way? The answer to everything that we want? No. that we might “receive mercy and grace to help us in time of need.”


So God says: “I will answer Thee and I will show Thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Remember Jeremiah. He could not see it. He saw God’s judgments falling upon Judah. He saw the people of Judah hardened in their sins and forsaking God. He saw the Babylonians at the city walls. And in the midst of that, he said to himself, “Where are the promises of God to His people to preserve them and to bless them? I don’t see this.” God said to him, “Jeremiah, even though you don’t see it, I promise to do good to My own people. Through all of these things I am chastening them for their sins and I am going to bring them back after seventy years. Now you go buy a field. I tell you, Jeremiah, all My children, My true children, will have a place in My blessing.”

But still there was nothing to confirm that promise as far as his own eye could see. All his own eye could see was the army of the Babylonians. His ears heard the war-drums and the smash of the boulders from the catapults thrown against the walls of the city and the crash of the rams against the city doors.  In prison, forgotten by man but then the Word of the Lord comes to him …..“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

There will come times in your life where you will not have answers, especially when you find yourself in what appears to you is this prison where man may be saying no to what you’ve been called to speak. Maybe it will be a week or years where what you see around you cannot be trusted because the Bible says we must ‘walk by faith and not by sight’ 2 Corinthians 5:7 and we know that faith is  the “substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1.

And although it may seem that the Babylonians have surrounded us and we begin to lose strength, we must never give in to fear because “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world”              1 John 4:4 and so we remember to cling onto the Rock and know that the “promises of God are Yea and Amen” 2 Corinthians 1:20 because “Faithful is He who called you, who will also do it” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “and being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”     Philippians 1:6

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And so what are you waiting for?  Do you have a call you need to make that will free you from the yoke of whatever the bondage it is that is sealed wrapped in doubt, filled with worry and sealed with fear?  “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27

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“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”


Maybe you’re reading this today and are struggling with the issues of this life. Perhaps it’s an addiction that attempted to lay claim on your soul, maybe it’s a divorce, bankruptcy,  something you’ve been ashamed of for years, and you feel a strong conviction that says come free!  You may be a prodigal son or daughter,  or maybe just seeing the truth about the extent of  God’s love and forgiveness of your sins, then today is the day God made for you and we will rejoice in it!

” Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool…….. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”  Isaiah 1:18-19

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If you believe that Jesus died for your sins, that He is the Son of God and receive by His grace through faith His free gift of forgiveness, you can declare before God right where  you are this promise of God that,  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 than say this simple pray.   ‘God, I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. Forgive me. I believe that Jesus  You died for all my sins.  I believe Jesus You are the Son of God. Wash me and cleanse me by Your precious blood and write my name in the Book of Life, Thank You, in Jesus Name, Amen.’

If you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, the Bible says that “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

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Steve Mays ~ MEMORIAL For My Pastor




‘ I say this because I won’t be around to help you very much longer. My time has almost run out. Very soon now I will be on my way to heaven.  I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to Him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest. 

 In heaven a crown is waiting for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return. And not just to me but to all those whose lives show that they are eagerly looking forward to His coming back again.”   2 Timothy 4:8

It has been almost a month since the passing of  my pastor Steve Mays at Calvary Chapel Southbay in Gardena. California.  I recalled the week before, watching what would be his last words from a pulpit that had blessed so many. He said,  “See you in 3-4 weeks as we begin a new book” .  As I sat before my computer and watched as he turned away and walked off, it was as if he was bidding everyone farewell if the Lord was pleased with his homecoming speaking the words I’m sure brought a great smile to Pastor Steve;  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. ‘Matthew 21:23

Has your life been changed by a defining moment?  By simple definition, a defining moment would be ‘moments in our lives that define who we are’.   When I received a call from my wife that my Pastor had passed away, it was 1:48 in the afternoon, and my response was stunned.  The man who made the biggest impact in my life was no longer here. I could no longer talk with him, hear him pray for me, hear his joyous laugh and see his eyes and smile unite to bring a comfort that, ‘everything was going to be alright!’.   

This was truly a defining moment in my life because it would define who I am, what have I learned.  Everything I am as a Christian God brought to me through this man.  I learned that sin if left unchecked would destroy me. I learned that ‘this book will keep me from sin, and sin will keep me from this book.’    I learned to let my yes be yes, and my no be no. I learned that it is better to give then to receive.  I learned that I have come not to be ministered to but to minister. …...  

 Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about defining moments like the loss of Pastor Steve and how these moments in my own life relate to the plans God has for my own life.   Part of this is because, as I am getting older I am facing the realization that I have fewer of those ‘moments’ than I once had.

And so no matter who you are, there are awaiting all of us, ‘defining’ moments’  God has determined for you to develop and reveal your own character. To help you to exercise all you have learned and help someone weaker to live through these difficult times.  It all started when we were born, when we got married, when we had our first child.

  As we get older, we begin to understand suffering and pain on a broader plate, It isn’t just physical but mental, emotional events in our lives that reveals just how frail we really are, and how lost we become without a close relationship with God, who’s plan for our lives includes suffering and pain.

Suffering and Pain were a common denominator in the life of my Pastor Steve Mays. They were something that he was very familiar with. Ever since I knew him, it seemed he was going from one trial to another,  I don’t think there is one person who knew him had not seen this to be true.  I recall many occasions when he would share with the  congregation that pain and suffering were part of the ministry God had given him to be able to relate to those around him who were going through their afflictions that he might give them an eternal perspective centered on Jesus Christ that can bring hope and purpose to this spiritual phenomena.

To this day, I choke back the tears of sadness of not being able to talk with my pastor.  I still fondly remember the prayers the last couple of times my wife and I met with him, the smile, the laugh, the sudden totality of his prompting by the Holy Spirit to bring concerns into focus before the throne, and never leaving without wisdom and discernment that could be directly to the situation; always leading to the truth of the matter by the Word  of God.  Among many of his obvious spiritual giftings, anyone who had been around him more than 5 minutes found out that he seemed to know what was perplexing you.  The combination of the gifts of discernment and the gift of wisdom opened a wide road of personal ministry.

There is a saying that if you think your own sufferings are bad, listen to the person next to you and you’ll be surprised how much more he has struggled through.  And that brings us back to Pastor Steve.  I felt that the best way to understand what suffering he went through in his life it would be best to go back into his life and hear from his own pastor what kind of a man he was, and how God delivered him………‘From hanging out with the bikers from Killer Canyon to the valley of peace’ (from Harvest, a book by Chuck Smith, with updated current information)

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A Testimony by Pastor Chuck Smith of Pastor Steve Mays formerly Senior Pastor Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California.

‘One bleak day a hoodlum from Anaheim showed up at one of our Christian commune houses dressed in bib overalls and leathers, with a nine millimeter ‘Baretta’ tucked in his back pocket.  He had not bathed in three months and had literally slept in gutters while living as a fugitive from the law. He had not brushed his teeth in months and, with his neo-barbarian hairstyle, he was a sight to behold.

His name was Steve Mays and he was alienated from everybody—from his parents, who had tossed him out of their house years before, to the tough group of outlaw bikers he had been living with. He had been wanted by the authorities for what they believed to be attempted murder and draft dodging….. There was also a contract out on his life.

Steve’s path to destruction seemed clearly written on the wall from the time he was a child. He had been so uncontrollable that his parents resorted to calling the police when things got out of hand. This was happening almost constantly by the time they threw him out of the house.

After a long string of bizarre events, Steve’s crowning act took place one evening when he was home alone. When his parents returned, they had to shove open the front door; it had been wedged shut with towels. They discovered that their house had been made into a gigantic indoor bathtub. Water came gushing out the front door. Their son was sitting in the middle of the living room completely oblivious to the damage being done to his parents’ house. He was smoking a pencil and tried to tell them about a TV show he was watching. The TV was off…….. He had been stoned for twenty-seven hours on yet another chemical. This time he had swallowed too much Asthmadore. He had experimented with more concoctions than you can imagine. By the time the police arrived, his parents had gotten Steve to his room. Before his eyes his window hinges turned into toads and were apparently telling him jokes, making him laugh. When the police found out that Stephen was a member of the local high school football team, they lectured him but did not arrest him.

By noon the next day, Steve’s father returned home early to have a look at his less-than-model son. This time Steve was in the kitchen fixing two place settings of milk and sandwiches. When asked who the other sandwich was for, Steve motioned to the clock on the wall and said it was for “Brad” who lived in the clock.

Not long after this episode Steve, stoned as ever (this time on LSD, hashish, and other drugs) terrorized his parents with a machete. His mother looked on in horror as Steve grimaced and paced around swinging the blade. Once he fell asleep, his bewildered parents took away the machete. To say the least, there was a considerable generation gap in the Mays’ home. His father was a lab technician, a former military man and patriot. His 60’s generation son had become impossible. In truth, the two had ceased communicating years before.

Looking back, Steve pinpoints one day in Jr. high school when his life took a turn toward destruction. He came home from school a changed person. Everybody noticed the change, though they didn’t know what had caused it. On that day, a respected authority figure, one of his teachers, had sexually molested him. It was such a terrible encounter that Steve blocked it completely from memory for years. His behavior went awry from then on. In little time, while still in seventh grade, he was smoking pot and stealing. His grades went from straight A’s to D’s and F’s as his motivation went out the window. Life became one big game of hooky, pot, pills, speed, and beach parties. Steve was on a twisted path to destruction.

By the time Steve was in high school, his stealing had become a serious problem. He was booked four times in one week. Then by the time of the machete episode, Steve quit the high school football team (his drug antics had been getting more and more inappropriate on the football field) and became the school drug dealer. Steve and his former teammates would smoke entire “lids” in a single joint. They could get any drug they wanted and tried them all.

On one weekend mountain retreat, Steve had planned to go but for some reason couldn’t—some of the football players got so high on barbiturates that they overdosed. Accidentally, their mountain cabin caught fire, but they were unconscious, too “out of it” to move. As a result, all of them were killed, and the tragedy shook the entire high school.

About this time Steve totally turned against his parents. He despised them. His hostile mood changes were further affected by changes in his body chemistry from taking “uppers” such as speed, Dexedrine, and Methamphetamine. These uppers were now keeping Steve awake three and four days straight. He was becoming increasingly paranoid because of the lack of sleep. To top it off, Steve had to find a way of releasing the fierce energy bursts that would come upon him. He would stay up all night whacking away with hammers and tools on his newest project—overhauling his sports car. When his dad came home from work he would find his son in the driveway, banging away on the car at all hours of the night. Steve was dropping out of the world fast.

His rage caused him to be in fights at school constantly. He hit one fellow thirty-one times in the face. He cut off another guy’s finger. By the time his orders to appear before the draft board came, Steve defiantly burned his draft card and went on the road. As far as Steve’s parents were concerned, the only place left for him to go was out the front door. They had an incorrigible rebel on their hands who was beyond hope.

Steve’s new place of residence was in a section of Orange County known as Garden Grove, in the hangout of a motorcycle gang. Steve was able to stay as long as he applied his mechanical talents to motorcycle body work. But he soon found out that his fellow tenants were fierce masters. If his parents had been unloving or alienating at times, these new housemates were positively demonic. Steve discovered a terror that he never would have dreamed existed back on the old homestead. He found himself trapped in a spiritual environment that most people don’t know about, or would never want to know about.

The motorcycle gang members were in their mid-thirties, twice Steve’s age. They also carried guns and were heavily involved in crime and drug-dealing. As bad as Steve was, he was innocent compared to them.

Another thing that set Steve apart was his choice of drug. This might seem like a minor point, but it made all the difference in their social world. They were into reds or “downers,” while Steve was maniacally on “uppers.” His frenetic binges got on the nerves of a few of them. One of them especially had it in for Steve and he began scaring him more and more with his guns. It seemed that the increasingly violent and terrifying incidents were rapidly becoming nothing more than a sadistic game.

