Crying Out: Indulging in Depravity, Part 2

“…we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind]. But God…”

The 365 Lesson: Many of our pre-cross lives told a story of selfishness, indulgence, and sin. We took part in hedonistic practices, without a care. We were unrestrained and intemperate. Ignorance and bliss led us down a road of demise. We were headed straight toward a dark and fatal disconnect from God. Depravity ruled.

Question: Does depravity still have rule over your life…post the cross?

Once we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and LORD, we were sealed with the Spirit. We no longer had to or have to walk alone. We no longer had to or have to face bondage and struggle as an independent party of one. Still, many of us live, move, breathe, and exist without a true understanding of the Holy Spirit.

Question: Who is the Holy Spirit, and what role does He play in the life of a Christian?

Challenge: Thoroughly read each of the Scriptures mentioned below. Write down your takeaways. Revisit your notes daily over the next two weeks. Feel free to post your comments and/or share your thoughts with the Phone Tree Bible Study Group.

Scripture Reflection: Psalm 139, Ephesians 2, and Romans 8

Question: Is there anywhere we can go to escape the depravity of the world?

Up Next: Can’t Stop, Can’t Quit


Crying Out: Indulging in Depravity, Part 1

“…we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind]. But God…”


Scripture Reflection: Ephesians 2

The 365 Lesson: The world in which we live can be very wicked. It can, in fact, be incredibly overwhelming to the senses. Strangely enticing, it can lure us into dark, addictive games that can lead us down a road riddled with depravity and indulgence. It can take each of us on a mind trip meant to entrap our bodies, strip our souls, and break our spirits. For the saint – the one who has chosen to accept and follow after the LORD – there is hope, however.

Challenge: Read Ephesians 2 thoroughly. List every hope, encouragement, and positive takeaway found in this chapter.

Prayer: Dearest Father and Most High God, thank You for Your abiding presence in our lives. Thank You for Your living Word and saving Light. Your power, grace, mercy and love are unmatched and are so perfectly good. We ask that You free each of us from the wickedness that so easily besets us. Remove the bonds of sin that we have grown so comfortable wearing. Save us from the darkness that disturbs our peace, dims our paths, and ensnares our minds. Show us the “but God” in every situation, and give us the courage, strength, and determination to overcome. In the name of Jesus, we pray and believe. Amen.

Up Next: Indulging in Depravity, Part 2

A Cautionary “Tell” on Highs & Lows


A. M. Thoughts: 
Life brings with it many highs and lows. The highs are those feel good moments that allow for personal victories and triumphs. The lows are those what was that moments that challenge or stretch us beyond our level of comfort. Whether you find yourself on the high end or low end of these moments, it is important to center or rather to ground yourself by staying close to the LORD and in His Word. 


If one dwells on or in the high indefinitely, there is a possibility that pride may begin to consume you. How does this happen? It happens slowly. It happens subtly. It begins with a general sense of elation, but it later shifts and becomes an inflated sense of self. (No, not in all cases, of course.) One begins to think, “Look what I have done! Look at what I can do.” I versus God becomes the focus. 

There is danger in this thinking. When God is taken out of the equation, it is then easier for Satan to lure and entice. Without an attachment to God or a grounding in Him, more and more selfish liberties can be taken, more and more tainted excuses can be made for why something was accomplished, etc. It is at this point that the evil one has you. He knows that he simply has to attract self to self.  In doing so, he understands  that it negates your need for God. Be warned! This is dangerous.

In contrast (and yet not), if one dwells on the lows constantly, there is a possibility that hopelessness can suffocate or rather drain the life out of you. How does this happen? It happens slowly. It happens subtly. It begins with a doubt, moves into fear, and germinates and grows into immobility. One begins to think, “Can I do this? Is there anything I can even do to fix this, change that, or make things right?” I versus God becomes the focus.

