Morning Encouragement – Happy New Year

Morning Encouragement

Happy New Year

Good morning,
Happy New Year 2019! It is time again to make your New Year’s Resolution(s); time to go back to the gym, give up a bad habit, and/or change your diet.  Resolving to make changes in your life at the start of a new year is an age-old tradition that dates back to the Babylonian period (approximately 1720 – 539 BCE)[1]. Making resolutions sounds good and we do, for the most part, fully intend to see them through. The problem is, they are as Mary Poppins put it, “cupcake promises” easily made and easily broken. You see, we break promises to our self-first because we accept our own justification however flimsy it may be. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, came up with a better idea in 1720 when he enacted the “Covenant Renewal Service”; The purpose of the service is to set a time for the people to reaffirm their vows that they had made to God[2]. During one of these services on New Year’s Eve 33 years ago in Atsugi Japan, at the Pastor’s prompting, I asked God for one thing in 1986 and that was for God to choose a wife for me and to start a family. I did not ask God for a person by name, I did not have one in mind, and I was not seeing anybody. God did not ask for me to make any promises nor, did he demand a sacrifice of any type simply, that I will be obedient and wait for him. Because I was obedient in waiting for him and not following Abraham’s misguided attempt at helping (Gen 16), he came through for me. When I got back from Japan in late April of 1986, I was lying in bed and an angel spoke in a loud audible voice proclaiming that I would marry Janine Christians and the name of my first-born son would be Joshua. I had met Janine two years earlier prior to going to Japan. Prior to the angel speaking to me, Janine and I had not dated nor spoken to each other with the exception of two letters (one from her and one from me) and that was to ask for a Kimono. We went out on a date a day or so later and I fell head over heels in love with her and asked her if she would marry me; we married in May of 86. We have been happily married for now 33 years this May. I am nobody special and what God did for me, he can do for you. The secret is not where you recommit your life nor, is it when you recommit it; simply that you be obedient and wait for him; if you ask God to do something in your life with no preconceived notion He will come through (Psalms 37:4)! My encouragement as you look to 2019, is that you recommit your life to God and then ask him to do something wonderful for you this year.
God said to Solomon, “Because you have asked for wisdom and have not asked for yourself a long life nor for wealth, nor for the lives of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to recognize justice, 12 behold, I have done as you asked. I have given you a wise and discerning heart (mind) so that no one before you was your equal, nor shall anyone equal to you arise after you. 13 I have also given you what you have not asked, both wealth and honor, so that there will not be anyone equal to you among the kings, for all your days (1st Kings 3:11-13).
Father,
You do not ask for our riches nor, do you want our stuff; simply, you want us to be obedient to you in all that we do. You have plans for our life that we cannot possibly comprehend. The problem is, many of your plans for our life go undone because we try to help instead of letting go and getting out of the way. Help me to be obedient in this new year 2019 to what you have called me to do. May each and every one of you has the best year of your life.
May God richly bless you this year
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com


[1] History Online. History of New Year’s Resolutions. Retrieved https://www.history.com/news/the-history-of-new-years-resolutions.
[2] Johnathan Powers. John Wesley’s Covenant Renwal Services (For Today). Retrieved https://www.seedbed.com/john-wesleys-covenant-renewal-service-today/

