This price is right.

Have you ever watched the television game show “The Price Is Right” (TPIR)? I used to watch it as a kid and I wasn’t even interested in most of the products on the show. It was the excitement to guess the price and to see what sort of prizes would be offered! While writing this post I checked out some YouTube videos of TPIR in the 1980s and the one I stumbled across had the contestants bidding on “picture heaters”. The contestants and even Bob Barker were confused as to what a picture heater was (and I still am).

My whole life I’ve been fascinated with prices and I am certain that if I were a contestant on TPIR I’d win a new car. My obsession with prices drives my wife crazy. She bought egg whites the other day, and then my curiosity kicked in… The container says 15 eggs so my guess would be $7 so to find out if I was correct, I asked her how much they were. She said, “I don’t know, I’ll have to check the receipt”. Knowing I can be annoying about this I held off for a couple of days and asked again. Unfortunately, there’s no receipt so I’m making plans to head to the store and find out myself. I just have to know. Was the price right?

While the price-guessing game is fun, it reminds me of the things in life that cost everything and the things that cost nothing. Price is always important.

Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 3-5; 1 Chronicles 12; Psalm 122; Acts 22

In Acts 22:24-25 Paul is about to be whipped so he asks the centurion if this treatment was lawful for a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned.

“I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!” Paul answered, “But I am a citizen by birth!” (Acts 22:28)

Paul’s citizenship ended up saving him from the beating. He paid nothing for it, yet it could have saved his life. This leads to thoughts of the cross where like the commander, the cross cost Jesus plenty (everything), yet salvation for us is a free gift if we choose to put our faith, hope, and trust in Christ alone.

Too often I find myself wanting more of the things I don’t need and not being thankful for the things I already have. Let’s pause together to give thanks, palms up, eyes closed with gratitude for the one who paid it all.

What’s Next?

2 Sam 1-2, 1 Chr 11, Ps 96 & 106, Acts 21

America is the land of opportunity.  Anything is possible here.  You have the freedom to choose who to be and how to do it.  And, we have all chosen.  Some of us choose success, while others will choose family and children.  Still others will commit to community service, political power, or maybe leisure and pleasure.  What have you chosen?

Its easy to look back upon our lives and evaluate choices that we have made.  From some, we brim with pride while others bring deep regret.  Looking backward is easy.  Looking forward requires a bit more courage.  But, we all have to ask “what’s next?”  What will mark the next 10, 20 or 30 years of your life?  Will you choose exploits in the land of opportunity, or something else?   Before you choose, consider Paul’s response in s in Acts 20.  He says:

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24 (NLT)


2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied.

Have you ever been in a transition in life? A new house, job, marriage, or child? All of these experiences involve a learning curve. Some right choices and often many wrong decisions are involved as well. Today, as I read the questions Paul asked the twelve disciples, their answers were transitional. They still followed the old law and did not understand what Jesus had promised once they truly believed.  In my faith journey, there was a time when I thought I had to earn His love and that there would be things I would need to cut out of my life for our Lord to consider me.  Wow! How wrong.  Our Lord has a love for us that He has always had.  The disciples here thought they would receive the Holy Spirit once they had arrived at a certain spiritual point in their lives.

Paul told them He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”  verse 4

We all need that. That’s all that we, as believers, have to tell others about! Believe in Him! God gives us the Holy Spirit to be with us in His fullness permanently, personally, and indwelling from the moment of our salvation.

Here are a few additional verses that we can share about His promise.

  • Romans 8:9 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 19You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
  • Ezekial 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
  • 2 Corinthians 6:16 For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:“I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.

Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Yes!



Today’s Reading : 1 Samuel 26-27; 1 Chronicles 8; Acts 18


Based on the Webster 1828 definition:  Integrity is the entire, unimpaired state of any thing, particularly of the mind; moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty. states that integrity is “Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way. It’s a personality trait that we admire, since it means a person has a moral compass that doesn’t waver. It literally means having “wholeness” of character, just as an integer is a “whole number” with no fractions.”

Throughout most of our lives, we have a moral compass which helps to guide and direct us into doing and living in a particular way. In today’s passage, we see during this point of Davis life his moral compass has strong integrity. Doing this point of his life, his father-in-law, Saul , is attempting to kill David.   This attempt doesn’t happen once or twice, but several times.  In each of these moments, David stands firm in his convictions of not harming God’s anointed.  In this particular point of the passage, others are pressuring him to act, but he doesn’t give in. 

”Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, “Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. Then Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.”“

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭26‬:‭6‬-‭11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

How many of us will have the integrity to leave something that we want or desire to do God’s will?

How many of us will allow the process of what God has in store for us to be given at the right time and not now when we want it?

What does God have in store for us and ready for us to receive if we let him give it to us, instead of grabbing it for ourselves? 

Think of it as a nice hot cup of coffee that he has for us, but will give it to us when it’s just right.  If we are in a rush the gift that is ready for us will scald us and not be as pleasant. 

Have integrity and wait. 

Be blessed

Looking For Answers

1 Samuel 17, 1 Chronicles 2, Acts 12

Being alone with my thoughts is dangerous.  Dangerous, because I am focused on who I am.  While I like who I am, when I am alone, I focus on my shortcomings.  I find myself comparing who I am to who I want to be.  Often, I will compare who I am with who others expect me to be.  Facts are, I fall way short of who I want to be and even shorter of who others expect me to be.  This is why being alone with my thoughts is often destructive.  In the end, alone sends my heart and mind into chaos, replacing my confidence with anxiety and gripped with fear.

Fear and anxiety send me looking for answers.  How do I eliminate it?  My heart longs to be restored.  My quest for restoration leads me to podcasts, books, and videos, attempting to gain understanding from others’ experiences.  Their success, I think, can be my success.  Content creators promise it too.  If I follow these “10 Simple Steps,” for example, I too can convert “fear into fuel.”  This works.  For a minute.  That’s when the excitement and the newness wear off.  I find myself disappointed and distressed, just as I was before.  Alone again, with my thoughts.

In Acts 17, Paul presents the truth differently.  He teaches me not to be alone with my thoughts, but to be together.  Being together with my thoughts, counter-balance’s the world’s wisdom with Truth.  Instead of focusing on who I am, Paul reminds me of who I am created to be.  These are God’s promises.  When I am alone, I forget them.  If, however, I invite God to join me, he is quick to remind me.  First, he says that he will never forsake me.  Then, he tells me about the full life he has ready for me.  Finally, he freely fills me with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  These are the building blocks for confidence, blessing, and courage.  As I move through together time, I quickly find that not only is this who God created me to be, it is who I AM.

Acts 17:26-28 (NLT) From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.  For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.

Where is Your “Prison?”

Today’s readings are 1 Samuel 23-24, 1 Chronicles 6, Psalm 54, and Acts 16.

Have you have had a dream or felt God lay it on your heart to do something specific and make a big change or take a big step in your life? Did you take that step only to find out things didn’t pan out like you expected? Maybe you moved to a new city to take a different job and then shortly thereafter you were laid off, or maybe you took the risk to start your own business…only to have the business not succeed. We may not have all had a dream or heard the audible voice of God tell us to do something but most of us have probably prayed about something or done something that just felt right only to have it not work out the way we thought it was intended. Here in Acts 16, we read about the same thing happening to the apostle Paul.

Paul had a dream telling him to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). His traveling there seemed to make sense at first as shortly after arriving in one of Macedonia’s leading cities, Philippi, we are told on possibly the first Sabbath there, he was preaching to many women and a woman named Lydia was baptized (Acts 16:11-15). Can we relate to this feeling of things falling into place quickly when we take a risk, and we grow confident that we were correct in our interpretation of God’s prompting and plan for us with this being affirmation? However, things changed quickly for Paul and his preaching friend Silas. A slave girl who had to gift of divination and fortune telling followed them everywhere and was yelling continuously in support of them to the point that it was possibly a hindrance and Paul being annoyed commanded it to come out of her (Acts 16:16-18).  Now that her “gift” was gone, she was of no value financially to her owners and they were so upset that they had Paul and Silas beaten and thrown into prison (Acts 16:19-24).

At this point, what would you be thinking? For one, I would likely be scared. They were just beaten and wrongly imprisoned and Jesus who they preached about was just unfairly captured and beaten only to then suffer one of the cruelest deaths possibly dying on the cross. Would their outcome be the same? At a minimum, I would be questioning whether God was wrong, or I was wrong by coming to Philippi. You wanted me to preach the gospel God, but how can I be out preaching to people while I’m in these chains? We learn in Acts 16:25-34 what Paul and Silas actually did. They began to sing songs of praise to God…maybe similar to Psalm 54 from our reading today. Really? Praising God when I’m in prison?! Then, an earthquake came and their chains were broken and doors opened! Waking up and supposing everyone was gone, the jailer planned to kill himself before he was killed for not doing his job. But instead, Paul and Silas stayed there and shared to gospel with him and then traveled to his home with him to share it with his family leading them all to be baptized! Paul trusted in God and His purpose, regardless of his physical circumstance and environment, which led to others accepting Christ.