I will let Steve Mays recount this era, as he has done often when giving his testimony: “One night a motorcycle was tipped over. They woke up and said I did it. I would stay up all through the night and separate bolts and nuts and put them in absolute order. Then I would dump them all out on the floor and work through this same ritual again.

That was how stoned I was. I would take twenty Dexies and crush them, I would add an Exedrin, a vitamin, and put it all in a horse pill and swallow it with coffee. I would get so wired my mind would just fry.

So they woke me up early one morning after my binge was over. They said that I had rolled the bike over. I told them I didn’t touch it. The guy who had it in for me reached for something. Then I saw the blue barrels of a twelve-gauge double barreled shotgun. He told me to open my mouth while the others held me and helped shove it in my mouth. Then I said,‘That isn’t loaded, is it?’ They pulled it out, pointed at the pillow next to my ear, and pulled the trigger. It blew pillow feathers all over the place. Then they stuck the shotgun back in my mouth and smoke began to come out. I thought I was going to die. My paranoia really began to grow from then on. That’s when another guy living there gave me his gun to protect myself. It was then that I started carrying a gun. I would have to stay awake all night to make sure that I wouldn’t die, living in the same house with a guy who wanted to kill me.

Soon after that I was out in the backyard working on my motorcycle. He came out in the yard with a thirty-eight pistol. I was sitting on a gasoline can as a chair, while I worked on the cycle. He shot three rounds into the bottom of the can. He missed me, and it was just by a miracle that the gas can did not blow up with me on it.”

Still, Steve did not leave the house. He learned the lifestyle of his older mentors and became freewheeling with his new pistol. As the house began to sell more and more dope, Steve began to deal more. A girl who came by to get dope wanted to buy it from another guy and not Steve. This infuriated him, so when she walked away, he started firing his gun at her. But he was too stoned to hit her. The bullets flew over her head.

Then the rage mounted. He now wanted to kill something, anything. The target became a cat. “I shot this alley cat with a thirty-eight. It just smiled at me after I shot it. Then I took a pitchfork and ran that through the head. It still continued smiling at me. Then I took a sledgehammer to it. And it still smiled. Finally I took my thirty-eight, put it to the cat’s head, and blew what remained away. It rolled into a ditch and still smiled at me. From that point on, every place I went there was a cat. I think that was the closest I came to being demon possessed.”

A member of the gang told Steve that someone had taken a contract out on him. Steve had been working on three motorcycles that he used, a shovel-headed Harley Davidson 1200 cc Hog, a ’49 Indian, and a Trike. But where do you go when you don’t even know who has the contract out on you? Instead of running, Steve got a shotgun with a twelve-inch barrel and a pistol handle, and began practicing with it in the garden.

But one evening, at a time when Steve wasn’t suspecting anything, his old enemy who lived in the house pulled out a thirty-eight pistol and pointed it at Steve, and said, “I hate you. There’s a contract out on your head, and I may as well collect on it as anybody else.” Steve heard an explosion and felt searing pain, like white-hot wrought iron, tearing the calf of his leg. He passed out.

A day or so later he woke up laying out in some field. He had been given a large dose of reds to knock him out. He discovered cloth rags in the hole in his leg. The muscles of his calf had been blown out. The blood had dried, and the pain was excruciating as he pulled the rags out. He knew that he could not go to a hospital because the authorities had a warrant out for him. Nor could he go home, because his parents (whom he had wanted to kill) would call the authorities.

Incredibly Steve had only one place to turn, the same house where he was shot. Several gang members took him to the home of a nurse he knew, a neighbor of his parents. To silence her, he threatened to kill her. She cleaned out the scabs and dried blood. By the third visit to her, she finally got the courage to call Steve’s parents; Steve’s mother called the authorities while he was still getting his leg cleaned. When Steve and several members of the gang pulled away from the house in their car, they sensed something was up.

Steve describes what looked like a hopeless predicament:

“I hadn’t been home in years. So the authorities used my parents’ house as a stakeout location. As we headed out of the nurse’s house, I noticed a red Mustang making a U-turn. For once we weren’t armed and had no dope. Two guys were in the front seat, and I was in the back. The pursuit began. As we slowed down for a red light, the Mustang ran into the rear of our car, sending us careening into the middle of the intersection where three other cop cars suddenly wedged into us.

They surrounded us with rifles and shotguns and shouted, “If you move, you’re dead.” They pulled me out of the backseat and kicked my legs apart in order to search me. I can still remember the gun being held to my head and the shotguns aimed at us. Once again, I thought for sure that I was going to die. Before I knew it, the officers had slammed my face against the hood of my car, which in the hundred-degree summer heat caused scorching pain. Then they handcuffed my ankles and my hands together; then they handcuffed my hands to my ankles and threw me in the back of the car.

The authorities came and also examined my leg. They realized they had me for draft evasion and thought they had apprehended me—the right suspect for shooting an old lady. I had been accused of shooting this old lady during a robbery. She had told the authorities she returned fire with a rifle and hit the suspect with a twenty-two caliber bullet. Fortunately, it was clearI had been shot by a thirty-eight caliber bullet. Then the authorities let me go!

All I was required to do was report to the draft board, which I did. To my surprise, they also released me, not wanting to send me to Vietnam because of my gunshot wound. I never understood why either agency let me go. However, it is clear to me today that God was beginning to move in my life. Even though being released by the authorities was a miracle, to a gang member, it is probably the worst thing that could happen.

To be the first one released normally meant you sold out your companions to secure your own freedom. Thus, the gang members were convinced that Steve had betrayed them. Therefore, Steve had no place to live. He began sleeping in gutters. Still suffering from drug-induced paranoia, he was now plagued with the possibility of being found, beaten up, or shot again, on the streets. So he continued living as an outlaw.

“I was sleeping in the gutter one day and a couple by the name of Shirley and Henry came out to their car, which was parked near me as I lay in the gutter. They picked me up and took me inside their house, gave me a shower, fed me. She told me she saw Jesus in my eyes. Then she called three different organizations and one of those was the Mansion Messiah House of Calvary Chapel. She asked which one I would like to go to. I replied, ‘I don’t know, Mansion Messiah sounds good.’

They took me over to Mansion Messiah. I walked in with my gun stuck in the back of my pants. Immediately, this little squirt named Orville looked right in my eyes and said, ‘Do you know Jesus?’ And I said no. And then he said, ‘Bow your head, we’re going to ask Jesus into your heart.’ And I said the sinner’s prayer after him. That happened without anyone explaining the Gospel to me.

Everything suddenly clicked. God just grabbed me, reached in and burned in my heart. It was the most incredible power I have ever experienced in my life. It was a tremendous burning sensation of an inner witness. It was something of the awesomeness of God’s love. I can’t even express it.

At that moment God delivered me from drugs. I flushed ten thousand dollars’ worth of drugs down the toilet that day. I have never touched any drugs since that time. I also threw my gun away in the ocean. The residents of Mansion Messiah buried my clothes, they smelled so bad. From then on, I started singing Christian songs by myself when I was just walking down the street.

For the first time in years, I telephoned my mom that same day and told her that I had accepted Jesus Christ. As I was describing what had happened to me, she said, ‘Anything that can save you, I want it right now.’

She came to the Lord over the phone. Then I witnessed to my dad and he said, ‘I don’t want to hear about it. I want to see it.’ So for the next few years, I never witnessed to him, I just lived a changed life. But when it looked like he was dying in the hospital of cancer, I told him I could no longer hold back from discussing Christ with him. His eternal destiny was at stake. It was then, finally, that he accepted the Lord.

Those long years that my parents and I never had a relationship have been replaced by a healed relationship that we share together. In all these changes surrounding my life, it is hard to say what the greatest miracle is. Even my brother, Gary, came to know the Lord along with his wife, Judy.”

Steve Mays frequently shares God has taken him from the “guttermost” to be used to the uttermost:  “It became a family joke when an aunt of mine, who was a Christian, would remind my parents of a prophecy about my life during some of my worst high school years. She said flatly that one day I would be a preacher. Now the impossible has happened. Not only am I, Steve Mays, a Christian, but I am a pastor as well. And who would have ever dreamed, during my most demonic years, that one day I would be pastoring a church that my own parents and brother would attend!”

But this blossoming ministry of Steve’s did not happen overnight. In fact, more than once, it looked as though Steve would never even pastor a church.

In 1971 he became a resident of Mansion Messiah for a year, then switched over to another communal house for another year. It was then that Steve felt God’s voice clearly tell him that he had been called to the ministry. But he had years of cobwebs to clear out of his head from drugs and general rebellion. Christian character had to be formed in Steve in a slow and costly way. There is no shortcut in this process.

Steve’s first position that involved the responsibility of spiritual leadership came after he had spent over two years in two of our Costa Mesa houses. One day Steve felt led to go out to the California desert area of Victorville and start a Christian commune. He called my brother Paul and soon learned that they had been praying for someone to come out and start a commune.

Steve’s desire was granted. Before too long, a house in Victorville was started with a total of thirty residents. Four Calvary Chapel pastors came out of its ministry. Steve also started a coffeehouse. Around this time, he started calling me weekly to bug me about giving him the go-ahead to start a church. But I did not feel be was ready. Indeed, when I finally did call him to come back to meet me one day in Costa Mesa, and Steve was fully expecting me to ask him to come on our staff. He was crushed when I advised him to start a gardening business. He returned to the Victorville commune devastated. In fact, he felt that after all his years of reckless abandon and sin, the only plan God had in store for his life was to punish him out on the desert. And, indeed, that was where he was living at the time, in the midst of his own desert experience.

But those desert years were very important in the Spirit’s preparation of Steve for the ministry that God had in mind for him. Steve had a set of my commentary tapes on the whole Bible and he began to listen to several of them each day. These tapes triggered his desire to know the Bible. His thirst for God’s Word became almost insatiable and he began to build his own library of Bible commentaries which today has become one of the most extensive of any minister I know.

In the desert, Steve began to experience his inner spirit being satisfied by the Living Water. One day in Victorville, as Steve was serving the Lord, an amazing thing happened. A pretty blond girl passed right in front of Steve’s eyes. She had long hair past her waist, with a flower by her ear. Steve recalls: “I couldn’t help but take a second look! Her face was aglow with the love of Jesus Christ. Her name was Gail. Then I heard the most bizarre thing. It was a voice that said, “This is your wife.” I remember responding in my heart, “Satan, get thee behind me!”

Yet Steve knew that it was God speaking to him and that He had laid this woman upon his heart. Steve was stunned and speechless. Yet Gail was only visiting this Christian house. Her home was in Orange County. That evening, Steve immediately began to question exactly what God was speaking to him.  He knew there was something special about Gail. Deciding to search the Scriptures for answers, he opened his Bible and the pages fell open to Proverbs 18. The passage Steve immediatley saw was Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” Steve was still doubtful. He had been hurt by previous relationships and decided to put God to the test.

He prayed, “Okay, Lord, if I call her and it just happens to be her birthday (as he had heard), and if no one is celebrating it with her, and in fact, she is weeping over this, then I will believe.” Steve doubtfully called her. To his amazement, the situation played out exactly as he had asked. He said to her, “Do you want to come out to Victorville and spend time together?” Gail’s response, “I will be there within a couple of hours.” And she left for Victorville immediately.

That evening they went out to dinner. Gail remembers thinking that Steve was too poor to eat as he ordered just a small bowl of soup, but in fact, Steve was too nervous to eat.