Morning Encouragement – Starting From Where We Are

Morning Encouragement

Starting from Where We are

Good morning
For the past week, my wife and I traveled thru out the Phoenix AZ area on vacation from Minnesota. We visited a couple of places of note: the “Orange Patch” which is located just outside of Mesa and “The Olive Mill” which is located in Queen Creek a suburb of Mesa.  The Orange patch is the last remaining orange grove in operation in Mesa which sells fruit and raw honey to the residents and tourists. I talked to one of the employees at the Orange Patch about the urban sprawl and asked how it has affected them. I was told that the area surrounding the patch was at one time lined with Orange tree groves; now, they are not certain they will be in business next year.  When the first homes were built, the draw was “Move into the country and get out of the noisy city”. As time progressed, more of the country was sold and parceled out for new developments until the “country” is now a “noisy city”. As I looked at the layout of the property and the number of developments surrounding it, the thought crossed my mind how the farms appeared to no longer fit in the surroundings; sort of like seeing a parking lot full of brand-new Mercedes Benz and, in the middle is a beat-up old Ford. What is left of the once sprawling farm fields is simply a street named after the former owner or business name; for example, the development that is built on the orange grove has named “Orange Grove Estates”.  Urban sprawl has not claimed every inch of the property as some of the new residents of the land have an orange, a lemon, or some other fruit tree in their backyard as a design.  When I considered these things, the thought crossed my mind how our lives are much like the land. In our youth, our lives are open to whatever life has to offer. Through a process of time, we sell off or give away parts of our life in order to meet ours or our family’s current needs. I think of the number of families whose finances dictate the need to work at the expense of the real treasure, the family unit; everybody at one point in time or another has fallen prey to the demands of life. My encouragement for you today is for you to maintain the areas of your life that uniquely define you that is, your gifts and talents. Never let progress or the demands of life steal away the valuables of your life or your family. Once these are given away, there is no getting them back again any more than one can evict legal homeowners, tear down the developments, and return the land back to a farm.
This is what the Lord says,
He who makes a way through the sea
And a path through the mighty waters, He who brings out the chariot and the horse,
The army and the mighty warrior, (They will lie down together, they will not rise again;
They have been extinguished, they have been put out like a lamp’s wick): “Do not remember the former things,
Or ponder the things of the past. (Isaiah 43:16-18)
Father,
We are powerless to stop progress even if we close our eyes to what is going on around us.   Some of the changes in our life are welcomed others, are dreaded. It is true that we are not here on earth for all of eternity; others will come behind us and we will be forgotten no matter how many buildings we build books we write or time in at the office. Only you and your son Jesus are from all eternity. May your good Spirit guide us today. Be with my friends, family, and readers as they prepare for a new year.
Mike

 

All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – The King of Glory

Morning Encouragement

The King of Glory

Good morning,
Christmas day is a few days away and I wanted to take a few moments to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. It is hard to find joy in life in the world we are in currently when all around us are taunts of our common enemy who is bent on revenge. Why is this enemy bent on revenge? Because this Devil held reign over helpless mankind until the birth of the King. Now, we have the word of the Eternal King to hold onto. In the years, months, weeks, and days leading up to the birth of Jesus, the nation Israel, or what was left of it, had endured centuries of spiritual drought, in which the people only had the words that were spoken by Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel centuries prior. Because God was not speaking, the false prophets and government appointed priests filled in the gaps with spiritual non-sense. When all was bleak and apparently hopeless for the nation, a magical thing occurred, the birth of a boy child not by the hands of man but by the move of God’s hand. This very ordinary boy child would one day rule the nations not by fear nor by prowess in battle but by the way he taught the people, cared and provided for them not for his glory but for his Father. This very same boy child one day became the King of Glory; his kingdom was not an earthly kingdom that would fade into history but an eternal kingdom that is alive and well today. This very same King wants you to be part of his kingdom that you will allow him to rule over your life. My encouragement for you today is that you will welcome this king on this very special day into your heart if you have not done so already; if you have welcomed him in, then let this be a day for renewing your vows and sharing the message. You may say, “I’ve screwed up so much that no one wants to help me”; yet, I tell you, there are nothing and no one that can stand in the way of the mighty Jehovah. To those of you in hospitals, prisons, and other places you would rather not be, I encourage you to take hold of the hand that will never let you down; forget about the former days and allow this day to be the first day of the rest of your life.
 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, your gates; lift them up, your ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty— he is the King of glory (Psalms 24:8-10).
 Father,
Today we celebrate the birth of your son Jesus. The world has witnessed a great throng of men and women who have come and gone. Our libraries are full of the words of these people; yet, only one person’s word in our entire history remains alive; That is the word of your son who came by means that still baffles the wise and the learned. Jesus’ life and testimony are life-changing even in the 21st century. Thank you for sending your son when it would have been easier to just annihilate the world once more and be done with it. Thank you for this special day in our life.
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – The Power of Prayer