God’s plan for this journey didn’t stop there though. Not so ironically, I was supposed write this last week but our was down. This Sunday on 5/5/24 at Eastview Christian Church, Pastor Steve Carter spoke about Acts 16 in his sermon ( He shared this happened around 47-50 AD and then somewhere around 60-63 AD while Paul was imprisoned again in Rome, he wrote a letter to the people in Philippi which we now know as the book of Philippians in the Bible. This letter which may not have been written if Paul had not gone to Philippi and been imprisoned there has impacted millions, if not billions, over the last 2000 years. God cares so much of each one of us and our eternal souls that Lydia’s conversion to following Jesus alone would have been worth Paul’s travels to Macedonia, but because Paul remained faithful, that was just the start. We can see Paul’s trust in God’s plan and his past experience in Philippi echoing in his letter to them years later as we read it. In fact, check out Philippians 1:6, “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.” It is mind blowing the impact Paul has now had two separate times while in prison. What is your “prison” now or in the future where you can still make an impact on others and God can do a great work in and through you when you stay faithful to Him and His purpose?

Consider taking some time today to reflect on this, and also take a listen to this song called Holy Ground by Passion featuring Melodie Malone.

Be Bold

Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 18-19, 1 Chronicles 3, Psalm 59, and Acts 13

Paul’s sermon in Acts 13 provides several insights into how we can apply courage in expressing our faith:

  1. Boldness in Proclamation: Paul’s sermon exemplified boldness in proclaiming the message of the Gospel. He fearlessly presented Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and called his audience to repentance and faith. Similarly, we can draw courage from Paul’s example to boldly share our faith with others, even in the face of opposition or skepticism. Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with you in those times of witness or proclamation. Let’s the Words of Faith not be yours, but those of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Knowledge of Scripture: Paul’s sermon is deeply rooted in Scripture, as he skillfully used Old Testament passages to explain and validate his message about Jesus. Likewise, studying and understanding the Bible equips us to articulate our faith with clarity and conviction. When we have a solid foundation in Scripture, we can speak confidently about our beliefs and engage in meaningful conversations with others.
  3. Inclusivity and Love: Paul’s message in Acts 13 emphasizes the inclusivity of the Gospel, highlighting that salvation is offered to both Jews and Gentiles. This reflects the universal nature of Christianity and the love of God for all people. As followers of Christ, we can demonstrate courage in expressing our faith by embracing and loving others without discrimination, regardless of their background or beliefs.
  4. Resilience in the Face of Opposition: Paul faced various responses to his preaching, including curiosity, rejection, and persecution. Despite encountering resistance, he remained steadfast in his commitment to sharing the Gospel. Paul felt so convicted that he drew the Holy Spirit to make blind the sorcerer Elymas when they met in Cyprus. Similarly, we may encounter challenges or pushback when expressing our faith, but we can draw courage from Paul’s example to persevere with resilience and determination.
  5. Dependence on God: Throughout his ministry, Paul relied on the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel effectively. He trusted in God’s guidance and provision, even in difficult circumstances. Likewise, we can cultivate courage in expressing our faith by relying on the strength and wisdom that God provides through the Holy Spirit. When we surrender to God and allow Him to work through us, we can step out in faith with confidence and courage.

Paul’s sermon in Acts 13 serves as a powerful example of courage in expressing faith. By following his example of bold proclamation, knowledge of Scripture, inclusion and love, resilience in the face of opposition, and dependence on God, we can courageously share the message of the Gospel with others in our own lives and communities.

Written with the assistance of ChatGPT.

He was consumed with worms and died!

This week I met with my senior leadership team in person for three days of visioneering. We spent a lot of time planning and preparing for our time together. We all live far away from each other, so we are used to constant meetings online. To be most effective together, we needed to ensure the topics were those that were best suited to be discussed in person. We came up with a strong and detailed agenda (with room for flexibility as needed) and we all looked forward to the event.