Gail thought he was going to invite her to stay in Victorville and help with the commune as one of the sisters in charge of the women. Instead, Steve proposed to her! To his shock, she accepted immediately. Steve recollects: “The next day, I called my mother and told her I was getting married. She was shocked, to say the least. She said, “Stephen, I just talked with you a week ago.” “I know, Mom, but God has really spoken to my heart.” “Stephen, what is her name?” “Gail,” I said. “

And her last name?” “Mom, I didn’t ask her! I will call her and ask her right away!” My poor mother probably wondered if I was back on drugs again.” In a week, Steve and Gail were married, my brother, Paul, performed the ceremony.

Not long after that I called Steve to his first church in the desert. My son had started a church at 29 Palms and had moved on to Yuba City to start a ministry there. This was the last place Steve wanted to go. But he showed up, ponytail and all, to the desert community of a military base. Two years later, absolutely broken, he and Gail showed up at the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa parking lot to find me. In silence, Steve dropped the keys to the church into my palm. The church had divided and finally closed. Steve thought that it was all over as far as being in the pastorate was concerned.

I immediately offered Steve the directorship of half of our Costa Mesa communal houses, including the House of Psalms, where he and Gail lived for seven years. Gail was heartbroken, because she was leaving a three-bedroom house to share a cramped house with forty other people. Their new kitchen became the meeting hall, so Gail did her dish washing in the bathtub. But they also saw over a thousand changed lives pass through those communal houses. It was a sacrifice that had eternal rewards.

After those seven years Steve started a church in Buena Park, now known as Calvary Chapel of Cypress. Then, after two years, he was told by the Lord to leave and submit to another pastor. So for two years he was an assistant pastor at Hosanna Calvary Chapel of Bellflower. He had somehow lost his priorities, he felt, and was now rededicating his life to the Lord. But he was also afraid that he just wasn’t material to be a senior pastor. He had tried this twice and failed. But God was not finished with Steve yet, a fact He would communicate to Steve in a beautiful and unique way, and then back it up circumstantially.

Steve had reached a point of despair in which he had finally given up ever having a church of his own. His final stipulation to the Lord was: “Chuck Smith is going to have to call me to the position.” Then he went on a long overdue vacation.

As Steve was fishing, he started talking to the Lord and asked for some kind of sign: “If I am ever going to pastor again, Lord, I am going to have to catch a fish before this hook leaves the water.” Steve started to reel his line in while the hook glinted under the surface. Just as the hook was about to break through the top of the water, Steve’s eyes welled up with tears. No fish would bite it now, it was too late. Just as it was coming out of the water a tiny fish bit the hook. That tiny fish meant more to Steve than any five-pound bass. For Steve detected the voice of God speaking to his soul, confirming his request for a sign, and then saying, In a little moment, I will speak to you again.

When Steve returned from his vacation, he got the message that he was to call me or Don McClure. He was told over the phone that there had been a meeting of all the senior pastors at the last conference and that when the newly available position of pastor of the South Bay Calvary Chapel was discussed, his name was unanimously recommended. Steve was so excited he almost passed out.

Steve Mays got his church, and the board of senior pastors and I were the ones to recommend it. In 1980 he walked onto the premises of his new church. And Steve got more confirmation from the Lord. Suddenly in the sky he saw a Goodyear blimp. At that moment he heard the Lord speak to his heart, It’s going to be a good year. Then Steve told the Lord that the entire board of elders would have to resign so he could start from scratch. That is exactly what happened.

In 1980 Calvary Chapel South Bay numbered 50 and occupied 1,500 square feet. Within a few years they moved to a bigger facility nearby, 15,000 square feet that they remodeled for $300,000 dollars. By then the Goodyear people had heard the often told story of Steve’s glimpsing the Goodyear blimp, so they took him up for a free ride. It was not only a good year, but they have all been good years. The glorious harvest has come upon Steve Mays’ ministry, and that church of only 110 per Sunday has grown to over 6,000 (over 9,000 today)

Meanwhile the years that the powers of hell stole from Steve have been restored in a stunning way. Pastor Steve was the Regional Overseer and Pastor Leader over Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship which included over 900 Calvary Chapel ministries, both Domestic and International.  He also collaborated with the CHP and developed the South Los Angeles CHP Chaplain program, in which Calvary Chapel Pastors assist the CHP in critical incidents, death notifications and debriefings,  He was invited to speak in Nigeria at the Gideons International Convention in 2002 with Mr, Ken Speakman, sharing with businessmen the truth of God’s Word and the fundamentals of studying His Word,  Pastor Steve was also invited to participate at Oxford University’s Round Table in London, England.  The White House has invited him over on several occasions for special briefings  with other leaders in the faith community.

Steve Mays has become a well-known conference speaker, commencement speaker, author, and has a national radio broadcast, “Light of the Word” which is heard on many radio stations throughout the country ,  Steve has been married to his wife Gail for over 40 years, they have two children, a son Nathan and a daughter Heather, a grandson Anthony and granddaughters, Riley, Hadley, and Kennedy,     And Gail has a home she can be proud of, much nicer than the one she had to abandon at 29 Palms.

The only thing Steve carries on his body to remind him of his former years is that painful scar on his leg, To this day, it still hurts. It serves as a reminder to teach Steve gratitude. It also helps him to never forget the pit from which he came, and the greatness of God’s grace that brought him out of that pit.

Zechariah speaks of the days when Zerubbabel had laid the foundations for the rebuilding of the new Temple as “the despised days of small things.” Steve, for a time, was caught in that desire to build the walls before the foundation was laid. In this, he learned that it is vitally important not to build out of sequence, but to dig deep and lay the foundation on the Rock.

Pastor Steve was a husband, a father, a son , a grandpa a brother and a friend to many who knew him.

I can gladly say I knew Pastor Steve as my pastor, teacher, tutor, and friend.  Pastor Steve knew so well the common denominator  in his life was this thorn of suffering and pain he lived with was one that God had chosen for him, for what only God and Pastor Steve knew.

I came to know Pastor Steve by the leading of the Holy Spirit shortly after I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ 12 years ago.  It was through the lips of Pastor Steve that the Lord confirmed my calling as I sat in the pew that Sunday morning when Pastor Steve was preaching his sermon and quoted directly from the passage in Isaiah 1:18~             “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool”

 A babe in the Lord and having no knowledge of the Bible, I heard the very words when the Lord called me, ‘Marty, come now’, except now it was coming from the Bible through Pastor Steve.  This would begin a thrilling journey as I explored all this new life in Christ would have in store for me.

It would be many months later when I was able to share with the pastor what God had done through his faithful service unto the Lord.   It would also be a short time later that God would use Pastor Steve’s example to lead me, specifically in preparation for the ministry and teaching the Word of God.   I can still remember how people commented on how much I seemed to love to teach the Word of God; I was quick to remind them the inspiration behind it was God’s faithful servant Steve Mays.    After several encouragements by Pastor Steve to, “come on board” on staff at Calvary Chapel Southbay that I said yes, and from that point on, my life was radically transformed.

Pastor Steve taught me to “put God first” .  I remember he’d often lift up his Bible on the pulpit and remind us all the power of the truth inside this book to know who we are, and who God is, and by daily reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation would be the difference maker in seeing the manifestation of all God’s promises come alive in my life. He was always so bold to get to the heart of the matter in the lives of those he met, and so his sermons and conversations with people would be centered on the destructive capacities of sin in walks.     I can still see him lifting up his Bible and saying frankly to us on his staff and the congregation saying; “this book will keep you from sin and sin….will keep you from this book!”

   I had never really understood just how deceived I lived yielding to sin in my life until God used this man to teach me, through the Word how sin came into my life and how allowing sin to abound in me was bondage and a major contradiction to the  liberty given freely through a surrendered life in Christ can bring.

What made all this the more incredible was the example of this man to be used by God as a ‘poured out’ offering through his pain and suffering that his own choice to follow the Lord was one made on knowing that it would lead many to Jesus  Christ because pain n and suffering is something that everyone at some point in their lives was something we could all relate to either directly or indirectly.

Pain and sorrow are everywhere, and no doubt either you or someone you know is experiencing it in some way.  Probably one of the most asked questions about pain and suffering is, Why does allow it in the life of a believer?

a billy

  Billy Graham when asked the question why God allows pain and suffering answered: Know that God does everything He does because it is right and because it is good. We know God will act in accordance to His nature and will. He cannot sin because He is holy. He is also wise and powerful.”


a sprgeon1     Charles Spurgeon’s most famous quote, “God loves us too much to hurt us, and He is too wise to make a mistake. When we can’t trace His hand, when we don’t understand, we can trust His heart.”

The reality is that God doesn’t act on our timetable. He doesn’t follow our agenda. “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep”                       (Psalm 121:4).

Pain and suffering know no boundaries, whether young or old, rich or poor, suffering and pain come into our lives.    The Apostle Paul after experiencing torture, imprisonment, danger and privation on many occasions (2 Corinthians 11:24-33 wrote words of great comfort to his fellow believers in Christ, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…
And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love Him.” Romans 8:18 and 28

God has given us the reasons for human suffering and His requirements of those who want to enjoy life in the everlasting future when‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

 And so just like we trust God with His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 , so must we trust God in Revelation 21:4 that He has an ultimate plan already in place that we in this place, in this body cannot understand, and yet if God were to tell us we couldn’t contain it. 1 Corinthians  2:9- “But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
In one in a series of books Pastor Steve authored titled, ‘OVERWHELMED by GOD and NOT YOUR TROUBLES‘ , Pastor Steve  writes about his own pain and sufferings: ‘I recently told my congregation, “I may have a broken body, but my spirit is not broken”  they responded with applause and gave praise to God.  With tears in my eyes, I had to admit for the first time that I now have physical limitations in my life…..my struggles have included cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep apnea, numerous surgeries to fix my gall bladder, nose, pancreas, shoulders, hips, back and knees, and finally knee replacements! my recent tragic back situation  resulted in titanium rods being placed throughout my spine from vertebrae L1 to T10.

I am thankful for God bringing this man into my life. God indeed used him to define in me the things that needed removal, replacement and fixing.  While I served the Lord at Calvary Chapel Southbay under Pastor Steve, he placed me in several different areas, the last managing the Cafe.  I recall how despite the pain he suffered, I would see him walking through the Cafe in the early hours on Sundays and hours after everyone had been ministered to he would walk through the Cafe, always leaving an encouraging word to me; yet never mincing words on his condition.  I was blessed to have been able to lay hands on him during those moments in praying the Lord’s strength to sustain him. He never once refused, instead making it a habit of coming by at 3:00ish on those Sundays, I think not because he needed anything but more because he wanted to minister.

That’s the man I will always remember. Those times, and the closeness the Lord blessed us to have in the last few months my wife and I were serving on staff and meeting with him. He took the time during the peak of his suffering to be a friend, a pastor.  My God says Pastor Steve is no longer suffering because, ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4.

Pastor Steve has entered into the realm of glory inhabited by Jesus Christ Himself and has received the Incorruptible crown for faithfully running the race.  received the crowns of glory-

 In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. to win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears…….. For what is it we live for, that gives us hope and joy and is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus Christ when he comes back again. for you are our trophy and joy……… In heaven a crown is waiting for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return. And not just to me but to all those whose lives show that they are eagerly looking forward to His coming back again.”  

 2 Timothy 4:8  1 Corinthians 9:24

My encouragement to you is this. Suffering and pain are two instruments  God uses to pry away our grip on the things of this world that are perishing, and freeing us to reach out to the open arms of our eternal destiny that is guaranteed by God, Himself where awaits the eternal glory and joy of His presence, never to depart ever again.  Pastor Steve has joined all the saints in heaven.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Pastor Steve, I will miss you, but I know we will see each other again and all will have come together for good to those who love Him and are callled by God.

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‘What’s on Your List of Priorities Today?’

“And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples (Luke 11:1). 

It has been rightly said, “the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer.” Not just my failure to pray, but my failure in prayer. In the story of the Pharisee and the publican the Pharisee is one who prayed long and often, but he was a miserable failure. His prayers were never heard by God because neither he nor his prayers were ever right with God.

