Southside's Blog

Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.

before amen

You think there’s ever a church service where requests are not made for someone’s healing? I cannot recall a service at Southside where prayers for the sick were not requested. Max Lucado, in case you have not already guessed is a very favorite author of mine. 😊 One of his books is titled “before amen, The Power of a Simple Prayer”. In case you are wondering, that’s not a misspelling. 

Chapter 5’s title is “Heal Me”. He opens the chapter by describing a daughter’s journal giving an account of her dying father’s final stages of ALS. Her journal is full of depictions of the many things  “Dad can’t anymore.” At her father’s funeral, the family requested two scriptures, Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, and so I lack nothing.” and Psalm 22: “My God, My God!....Why have you forsaken me?” Max says in his Bible you can see both passages in the same page opening.

Max continues: “In times of sickness we can hear both prayers from the same heart. Our bodies ache and emotions sway. Nothing bends our knees to ask for God’s help more than a health crisis. We need the Lord to shepherd us through sickness. “But will he?” We watch as our loved ones or we ourselves suffer and struggle while the evil ones live into triple digits.

Max writes about Jesus healing people even raising some from the dead as He traveled. Max goes on: “Afflictions can sideline the sufferer. Everyone else has a place in the parade. You would join them if only….. Others seem happy. And you’ve wondered, What am I to do with this ailment?”

People in the New Testament cried out to Jesus for healing. “Persistently, personally, passionately. I need help. Heal me. Here is why you need to do the same. God’s goal for you is wholeness.” (From Mike: Then why does He not give it? My attitude problem!)

Max points out: “God envisions a complete restoration of the garden of Eden. Everything He saw in His garden was good. This assessment included Adam and Eve. They weren’t sick, crippled, depressed or afflicted. They were spiritually and physically sound. Yet they rebelled, everything fell out of harmony. The event is called the Fall for a reason. Adam and Eve had a falling out with God and a falling out with each other. Nature fell out of whack, and the human body fell out of balance. The fall was exactly that: a fall from wholeness. Sin opened the door, and sickness walked in. ‘Sin came into the world because of what one man did and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die—because everyone sinned.’ Romans 5:12 NCV”

Max urges us to talk to God about our ailments both physical and emotional. “He will heal you—instantly or gradually or ultimately.

“Our highest hope, however, is our ultimate healing. In heaven God will restore our bodies to their intended splendor. ‘We know that when He is revealed , we shall be like Him’ 1 John 3:2’”.

If Jesus heals you instantly, praise Him. If you are still waiting for healing, trust Him. Your suffering is your sermon.”

Max writes about a friend who struggled with a muscular condition. The atrophy hampered his ability to walk and slurred his speech. “But it did not diminish his faith or erase his smile.” God is using his friend’s faith to inspire other’s faith. “He will use your struggle to change others.”

He tells about his own struggles with pain in his writing hand. He continues in therapy and says “But most of all I pray. Better said, I argue. Shouldn’t God heal my hand? My pen is my tool. Writing is my assignment. So far He hasn’t healed me.”

“Or has He? These days I pray more as I write. Not eloquent prayers but honest ones. Lord I need help…Father, my hand is stiff. The discomfort humbles me. I’m not Max the author. I’m Max, the guy whose hand is wearing out. I want God to heal my hand. Thus far He has used my hand to heal my heart.”

Max writes about the blind men who asked Jesus to heal their eyes. “Jesus’ heart went out to the blind men. He ‘had compassion and touched their eyes.’ The Greek term means He felt for them deep down inside Hie stomach. Jesus moved in where others had stepped away. He healed them.”

“He will heal you, my friend. I pray He heals you instantly. He may choose to heal you gradually. But this much is sure: Jesus will heal us all ultimately. Wheelchairs, ointments, treatments, and bandages are confiscated at the gateway of heaven. God’s children will once again be whole.”

I believe Max’s words can ease our pain and struggling but they do not eliminate all of the hurt. Only continued faith and prayer can help with that. I don’t really subscribe that time will heal all wounds.


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

before amen – Max Lucado – 2014 – Thomas Nelson – Used by permission

Max is now 67 years old and has health problems like many of us. In October 2001 he was diagnosed with ascending aortic aneurysm. He praises God because he is doing well. Wonder if he rereads some of his writings when he faces illness?


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I feel certain that Max's thoughts relate to the majority of us.