Morning Encouragement

The Power of Prayer

Good morning,
A couple of days ago, I was listening to the news about the incoming political representatives who are preparing to put their signature on the political landscape. I became angry about what I read and what I saw on TV because I felt my values would be ignored. It was then that God spoke to my heart about the power of prayer. Three thoughts came to mind: King Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony (Daniel 3), the 10 kingdoms that would come ending at the time of the Messiah’s death (Daniel 10-12), and the events of Acts 2. The common tie of all three is a call to seek the God of Heaven and Earth and that our hearts would be pliable and usable. I hold in my hands, just as you hold in your hands, the power of prayer when combined with the command to live Godly lives in an ungodly world. When you consider the rebirth of Israel and the 2nd temple period, you might think that God mysteriously changed the heart of the wicked king by waving a magic wand or scaring them into submission. The truth is, the change was due to God’s servants doing the right thing in the darkest of places and the darkest of times. There is no world leader, no matter how wicked they are or what profession of faith they hold that can stand in the way of the procession of a Holy God. We must understand, above all else, that God is not on our side as to imply “we’ll always get our way”; rather, we must stand on God’s side doing what he asks of us which, includes praying for our leaders (1 Tim 2:2). My encouragement for you today, turns your worries and fears into streams of prayer and pray for our leaders and let God do the changing. If the scriptures and our history should teach us anything, it is that we are powerless to make people do what they do not want to do, and no amount of legislation will change that fact. This is not the time to shrink away but to stand up and seek the God of Heaven and Earth.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-6 amp).
Father
We hold in our hands and hearts the power that will transform the world from hatred to live in you and that is through prayer and petition. The enemy is fully aware of this power and seeks by the form of public disturbance to form laws that only exacerbate the situations of our world. Help your people to ever keep their eyes on you no matter what goes on in the world and always seek your face despite who the leaders may be. I call all of my brothers and sisters in all denominations and all professions to prayer this week.
In his Name
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – Happy Thanksgiving

Morning Encouragement

Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving!
Today would be a great day to tell everyone “Happy Thanksgiving”; yet, with the world events riding a roller-coaster, violence in every known corner of the world, and the disasters that pervade our world, it would be safe to say, “Thanks for nothing”! Saying “Thank you”, is not just a pleasantry, it recognizes the gifts we have received knowing that we did not buy them our self. When our focus is on the disasters of our life and not on the gifts we hold in our hands, we become ungrateful and unthankful. Truthfully, it is by far easier to be thankful when the winds of providence are in our favor then it is when the skies above us become bronze and the grounds beneath us become hard as iron (Deuteronomy 28:23). God’s word says that we should be thankful in season and out for a reason which is so that we can survive in this world and never lose focus on the Father.  The Devil loves nothing more than for our attitude to be mired by the disasters so that we stop trusting God, become bitter and then has become useless as salt that is no longer salient (Mark 9:50). My encouragement for you today is, that you will find a reason to be thankful even in your darkest hours. My heart goes out to those who are facing dire circumstances today either because of illness, destruction or, any other thing that eats away at your joy. I want to hear from you today if there is a specific prayer need or, just need a word of encouragement.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalms 98:2-3
Father,
Thank you for this season of our lives. In our world, we have witnessed countless acts of destruction and death that fly in the face of your word. I pray for the people in Paradise, CA whose entire town was destroyed by the wildfire, for the people who are ill, the families who have lost loved ones in recent days, and for the world at large. May your good Spirit guide us today and always.
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – Hostile Witness

