Nature: God’s Marvelous Ally  

Isn’t God magnificent in His creations! No matter what natural setting gets your attention, He has created it. Part of the Lord’s designed plan in helping you know He exists is surrounding you with appealing views. Sometimes God speaks without saying any words and lets His other creations do the talking.

What part of nature exhilarates you the most?
Is it the beach? Do you like walking on the beach, feeling the sand between your toes? Does watching the waves break, listening to them coming ashore, and receding back into the ocean draw you closer to its existence? Could it be collecting seashells to take home as a reminder of your fascination with the sea?
Is it the sun, shining on the water reflecting its vibrant color? Or smelling the aroma of the salt and feeling the coolness of the water from swimming? Do you like basking in the sun absorbing the rays for a tan? 
Are the mountains a place where you connect with nature? Do you enjoy looking at the spectacular peaks capped with snow? Does looking up at the mountain and following the elevation changes where the vegetation stops, and an awareness to its enormous height arouse feelings of wonderment?

How about those valleys nestled in between them, splendidly displaying the beauty of the meadows full of green grass and flowering plants? What about the unique wildlife like bighorn sheep, wolves and mountain lions conducive to its environment?
Do you prefer the prairie? Where vast open spaces are visible as far as the eye can see? Are you most connected to nature when experiencing bison grazing and prairie dogs popping up out of their burrows with cute expressions on their faces?
Or are you adventurous and enjoy whitewater rafting? Does experiencing the mighty fury of rushing water all around you in the middle of taking on a rapid get you up close and personal with nature?
 What sensations come to you when your adrenaline is pumping, and your mind is unsuspecting to the twists and turns the river has so brilliantly hidden? Maybe it’s the excitement of making it through in one piece and wanting to do it all again.  
   Those are a few natural ways God relates to humans. The Lord wants us to experience the big picture of His Domain and has instilled an emotional valve turned on from His creative imagination. That exterior encounter inspires our inner creativeness to foster.
The beauty of nature is an uplifting adventure for believers and unbelievers. The Lord is always waiting for anyone who can make a connection with Him. However, He responds to the faithful, devoted and active follower of Christ. Faith in action leads to trust and trusting Christ supplies the wisdom in connecting with all of God’s kingdom.
God creations are spectacular, and the sheer beauty of the earth and the universe is His way of revealing the full scope of His reality. The sun, the stars and the planets are fascinating; displaying God’s unique phenomenon. The oceans, mountains, forests, and flowers are the essence of God. The animals, insects, and living organisms are the existence of God. We cannot escape God for He is the Most highest and our natural setting attest to those facts. 


3 Essentials To A Humble Life

   What comes to your mind when you think of humility? Is it desirable?  Distasteful?  Beneficial?  Useless?

   I never thought much of humility until I hit an emotional, mental and physical bottom. I used to live life in the fast lane. I did everything on a whim, and was unconcerned where that impulsive urge would take me. It led me to disastrous consequences and caused my life to spiral out of control. Doing it my way always made things worse.
   Anger, resentment, bitterness and fear had their way with me. My blindness to rightful behaving drove me into a darkness filled with loneliness and full of despair. Pride dominated my entire being and ego fed my self-worth. When the suffering from an unsaved lifestyle became unbearable, God stepped in and rescued me. I am grateful He pulled me up and out of that dreadful place.
   When the Lord delivered me from the bondage of self, He introduced me to Christ. That transition was a gradual process because it took years to take root. I had to cast away my negative outlook on life and be relieved from my agnosticism.
  Slowly and subtly my attitudes of defying God began melting away. He forgave me and loved me in such a way that it left no doubt in my mind the absolute truth of His existence. And the main ingredient to my rebirth was humility.
   In this journey with Christ, little by little, I started becoming teachable, and it has been a desirable and beneficial approach to life. The Holy Spirit entered my heart, and that epiphany awakened me to salvation. As a result, from abandoning myself to Jesus, the essentials of humility emerged.
Here is what I have discovered about being humble:

1. Selflessness

   One of the main ingredients in living a humble life is giving of oneself without expecting a return. We first learn this quality in devotion. Embracing the Messiah through prayer is the beginning of a lifelong commitment in surrendering our wills and lives over to His saving protection. Sincerity speaks volumes to God, and when we approach Him in this manner, our hearts are open to receive His grace.
   Christ presents us with situations, where we are to offer our selfless services. If we are spiritually prepared, we won’t miss the mark in extending Jesus helping hand. Christianity is all about presentation, and when we practice unconditional loving kindness, those around us experience the essence of Christ.
   Throughout any given day, there are a number of ways we can carry out altruistic deeds. The ones that make the biggest difference are simple and require awareness to another’s existence. Being observant to our surroundings opens up opportunities where we can be in the position to act accordingly to their needs. We may not know what it is, but their body language gives an indication.
   Let’s take a look at some examples of selfless action. Holding the door open for someone, expressing kindness to the checkout clerk or asking somebody if you can help them are readily available. We don’t have to wait to be asked to reach out to others because real giving is all about taking the lead and doing the will of God.
   Those are only a few instances of living selflessly and the more we humble ourselves before Christ, the better we become in recognizing His direction in getting out of ourselves. As we act upon His commands by extending ourselves to others, He inspires us to continue looking for other ways in providing selfless acts.
2. Gratitude

   Behind every blessing God grants, there is a gift. Those gifts are His unique way of letting us know how much He loves us. The Lord’s greatest gift is salvation through Christ Jesus, and there is no way not be grateful for eternal life. We all know the huge difference this makes in finding the daily bread that protects us from the one who can destroy both flesh and soul.
   An attitude of gratitude pleases God because we are acknowledging our contentment with what we have instead of being entangled with what we don’t possess. Being thankful is letting Christ know the provisions He provides is all that really matters. Jesus in return will take us places and do for us what we are unable to do alone. Everything is possible with Christ.
   Gratitude is humility in disguise. Modesty is accepting our human limitations and striving for the heavenly treasures Christ is so willing to give those who pick up their cross and walk with Him. Meekness leads to a full transformation of the heart, and we discover a deeper appreciation for our Christian lives. We realize the more we become Christ-like, the easier it is to express our gratitude to God.

3. Anonymity 

   In the world, we live in, it is challenging to be anonymous. Our society prides itself on personal recognition in a fast paced environment. The “getting notice syndrome” promotes self-centeredness and blocks God’s grace. When the emphasis of life is placed solely on individuality, there is no room for Christ to perform His works. The best way to avoid this pitfall is following Christ and performing unknown acts.
   A definition of anonymity is doing something for someone without bringing attention to oneself and humility is the absence of pride. Devotion will reveal specific situations where God has guided us to act in that manner. The blessing we receive from the Lord when we actually apply ourselves anonymously are fantastic. This connection with Christ’s magnificent way of living is rewarding, uplifting and exhilarating Christian experience.
   Here is one of the ways this works in my life. One day I started noticing the trash on the floor in the public restrooms at work. My first thought was how inconsiderate it is to leave garbage in such an improper manner for someone else to throw away. By putting myself in the shoes of the housekeepers and thinking about how this would make me feel I began picking up the trash and throwing it away.
   When I started doing this, my attitude focused on why someone would do this, but God shifted my mindset into understanding the meaning of selflessness. I enjoy doing something without being noticed. I am continuing to grow in this type of giving and look forward to other opportunities to act accordingly.
   Finding anonymous situations derive from an up close and personal involvement with Christ. It is in aligning ourselves with God’s will that we can discard our individual interests and work for the common welfare of our neighbors. The spiritual growth generated from those deeds far outweigh the short-lived elation from being recognized for personal attributes.


   The wisdom behind humility is priceless. A humble life is full of love, compassion and forgiveness, leading to a Christian awakening filled with Christ’s incredible strength and God’s amazing grace. Humility is the antidote for pride and the victory over temptation. Willingness is its principal and actions speaks louder than words. 

The Extraordinary In the Ordinary

I was at work yesterday thinking about the difference Christ has made in my life. I wanted something to write about and the thought finding the extraordinary in the ordinary crowded my head. So, I began to ponder over it.  Then I started reviewing my life and began identifying the ways God has shown me to look beyond the obvious. I did not have to search too far because the employer’s job fits the bill.