"There is often a gap between what we want from life and what we get in life. And during such times of weakness “we do not know what to pray for as we ought” (Romans 8:26 NKJV). What should the cancer patient request? Healing or deliverance into heaven? For what should the father of the prodigal pray? God’s patience for his son or a pigpen for his son? For what should the persecuted prisoner ask? Release from captivity or endurance in captivity?"

"We do not know how to pray as we ought. What if our prayers are too sparse to deserve an audience with God? What if he turns us away? Does heaven hear the enfeebled prayers of a weary soul? Thanks to our heavenly helper the answer is yes. “The Spirit himself intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26 NIV)."

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“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us…” (Romans 8:26 NIV).

The groans of the heart. You have heard them. You have made them. They are the vernacular of pain, the chosen tongue of despair. And when prayers won’t come, these will have to do. Yet these raw appeals find their way into the presence of God the Father because they are entrusted into the care of the Holy Spirit.

We’re accustomed to the Holy Spirit’s mighty deeds. Fire falling on Peter, doors opening for Paul. Because of the Spirit, Ezekiel saw dead bones rise, and Moses saw the Red Sea open. Yet of equal import is this: the Spirit curates and translates the incoherent prayers of the weak until they are heard in the tribunal of heaven.

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HEAVEN’S WIND by Max Lucado

The last paragraph is in bold because we really need to take Max's words to heart.

"The Spirit is like the wind. Had Jesus stopped with this comment, Nicodemus would have had plenty to ponder. Yet Jesus went on to stretch the imagination of Nick and Max and all people who have tried to quarry the jewels that follow."

“So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 ESV). That which is born of a vegetable is a vegetable. That which is born of a dog is a dog. And that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. That is to say, we have his wind, his unseen power, within us. We host the mystery and majesty of God."

"Stop and think about something you struggle to do. Forgiving an enemy? Solving a problem? Breaking a habit? You can’t do it? The Spirit can. You have the force of heaven’s wind within you."

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A Very Good One from Max Lucado

I recall an afternoon early in my ministry when the invitation of Jesus to the weary became the invitation of Jesus to Max. I was supposed to be studying, but I could not concentrate. I thought that I had to fix everyone’s problems, shoulder everyone’s burdens, and never grow weary in doing so. After some moments I bowed my head and sighed and this scripture came to mind:  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NASB).

It was the pronoun me that got me. I had been turning to everyone and everything but him. Now why did that verse come to mind?  Simple. The Holy Spirit, my teacher, reminded me. And the Spirit of Christ will do this for you, my friend.

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THE PARACLETE - by Max Lucado

Jesus doesn’t want us to think of the Holy Spirit as an it or a thing. The Spirit is a person. According to one study only four people in ten believe that the Spirit is a divine person. The rest of those surveyed either don’t have an opinion or choose to believe the Spirit is more like a power surge than a divine being who empowers and teaches us.

Can you join me in a pledge? “I hereby resolve never to call the Holy Spirit an it.” The Spirit is a person. And Jesus calls him the Paraclete. Now, translators land on different, yet similar, translations for this Greek word. Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Intercessor. But the central message is the same: we are not alone.

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SO HEAVENLY, SO HUMAN - August 30, 2022

Max Lucado Devotional

Jesus was undiluted deity. No wonder no one argued when he declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). He has authority over everything, and he has it forever. Yet in spite of this lofty position, Jesus was willing, for a time, to forgo the privileges of divinity and enter humanity.

Are you troubled in spirit? He was too (John 12:27). Are you so anxious you could die? He was too (Matthew 26:38). Are you overwhelmed with grief? He was too (John 11:35). So human he could touch people, so mighty he could heal people. So heavenly he spoke with authority, so human he could blend in unnoticed for thirty years. So mighty he could change history and be unforgotten for two thousand years. Because Jesus was human, he understands you.

And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

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How is your power level?


Excerpt from Help Is Here

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).

Mark it down. The Holy Spirit comes with power. Power to make good choices, keep promises, and silence the inner voices of fear and failure. Power to get out of bed, get on with life, get busy about the right things in the right way. Power to face the unexpected, unwanted passages of time. Power. This is what Jesus promised then, and this is what Jesus promises still.

How is your power level?

Perhaps you have all the power you need. Life is a downhill stroll through a pleasant meadow. You never lack energy, enthusiasm, or strength. Your step has a spring to it; your voice has a song to it. You are ever the joyful, empowered person.

If that describes you, can I recommend a book on honesty? If that doesn’t describe you, consider the possibility of a life-giving relationship with the Holy Spirit.

No more walking this path alone. No more carrying weight you were not intended to bear. It’s time for you to enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit and experience the vigorous life he offers. 

