When my soul is in the dumps…what to do?

Story of the day: When my soul is in the dumps…what to do? 

Dr. Michael A. Guido writes: “In our hour of desperation where can we turn? The psalmist speaks of needing God in order to survive. Throughout all of the tests and the troubles, God is there sustaining His people. He causes us to triumph because He is our strength and our life.”[1]

A famous American leader wrote: “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better.” You may be surprised to know that the man who wrote that was Abraham Lincoln.

Years later, in the darkest days of the Civil War, Lincoln wrestled constantly with the specter of unrelenting despair. It can strike anyone. No one is immune. Not even a nation’s president. Here is this marvelous man with magnificent character, feeling absolutely alone….Surely, the president ought to sleep well because of his protection, because of his wise counsel, to say nothing of his financial security. Yet there he was, tossing and turning through the night, haunted by dark and debilitating thoughts.”[2]

And yet through it all, God clearly shows us in Psalm 42:1-11 how to defeat desperation. When my soul is in the dumps, God promises to love me all day, and sing songs all through the night. My life is God’s prayer. I hear God whisper from Heaven, “why are you down in the dumps dear soul? Fix your eyes on me, and I will put that smile back on your face.”

Quote of the day: Dr. Michael A. Guido

“God makes beautiful things out of broken things. He is not one to leave us in our pain. At times, He may send tests upon us so that He may show Himself trustworthy and turn us back to Him. He is Savior and God; is He yours?”[3]

Bible verse of the day: Psalm 42:5-6 (NIV) 

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Today is a new day. I will be glad and rejoice in it. Father though my soul may be down in the dumps at times, I find peace knowing that You promise to love me all day every day and that my life is Your prayer. Father, give me wisdom each day to make the right choices and to stand firm in all that I do for Your Will and not my own. I continue to ask for guidance in all areas that I walk, and grace to sustain them. I love You Father and I am so grateful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


     [1] Dr. Michael A. Guido, Nelson’s Annual Preacher Sourcebook. “How to Defeat Desperation: by Dr. Michael A. Guido.” Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008, pg. 22.

    [2] Roy P. Basler. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Rutgers University Press, 1953.

    [3] Dr. Michael A. Guido, Nelson’s Annual Preacher Sourcebook. “How to Defeat Desperation: by Dr. Michael A. Guido.” Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008, pg. 22.

May 2010


Story of the day: Losing=Gain

On my father’s farm were certain fields sowed by hand. He would strap on a canvas contraption that looked somewhat like a kangaroo pouch, fill it with seed, and go out to sow. He would cast seed everywhere.

When a farmer sows seed in his field, it looks like he’s throwing it away. It seems to be lost, but it isn’t really gone. In due time he gets it back–with much more besides.

When we give ourselves to Christ, it may seem to people as if we’re throwing our life away. But He said that it is only as we lose our lives in Him that we find true life. (Matthew 10:39)

Jesus teaches us to measure our lives by losses rather than gains, by sacrifices rather than self-preservation, by time spent for others rather than time lavished upon ourselves, by love poured out rather than love poured in.

It’s a rule of life: God blesses those who give of their lives and resources (2 Corinthians 9:6). Give out the truth you know, and He’ll give you more to give away. Give your time, and you’ll have more time to give. Set no limit on your love, and you’ll have more love for others than before.

Israel’s wise man said, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more” (Proverbs 11:24). It’s one of the oldest paradoxes in the world, but it works. [Roper, David. Our Daily Bread Sample Edition: Losing to Gain. Grand Rapids: RBC Ministries. 2001].

Quote of the day: Wordsworth

“When you grasp, you lose; when you give to God, you gain.”

Bible verse of the day: 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV)

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Today and everyday I pray to be a sower of seeds, giving of my time, love, and myself to all those that I may come across. I most importantly give everything that I am to You in full faith knowing that You will protect and care for me. I love You Father and I am so thankful for the things You have shown to me when I do give to others by way of growing closer to You and experiencing a joy like no other. I thank You for this day and the blessings that it holds.

In Jesus Name I pray,


April 2010

Feeling Secure

Story of the day: Feeling Secure

Each night has become routine to ensure that all of the doors leading to the outside are locked. There is a sense of security in knowing that a small bolt can keep you safe and secure.

Feeling secure is a high priority in this unsafe, volatile world. A private investigation agency in Florida promises to “work diligently to restore the sense of security and safety that you and your family deserve.”