The work I do is delivering clean laundry throughout a hospital. The pay is average, and the benefits are minimal. I have been with the company for fifteen months and have not had a raise in income. All the bosses are pleased with my performance, and my attendance is spot on.  
However, the opportunities to exemplify Christian character far outweigh the shortcomings of the corporation. God has blessed me with an abundance of people to interact with and the ability to carry out His will.  I am amazed, by the way; God fills me with the Holy Spirit and the places this takes me in regards to my fellows.
One day I was waiting for the service elevator to arrive and saw a lady with a distressed look on her face. I said to her, “smile someone loves you”, and she looked over at me with appreciation. We departed and later that day as our paths crossed again, I noticed her smiling. I can remember a time in my past that I was blinded to other people’ needs because my world was self-centered.
My favorite stop in the hospital is the maternity ward. Here is where God reveals to me His unconditional love. He brings me face to face with His creativeness. I am in my fifties and have no children. For me, there is no another encounter like this one either on the job or elsewhere. Here I am the most connect with God and seeing the newborns is always an awe, awe moment. The feeling He places in my soul is incredible. That has inspired me to continue to improve on my relationship with Christ.
Recently, I came across a guy who was struggling with assembling shelving. I asked him if he needed help, and he answered yes. The few minutes this took out of my usual routine was not missed, and the thankfulness he shared was well worth it. I walked away with gratitude. I thanked God for using me the way He intended for that precise opportunity in following His commands. The Holy Spirit fills my heart every time I make these types of efforts.
These are only a few examples that have happened to me on this job. Christ has taught me that not everything is profound. Paying attention to the finer details is where God changes my outlook, and I am able to see the bigger picture of His plan. When I am in Christ’ zone the better I am able to live selflessly.

There is no better way for me to live because the possibilities with Christ are infinite. Developing a personal relationship with God has allowed me to see the best in all things even in the worst situations. The more connected I am with Christ, the better I am in giving. As a result of living in salvation, the need for personal recognition evaporates.

A Day in Life

   A loud buzzing sound fills my bedroom. My eyes open slightly. I glance over at the nightstand where the clock sits displaying 3 a.m. The debating committee in my head contemplates hitting the snooze button. Today’s choice is to get up.  Placing my feet on the floor, I arise and sit on the edge of the pillow top mattress. I rub my eyes and greet a new day. The alarm worked like a charm. I have gotten out of bed, and the first hurdle of the day has been successful.
 There is a reason behind getting up early. The answer to this early birds rise is not typical. Yes, I have to be at work on time that happens to be 5 in the morning. Driving the thirty minute commute is inevitable.  The twenty minute hygiene time is going through the motion. Coffee and a cigarette are optional. All of those steps are necessary to fulfill my responsibility to the employer. The real deal is my commitment to Christ. I have to start my day off in the Light because failing to do so opens the top to Pandora’s Box.
   Before I was saved, my reactions to life’s terms were filled with negative thinking and wrongful behavior. I did not look forward in crawling out of bed because there was nothing I liked about the world. I was engulfed with anger, and full of pessimism. I treated others unkindly and caused harm to those around me. I felt entitled to everything and wallowed in self-pity because nothing good was happening. My conscience was non-existent, and I compromised every Christian moral imaginable. I was like a tornado leaving behind a long trail of wreckage.    
   So, upon awaking it is imperative for me to start my devotion. Surrendering myself to God is the difference maker in responding spiritually to the challenges of the day. That gives me the best possible approach in facing the people, places and things I will encounter. I have learned through salvation, there are hidden situations contained in a twenty-four hour period. My preparation is proportionate in the way I handle the ups and downs of life.
   As a result, from following God, I have come to understand that a day in life has a series of books at my disposal. In order for me to reach for the right one I need support. God has the only bookends strong enough to keep me from leaning. He allows me to stay upright under all circumstances. No matter how faltering I become the wisdom in overcoming my difficulties lies in God’s library. The Bible is the truth. The key to unlocking the door to God’s kingdom is putting faith into action, and His rewards are limitless. I no longer have to stumble over the events of the day.

   At the end of every day, I set aside time with Christ to examine myself. I sit down and write about the events of the day, reviewing the times I have fallen short, people I have hurt and asking for forgiveness. I include situations where I acted spiritually and thank Jesus for guiding me. Now I can sleep in peace with a clean slate, clear conscience and the promise of a better tomorrow. 