Morning Encouragement

God’s Word on the Witness Stand

A Hostile Witness

Good morning,
In the process of law, there is a term called “hostile witness”. The purpose of treating a witness as hostile is to refute their testimony when it is detrimental to the defendant’s case. The lawyer’s job, after all, is to prove his/her client’s innocence. Ok, so why would the Word of God’s testimony be detrimental to our case? The answer is, in our theology; that is, “how we see God with respect to our religious views”. Here’s the problem, we enjoy reading the “feel good verses” and the ones that justify our argument or theology and turn a blind eye to the ones that would sink our argument. The first thing we do when our theology is called into question is to jump to defend it only to find out in the crucial hour that we were wrong. The Bible is a marvelous thing, people, in that it holds several thousand years of history, lessons learned, and true cry of God’s heart. If we do not read the whole word, we are missing key information that will help us in our daily walk. My encouragement for you today is, pick up the Bible and read it for yourself and make it a daily habit. Put the word of God on the witness stand of your life and let it bring into question your theology and philosophy even if it appears hostile to your belief(s). Without a doubt, we would all like to believe that our theology is correct but, one of two people are wrong: us or God.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 NIV).
Father,
 Thank you for your awesome word.  You impressed on the hearts of your servants across several centuries to write the word. People even risked their lives to write and disseminate it. If it was so important for the Bible to come into being, it must be equally important for us to read it and apply it to our lives.  Your word was never meant to be a hammer nor a paperweight rather, a living breathing part of our life. May your good Spirit guide us today and always.
In His Name

All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – Power of the Oath

Morning Encouragement

God’s Word on the Witness Stand

The Power of the Oath

Good morning,
In the legal world, the term “oath” is a solemn promise and invokes a divine witness (dictionary). Oaths have been a part of the fabric of man’s life from the very beginning to present day. As great and as moving as the oath is, what if the person uttering the words really didn’t believe what he or she was saying and only wanted to get something? Consider Zedekiah who was put in the place as governor of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar after the nation was taken into exile (2nd Chronicles 36). Prior to his assuming the position, Zedekiah was made to swear an oath in God’s name to honor the King by giving of tributes; in effect, Zedekiah’s words were his bond. In Judaism, taking an oath in God’s name was binding and carried a promise of destruction for breaking it. In breaking trust, as much as it might have developed esprit-de-corps with the people of Judah, it created more problems for the decimated nation. What is most problematic is, it said to King Nebuchadnezzar “I do not honor the God of my ancestors and God is irrelevant and my system of beliefs is a mere sham”. As the governor, Zedekiah’s actions spoke for the entire community. In our day and time, we too say by our actions the true conviction of our heart about what we believe. We become enraged by the words and/or actions of a foul politician, actor, and/or athlete while we, by our words and/or actions, tell the world “God is irrelevant, and my system of belief is not all that important”. As children of God, we owe it to ourselves and the kingdom of God to live holy lives not as a badge of courage but as a daily way of life and a silent witness despite what the world does (Ecclesiastics 9:17). My encouragement for you today is “honor your vows” despite the world’s ways or what it demands without an expectation that the world will agree with you. Remember, the Bible was not written to the world but to those who choose to follow the Lord God of the Universe; if we find it of no personal value, how can we ever expect the world to treat it or our system of belief with respect?
Just as You commissioned and sent Me into the world, I also have commissioned and sent them (believers) into the world.19 For their sake [e]I sanctify Myself [to do Your will], so that they also may be sanctified [set apart, dedicated, made holy] in [Your] truth (John 17:18-19 AMP).
Father,
 Above all you are sovereign, and you are Holy. In this world, oaths are uttered and quickly broken when the circumstances are not in our favor. Your kingdom is not of this world and, as such, it does not fall in line with the ways of the world. Your word stands to testify the results of honoring our vows and what happens when we break them. May your good Spirit lead us today as we follow you.
Mike

All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – Gods Word on the Witness Stand

Morning Encouragement

God’s Word on the Witness Stand

Pre-amble

Good morning,
Today, I am beginning a mini-series of writings called “God’s Word on the Witness Stand”. The word of God is called by the names: a sword (Ephesians 6:17), a light (Psalms 119:109), and a shield (Psalms 3:3). These are great names but, I want to introduce another name and that is, “a witness” (John 5:39). The problem with being called to witness anything, is what you have to say will not be popular to one side or the other and sometimes no one likes what you to say. Fortunately, or unfortunately, “like or dislike” is not relevant when it comes to testifying to the truth. For the judge to make the right decision, he/she must have all the best information available which, means the witness has to be credible or be dismissed. God gives us the responsibility or choosing for our self which path we will take; which, puts us in the position of “Judge” (Joshua 24:14-15).  The word of God provides us convincing information based on historical evidence that we need to make sound decisions. Granted, it was written long ago, and the terms appear foreign to us; but, if we listen to what it has to say, we will be able to rightly divide the word of truth.  My encouragement for you today is for you to consider the possibility of calling the Word of God into testifying to the truth of God’s love for you and how your decisions may lead you down the wrong path.
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have the strength (Proverbs 8:12-14)
Father,
  Thank you for your precious word. The world does not like it because it speaks contrary to the world’s belief system. Doubtless, the word of God is not popular but, I don’t believe for a second it was written with the idea of “what is popular”; rather, it was written because of what is necessary. You never leave us without a witness so that we never need to walk in darkness.  May your good spirit guide us today and always and may our ears ever be attentive to your word.
In His Name