The psalmist found a “secret place, where he felt safe (Psalm 91:1). And we can rest secure in that same place. He described it with these phrases”

Under the shadow of the Almighty (v.1). Shadows provide protection from the direct heat of the sun. If the heat is severe, the shade reduces what we actually feel. When we’re under God’s shadow, we do not face the full heat of our difficulties.

A refuge and a fortress (v.2). God is the strongest protector we could ever have, and we can run to Him for help. Nothing can penetrate Him to get to us unless it’s part of His loving plan for our ultimate good.

Under His wings. (v.4). God is soft and tender like a caring mother bird. When troubles rage, He draws us close. We don’t need to fear that He will cast us out–we are His.

A dwelling place. (v.9). Our Father will be our home, our abiding place–now and forever.

True security can be found only in our Lord, who promises to save us and be near us (vv.15-16). [Cetas, Anne. Our Daily Bread: Secret Security. USA: Discovery House Publishers. 2005-2006. December 14.]

Quote of the day: Havergal

“No one is more secure than those who are in God’s hands.”

Bible verse of the day: Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being my refuge and fortress. You cover me with Your grace and because of this I can stand firm in all that I do. Father, as I am filled by Your Word today, direct my path according to Your Will so that the things that I do throughout my day, will bring You joy. I love You and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


April 2010

It’s Simple

Story of the day: It’s Simple

There are so many lizards here in New Mexico. They run to and fro, up and down, and inside and out of the house. I don’t mind lizards, I actually find them kind of interesting. One thing that I think is remarkable is how they can camouflage themselves to just about anything. If they are hiding on a brown house, then they turn brown. If their item that they are on is gray, then they turn gray. It is as if they become one with their surrounding, so much so that you can’t tell them apart from the object that they are trying to look like. Once they have camouflaged to their item, you don’t see the lizard anymore, you only see the object on which they have camouflaged to.  I think sometimes:

many of us are working hard at the Christian life. Many are doing overtime efforts; many are coming to church, reading their Bible, saying their prayers, and trying to do better, but they are failing. All THEIR efforts are not working. They’ve made promises, committed, and then recommitted. These Christians are sincere. They are honest. They are doing their best. The problem is that many Christians are often so focused on themselves that they are missing out on what God is really looking for. God’s goal for us is simple. He wants to conform us to the image of His Son. [Evans, Tony. Tony Evan’s Book of Illustrations. Chicago: Moody Publishers. 2009. pg.58.]

In other words, He wants us to camouflage ourselves to Christ.

Quote of the day: Christy Povolish

“If we are camouflaged in Christ, people looking at us the will see Christ and not us.  ”

Bible verse of the day: Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank  You so much for Your Son. It is in His likeness that I want to be transformed. Father, I pray to be camouflaged into your likeness so that when others see me, they don’t see me, they see You. May Your love pour out of me and into those around me, providing encouragement and hope. Thank You for lifting me up when I need to be lifted, encouraging me when I need encouraging. It is Your Living Water that I drink and it fills me each and every day. I offer my day to You and whatever Your will is for this day, I pray to walk accordingly. I love You Father and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


April 2010

Running on thin ice?

Story of the day: Running on thin ice?

There was a man one day whose wife was very ill. It was in the frontier days and he had to get to a pace that had medicine to save his wife’s life. The only problem was that it was wintertime and in order to get to the person with the medicine, he had to cross a lake. The lake had been iced over. His wife’s life depended upon it, so he had to get up and cross this cold lake that had now been covered with ice. He was terrified. He was concerned that the ice would break. Sacred to death but spurned on by love for his wife, he got down on his hands and knees and inched along, ever so carefully.

All of a sudden, he felt a rumbling on the ice. He was even more terrified. Maybe the ice was cracking. The rumbling got louder. It became thunderous. The man was living in terror. But as the noise got closer, he looked up behind him and saw a man driving a team of horses across the ice. The horses pulled a carriage that was loaded with a bunch of boxes and it just went thundering across the ice. All of a sudden, the man stood up, started walking, and then running. This man who was full of fear became a man full of confidence. He learned something about the ice. He learned that if it could hold a team o horses thundering across it, it could certainly hold him.