Our meetings were incredible. Laptops were closed, phones were set to “do not disturb”, and we brought out the best in each other through challenging conversations, openness, professionalism, creativity, and passion. We had all our meals together and we ensured there was time to unwind and take a break from work talk.

Apart from the tangible results of innovative ideas and plans, the best part was that we bonded as a team. We resolved conflicts healthily and we built each other up through encouraging words. I left the meeting feeling confident and optimistic.

Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 17; 1 Chronicles 2; Acts 12

In Acts 12 we learn about a horrible leader, King Herod Agrippa who was persecuting believers. “He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword.” (Acts 12:2). This wretched man was persecuting believers (and arrested Peter) for his own popularity (ref v3).

Things started to go south for Herod Agrippa when Peter miraculously escaped from prison. As Peter was nowhere to be found, Herod Agrippa sentenced the prison guards to death (ref v19).

Surely God’s anger was kindled for Herod Agrippa but so far God hadn’t zapped him.

Let’s go back to my work visioneering session. I was in my element, feeling good about the results and my team gave me some positive feedback. When this happened, did I respond with humility in a Christ-honoring way or did I consume it with pride, with the thought that it is “all about me”? How about the last time someone complimented you? Where was your heart and focus?

Let’s just say that when I read the next verse, I was convicted:

Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died. (Acts 12:23)

Consumed with worms and died! Herod Agrippa did so many horrible things, but God let him go on until he tried to steal God’s glory. Thankfully as we repent of our pride and other sins, we are forgiven through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To him be the glory forever.

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Remembering God’s Blessings

Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 11-13, Psalm 38, Acts 9

This evening, I had an opportunity to talk with a group of adults about the impact of a positive mindset. We can take intentional steps like recording or reflecting on recognizing these things for which we are grateful. We can change our perspective in a world bombarded by the negative and seek to exploit the mistakes or critique what’s not going right.

In 1 Samuel 12:24-25 Samuel reminds the people of Isreal to take time to notice and remember the good things God has done in our lives.

 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you

I think about the amazing things about today that I take for granted many days. My smile is big as I praise Him for the big and small details that captured my mind from before the sun came up to this evening when I could see my children sleep and listen to my beautiful bride show her love and genuine care for assuring all things are prepared for our family to start the next day.

This reflection allows us to focus on God’s goodness and strengthen our faith and trust in Him.  In a world that wants us to get, make, do, and be future-focused, we forget what is right in front of us.  Take time today to remember all that God has done lately.  Will you join me in making it part of a daily rhythm so we can grow in faith together?

So I throw up my hands and praise you again and again because all I have is Hallauah!… Get up and Praise the Lord! 


Be careful what you wish for

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 9-10Acts 8


There is a timeless curiosity and wonder of wishes.   Some of the stories that we have had have been told for millennia. One of the most told stories of wishes and their consequences is Aladdin. If you’re not familiar with Aladdin, a peasant finds a lamp that contains a genie. This genie can grant three wishes. Once the three wishes are completed then there are no more. One of the most interesting points of the story is that the genie gives the boundaries of the wish and once the wish has been granted, it cannot be reversed.

Many times in our lives we wish and hope for things to happen. We wish that we win the Powerball. We wish that we get this new job. We wish we had the love of our life. We wish for someone to return from the dead. But each of these wishes are out of our control. What if we did receive all of these wishes, what would the need or the necessity of faith be?


In today’s reading, and in the passage, the Israelites have wished, and begged for a king. The people of Israel were not satisfied with the leaders that God had given them for direction. They had complained for several hundred years. God gave them what they wished for. The first king that they received is Saul.

”But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”“

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭8‬:‭6‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

These are the boundaries and the consequences of the wish: 

”He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”“

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭8‬:‭11‬-‭18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The king that was granted was the tallest and most handsome man that the people could have. He had all the things that would make a “great” king.  The only thing that separated Saul from truly loving God is his heart.  His heart was in the practice of the rituals, but not behind the essence of the ritual.  Saul wanted to please God by doing the correct thing, but not truly believing in the right thing. 

How many times do we try to do the right thing to please God? How many times do we try to say the right thing to please God? God is not concerned about the things, but the heart. The people of Israel didn’t want to do the heart search for God, they wanted to have someone do things for them.  The person who they received didn’t have the heart of God and didn’t give the people the things that they had hoped to receive.  God has all the things that are needed for us and  so much more in store for us if we accept him as the true king of our hearts and find peace in him. 

Be blessed