All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – The Name by Which We are Called

Morning Encouragement

Isaiah 44 in Reflection

The Name by Which We are Called (1-5)

Good morning,
Have you ever reflected back on how your parents came up with your name? Maybe, you were named after an aunt, uncle, parent, grandparent, or a patron saint. For the nation Israel, the namesake came from Jacob who was later called “Israel” (Genesis 32:28). Anybody who has read about Jacob (Israel) knows that the man was not always a good man; in fact, he had learned how to be deceptive from his mother and later his uncle and, by the time he left Padanaram had become a master of deception. In light of this, why would anyone in their right mind want to refer to themselves as “Jacob” when the better name is “Israel” or, the Lord’s? I struggled with that thought this past week and I come to understand that, our name is like an empty box given to us at birth that we only we can fill; if we make good choices in life, we fill it with good things and conversely if we make poor choices bad things go in the box (Matthew 12:33). When you consider the name Christian just like the name “Israel” or “Jacob” or any other derivation, they are simply names which can either be a curse or a blessing depending on our choices. God holds us accountable for how we use his name and that is by our words, actions, and attitudes of the heart; this is something we should never forget. The outside world will always have its opinions about us, how a Christian should be, what they should stand for, and is indifferent towards those who refuse to comply. My encouragement for you today is that you reflect back on the name or title “Christian” to ask yourself “what have I put in the box of my life and what will I be leaving behind for the next generation”? We are powerless to change what others have done in the name of Christianity just as the people in the time of Isaiah could not change what the leaders of Israel had done leading up to the writing; but, that does not mean we continue the misguided paths and give credence to the world’s opinion. What we can do is, take up a cross and walk in the direction of the throne of God every day of our life.
What shall I return to the Lord for all of his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of his people (Psalms 116:12-14 NIV).
Father,
There is no other name under heaven that man can be saved (Acts 4:12). You did not give us your name for political clout nor, your word to be used as a hammer; yet, in our world, that is exactly what has been done. Daily you tell us to “pick up your cross and follow you” despite all that the world thinks of us or, what has happened in our history. For over 2000 years, your name Jesus has been a banner for mankind and from your selfless sacrifice, many millions upon millions have come to faith in you and have never been ashamed of doing so. Help me, my city, state, nation, and the world around me to ever learn the righteous acts of the Lord by how I carry myself day in and day out. May the words of mouth, the words that I write, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you (Psalms 19:14).
In His Service
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – The Crucible by Which We are Judged

Morning Encouragement

The Crucible by Which We are Judged

Good morning,
A thought crossed my mind this morning that material items never tell what kind of person we really are nor our true motives; they only mask our intentions with glitz and glitter.  Unfortunately, our words and actions are the true crucibles by which we are judged long after we are gone not our material items (Matthew 12:33-36). To own something means it cannot be taken from you even when you fail; all of our stuff erodes and needs constant updates; not to mention the fact that they can be stolen. Each of us carries in our psyche the words and actions of our parents, those we associate with past and present, and the actions of others like bullies and con-men. The common misconception, though, is that the influence of the previously mentioned people is justification for our words our actions; when, in truth, we have the God-given commandment to honor the Lord our God in all that we do and/or say despite the influence of others (Matthew 22:36-40). It is popular in our culture to blame others for the things we do or how we act without one time considering our part in the collapse. My encouragement for you today is to carefully think about your words and actions before committing them to action for, what is done is done. Before Jesus was taken from this earth in death and later resurrection, he left his group with the power of “choice”; he leaves mankind today with the same power – leave the world in a better place then we found it in or become just another sad statistic (Matthew 16:14-19). I leave you with a poem
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior
Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny. Mahatma Gandhi
Father,
 What is the value of a life lived for you? Can it be weighed on a scale or placed in a financial sum? Or, is it the value after the books are reconciled? Teach us to number our days uprightly that we might fear you. You tell us “to live for you” as to let you live vicariously through us. Many say “God who” yet look at an empty life filled with stuff and have no peace. I’d rather have your peace than all of the trappings and yet feel trapped. Please keep us all of our days that at our death we will have peace and a path will be brightly lit for others to follow us. In you, we are set free to live, love, and prosper in ways stuff or position could not possibly succeed. May how I live my life bring a smile to your face all of the few short years.
Yours in His Name
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – All He has Done