I like what Oswald Smith  said, “when we work, we work, when we pray, God works.”

Throughout history, the men and women that God has used mightily have been people who knew how to pray and for whom prayer was both a priority and a necessity.

Praying for answers to perplexing life issues can result in life changing answers if we accept the truth of His Word and offer a heart of willing obedience as a response.

John 14:12-13 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. and whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Greater works don’t always mean that large things God is doing in us are seen but instead the deeds we are doing that often time is looked upon as a kindhearted response, a gentle smile.  Just knowing that believing Him is enough.

John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”

Most of us recognize and accept, at least intellectually, the need and importance of prayer. We read books on prayer, we talk about it, we ask for prayer from time to time, but somehow, the church today is anything but a praying church.

We may have a few real prayer warriors, but the vision and discipline of prayer requires a commitment from each of us, that means we set aside the things we do..that have empty results and instead make prayer the priority.

The disciples had this same experience. They too fell short in their prayer life and they felt it deeply…….they had obviously heard that John had taught His disciples on prayer and they too wanted instruction (11:1). But was there not something more, something much deeper that provoked this request?

a teach

There was a great Christian speaker named Howard Hendricks who, called attention to the fact that if we were to open our Bibles and read starting with Matthew and were to read through John we would never find an instance where the disciples asked, “Lord teach us how to witness,” or “teach us how to perform miracles,” or “teach us how to teach.” But in this passage, we do find one of the disciples asking, “Lord, teach us to pray . . .” Wow! How significant!

This was a very wise question, a very needed question, and from these disciples who were sometimes so slow about spiritual values, this question becomes extremely significant. What was the motivation behind this question, and why is this so important?

One can only imagine what life with Jesus Christ was like during His ministry on earth….One amazing experience after another! He was forever a source of joy and bewilderment, and I am sure people were constantly trying to explain Him to their own satisfaction with their own kinds of answers.

For a long time I can imagine they tried to explain Christ with typical human explanations. At least at first. They regularly saw demonstrations of His power. They both heard His wise words and saw His wonderful works. They saw the lame walk, the blind see, the sick healed, the deaf hear, and the demon possessed dispossessed. Furthermore, they had all experienced the emptiness of the religion of their day and so, through all of this, you know they were watching the Lord and seeking answers to the miracle of His life.

As they studied His life one of their conclusions was that He was God incarnate (John 1:14). But is that conclusion what evoked this question? I don’t believe so……. I believe it was something else they constantly saw in the man Jesus that they began to suspect was part of the answer to His life. What was it? Our immediate response is of course, “It was prayer.” Right? Not exactly! It was not just prayer.

The Pharisees prayed and so did the disciples. It wasn’t  just prayer; it was the way He prayed in relation to all that He was and all that He did in His life on earth. It was His manner and attitude in prayer that saturated His total being and living, His every step and action, and that manifested the intimacy of His relationship with and dependence on the Father. Prayer was never just a religious responsibility nor exercise Christ engaged in because He was obligated to do so.

Prayer for the Lord proceeded out of a basic attitude of deep dependence that resulted in a very intimate fellowship.    Jesus was totally convinced that He could do nothing of own resources. It is this that undoubtedly brought deep conviction and longing in the lives of the disciples. They came to recognize that, while they could be believers in the Lord, they could not be true disciples who became like their teacher (Luke 6:40) unless they learned to pray to the Father like the Lord Jesus in the intimacy and dependency that Jesus constantly demonstrated.

Prayer is not for emergency use only, when we get in a pinch and need someone to bail us out.  Prayer is not an “Aladdin’s Lamp” or a trip to the wishing well for our wants. Prayer is a means of intimate communion, fellowship, and dependence upon God the Father who has promised to work in and through us through His Son, just as God worked through Him.   Prayer is for everyday living, moment by moment. Prayer is a means of claiming God’s promises and knowing and becoming abandoned to God’s will.

John 14:10-14 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.’

Prayer is something that can be learned, but learned best through practice. The more you pray, the better you become in it.   I remember when I begin to learn how to pray during Home prayer nights when we would gather together in a designated home and exercise the art of praying.  It was amazing to hear the prayers of others. There seemed to be always one or two in the group who had engaged in prayer often, it just seemed to show in their prayers.   Prayer is definitely something everyone can do. One may not feel confident in teaching, and yet content in a prayer circle.  Prayer is a skill that can be developed through practice.

And the disciples, one of them said, “Lord, just teach us to pray.”  It was important enough for them to ask, and see a need to add into their walks.  I believe prayer is something we all can, and need to learn.  I need to learn to pray more effectively.

When I first came into the Ministry, God saw to it that I learn to develop a life of prayer. I was able to gain experience while praying during services.  Intercession, or praying for the needs of others, while they were actively listening to the Word preached was very powerful for me. Being involved at a level where God was fully engaged with people I didn’t even know, and seeing people come up later and thank you for your prayers was indeed moving, and enriching  in my learning prayer life.

Like John 3:16, almost everyone has at one time in their lives either heard, read, memorized this prayer in Luke 11.

Jesus’ Apostles had watched Him often go into secluded areas and pray alone. The Scriptures show us one of three instances when Jesus prayed to the Father in their presence; once at the Mount of Olives, again, in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus agonized in prayer the night before His crucifixion. and here, after spending time with Mary and Martha and their family, where the Apostles ask Him for guidance how they might prayer.

“And He said unto them, when you  pray, say Father..”
Prayer always begins with relationship. If there is not an established relationship, there is no basis for prayer. The Father’s ear is always open to the children’s cry. And if you have that relationship with God where you can say, “Father,” then you’ve established that relationship that opens prayer for you, effective prayer for you. But if you do not have that relationship, then prayer is meaningless.
And so the Lord’s Prayer begins with a word of relationship.  Jesus showed His relationship with God, by calling Him Father.  There is only one prayer God wants to hear from one who is not  His child, and that prayer is, “God, have mercy on me, for I am a sinner.”  
If you’re reading this, and you are not His child, you can be by establishing that relationship with Him according to His promise in Romans Chapter 10, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe from your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”  At that very moment, you become His child, and that relationship has been established. This open up an immediate opportunity of prayer between you and God!
And so, prayer begins with relationship.
Making prayer a priority in your life will come with great opposition. No doubt, you’ve experienced the increase in distractions around you as you began to bring the priority
of getting things resolved through prayer.   This makes making prayer a priority even more important. If prayer wasn’t so important, than why does the devil make such a fuss at keeping us from praying?
As I close, I have a few prayer requests myself I hope you can join me in.
1. Pray for Pastor Steve Mays (Calvary Chapel Southbay Torrance Ca.) He’s undergoing another back surgery on the 22nd of September.
2. Keep Joetta a missionary in Kenya in your prayers.
3. Keep Buddy in prayer, he has cancer.
This Devotional Blog represents a Spiritual Marker-stone in my wife’s and my walk with God in that it carries with it a deeper significance of prayer more than ever.  We have taken a step of faith and trusting God in moving from Southern to Northern California to establish a new work in San Rafael, Ca.    One thing has become more important than anything else is that our prayer lives collectively and individually must increase if we are to become more intimate and personal with God.
We must make prayer a priority over every decision made.
As we have endeavoured to pursue that prayer become a priority,  we ask each of you, throughout the world who read these devotionals to join with us, as we join all the saints before us who discover the most vital and rewarding part of this new life in Christ is making prayer more in our lives and as we have more of Christ in our lives, others will see more of Him and want to know Him too!
Please add us to your prayers, that God would give us wisdom, discernment, boldness; direction, and open doors; that His church would be established here in San Rafael, ‘not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit.’
May God bless you, and comfort you, and bring you His peace.
Today’s Video!  Enjoy!
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‘Why is God Silent in My Prayers?’


 “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”   Luke 18:1

Life is unjust. Upon accepting an award, the late Jack Benny once remarked, “I really don’t deserve this. But I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either.”

Have you ever come to a point when you’ve felt like you’re on the wrong side of justice; someone has done you wrong, and with all calls, e-mails, texts, voice mails; your situation just isn’t getting resolved.  Jesus knew that His disciples would be running into many of these kind of situations; where they would be getting the ‘short end of the stick’……. sometimes life just doesn’t appear to be fair.


Jesus uses an example here of a widowed woman who had been wronged, and a cynical Judge who ‘neither feared God nor had any respect for people’; he tended to distrust motives behind what people were  saying and might be believing..  He was what you’d call a typical 1st century judge, just doing his job in order to make money.  On the other end was the ‘mouthy widow’…..a very demanding individual who repeatedly approached this judge, over and over, incessantly bugging him for justice in her situation..  The issue was probably that she wasn’t getting her rightful share of an inheritance of her deceased husband.   The inheritance laws of her time created big problems for women when their husbands died. Male relatives, sons would end up getting the inheritance leaving widows helpless and desolate.

Jesus loving to use the issues of the day as examples began using an illustration of something listeners would be able to relate to.   Widows were at this time the poorest people in society often because they were denied their just right to an inheritance of their dead husbands.  In most cases, widows wouldn’t do anything.  They would not, like this widow complain and demand justice.   This parable is looked at as a comparison between the judge and God.

The word Jesus uses to describe the judge is interesting.  Translated ‘unjust’in the Greek is adikias.   The meaning here is defining this judge as one who was wicked, unrighteous….unjust.

a unjust

In this instance, Jesus laughingly praises the unjust judge and compares God with him. “Will not God much more rapidly listen and grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him, day and night? Will he wait in helping them? No, he will grant them justice, quickly.”

I am so thankful that when I am facing an injustice, whether being taken advantage of, falsely accused that God will not be slack in His response to help me. Jesus is saying that God will listen and grant justice to His chosen ones quickly!

No matter what the situation was, Jesus developed a reputation to those around Him that He was dependable, and righteous, so many times throughout the Scriptures we see situations Jesus was pressed into  where the defining moment was knowing that justice would be served.

There is a saying in the world that the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” 
It means that if you are loud and annoying enough, people will do what you want to get you to shut up……in other words, loud and obnoxious people tend to be heard and heeded. This widow was not giving in until she received what she felt was rightfully hers.

a squeaker

Sometimes you may think that God isn’t adjusting the scales fast enough in your wronged situation.  I’ve counseled with some people recently who are facing a struggle as they pray for the injustice in their lives. They’ve shared that they’ve prayed and prayed over a situation and have received an apparent silence from God for their requests.. To their frustration they end up giving up praying for that injustice because God just doesn’t seem to be answering….

If you have, you are not alone…..I am sure all of us have faced times when prayer did not seem to be having any effect upon our situation.   Maybe some of you right now find yourself facing a time of injustice; you’ve been wronged; you’ve prayed, and gathered friends together to pray with you over this and yet it may seem that God is silent.

Maybe you are finding yourself asking , why isn’t God listening?  Or is He listening and we just don’t see the work that is going on?

a never

For me, I’ve grown to learn that in every situation I may find myself in; whether it’s my doing or someone else’s wrong doing against me, God loves them too! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that by believing in Him, you would not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

Sometimes I can be quite a selfish person.  The Bible says to me just how evil that can be. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

a heart

And just about the time I start feeling sorry for myself because I’ve been wronged I’m reminded in my Bible what an extremely selfish person I am: ” O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  Romans 7:24


 “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”   Luke 18:1

And so, when we have been wronged, we need to pray. And when it seems that our prayers for justice aren’t getting the kind of response we’d like, we need to quit feeling sorry for ourselves and yielding to the alluring of our flesh, that suggest we are wasting time praying, and take matters into our own hands.

a matter in your own hand

There are some, who see the only resolve in an injustice is to take matters into your own hands.  All you have to do is open up your newspaper and take a look at the front page news, and see how much of this attitude prevails in our society.   Sadly, those very same people find themselves in court, for trying to be the judge in someone else’s in justice.   The Bible warns against the danger of  this kind of action. ……Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

a trust in

There are so many times I look back in my life and remember the consequences of doing what was right at the time….. only to find myself as one who didn’t stop and think just how things were going to turn out.  Oh there are times when we don’t have much time to think about what to do, we just seem to be led to them, and later conclude that it wasn’t us at all, it was but by Divine Intervention.  I believe that when we allow God to guide our steps, especially when we really don’t have the answer, I can see clearly the footsteps of a loving and caring God, who can do the impossible without a mistake.