From Mike: I did not include Max's add for the book. It can be found on Amazon or Walmart

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Confession or Justification

Sometimes I find myself justifying my sins as opposed to confessing them and asking for forgiveness. When people treat me in a way that’s rude, the first inclination can be retaliation, the waitress was rude so very little tip for her, and he just swerved in front of me so lay down on my horn. He/She just spread gossip about me. After all they offended me first so turnabout is fair play. Right? A man that I don’t like to begin with recently mocked my speech but I did not retaliate. But boy, there was plenty of ill will towards him for too long. Any ill will no matter how long is wrong.

Romans 12:17: “If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good.” GNT

Matthew 5:44: “But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.”

James 4:17: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” CEV

These verses should be the guidance in these situations!


Mike    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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YOU ARE NO ACCIDENT - August 10, 2022

Many people need to read Max Lucado's devotional thoughts. Children especially need to read and believe his thoughts. So many children of drug abusers are told they are worthless primarily because of their parents failures need reassurance. If you have an opportunity to share Max's message, please do so.

"When you say yes to God you are being made into God’s image. Print that on your resume! In the eyes of God you are worth dying for. Would you let this truth define the way you see yourself? Would you let this truth define the way you see other people? Every person you see was created by God to bear his image and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This is God’s plan, this is God’s promise, and he will fulfill it!"

"And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!"

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Our approach

In the 1920’s-30’s my grandfather was a share cropper. He plowed with his mules Dick and Jane. When they did not gee and haw, he would hit one in the soft of the nose with his fist. Now he had their attention. One time it back fired, the mule dropped his head and Grandaddy caught him in the forehead. Two of his knuckles were shoved up in his hand.

Some to use the same approach when talking with folks about their short comings! This writing was inspired by a pet peeve of mine! Our approach to people when we see faults.  One of the greatest services we can perform for God is to encourage one another in our relationship with Him. Notice I used the word “encourage” not “judge” one another!

Hermeneutics – “the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.”  Some Bible scholars believe the scripture is taught by command, example and necessary inference. Some continue to use this form of interpretation but it’s not talked about as much today. Apologetics is reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.

Have you ever considered that some of your interpretations, beliefs, doctrine or tenants could be wrong? On FB, a posting said: “A discussion is much better than a debate. A debate is about who’s right and a discussion is about what’s right.” I totally agree with the statement. We need more discussions!

The reason for this article is that a friend called because she is being condemned to hell because she does not attend church on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. She is there every Sunday morning. No person has the right to pass judgement on someone else as far as their salvation. We need to make sure we are practicing every part of the Bible. The reference used was Hebrews 10:24-25 - “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” The word “forsake” in Greek carries the thought of abandoning or deserting totally. This seems to take on the meaning of no church attendance.

Many take specific passages out of the scriptures and give them more importance than others or misapply them. Too often we use these favorite verses to judge others. Here are a few verses that imply certain things but we don’t seem to practice them:

Matthew 6:16-17 – Both of these verses begin with the phrase: “When you fast”. This does not sound like a command but it certainly sounds like a necessary inference that we are to fast. There are about seventy verses in the Bible that refer to fasting, both publicly and privately with guidelines set. Acts has several references to praying and fasting together. Do you fast? Are you following the intent of Christ’s teachings?

James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” I’ve only known of this happening once. Are we falling short of God’s wishes by not following this practice?

James 5:16 “therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Confessing our sins to each other-– I’m not aware of this practice being a part of many people’s life, it’s not for me.

The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara is written about World War II. In one passage he writes about a German general who is reflecting about the war. Mr. Shaara writes: “Who is right, after all? We do not weigh the value of our cause; we simply fight to preserve it.”

We should make sure that we weigh the value of our beliefs and don’t just fight for them cause we want to be right!


Mike    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Rising Tide – Jeff Shaara – 2006 – Ballantine Books

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How Far Does God’s Grace Extend?

My favorite class in high school was civics. Each day the teacher had discussions centered around current events and what they meant in our lives He would not allow discussion of religion but there was a general respect for belief in God. It may be because of age but it does not seem the country was as divided way back then as we are today. Now, it feels as though a confession of faith in God means you are evil. Current events carry too much frustration for me these days!

A current event is Brittany Griner. Brittany is a 31-year-old women’s professional basketball player. She and her wife have exhibited many frustrations with the United States. Brittany has shown her frustration by refusing to stand for our National Anthem, then refusing to leave the locker room as it was played to finally demanding that it not be played at all.