Morning Encouragement

Psalms 107

All He has Done

Good morning,
As I read through Psalms 107 this morning, I noticed that the key underlying message was “focusing on what God has done previously”.  I believe this style of writing was used in order to allow the listener to reflect on the good things God has done in view of the struggles he or she is facing presently. As you know, all of us go through hills and valleys in our walk with God. When we forget all that God has done in previous issues of our life, we are vulnerable to falling on our face; because we become afraid, act irrationally, and run aimlessly. For this reason, the writer of the Psalm brings to our attention all that God has done in and through our life in view of the current struggles. Having this information is liken to arsenal because, it enables us to face not only the current struggles but, future struggles with courage and conviction knowing without a doubt that God will see us through[1].  My encouragement for you today is, look back over your life and take an account, like the Psalmist did, of what has happened and how you are still standing today.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24 NASB)
Father,
 Thank you for your great love for us. When we are in the midst of struggles, we can only see what we are going through not what we have been through. For this reason, I pray that you will always show us the past struggles to encourage us to face each and every trial with 100% assurance that we will make it through.
In His Name
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com


[1] Mike Krier. Song of Ascents – Strength for the Next Storm. Accessed https://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – God For Every Season

Morning Encouragement

He is God in Every Season

Encouragement from Psalms 104

Good morning,
This morning, as I read Psalms 104, a thought crossed my mind and that is, God is always with us every season and stage of our life. This, to me, was revolutionary because, it implies that no matter where we go, he is always present (Psalms 139:8). in our youth, we see ourselves on top of the mountain never knowing just how close to the edge we really are. In our middle ages, we begin to question the paths we have taken and wonder “Is this all that life has in store for me”. In our advanced age, our thoughts turn to our legacy; that is, “what will I be leaving behind”. When life is at its best, we take no thought for the future. When life turns sour, we seek God. In all of this, God is always present speaking in the same still small voice (1 Kings 19:13) encouraging us to hold on till the storm passes. The God we serve is much more than “the man upstairs” or, “the big man”. He is from all eternity so, he knows every person on this planet much more then we could possibly comprehend. God never changes at any time or in any season; so, we can rely on his word and trust that no matter what we are facing past, present, or future, he is more than able to meet and exceed our needs. My encouragement for you today is to recount what God has done in your life past and present, what trials you have faced and how his word breathed life into your day. May the very best God have to offer flow in and through your life.
Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His works  He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke. [ will sing to the Lord [as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him. As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. (Psalms 104:31-34 NASB).
Father,
You reign for all eternity. You have seen the rise and fall of countless kingdoms, nations, and dynasties so, you know what will occur in every situation. In our world, seasons change, we are young and then we are old, we are born, and we die. As humans are, we build or invent idols that we think will save us like, our jobs, talents, abilities, and possessions only to find they let us down in the changing seasons of our life. How it must break your heart to see your creation trying to make a go of life without one time acknowledging you.  Help us today, Father, as we go through changes to cling to your hand in all that we do.
Yours in His Name
Mike