There is danger in this thinking. When dark, debilitating thoughts become more prominent in one’s mind and heart, there is then no room for God. (No, not in all cases, of course.) If God is pushed out or crowded out, the evil knows that he’s got you. He understands that darkness can be eradicated by light. The Light – the LORD Himself – casts out ALL darkness. He and He alone casts out Satan every time you hope, believe and trust in Him. He doesn’t want you to realize the power you have access to. 

Scripture Reflection: Proverbs

Challenge: Make a list of your successes. Give thanks to God for every one of them. Next, write down your challenges. Thank God for them also. Once you have done the aforementioned, prostrate yourself before the LORD and fully surrender your highs and lows. Give yourself into His keeping. Ask the LORD to direct you, to guide you, and to tell you (by way of His Word) what He would have you do from this point forward.


It All Comes Down to This, Part 1

Cross in Chilean Desert
A. M. Thoughts: When all is said and done, it comes down to this for me.


– Created the heavens and the earth

– Is the First and the Last

–  Is not man that He should lie

– Gave His only begotten Son

– Is not willing that any should perish

– Is the Way, the Truth and the Life

– Will never leave or forsake us

– Will make a way out of temptation 

– Has all authority 

– Is love

By His stripes, we are healed. 

What does it come down to for you?

Challenge: Write down the things you have come to know about the LORD. Allow Scripture to guide you.

Scripture Reflection: Jeremiah 29:13


Love God More


Happy New Year! 

2017 has just begun, and it is fresh and new, with no mistakes in it. 

What will you do? How will you go forward? When will you live and move and breathe in the abundance that is spoken of in the Bible? Where will you serve?

Will you strive to move beyond self? Will you seek to know God more? Will you walk in His truth? Will you surrender to the LORD who was King yesterday and still exists as such today?

If you hear nothing else of import this year, hear this. Know this. You must, I must, we must love God more. 

Love Him more than your favorite comfort. Love Him more than your favorite perversion. Love Him more than your secret obsession and your pet sins. Love Him more than your selfish needs, your costly wants and your deviant desires. 

Love God More! 

You can do it. I can do it. We can do it. He will help us. 

Scripture Reflection: 2 Peter 3

Challenge: Share this message with someone you care about deeply and commit to praying for them, without ceasing.


Fear is the Beginning 

Scripture of Reflection: Proverbs 1:7

A.M. Thoughts: 

He who is holy and Most High – the Father, Son, and Spirit – was first. Before all, He established Himself as LORD. No other was to be before Him. No other is meant to take His place. And yet…

What becomes the god or gods of our lives? What do we allow to take the place of our Creator and Savior? Who or what serves as our spiritual guide, compass, or teacher? What prideful, empty representation do we lose ourselves in, deluding ourselves into thinking that we are safe, saved, and satisfied? 

Going back to the beginning of our knowledge is paramount when we have, perhaps, lost sight of the who, what, why and how of God. It is helpful to be reminded of His God-ness, His goodness, and His grace. 

Study Challenge: Investigate, explore, and discover what Proverbs 1:7 is all about. Look into the richness of reverence for the Almighty. Seek to understand how fear is the beginning. 


It Is In This Moment

A Remembrance Journal Entry|June 2016   
It is in this moment that I realize…

My first breath of the day is a gift. Whom shall I praise? 

The moment before I open my eyes upon fully waking is a treasure. Whom shall I honor?

The quiet stillness that greets me at first light is a blessing. Whom shall I thank?

The unique experiences that have been set for my day are indeed purposed. Whom shall I trust? 

The challenges, obstacles and problems of yesterday, yesteryear, and tomorrow can be easily surrendered and resolved. Whom shall I believe?

Every moment is another opportunity to taste and see the majesty and goodness of my LORD. Whom shall I revere?

The beautiful rhythm that my heart is beating is centered at a most excellent foundation – the Most High. Whom shall I love? 

Scripture Reflection: Psalm 145