Brittany grew frustrated with her compensation, $227,000 per year, in the US and started play in Russia for about $1,500,000 annually. Her net worth is estimated at five million dollars. Not too bad! Recently, she was caught bringing cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage into Russia. She was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to possession of an illegal substance. She says she did not mean to break the law and now her attorney  claims she has a medical prescription. Unfortunately for her, Russia has no medical prescription allowance. She faces up to ten years in a Russian prison. Brittany and her wife have been super critical of what they see as the US’s lack of efforts to bring her home.

Some media has written that the US is at fault for her going to Russia. Women do not receive equal pay with men basketball professionals so Brittany was forced to go to Russia. That seems to be the way in today’s society; “it’s someone else’s fault!”. Other media has claimed that she “made her bed” so lie in it. Reading the comments on social media people are pretty well split on what they believe.

Many people on Facebook are of the opinion that she hates the US so let her spend ten years in a Russian jail then let’s see how she likes the US. She has after all totally disrespected America, refused to take responsibility for her own actions and lives an un-Godly life style. She needs to get her comeuppance! To be completely honest that’s been my feeling until some recent Bible study.

John 15:12: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.” John 15:17: “These things I command you, that ye may love one another.” Is my attitude love? No! I believe she needs to pay for breaking the law in Russia. I strongly detest her attitude towards America however I still need to have Godly love for her. There are many other people that I have the exact same attitude about so I need to have Godly love for them as well! It’s difficult but all the things that I detest about her does not justify not having Godly love for her. I also need to be careful that my feelings don’t extend to her comeuppance relative to where she spends eternity.

Now maybe the biggest question is: “Does God’s grace extend to Brittany?” Most of us are pretty sure that God’s grace extends to us, our family and friends but are not sure it extends far enough to cover people like Brittany.

John 15:12 and 17, do not say except love everyone except the following. In fact Luke 6:27-28 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”  Probably need to inventory our lives so we have true Godly love. Maybe we need an attitude adjustment to feel more comfortable about God’s grace for others.


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Mystery and Hope

 I was talking with a lady the other day whose husband is suffering from Parkinson disease. The discussion was around how many prayers had gone up for him but there was no improvement. I told her that there were times when I didn’t understand God’s decisions. She promptly told me that I lacked faith. My reply was that is not the case. Just because you don’t understand does not mean lack of faith. I referred her to the two verses inserted here:

Isaiah 55:8-9 “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.”  Romans 11:34 - “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” Accepting these verses is an act of faith but not understanding is not an indication of lack of faith. Doubting God is a lack of faith.

My devotional reading that came up today is from “A Little God Time”:

“There is so much mystery to life. So many unanswered questions and unknowns. Faith in and of itself is a huge element of mystery. In order to have a faith-filed life, we accept we accept the elements of mystery because we know what goes hand-in hand with it----hope. Hope is God telling us that His purpose is bigger than any unknown. When we walk through anything, no matter how great a mystery, God is walking alongside us.”

“God doesn’t promise us an explanation, therein lies the mystery. But he does promise His presence, and that is an unfailing truth. When we walk through deep waters He is there.”


Mike  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Little God Time for Women – BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC – 2021- used by permission

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JOSIAH  by Max Lucado


“In Josiah’s eighteenth year as king, he sent Shaphan…to repair the Temple of the Lord, the God of Josiah” (2 Chronicles 34:8 NCV).

"Josiah had found the God of David and made him his own. As the temple was being rebuilt, a worker happened upon a scroll. It contained the words of God given to Moses nearly a thousand years earlier. Josiah wept that his people had drifted so far from God that his Word was not a part of their lives. A prophetess told Josiah that since he had repented when he heard the words, his nation would be spared the anger of God. An entire generation received grace because of the integrity of one man."

"Could it be that God placed him on earth for that one reason? And could it be that God has placed you on earth for the same reason?"

After reading Max's devotional today, it's difficult for me to believe God placed me here for the same reason as Josiah. Maybe He placed me here to bless one person in the same way. Think about it and keep your faith in God and show that faith to others. God bless you in your faith!



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I used bold on Max Lucad's last paragraph because that's a question we all must answer in our lives!!

“…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’” (Matthew 1:20 NIV).

You’ve stood where Joseph stood, caught between what God says and what makes sense. Each of us knows what it’s like to search the night for a light. Perhaps outside an emergency room, on the gravel of a roadside, on the manicured grass of a cemetery. We’ve questioned God’s plan.