 “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”   Luke 18:1

a dont

And so, what do we learn from this today?  Two things I need to remember when I am caught in a situation where injustice has come my way.

1. Don’t take matters into your own hand.

2. Instead, begin to pray persistently.

 All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

a all things 1

Jesus is telling us to pray persistently. The widow is persistent in pleading her case for justice and even an unjust judge, because of her persistence, gives her what she requests.

But why does God want us to pray persistently?  Why can’t we just pray once and have Him answer us?    I think it is because when I am praying persistently, I tend to find myself more focused on One who not only sees the situation, but has power to bring a righteous judgment. A judgment that will leave both sides satisfied with the results.   When I am focused in my prayers, I tend to leave the problem with God, and immediately I have the peace of God who is in me.  I’m no longer striving to make things work under my own puny strength!

a focus

And so, I need to be focused in my persistent prayer over a matter like this. Let go, and let God give you the victory in it!   This widow had a legitimate need, and she kept going back to the one who could meet her need.  Even though this judge did not ‘fear God or care about people’  God still gave him power.   And so this widow was focused on who had the power to meet her need.

 a focus 2

There is a matter, that I have been praying over for the last year.  Throughout this time, I confess that I’ve determined through my prayers for it, that even though the answer hasn’t come completely, I am confident that God is at work preparing the things associated with this while I am praying……

a plan

 I believe that God has the better plan for my life and in this particular request. … “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)    And yet I sometimes find instead of being focused on my prayer for this, I find myself distracted.   I know when this comes in because it begins to take my attention on the bigness of God and the small-minded thinking of Marty.

Lovingly I am quickly corrected by the reading of the Word of God being often reminded by God who He is, which quickly sets my focus back on track.  ” Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”               (Jeremiah 32:27)

a plana

When I am focused on God’s ability over my unjust situation, I began to think about all the things God has done previously, and how the most powerful of the work was being done in seemingly silence…..oh what a comfort it is to me to know that God is working things out for me and that,  “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28     When the month lasted longer than the money, He was working all things out!  Oh what a joy it is to know this simple truth!


And so the Lord wants me to be persistent in my prayers, stay focused, and by so doing I am able to remember and see the greatness of God in my own life, and just know that He already has it worked out for good!    Being focused in my prayer also helps me to see who I am in this picture.

a increase

The widow recognized that she in her own ability was powerless and  could not get justice for herself.    It is such a freedom to understand this thought.  John the Baptist clearly understood this on meeting Jesus personally, how at the time so many people were coming to him for answers, and he was only able to point to the coming Messiah that not only had all the answers but the power to change injustice.  He said later about his own power, “He must increase, and I must decrease”  (John 3:30)

I have learned to recognize in my own life just how powerless I am…..but as a child of God I have the capacity through Jesus to point them to Him for the answers.  As I decrease in other people’s evaluation of me, and He increases in me, people are free to explore that freedom themselves by reading the Word of God and communing with Him in prayer.  This is the ultimate focus….  When I need a reminder of the joy in this I am reminded of that old hymn written in 1922 by Helen L. Lemmel

a turn

” O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free!  Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

I can  still remember fondly the day I turned my eyes off of my own powerless capacity and reached out to Jesus.  When I came to recognize who I really was, really for all practical purposes, powerless!   But oh, how God answered my cry, and in His power lifted me up and I became a child of God.    John 1: 12 tells us that   “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God”

There is a wonderful story  about a Roman emperor in his chariot as a part of a parade, Cheering people lined the streets while the legionnaires were stationed to keep the people at a safe distance. The emperor’s family sat on a platform to watch him go by in all the pride of his position. As the emperor came near the place where his family was stationed, a young boy jumped from the platform, burrowed through the crowd, and tried to dodge a Legionnaire so he could run to the emperor’s chariot. The soldier stopped him and said, “You cannot go near him.” The boy laughed, then said; “He may be your emperor but he is my father.” Then he ran into his father’s open arms.

a child

When I came to understand that as a child of God, He became my Father; and as a Father, He lovingly desires to give me the desires of my heart.  And yet there are times my desires don’t always match up with what a loving Father knows is best for me at that time.  Sometimes we can find ourselves in that place, kind of like the widow in this parable.  We think that justice needs to be served swiftly; after all, ‘I am a child of God!’.

When I think in this way not knowingly my understanding becomes clouded, I seem to forget that God loves everything He created…..and that means even the person who brought that injustice across my path.   And so as I persistently pray it helps me to focus on who I am and realize that I unable to handle this myself; and yet my Bible says I have help coming, if I would just pray!

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16


I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled to know that whatever, whenever, I have a need, something weighing me down, that as a child of God, I can come and express myself before God.   Especially, when I feel I’ve been wronged. It never fails that when I am in a tangle with someone it tends to leave me weak, worn out. What a joy it becomes when I pray persistently over things I have no control over. There simply is nothing left in me to stand against ill acts of injustice.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:10 that, “For when I am weak….then I am strong.”

a weak


The peace and freedom that I can have in a difficult situation when someone stronger than me is priceless.  There is such an exhilaration knowing that I don’t have to worry about that particular thing, I have prayed, and even though it didn’t appear like it wasn’t answered, I can come to the Father, and receive His grace upon grace.

When I am persistent in my prayer for a specific thing, here we talk about injustice, and I don’t see any results yet, I can tend to stop praying about it… You give it enough time and for certain, other things seem to come our way.  Only later do we find God’s hand was at work all the time.  The injustice we, at the time thought was most important comes out to be not as important as we thought… and so when I am regularly persistent in my prayers on certain matters that are important to me, I began to see a bigger picture than what I thought was so important, at that time.

a big

But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

You see, when I am in a jam, I only look for one way out, for myself. I don’t always  consciously look at all that is going around my problem.  And yet, my Bible says that without a determined effort to become persistent in my prayers as I’m going through things, I tend to lose focus, and can even find myself wandering off the path.

However,  when I am focused, praying like I mean it, letting go of the issue, lay it at the feet of a powerful God, I begin to see differently.  I begin to see the things that God sees. Things that are important to Him.  As I do this, I see people around me, that are just as lost in our perception of what God is doing, what God is fixing right before my eyes, and guess what?  It’s not all about me!  When I am not persistent in prayer especially in things dealing with injustice, I can lose sight, forget that my God is all about making things right….on both sides.  What I thought was important; becomes not important, in the big picture.    And so God wants me to pray persistently  so I can keep focused on who He is.  When I do this, I just don’t get so pre-occupied with all I want people to think that I am.

There is a temptation for me to garner other people’s appreciation for who I am, and what I can do in the lives of people around me.  It use to be that if I didn’t garner this kind of response from people around me, I took it very hard internally.  This is a very destructive form of bondage that when kept inside, will taint any fruit that God wants us to produce in our walks, our relationships with each other.  It’s this temptation of the flesh, the ‘old man’ who still resides in this new body in Christ.  It seems the ‘old man’ wants to get in on all the action that comes from a vibrant walk with God.

The problem is, you cannot bear fruit with his mindset.  Walking with Jesus, means that He’s leading the way. Wherever He walks, there is always fruit.  Withe the ‘old man’ the best he can conjure up is ‘plastic fruit’.

a fruit

It’s amazing how much manufactures have come in making realistic products that look like the real thing!   Unfortunately, the way prices are now; we can only look at imitation fruit.  There is no smell of its sweetness, no feel at touch , no way we would ever attempt to eat it, unless we were fooled!  In a similar way, God is the only One who can make real fruit. He made the fruit for a purpose, to be eaten, enjoyed.

Sometimes when I am praying persistently I can develop the attitude that I’ve never seen the result of my prayer therefore, I’m going to give up. Maybe God doesn’t want me to have it.   And yet, it takes time for real fruit to develop, to become ripe. And I think part of why God wants us to persist in prayer is that by it, we began to bear fruit. 

Let’s go back to our parable in Luke 18:5-7
“Yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’”  And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

Jesus was saying it’s only a matter of time, as God deems when the persistent prayer of the widow would……bear fruit!   I can’t begin to tell you just how thrilled I am in knowing this truth!  Imagine, my persistent prayer is finally going to pay off!

a hard work

I find it invigorating when goals I have set for myself begin to take fruit!  They become reachable, you can touch it, smell it!    I have to confess, I have been trying to lose about 15 lbs. for months, and the other day, I finally saw evidence of all my persistent  hard work!  I can’t even begin to tell you how it felt to see that scale show minus 6 lbs.!  I really think this is the same reaction God is training me in righteousness as I read my Bible and become persistent in my prayer time every day.  The difference between this and my own ‘goals’ is that even though I have gained temporary power over my flesh, losing the weight, I am still powerless to keep it off!   When I come to God in persistent prayer, I can come powerless, and experience the fruit HE produces as I let go and let Him do it!

Jesus says in John 15:7-8, ” If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.

a abiding

It always amazes me how God would use people like us to labor with Him through our praying, and especially exciting when we begin to see answers to things we’ve prayed for ourselves but even more in the lives of other people we were praying for. This is the kind of fruit that the God is talking about.

It seems that when we hear the term, ‘bearing fruit’ we almost always see it manifested in what we perceive to be the ‘outcome’ of the thing itself.  As if we had anything to do with it bearing fruit.  The reality is that when we see ‘fruit bearing’ in someone else or our own lives it is because of laboring in prayers.  The ‘fruit’ is actually evidence of answered prayers.

a answer

It has become a mystery how God has ordained prayer to work, and yet He gives us the privilege of praying, asking Him for our and others needs, and it’s all done so that everyone can see the glory of God at work!

There have been times when people will call me for prayer, and in due time, God answers those prayers.  This is so incredibly awesome when I receive these calls back… ‘Marty, you’re not going to believe this, but God answered YOUR prayer!  I just knew He would answer YOUR prayer because YOU are such a dedicated PRAYER WARRIOR!’   I can’t begin to tell you how utterly embarrassed I am when I hear this; since I had nothing to do with the answered prayer.  Lovingly I have to remind the person that it is GOD who answered the prayer… I am powerless, I wouldn’t know where to start in answering a prayer; I simply do not have the ability or capacity to take any credit for it!   And so we need to remember that our praying for others and God answering those requests is all about God, His power, His capacity to make it happen; therefore always make sure HE gets ALL the glory!   I think God does this in this manner because other people will see the miraculous answered prayer and they themselves will turn to Jesus for their own needs!  God alone gets the glory!

a answered prayer

And so, our answered prayers become evidence and fruit because we can have this incredible opportunity with Jesus that He sees us worthy to allow us to partake in this great work that people who don’t know God can come to know Him by doing our part in introducing them to Him in prayer!  Jesus promises us that He will never fail to do His part, the biggest part; answering the prayer for His glory.

“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.”  John 15:7-8

a abide

Persisting in prayer means we will bear fruit as evidenced  by answered prayers, which results in people seeing the glory of God alive in and around their lives.  When people see God answering our prayers, people see a Living God. One able to meet their needs also!