This article was part of a writer’s challenge submitted to Faith Writers several months ago. The topic was bookends and the word count was 725 or less.

The Master

      One of the most beautiful, professional golf course on the PGA tour is Augusta National. Every year the Master’s Golf Championship is held on its grounds. The stunning display of blooming azaleas, dogwoods and plush green grass are captured by the camera’s eye for all to see. The pro golfers and announcers always comment on the splendidness of its natural setting.
   In our Christian lives, we understand how creative God is, and this golf course is a prime example of His marvelous imagination. God’s vision is pure and appealing to the human eye. The Garden of Eden was full of beautiful and magnificent breath taking scenery.
   Adam and Eve had an up close and personal view of the Lord’s paradise. Even though, Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation, God loved them enough to continue giving them glimpses of His beauty. Today, we too through Christ are connected, in the same way, as our ancient ancestors.

   Every professional golfer wants the green jacket on their resume. The rich tradition associated with this major tournament is a well-established prestigious attribute. This event is not open to all pros. In order to play golf on its course, there are requirements to meet.

  There are nineteen different ways a golfer can be accepted into this yearly brotherhood. Seven of them are awarded for winning the other three majors as well as a Master’s itself. The next eleven, ranges from current world rankings to top finishes in the other majors. The last way is an invitation from the Master’s tournament committee. As a result, from narrowing down the field, the best golfers are invited.
   Living in salvation also has certain criteria to meet in order to participate. The first step into the Light is faith. There is no way to enter into the Kingdom without trusting in Christ. All people can become a part of His house because God’s plan is designed to include everyone. However, without applying faith the door remains shut. God responds to those who are humble, honest and willing to follow His way regardless of personal sacrifice.

   Faith without action is useless. The best way to incorporate this spiritual necessity is developing a personal relationship with God through Christ. Devotion is its key and when we approach the Lord with sincerity a presence arrives inside our hearts. God allows us to feel Him, and this change us from a believer in knowing the Truth. As a result of our willingness to rely upon Jesus, we have been granted the way to experience God’s grace. This connectedness is unlike any other because God’s love is incredible.

   Our rebirth supplies us with a Christian courage able to withstand any calamity, circumstance or peer pressure life can deal out. This spiritual confidence derives from our reliance upon Christ in all our affairs leading to strength beyond our own. God makes no mistakes, and His power is the only way we can overcome the most painful situations.
 The impact Jesus has in healing the soul separates the believers from the unbelievers. His compassion for the human race is second to none and all that is required to receive it is our undivided attention to His existence. Missing His mark surely signs our death warrant because salvation is all about eternal life.
   On Sunday, the last day of the Master’s, when the final pairing finishes the tournament ends. A champion claims his crown. All the trials and tribulations the golfers endured comes to an end. The emotional and mental anguish felt from the week events fades away, and the winner burst into tears. The famous green jacket changes hands, and they prepare for their return next spring to repeat the challenge.

   Well, the good news is that by walking in the footprints of Christ, we are victorious over excessive sinning. Our partnership in Heaven comes from the Master of life who preside over us. We know this because we have been providing the wisdom to life’s riddle from the Savior. The spiritual knowledge we need to live righteously can only come from the Messiah, and this makes anything possible.
 Once we live in God’s Word, then, we depart from our individualism and enter into a life driven by a desire to grow in the image of our Creator. We have the courage to live by faith, and forgiving others become the measuring stick of our obedience.  We want to seek and do the will of the Father because we have been touched by the Holy Spirit.

   Every day we are given the opportunity to be of selfless service to God, Christ and others. The more we let go and let Christ manage our lives the better we are at staying on straight and narrow. We discover this happens automatically, and the meaning of life becomes usefully whole. We enjoy loving others and can make a difference in other peoples’ lives. Our purpose and responsibility as Christians is to grow spiritually with each other and help unbelievers find the Path. Through the guidance of Christ, we can lead others to God.

  The road to redemption is like golf because there is always a need to get better. The biggest room in the world is a room for improvement. There is always room to draw closer to the Lord. We are bonded together through Christ as a family and united as one voice in carrying His message.