Let me urge you to do what Joseph did—obey. Because Joseph obeyed, God used him to change the world. God still looks for Josephs today. Common people who serve an uncommon God. Will you be that kind of person? Will you serve…even when you don’t understand?

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Even and maybe especially in my old age I need to continue cultivating my relationship with God. Writers like Max Lucado give me scription and then help me think about that verse. Hopefully, Max Lcado does that for you in today's devotional.

"In Romans 8:28 Paul writes, “In everything God works for the good of those who love him.” Does everything include tumors and tests and tempers and terminations? John would answer yes. John did not know that Friday’s tragedy would be Sunday’s triumph. You’d think he would have left. Who was to say that the men who crucified Christ wouldn’t come after him? To others, Jesus was a miracle worker, a master teacher, and the hope of Israel. But to John, he was all of these and more. To John, Jesus was a friend, and you don’t abandon a friend—even when that friend is dead."

"When you are somewhere between yesterday’s tragedy and tomorrow’s triumph, what do you? Do you leave God, or do you linger near him? John chose to linger. And because he lingered on Saturday, he was around on Sunday to see the miracle. May you do the same."

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Max Lucado makes a very good suggestion in the final sentence of his devotional. There are a number of times we encounter storms in our lives and worry does not solve them. So we need to be still and wait on Him.

“Hallowed be thy name.” The phrase is a petition, not a proclamation. A request, not an announcement. Hallowed be your name.  Do whatever it takes to be holy in my life. Take your rightful place on the throne. You be Lord, and I’ll be quiet."

"The Holy One dwells on a different level from the rest of us. What frightens us does not frighten him. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). This verse contains a command with a promise. The command? Be still. Cover your mouth. Bend your knees. The promise? You will know that I am God. The vessel of faith journeys on soft waters. Belief rides on the wings of waiting."

"In the midst of your daily storms, make it a point to be still and set your sights on him. Let God be God."

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Say Yes Father, Please

I will confess to a faith, trust, patience and hope problem with God. There is absolutely no doubt in His majesty and power to deliver what I pray for but will He?

We all have been disappointed because God did not deliver on a request. Paul, a very worthy servant, asked God a number of times to remove a thorn in his side but God said, “My grace is sufficient”. I’ve asked many times over the past seven years for Him to heal my speech and it seems He’s given me the same answer as He gave Paul. Maybe you’ve prayed about a sick loved one but he/she died, you asked Him to save your marriage or the marriage of your child and a divorce happens or greater yet prayed for someone you love dearly to commit to Him and no commitment. I pray daily for troubled families I’ve worked with through CASA. The parents and/or the children use and sell drugs. Nothing changes, Why, God? All our requests we’ve made are for good things and the right reasons. Our prayer ends with “Your will be done!”. No “Yes” answers! God, You can deliver so why not deliver?

Recently I’ve rediscovered these verses: Isaiah 55:8-9 “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.” Romans 11:34 - “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” Psalm 27:14 - “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”  In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust.

So understand Isaiah and Romans then take Psalms to heart and keep on praying! Maybe He will say “Yes”!


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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Hopefully, Max Lucado's devotional this morning doesn't apply to you because your family is functioning well.  If you are struggling with your family pray and hold on Max's last two sentences.

"To recognize God as Lord is to acknowledge that he is sovereign and supreme in the universe. To accept him as Savior is to accept his gift of salvation offered on the cross. To regard him as Father is to go a step further. Ideally, a father is the one in your life who provides and protects. That is exactly what God has done. Now it just falls to us to be trusting children. Let God give you what your family does not."

"Having your family’s approval is desirable, but it’s not always possible, and it’s really not necessary for happiness. Jesus gave his family space and time and grace. And because he did, they changed. One brother became an apostle and others became missionaries. So don’t lose heart. God still changes families."

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It's kind of early but maybe your day is already off to a rough start. The other day my was because of agitation about something but I kept praying and God stepped in. He eased my mind! Let Him step in for you this morning!

Max Lucado:

The King of creation gives special heed to the voices of his family. In Matthew 6:9 he even tells us what to ask him: “Thy kingdom come.”

When you pray, “Thy kingdom come,” you are inviting the Messiah himself to walk into your world. Come, my King! Take your throne in our land. Be present in my heart. Be present in my office. Be Lord of my family, my fears, and my doubts. This is a bold appeal for God to occupy every corner of your life. Who are you to ask such a thing? You are his child, for heaven’s sake! And so you ask boldly. “So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need” (Hebrews 4:16 TLB).

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