If you want to have more confidence in God, then hang around somebody who’s riding with God with a team of horses so that you’ll know He can carry you with whatever you are facing. Find somebody who’s been where you are and has experienced God’s deliverance. Their story of faith will encourage you. [Evans, Tony. Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations. Chicago: Moody Publishers. 2009. pg. 99-100.]

Quote of the day: Hess

“Fear hinder faith, but trust kindles confidence.”

Bible verse of the day: 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Each and every day, I place my complete faith in You. It is my faith that keeps me grounded and provides peace that passes all understanding. I am thankful to You for showering me with grace and for always being there for me. I know that I can stand firm in You today and that Your strength will fill me to overflowing. I love You Father and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


April 2010

Are you a dipper or an abider?

Story of the day: Are you a dipper or an abider?

Yesterday at church, I was debating whether I wanted coffee to wake me up a some hot tea. I chose the hot tea, cream, and sugar. There’s something about hot tea on a sunny day that makes my morning. Being a tea drinker, cold and hot, I didn’t realize just how many different ways there are to drink tea.

Some people are dippers. They dip their tea bag up and down in the mug. A lot of Christians are like that as well. They dip in on Sunday morning then dip back out. They dip back in on Wednesday night then they dip back out. But there’s another way to drink tea and that’s to be an abider. It involves the act of just dropping the tea bag into the water and letting it stay there. Without touching the bag an amazing thing will happen. The color of the water begins to change as the influence of the bag in the hot water effects change in the cup. A person can just sit and watch the transformation take place because of the act of abiding.

When you are a dipper you’ve got to make things happen by your own effort. You’ve got to move the bag up and down, dip a spoon in and out of the cup, wrap the string around the spoon, jerk, and then pull. It can require a lot of human effort. But when you are abiding, the water changes all by itself.

Once I was meeting with someone and we were both drinking tea. He was dipping and pulling away. I just let my tea bag sit. He told me that he couldn’t let his tea bag sit in the bag like that because his tea would get too strong. That’s exactly what happens when you abide. The depth of your abiding will determine the rate of your progress in the spiritual life. Jesus wants you to stay there and experience the full strength of His presence. [Evans, Tony. Tony Evans’ Book of illustrations. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009.]

Quote of the day: Jacquelyn K. Heasley

“Jesus lived His life for you—then he gave His life to you. Now He wants to live His life through you. Abide in Him.”

Bible verse of the day: John 15:4 (NKJV)

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

My prayer today is that I abide fully in You, so that I may rest in Your full presence. Too often it can seem easier to want to be a dipper instead of an abider, but wanting to do things on my own, only makes it about me and not You. Thank You for showing me the difference. I love you and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


March 2010

Authentic and Genuine

Story of the day: Authentic and Genuine

We live in a veneer world, one in which image is often valued more than reality, reputation more than character, and perception more than actuality. Veneer looks enough like the real thing, and it costs less.

But the image facade lasts only until the next latest style rolls off the assembly line. Image, again and again and again, demands that we forget the old and crave the new.

Nevertheless, when it comes to the substance life is made of, veneer is not enough. Success without regret, as well as healthy families and fruitful churches, require credibility and veracity. For God’s presence to be in attendance, it has to be genuine all the way to the core.

A story is told of a husband and wife who had just moved into their first home. Needing a desk, the husband stopped by a furniture store. His dream was to own a genuine oak rolltop desk…and as he was looking found one right in front of him. He loved the nostalgic look. He thought of how it would make a wonderful treasure to pass down to his grandchildren someday. It was on sale, so he threw caution to the wind and bought it.

He was proud of this stately piece of history that his grandchildren would one day inherit and call “Grandpa’s desk from the turn of the century.” He was feeling quite smug about his purchase until one day he noticed something curious. Upon his closer inspection, he was horrified to find that the only genuine oak on the whole desk were the rolls of the rolltop. The rest was oak veneer covering pressboard innards. He’d been too quick on the draw. He had purchased a pressboard desk that he thought was solid oak!

No one would want a pressboard desk as a family heirloom. If it’s going to be valuable and treasured, it has to be authentic and genuine. That alone would bring the worth we esteem. It has to be oak all the way to the core.

Do you know the same could be said of character? We are generally one of two types: veneer or solid oak. Under ideal circumstances, both look identical. You could easily mistake veneer for the real deal. But when life delivers its inevitable rough and tumble, it instantly becomes evident what’s made of sawdust and glue and what’s oak all the way through.