   This awakening to the facts about the death and resurrection of Jesus confirms the absolute truth about eternal life. Whether we are a new believer or a seasoned veteran the basics of salvation are the same. Living in faith, trusting Christ and humbling ourselves before God builds an unshakable foundation for living. Those fundamental spiritual principles are the backbone of Christian character.

There is no conclusion to a saved life only inclusion through Jesus. The membership in God’s club is granted, and it will take our willingness to follow Christ to remain there. No matter what happens to us here on earth we know that God’s love is infinite, and our Savior’s shield will always pull us through.


In the spring of 1985, I found myself at the doorstep of mom’s house. She was expecting me, but unprepared for the shock of her life. I had called to inform her that I was coming back home. I hopped into my car and drove the four and half hour trip. I was a physical wreck for it took every bit of strength I could muster up to complete the journey. I had the shakes and a severe hangover from the previous night. I cannot remember the last time I had taken a sober breath.
I pulled into the childhood driveway, threw the transmission into park, and walked up to the front door. With my right hand, I reached for the doorknob, twisted it and walk through the threshold. I was embraced with a loving hug followed by sobbing. The tears falling down the cheeks of her face were not joyful but terror. She did not recognize her youngest son because she remembered her boy being full of life. Bewilderment radiated through her expression, and she was devastated. I was one hundred and ten pounds and the skin on my face was sunken inward, giving the appearance of a sick and frail young man. I was speechless, hopeless and desperate.
I was only away from home for three years. I never thought it would end up like this. I was full of ambition, ready to take life by the horns. I had visions of prestige by planning to make a name for myself. I had a lot of good intentions. These should have been achievable goals, but the demons inside myself stripped away anything worthwhile.
I had reached that point where alcohol had its way with me. I could not stop this insidious reoccurring nightmare because everything I tried to stop drinking drove me deeper into the black hole of powerlessness. Bottle after bottle, time and again, I would repeat the same mistakes always expecting a different result. Instead, I was faced with the fact of being an alcoholic. I had turned into the one thing I despised and a spitting image of dad.
I was baffled, ashamed and did not know where to turn. My parents agreed to provide me a place to stay under the condition I would seek help. I was willing and took them up on their offer. Mom knew of a counselor who specialized in alcohol addiction. So I contacted him. After the first face to face session with Mr. Barfield and just before leaving his office, he handed me a flyer with a list of twelve-step programs. He highly suggested I start attending meetings.
I decided to choose one and did not know what to expect from the twelve-step program. I was scared. I cannot recall the topic at my first meeting. I continued attending and began to identify with the medical description of alcoholism. The way they laid it out made perfect sense because for the first time concerning my drunkenness there was a logical explanation. It spoke volumes, and as I looked back at the past, there was concrete evidence staring me between the eyes.
Then came their hook, line, and sinker that would be the only solution to my predicament. God! That presented me with a major stumbling block because I was agnostic. There could be no God in this world riddled with evilness. I was highly offended by their seemingly shallow outlook. How could God do anything for me?
Well, they said to me, just hang in there a little longer. Don’t give up before the miracle happens is a frequent slogan. Things did change. God began to work on me, and I gradually found faith. As a result, from seeking God a transformation began taking root, and I learned a lot about how He works. I came to understand that through trusting Him everything will be taken care regardless of the current situation.
The power I received from His strength allowed me to make amends for my wrong doings as well as healing my heart. Even though I found the effect of God, I failed to maintain it and became complacent. I was content with the way my spiritual life was and started to slack off in my devotion. I did not realize the danger this type of view would bring. This blindness cost me dearly and after eighteen years of sobriety, I got drunk.
I remember the moment I started using alcohol again was not wise. Everything God had done for me was tossed aside because I decided to get drunk. The insanity of alcoholism returned with a fury taking me places of degradation. I was in the grip of wickedness unlike any I had known. I was dying a slow and miserable death.
God did not give up on me and continued calling me back. I finally heard Him after eight years of misery. He opened His arms, and I embraced Him. God picked up where He had left off and quickly showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. As I walked down God’s tunnel, He delivered me to His Son Jesus Christ and into salvation. I now know the Light at the end of God’s tunnel is Heaven.