Finally, not only does our persistent praying keep us focused, and fruitful, it gives me an opportunity to demonstrate my faith.But not only does persistent prayer help

“I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8

a faith corrie

When I am persisting in my prayers I am saying, God, I believe in you!   It’s amazing how many everyday things and events in your daily lives that we believe in.  We see the Postman delivering mail and packages and we believe that he’s honest. We order our ‘InnOut’ burger with extra, extra tomatoes, and crispy fries, and we believe that when we get it, it will be just as we asked.  We believe that the car was fixed,…etc.  And yet when it comes to believing God, taking Him at His Word in prayers, we do fall short.   I believe that’s the reason God gives us so many opportunities to exercise this gift, that by seeing more prayers answered, we’ll  believe that God will answer them.!

Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him

a faith velieving

Have you ever prayed, even persisted in your prayers and yet were left with the thought that maybe God isn’t listening to my prayer?  I know there have been times in my frustration, (later to find out in my flesh) that even though I was being persistent in my prayers, something was missing. I just couldn’t get a handle on it until someone just happened to say, have you tried reading the Scriptures about God’s promises during prayer and all the answered prayer examples in the Word of God?

Have you ever experienced a time when it seems God is silent.  There just doesn’t seem like things aren’t moving at all?  I was reading Psalm 77 where it appears as though God was unresponsive to the prayers of the psalmist; as if God was silent.  I remember reading a book by Ray Stedman  where he said that the ‘reason why God would allow the psalmist to go through such a time of trial, doubt, and despair’ was that  “God wanted the psalmist to move to a deeper level of faith.”  And when we become even more persistent in our prayers, God is deepening our faith, maturing us in our relationship with Him.   By no means has He left you; He is even closer than ever.

God uses our prayer life especially as we become persistent to deepen our walks with Him, and in what appear to be time gaps where nothing appears to be happening to strengthen our bond with Him.  It keeps us focused and as we become aware of our powerless condition it helps us to see His strength and power, and come to recognize trials and testings as opportunities God has given us to grow and draw deeper in our relationship with Him.   All this results in others seeing God in action throughout all our lives, (Good & Bad) and see the glory of God working through us!

 Jeremiah 33:3 says:  “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

 When I  do business with God, then God will do business with me! This verse teaches me that God moves in response to my prayers. Let us never forget this.



There is a great illustration on the power of persistence as demonstrated by a lowly ant.

 In relating a story from his early life, there was a man named Tamerlane, an Oriental Conqueror who once told his friends this story, titled: “Observe the Ant”

a ant corn

He said, “I once was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a dilapidated building where I sat alone for many hours.   Wishing to divert my mind from my hopeless situation, I fixed my eyes on an ant carrying a kernel of corn……. larger than itself up a high wall……..I counted its attempts to accomplish the feat.  The corn fell 69 times to the ground…..but the insect persevered……..And then, the 70 time it reached the top.   The ant’s accomplishment gave me courage for the moment, and I never forgot the lesson.

  “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”   Luke 18:1

a never

Let Persistent praying become a daily part of your life, you’ll find that you’ll never walk away empty handed!

Lord, thank You for the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, of whom without we would be sorely lacking in our  communion through our prayers to You.   Forgive me when I become restless when I am not focused, knowing Your perfect plan is in place, yes Lord, ‘You are to increase, and I must decrease’ that I see my powerless condition to reveal Your Might!  Thank You God that silence doesn’t mean anything more than I get to spend time closer to You.  Bless all those who have taken the time to understand the importance of persistence in our prayers!  

Today’s video Enjoy!

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‘A Faith Seen’

a eye faith

“Faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see”

The dictionary defines faith as “belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.”

The Bible says that ‘without faith, we have no place with God, and it is impossible to please Him.’ Hebrews 11:6


Ephesians 2:8 makes it clear that faith is a Gift from God, not because we’ve earned it, or are worthy to have it, it is a Gift from God.


Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. If you are having problems trusting God, you need to read His Word. Everyday, you need to read God’s Word, the Bible, and learn more about Him, about His character. Then you will start to trust Him more.


 It is an absolute belief that God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there is no tangible evidence to support that fact. On the other hand, fear, simply stated, is unbelief.   Unbelief is an obstacle to a healthy faith. If left unchecked, fear gains the upper hand in our thoughts, fear takes hold of our emotions.

Our deliverance from fear and worry is based on faith, which is the very opposite of unbelief. We need to understand that faith is not something that we can produce in ourselves. 


God has an unusual way to develop a strong faith and trust towards Him.  He uses Adversity as His most effective tool refine our faith.  When we remember that faith is nothing we develop ourselves, since we didn’t ‘give it to ourselves’, it becomes very freeing to know that God, being the giver of my faith is the also the source of that faith.

God has taken it upon Himself to personally see to it each day that the faith He has given to Marty, be not only supplied, but exercised.


Adversity is God’s most effective tool to develop a strong faith in me. I know this to be true by my reading in God’s Word the various patterns in other people’s lives.

God will take each one of us through fearful situations, and as we learn to obey God’s Word and allow it to saturate our thoughts, we find each trial becomes a stepping stone to a stronger and deeper faith. It gives us that ability to say, “He sustained me in the past, He’ll carry me through today and He’ll uphold me in the future!”

God worked this way in David’s life. When David volunteered to fight against Goliath, he said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine”   (1 Samuel 17:37)

David knew the God who had sustained him through dangerous situations in the past. He had seen and experienced God’s power and protection in his life, and this developed within him a fearless faith.

a fearless faith

There are……. many things that I believe in that I don’t and have not seen.

My wife, Patty and I were recently on a trip where we had first hand experience in the phenomena of wind.   We witnessed first hand the effects of what wind does. My wife’s hair was tossed to and fro as she stepped outdoors. We had to put Murine in our eyes because of the effect of the wind blowing dust into our eyes.  We had to wash the windshield often because of the bugs that were tossed around by the wind and into our windshield.    Even though we couldn’t actually see the wind, we did see the effects of the wind. (The result of the winds power)

a wind

  I have grown to believe in the wind, even though I have never actually seen the wind…… Oh I do see the effects of the wind……I see the trees that are bending as a result of the force of the wind.. I see the blowing leaves…I see the dust that is being carried about; and so even though I cannot actually see the wind, I do see the eevidence of it.

The wind, we can feel it. We can categorize it’s effects…. People would ask us, ‘hey how was your trip, was it windy?’  I might reply with something like, “Oh, it was a cold, biting wind,” or if you’re in the Los Angeles area during the Fall months, you might hear people saying; “The winds were vicious, they were the ‘Santa Anna’s’ , definitely the kind of wind that you can feel.

a candlestick

I remember years ago when I lived in the Bay Area in Northern  California, where I had season seats at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.  If it was a day game, you could count that about the 6th inning the winds would come roaring in.  Even though you couldn’t see it, you could see the ‘evidence’ of its arrival when your baseball cap was being lifted off your head, and hot dog wrappers were seen whirling about in the outfield.  You could see the evidence of it, and you came to believe in the wind, though people didn’t actually see the wind itself…….

a magnet

  • Magnetic force–I believe in it, although I’ve never seen it. I see its effect as I bring opposite poles together and I watch them attract. And so I believe in the magnetic powers or the magnetic force, but I have never seen it. I see evidence of it.

I see evidence of God. I feel the presence of God. I feel the power of God. I feel the love of God. I see the evidence of God’s existence, through faith, I believe in the existence of God, although I’ve never seen God.

The writer in the book of Hebrew’s 11:13, explains that, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”

a faith science
Incredible statement especially from a scientific standpoint.

The Bible said that God said, “Let there be light.” God said, “Let the waters above the firmament be divided from the waters beneath the firmament.” God said, “Let the earth bring forth herb yielding seed after its kind.” God said these things . . .  I believe that God spoke the scene world into existence so that the things which we do see were made out of things which do not appear. It takes a lot of faith to deny evidence that Jesus Christ never existed at all.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….”

The Greek word Pistis(pis’-tis); means conviction of truth based on belief in something.  In order to understand faith, I need to understand “Truth”. Truth is what is real as opposed to what is not real.

a believe

God either does or does not exist. He cannot both exist and not exist.  Faith believes “Something” is “True” without having actually witnessing its actualization.  I do not have to believe I exist, I know I exist it not a matter of faith.   On the other hand, faith is required of me in this physical world.  When I approach my truck to start it, there is a degree of faith required of me.

There is no assurance that the truck is going to start just because it started in the past.  But once the truck has started, faith is no longer in operation.. because now I know the truck starts.   Since my truck has started in the past, I have a degree of faith that it will start in the future… faith continues as I drive along and go over the Golden Gate Bridge…. I have faith that the bridge will support my truck, from experience, I therefore am confident it will do so again!

       In the same way, though I have not actually seen God, I have faith in Him. My faith in Him grows from experience and understanding.  In other word, as I become more confident in God’s faithfulness, I learn to trust His Word.

a trust

The more I understand God’s faithfulness through the reading and studying of His Word, my faith grows by the experiences that follow. I can see the work of God through my experiences and watch my faith grow.  Instead of reacting to a certain crisis like I used to do, I remember God’s faithfulness the last time, and see by the promise in His Word that He has never let me down!

         Though I have not seen God, I have faith in Him. My faith experience doesn’t happen all at once.   Instead, my faith grows from experience and understanding, as I become more confident in God’s faithfulness, I learn to trust His Word.  The more I understand God’s faithfulness through His “Word” the more my faith grows.

In closing, it seems that the more I read about faith, the less I understand just how it works. My walk in faith is really not about how much I understand it, and more about how often I do it. And so faith becomes more of an exercise, kind of like when we begin an exercise program, to take a few pounds off or get in better shape. We can read the brochures over and glance at those beautiful color portraits of the facilities, and sigh and dream about it, or we can just put our hands to the plow and just start doing it.

Sometimes we just haven’t a clue where to begin in this walk with God, and I’m often reminded of what  one of my Pastor’s who often said, “just do what is in front of you”

a another faith

Do what’s in front of you, it may not look like what you have or had in mind, but with God, walking in faith will require you to keep moving forward. Faith, how can I know that I’m walking in it?  It’s the evidence of things unseen.  It’s when you don’t see it, that you know you’re walking in faith.

“Faith is being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see”

a eye faith

Do you need prayer today? Are there questions about your faith that you’d like me to pray about, let me know.  Look at today’s music video…..and remember, ‘I’ll see you around the bend, or up in the air.’


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‘Do I Have What It Takes?’

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Trials and tribulations are words that we do not like to hear, and yet as I read my Bible and see that whether or not I agree with God on having them enter into my life, I have come to realize that they are to God like a scalpel that a doctor would use in a surgery where he would cut something out that is potentially harmful to my physical health.  In the same way, God uses trials to remove those things in my character that if left unchecked will result in a stunted and weak spiritual development.

No matter who you are, man or woman, young or old, they come to us in every walk of life.  There are some who will face financial trials for their entire life…..  One thing for sure, the longer you live, you will face many trials or troubles.  It might be family, or relationships, but they will come.

There are some who believe that if you become a Christian, that all of your trials will go away.  There are even some inside the church that say that if you just believe in Jesus, everything will be great!  Sadly, I have not run into this kind of belief in Scripture.

Quite the contrary.  Jesus never told His followers that if they followed Him, that everything would be great or rosy.  Jesus did tell  people that followed Him that it will be a difficult road.  But good news!  These trials will come and go, as God faithfully uses them to slowly but surely transform your life into a way you could never have imagined!


In  2 Peter 2:9 , the Holy Spirit says: “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”

Hallelujah! it is music to my ears that the ‘Lord knows how!” because I have to admit that if left to my own resources, I would crumble at the thought of another trial.  But the Lord know how, when I’ve had enough, making sure to never give me more than I can handle.       Lord, thank You that You are always my strong right hand, to help us in times of need. We don’t ask for ways out of these trials Lord, but we do ask that You give us Your wisdom, that we might become learners and applying Your wisdom int0 our lives and become like Paul, rejoicing, trial after trial!, trusting in Your Saving and wonderful grace! in  Your Name we pray this and in Jesus Name, Amen.