What’s your choice? They look alike on the surface, but one is a cheap imitation and one is eternal. [Cordeiro, Wayne. The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior. Bloomington: Bethany House Publishers. 2007. pgs. 129-130.]

Quote of the day: Wayne Codeiro

“Veneer falls short or falls apart. Oak has what it takes to finish and finish well.”

Bible verse of the day: Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)

“He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

My choice is to be oak all the way through. I pray that when my character is tested that just like the oak desk, will stand firm and strong because it is genuine and not made of something else. Thank You for leading me and showing me how to stand firm in my faith and to be true to myself no matter what the circumstances. I love You and thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,



Character-Driven vs Emotional-Driven

Story of the day: Character-Driven vs Emotional Driven

There’s a lot that can be said when regarding one’s behavior and why it is essential to base the behavior on reason and not emotion. First of all, if our behavior is acted out solely on our emotional state, then we could have many problems. Emotions, according to Wikipedia.com states that an emotion is associated with mood, temperament, personality, and disposition, where people behave in certain ways as a direct result of their emotional state. With that being said, our behavior should never be based on emotion, because it can always change depending on how we “feel.”

Being character-driven versus emotional-driven is not that different from basing our daily behavior on reasoning instead of emotions. Character-driven is where the person always tends to do the right thing regardless of how they “feel.” Being a person that is a character-driven person is a lot different from the emotional-driven person. The emotional-driven person seems to make decisions based on convenience, attitude, what is easier, popular, and seems to give up when problems surface.

Nothing stands the test like solid character. You can handle the blast (of adversity) like a steer in a blizzard. The ice may form on your horns, but you keep standing against the wind and the howling, raging storm because Christ is at work in your spirit. Being Character-Driven will always win the day. [Swindoll, Chuck, Hope Again].

Quote of the day: Horace Greeley

“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.”

Bible verse of the day: Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You breathe into my character each day. Father, I pray to be a character-driven person, looking towards You to lead me in my thoughts, my words, and my actions. Father, if there is something going on in my life, may I not act out of emotion, but come to You before any decision is made. I love You and thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


February 2010

The Great Divide

Story of the day: The Great Divide

There once was an ant who felt imposed upon, overburdened, and overworked. You see, he was instructed to carry a piece of straw across an expanse of concrete. The straw was so long and heavy that he staggered beneath its weight and felt he would not survive. Finally, as the stress of his burden began to overwhelm him and he began to wonder if life itself was worth it, the ant was brought to a halt by a large crack in his path. There was no way of getting across that deep divide, and it was evident that to go around it would be his final undoing. He stood there discouraged. Then suddenly a thought struck him. Carefully laying the straw across the crack in the concrete, he walked over it and safely reached the other side. His heavy load had become a helpful bridge. The burden was also a blessing. [Author Unknown]

Quote of the day: Hawkes

“Tough times teach trust.”

Bible verse of the day: 2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV)

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;”


Dear Heavenly Father,

When the stresses of my life seem to overburden me, may I be reminded that You won’t give me more than I can handle. Just like the ant that felt the task before him was too much to bear, in the end became his blessing. Teach me today how to use my struggles that I face to become my strengths. I love You Father and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,


February 2010

Barely denting the pile?

Story of the day: Barely denting the pile?

In 1991, a judge fined brothers Geno and Russell Capozziello, owners of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, wrecking company, nearly $900,000 for operating an illegal dump. In 1986, on the empty lots surrounding their facility, the brothers began dumping debris from buildings. Eventually the mound of rubble and muck covered two acres and reached a height of thirty-five feet, the equivalent of a three-story building.

The state ordered them to clean it up, but the brothers claimed there was no place to dump it legally in Bridgeport, and they could not afford to have it hauled away. While spending more than $330,000 the previous year to have debris hauled away, they barely dented the pile. According to Geno, “It was never supposed to get this high. [Michael E. Hardin]

Quote of the day: Edward Rowell

“Like garbage, the effects of sinful habits have a way of accumulating beyond our plans and beyond our control.”

Bible verse of the day: 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Search my heart and bring to the light any sin that may be piling up in my life so that I may confess it to You and be cleanses from any of my wrong doing. My heart’s desire is to continue to grow in Your Word and to minister to others. Thank You for Your Grace and forgiveness of all my sins and for loving me unconditionally just as I am.

In Jesus Name I pray,