There is an instruction still given today to those in the ‘Peace Corps’ as they serve in the areas throughout South America.  The instruction?  ‘How to react  to a hungry python while in the jungles.

#1. Do not run away! (The python can out ‘run’ you.)

#2. Lie down flat on the ground on your back with your feet together, arms at your side, head well down.

Now then, the python will then try to push its head under you, experimenting at every possible point. Keep calm! (this was underscored).  ‘Allow the python to swallow your foot….it is quite painless, and will take a long time. Be careful not to lose your head and begin struggling, the python sensing your struggle will quickly whip his coils around you.

 However, if you keep calm and still, he will go on swallowing.  Wait patiently until he has swallowed up to about your knee, then carefully take your knife and insert it into the distended side of its mouth and with a quick rip, slit him up.’

The spiritual lesson when you are under pressure, being tested, is to what? Stay calm! wait until God opens a door of opportunity to walk out unharmed.  Walking out unharmed is really what the testing is all about.

Either way, whether you pass the test (calm, obedient) or fail the test (anxious, fretful) God will not allow the pressure to become so large that you become consumed by it.  Remember, (and I say this carefully to myself), this time of testing is more for ourselves, to see it as a barometer of where we are in regards to our faith and trusting that ‘He who began a work in us is faithful to complete it.” Philippians 1:3-6.  God is a loving Father, and will not abandon you in the middle of a trial. “I have not lost one of those You gave to me’  John 18:9



God Has given us 3 Extremely Powerful words of Encouragement when one is in a Season of Trial.

First Encouragement:      Despite popular belief… The Bible teaches us that God will bring us into Seasons of Trial……. in fact one of the best tests of Christian growth and maturity is trouble……….   When a believer goes through personal trials, they discover just what kind of faith they really possess. Trials not only reveal our faith, but they also help along to develop our character.

a faith

James writes in his Epistle, Chapter 1 how God is trying to produce in us the kind of faith that overcomes. “The trying of your faith worketh patience.”

Patience is enduring faith, faith with staying power.     This kind of faith will usually come trials and tests from outside circumstances.

I don’t know about you, I kind of like this kind of faith, with ‘staying power’.  Unfortunately, when certain things occur outside my normal circumstances….I have a difficult time gaining any appreciation for them at that moment..

Nevertheless, God is trying to produce in me a  “faith that overcomes,” that ‘endures,’ that has ‘staying power.’

a faith that overcomes

There is a pattern in our lives that when trials, testing , and temptations do come our way that we discover far too soon into the trial that the faith we thought was good enough  has been proven inadequate.   Sometimes I have several trials going on all at once. It doesn’t take me too long to see that I begin to adapt this mindset that cries out to God saying, “God, what are You doing to me?  Why are You picking on me?”   

a temp

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

‘Except that is common to man’……. I don’t know about you but I find great comfort knowing that I am not the only one who is going through things….  But I am especially encouraged that God is faithful!   ‘Faithful to complete the work He began in me, who will also do it.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Ia god

There is no trial that we may go through but such as is, ‘Common to man’ .   And so if you are at the point where you may not be able to make it, remain steadfast!  Hang in there, remain still, and wait for the opportunity that God will present to deliver you safely, and more stronger than you were going into it. Don’t back up because you’re being asked to endure what you may think that no one else has had to endure.

God is saying to you right now, Marty, I know that what you are going through is very hard for you, that it may even seem to be unbearable, but you need to realize that there are many others who have already gone through very similar trials like yours.  If I enabled them to get through it, I will also get you through it!’..….      

                                ‘ Marty…….. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you…..when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,nor shall the flame scorch you.
 For I am the Lord your God.”

a isaiah

When we are going through a time in our lives where the pressure seems unbearable and we haven’t the answers, our most common prayer is, ‘God get me out of here!’.  I can’t recall how many times I prayed that prayer….and nothing happened!   In fact, there is no escaping your turn when you find yourself in the middle of a fiery trial!   


 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”  1 Peter 4:12

When difficult times come into my own  life and I find myself unable to comprehend or understand; its amazing just how  quick the enemy will begin to throw doubts and questions into my mind, and I soon find myself questioning God’s goodness, God’s wisdom in why He is allowing these things to happen.  I find that I may even be bitter and angry with God for allowing this to happen to me and wonder if He really understands….. when the truth is revealed that there’s no such thing in God’s economy as things happening haphazardly to us, with no meaning or purpose behind it.

There are times when I’m in the middle of it, that I find myself unable to see the good and purpose of why I’m going through it, Satan will cast some dirt of the past into my sight momentarily distracting me from the real purpose of my trials, to become more and more a child of God.  It’s moments like these when I need to remember that a trial isn’t a one way street. God wants me to talk with Him, to ask Him for wisdom, discernment.

Jesus said: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you, for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7)

a ask

It seems therefore that if nothing else, (that I can see) happens in a trial at least my personal relationship is growing in the asking of wisdom in a trial through my prayers……This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14

a cancer

God has been very good to me in allowing me to see the good….even in a difficult trial.  I can’t but remember back, one year ago where God delivered me to what I thought at the time to be the most difficult one of my life when I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer.   I can still remember the words rolling off the lips of that doctor, and the thump as I took a deep swallow, not really seeing anything good about it.

But it’s fascinating as God walked with me daily, and into the treatment rooms where they have you sit on a recliner and begin to infuse this mixture of chemicals that would ultimately destroy whatever cancer cells were still alive.  How often the Holy Spirit would bring wave after wave of encouragement during those hours that there was good going on inside of me at the very time that it seemed that my body was betraying me.  I can recall all the people I met and prayed with there, how God would use this trial as a floodgate of light for Him to encourage others there.

a cancer sur

I remember specifically as I was nearing my last treatment after 8 months, when there was this elderly woman sitting next to me, who was also having her infusion. As the chatter began throughout the room and we would discuss God’s Word and share how it had become a mainstay for all of us; that this woman, (who always covered her face) spoke from underneath that covering and said that all these months, although it may have seemed like she wasn’t, ‘listening’., she was; and thankful that God would send people around her, to see the good of what He was doing in the midst of all this difficulty.

And so, you too, when you find yourself there, can begin to search out and discover for yourself the good He is doing through your trial, with those around you, how so much good comes from a trial!

a tempt

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

Remember when Jesus had just been baptized in the Jordan River, and the Holy Spirit fell upon Him anointing Him for ministry?  What happened next? Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”   Jesus armed Himself with the Word of God.  This is vital if you’re in a trial.  You see, God wants to write His Word upon Your heart,  

In other words, His Word is all you need to pass the test in the trial, and memorizing His Word can prove to be so valuable when fiery trials are in progress.  Satan will not wait until you’ve got your open Bible, and paper, and pen, and THEN tempt you.  He will arrive at an inopportune time, when it’s not convenient time and begin to hassle you.  The more you know the Word of God, the more calm you will remain in the midst of your trial.   Maybe you know this, and if so, begin to ask God to send you as one of the ones spoken in the previous Scripture in Isaiah 43 where He says, “I will send men for you, and people for your life, fear not, I am with you”

a fear

When we are going through a fiery trial, it can help enormously if a friend can lay a hand on a Brother or Sister’s shoulder and encourage them, saying honestly, ” Hey, I know what you’re going through, and God brought me through it; I know it’s tough for you right now, I know when I was going through something very similar to what you’re going through, I thought that wasn’t going to make it through….but God got me through it, and I know He will do the same for you.”  “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  James 5:16


But even if there is not a specific  friend around me who is able to say those words to me, this verse reminds me that there is indeed others, remnant if you will, who have been given this beautiful gift of a Grace Ministry…. people called to help others out there to get through their season of trial…

The Second Word of Encouragement, 

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…”

a temting

There is a time, in the life of every man, woman when we are going through some difficult and challenging situations that we can become so entangled in our weakness and our inability to do anything about it, that we cry out to God, ‘help me God, I can’t take it any more!’  As a Christian, you are guaranteed troubled lives.  John’s Gospel Chapter 16:33, we see Jesus, teaching the Apostles before His greatest trial at Calvary that they would experience similar pressures, and that they would not be left to themselves in comfort and support but that God would send them the Holy Spirit.  He finishes giving them the reason for this explanation by saying that:These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)


“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…”

And so Secondly, God assures us in this verse that He will not allow us to be tested “above what we are able.”

I think back in my own life, and see often I felt in certain instances where I had reached the ‘end of my rope’……when in fact, I really hadn’t.   During those times, I would often feel that I could endure no more……. when I really could….only after all the smoke and dust had settled that I really could have …..endured more.  

Each time as God waited so patiently for me, I finally came to the conclusion, (at least that time) that God knows me better than I do myself.   God knows how much I can bear.  God knows exactly which straw it will be that will, ‘break the camel’s back!’  Not only that, but God promises me that He will never allow that much testing to come my way.

When I am tempted to cry out to God, ‘I can’t take anymore!’ ….He reminds me gently of these words:  ‘Marty, I will not allow you to be tested above what you are able to bear.”

The Third Word of Encouragement here is this:

“Will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

a way

There are times….when I am deep into what seems to me an excessively long trial, when I begin to convince myself that this is the one I was hoping would never come, there simply is no way out of this one.   Absolutely, no way out…..  When I have arrived here, at this point, it seems as if I had been pushed into a room, with no windows….no doors….  I go over and over in my mind that I just don’t see any hope whatsoever of getting out of this one!      And then, when I felt like the light was going to dim away, God steps in and says to me, ‘Marty, I have made a way of escape for you, come now!’

a peter

There is a story in the Book of Acts Chapter 12 where we are told that the Apostle Peter was in King Herod’s jail . Peter, no doubt had already heard that Herod was arresting and persecuting anyone who said they belonged to Jesus.  James, brother of John put to death by sword.    When Herod saw that this pleased the Jews, he went after Peter, arresting him at the time of the ‘Unleavened Bread’ handing him over to be guarded by 16 soldiers.  Herod’s plan was to bring Peter out after the Passover and bring him to trial.   So Peter was kept in jail, while the Church prayed for him.

Little did Peter know what God had planned for this trial he was going through. As it ended up, God sent an angel to Peter and provided a way of escape.


 At just the right time, in just the right way, God opened up those prison bars, with 16 soldiers securely fastened to him.    At the right time God made a way of escape by simply opening the prison door……“is I am the LORD, the God of all mankind, is anything too hard for Me?” ” (Jeremiah 32:27)

It’s amazing when we find our ourselves staring at a horrible circumstance in the face, just how limited  our vision is.  It is at these times we are subject to making terrible and regretful  choices, because our perspective was not God’s perspective, how we see things and how God views things can often times become contrary,  As a matter of fact the Bible makes this very clear:  ” For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord….. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9


It becomes during these times when we must look away from the circumstances and onto God.   King David was all too familiar with this tendency of man that when he finds himself in a circumstance that he cannot solve, instead of looking to see where God is standing in it, we look to ourselves for answers, oftentimes coming up short. Psalm 121 has the answer, if you find yourself in this predicament, ” I lift up my eyes to the mountains—    where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lordthe Maker of  heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip   He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”  

However bleak the circumstances that you find yourself in today, remember the promises that God has given you, for being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

I often marvel that when I am in the middle of a trial, how my flesh just loves to resist being told what to think, what to do.  How less confident I become in my own answers to the circumstance and leave me in a state of confusion at its end.   What a waste of energy this can be.  If I would only sit still, and hear His whisper of confidence for me : Marty, be still, and know I am God.”  Psalm 46:10.   In fact, the Lord commands us to not  have any confidence in what my flesh might be suggesting.  Philippians 3:4 ….and rightly so, because deep inside me, within the very chambers of my heart, I know what kind of confidence I had in my plans, decisions.  And when they fell through, how quickly my flesh would chalk it up to, ‘Well, at least you tried!’


When I come to the place where I know God has set a trial before me, I am reminded that one of the purposes of that trial is to let God burn away the failures of my own confidence and live in the light of His presence that will never fail me,

However the bleakness of your situation, you must cling onto the promises He has given to you, knowing that He will certainly and without doubt see you through victoriously!

I have always loved History, so when I came to know Jesus Christ as the only Person whom I could put my trust into and know that He would always keep His promises to me.  That’s important, because whether you like history or not, you need to know that your own life has become….history.   It becomes an account of who you were, what you accomplished, what you believed, where you lived,  your whole life has great historical value to God, your life means something to God.

Throughout History, God has raised up leaders. Men and Women who despite their frailties and weaknesses were used by God to bring a charge of hope and challenge in difficult circumstances to never give up.  Giving up is the fleshly perspective which separates itself from hope, and leaves you feeling desolate.


During the Nazi invasion throughout Europe in World War 2 , God raised up was an Englishman by the name of Winston Churchill. who would go on to lead Britain through what history books would record as the darkest hour of her history.  

All hope seemed to be lost….but this man, whom God had raised, “for such a time as this’(Esther 4:14) refused to allow his people to give up……eventually God gave then victory over their demonic Nazi enemies.

Years later, Churchill would be invited to give a speech; at a boys school, one which he, himself attended as a boy.   When it was time for him to speak, he quietly stepped up to the podium and spoke these words, slowly and with great emphasis.   He said, “Boys….never give up….never give up, never, never, never, never…”  and he sat down.  I have a feeling everyone in attendance carried vivid memories of that moment the rest of their lives.    So you see, you just never know, what God is doing through you as you are surrounded by a crowd of circumstances that ask you to step out and just trust God in it!

I like to remind myself that a trial is conclusive evidence God gives to me about my spiritual condition, and allows me to see in it, my capacity to look beyond them, and look to God who surrounds them.  ‘He that is in me, is greater than he who is in the world’.  1 John 4:4


 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

In closing, let us review what we have learned from this passage through the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit.

First, no one who enters into the realm of fellowship with God is immune from trials.  Everyone of us will see them this year.  Two, there is great design by a loving and caring Father who, while we are being raised up to become sons and daughters of God for eternity and earthly trials are a part of the process God uses to make us more like His Son.  A good prayer might be what John recorded in his Gospel from John the Baptist.“I must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30


And so when I am facing a trial, I need to remember that as I let go, as I decrease, God will work out whatever is keeping you from fully trusting in Him.  You will experience a contentment and peace.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:17.   When I am in a trial, my confidence in how it will turn out is to be put in Jesus Christ; and since He is the giver of that peace, you need to find Him in the trial. 


I remember the story in the Old Testament of  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego who in the midst of a referendum given by King Nebuchadnezzar II, of Babylon, who had commissioned that a nine-story high statue, made of gold be built.     When the project was complete, he prepared a dedication ceremony to this image ordering all surrounding inhabitants to bow down and worship it. The consequence for not worshiping the idol, upon hearing the cue of instruments, was execution in a fiery furnace.

During the dedication ceremony of the golden image, certain officials took notice that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego  were not bowing down to the idol.

Upon being told this, The King was enraged and demanded that these three men come before him.  Nebuchadnezzar knew of these very men, because it was not too long ago when Daniel had petitioned the King to assign Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon.

 Daniel was also very special to the King because he was able to interpret his dreams unlike any of the Chaldean wise men. So it is of no surprise that the King would offer one more chance for these three Jews, who held honorable positions to the King, to show their patriotism to Babylon.

a shadme

Their response: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.

Nebuchadnezzar demanded that the execution furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Valiant soldiers of the King’s army were ordered to firmly bind the fully clothed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and cast them in the blazing furnace. Upon approaching the mouth of the furnace, the fire was so hot that the soldiers perished while attempting to throw in the three tightly bound Jews (who then fell in)

When the King saw what appeared to be four men in the furnace, unbound and walking about, he called to them to come out. King Nebuchadnezzar then acknowledged the power of their God, even going as far as to make a decree, whereby any nation who says anything against the God of the Jews is an act of war. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were then given promotions to their positions over the province of Babylon.

a nother

 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I read this, and wonder out loud, ‘Marty what would you do in a ‘real life’ situation , where your faith is being stretched?’   We are being called to not panic when this stretching of our faith comes.  Sometimes I feel some of the little things I go through are so important and fretful, until God places someone along my path, to remind me that this too is ‘common to man’.

‘But God is faithful”  This so important to remember, especially when we allow ourselves to ponder on someone, or something that is coming to make everything go away.  God is always faithful….you can count on Him to always come through!

“who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

I cannot begin to overcome my difficulties until I look at the Cross at Calvary, where physical and emotional suffering took heights unimaginable to mankind.  For me this becomes my standard, that God laid all my empty confidence on the Cross and walked me through victoriously when Jesus arose from the tomb.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been left alone to suffer in my difficulties and remember that God has not forgotten me. ““Your thoughts for me are more than the sands of the sea”  Psalm 139:18  I meditate that my life has purpose, and this trial is bringing me closer to the truth of that purpose.


make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

There are times in my trials, when I begin to take on the burden of that trial. As I try to convince myself that if I would just pray a little harder, maybe if I would just give a little extra in that tithe, that through my actions, God would spare or lessen the severity of the trial., struggling to make a way out of the difficulty, sometimes even lightly persuading someone to help out in my circumstance…… “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  Romans 7:24


You see, the longer I live, the greater the trials. That is why God through His grace brings these challenges to me, that I might be convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that, this is not my eternal home. In its present condition, this body is not going to live forever. And thank God, because as I get older, I’m beginning to see all its weakness.  My struggles in a trial are becoming to be more evident that I myself will never find a way of escape as long as it lives in its temporary state!  But praise be to God that He knows this condition and has a plan that will  “make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”


There is a wonderful story about a  man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
Neither happened!
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never fly.


And so, in closing, it becomes quite obvious to me that trials through difficulties in my life are for good, not evil.  They eventually draw me nearer to God and help me develop a closeness with God as I trust Him , having confidence in His ability and promise to ‘make all things work together for good, to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose”   Romans 8:28


Lord, thank You that You always know what is right for my life. Give me wisdom and discernment through these trials, that I might be a shining light in a dark world so full of uncertainty at what is going to happen next.  May Your Words of truth about me, and Your plans for me, be motivation enough to make me know that Your loving-kindness wraps each trial, that I might love You more each day.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

MUSINGS……..  Keep souls in prayer as God uses His Word shedding the truth about Jesus Christ and His amazing love and sacrifice for the sins of all mankind!  Keep also the UK in prayer, it seems like God is working a revival there.  Also keep my wife and I in your prayers as we prepare for a step a faith in the ministry God has given us.  Enjoy today’s video from Matt Redman,…..   


‘See you all around the bend, or up in the air!’

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‘What Are Your Plan’s For Today?’



This morning, I was checking into the Walking the Berean Road site to check up on those who are reading these devotionals; who they are, where they’re from, and what posts God is ministering to them through.  Well, as God is, He prompts me to ‘RE-READ’ this particular one I posted a year ago on God’s Plans for us.

Needless to say, I was a little hesitant since I almost never ‘Re-read’ my own devotional posts. Well, guess what? This one really ministered to me!

My wife, Patty and I have been praying and planning, praying and planning over things in our lives for awhile now. I have to say that we’re learning that God is not in any big hurry in meeting our own time plans!  We are learning to quietly and prayerfully not only to consider God as the Captain of this ship, but to let Him run it!

I am always amazed how those Cable car captains drive those Trolly cars in beautiful San Francisco. They have a load of passengers who climb on to get them from point A to point B. The difference between this kind of ride and taking a bus, or driving your car is that passengers choose to board based upon their desire to just watch and enjoy the beauty around them, without any worry or fret.  They have planned from all points of this world to ride on this because it is a joyful experience!

That is the way God wants us to plan our days, lives. Just hop aboard and let Him steer and take us to heights so beautiful and breathtaking, that we come away blessed, and happy that we came and let His plans lead the way!

What a great reminder to us all, that yes, we should make plans; but it is God who will fulfill what we plan and yes, the timing according to what He sees is right for us individually, and will bring us the greater reward.

How about you today? Can you say with confidence that your plans are bringing God all the glory as you wait quietly and patiently that He may be able touch others lives in a powerful way?

Don’t hesitate another moment, give Him your plans and ask Him to perfect them.

I hope  you enjoy this ‘reblog’ as much as I enjoyed the friendly reminder from God that despite what appear to be difficult or maybe even dire circumstances, remember, even though you may feel things are moving fast enough; God is at work in His plan for you.

Personally, I need to be reminded that He is in my plans as much as I allow Him. Maybe you’ve been waiting for that ‘mountain’ to be moved, and it just appears to be getting bigger.

Not allowing God into our plans will eventually leave you discouraged, and discouragement will find you with your head down, not seeing that God has already moved that mountain.

As I shared earlier My wife, Patty and I  have been experiencing ‘growing pains’ in our spiritual walk with the Lord. It seems that everything we’re praying for in regard to one area seems to be at a standstill. No matter what we do, and  plan, it doesn’t seem to be making any difference in moving this mountain the Lord has set before us.

The Lord wanted me to be reminded, that His plan is in full effect; continue to trust in His plan for you….. He is simply working out details in me and my wife, and in the direction He is leading us to. As I read it, I was prompted by Him to re-post this devotion, adding to it some new thoughts, one year later. I do pray it will be inspiring for you or someone you know as well.

Remember, God’s Word says that, ‘Every good and perfect gift comes from above.’. Above…. ..
Psalm 121 speaks of how important it is to keep our eyes up, so we not discouraged when our plans are not moving fast enough…

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

And so maybe today, is the day the Lord has brought you. here….  You might be saying, ‘Wait a minute Marty, today is not Sunday!’  Well I believe that you turning to this site and taking the time to stop and read it says to me that this is no accident you are reading this, you are here by Divine appointment and God is speaking to you personally, saying; ““Come, all you who are thirsty,come to the waters;
and you who have no money,come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,and your labor on what does not satisfy?    

 Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.  Give ear and come to Me
listen, that you may live.   I will make an everlasting covenant with you, My faithful love promised to David.” “Seek the Lord while He may be found;call on Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.   “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. 

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,that will endure forever.”

And so, what about you? What are your plans for today?

Thinking about your plans is good, praying for those plans is better; but knowing those plans are going to be blessed by God, is most excellent! Make your plans matter, bring them to God for a ‘spiritual tune-up’….you’ll find yourself running again; just like new!

Why not take a moment and let God into your plan, and begin to experience the” peace of God that surpasses all understanding”. Who knows, it may just be the one thing that will lift your drooping head, and you will see the plan God has prepared for you, one ‘exceedingly more, than you could ever ask or think’. …..and don’t forget to take the time to read the original post  that personally inspired me by the Spirit of God to re-post this message….be blessed!

I found this video, I hope it ministers to you deep, as it did for me.


Originally posted on Walking the Berean Road:

commit 2

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Proverbs 16:3

What are your plan’s for today?    Plan’s for us are so important.  How much would we get done if we didn’t have some form of plan?   I was talking with my wife today and one of the many plans we could have laid out was what are we doing for dinner?  Ironically, earlier in the day today, I begin to develop some kind of plan for that dinner.  The first thing in a good plan is order.  If you’re going to barbecue meat, you will need charcoal, lighter fluid to fuel the plan. Next you will need ingredients to bring the plan together; so I drove over to the store and picked up fresh bread, tomato, lettuce, and oh yeah the part of the plan that makes it all so good, the chocolate…

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