All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – Needless Fear

Morning Encouragement

Needless Fear

Good morning,
Man, throughout all time, has had fears of what his/her world is coming to and have turned to religion for answers; unfortunately, they did not stay the course. On 9/11/2001 when the towers were brought down by terrorist attacks, people flocked to the churches for prayer and consolation. When the events were over, the people walked away from the church and life went on its merry way. Unfortunately, the use of “fear” is not sustainable for reaching people for Christ; because, eventually, the purported problems will pass away and the people will become disenchanted. Consider the “speed limit signs”, these signs tell the driver what the maximum speed is on any given road; if you chose to go faster than the given speed limit, you are breaking the law and the implication is, “you will get a ticket eventually”. Only when a traffic cop is sitting on the side of the road, will the drivers be obedient to the stated limit and then only long enough to get past the officer. Those of you who have received a traffic ticket understand the angst it causes, and you might have promised you would never speed again. For a time, you honor your vows until you forget about the ticket and do what everybody else is doing. This is the problem I see with fear-based teachings like, the last days, four blood moons, the rapture of the church, and the tribulation when the trouble passes, and all troubles do, the people will walk out of fellowship; Look at what happened in Nineveh (Jonah 4). My encouragement for your walk today is that you will look past all of the hype and hysteria and find deeper reasons for your love for our Lord Jesus. In doing so your walk will take on new meaning and you will have the courage to face any storm that comes against you.
In response to the reading of the law, the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be worried.” 12 Then all the people went on their way to eat, to drink, to send portions [of food to others] and to celebrate a great festival because they understood the words which had been [c]communicated to them (Nehemiah 8:11-12)
Father,
  I thank you for your great love for mankind. Your greatest desire for our life is that we would live joy-filled lives. Tragically, mankind is capable of making a walk with you more complicated than it needs to be. You are not a god that wants us to be afraid of you nor, do you teach fear. Rather, you teach us about your love and the reasons for obedience in all things. You teach us these things not so that we can make it into Heaven but, rather that we live free of fear for the future.  May your good Spirit guide us today and always.
In His Name

All of my writings can be found on http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – Refiner’s FIre

Morning Encouragement

Refiner’s Fire

Good morning,
In the history of the US, we have many great men and women who have spoken and written great things in the name of the Lord Jesus and these people are national treasures. You may wonder how on earth it is possible for one person to do great works for God and never appear to fail. How does one become a person of the caliber of Dr. Graham or DL Moody? You could go to the right school and read the right books yet, still not become like Dr. Graham. The reason is, the part that cannot be taught or read about and is the missing piece of the puzzle, the work of the “Refiner’s Fire”. You see, everyone starts off in a raw form no one is born with the gift of gab or, the ability to write; everything takes time and practice. When you listen to the song “Refiner’s Fire” (Vineyard), you might get the idea that it is a beautiful experience when, in truth, it is not. Unfortunately, the fire tries the quality of our metal and, sometimes, our metal just doesn’t cut the mustard (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).  Along the path to being refined, parts of our lives fall away that we once thought were so invaluable. My encouragement for you today is that you will consider the refiner’s fire and trust the one who holds the power of the fire in his hands. We may not like the process but, the end result speaks volumes of God’s enduring power and love for us.
 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [the priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord [grain] offerings in righteousness (Malachi 3:3).
Father,
  Thank you for all of the people in my life. No one knows truly what each of us is going through in the course of our day. When we speak or write in your name, people do not see the messes of our life, they see the hand of God moving among his people; this is by design because, the point is not “where we came from” but, “where we are going to”. May your good Spirit guide us today and every day of our life through the refiner’s fire.
In His Name
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com

Morning Encouragement – In the Midst of Storms

Morning Encouragement

In the Midst of Struggles

Good morning,
Struggles, like storms, are a necessary evil in our life. As much as we would rather that they never came around and try with all of our might to avoid them, they grow us and mature our faith. God’s plans, as the book of Job brings out, are not laid out in their entirety because, if they were, we would not walk in faith; because, knowing the full plan, would lead us to become arrogant in our walk with God. I think of the disciples leading up to the day of the crucifixion and beyond. These men and women had sat under Jesus’ tutelage for the 3 ½ years and were still caught off guard by the events in the garden. As bad as the night was, it paled in comparison to the dawning of a new day. My encouragement for you today as you face the trials and storms of life is, never lose sight of the one who holds you in the palms of his hand. The trials and storms are not sent to ruin you rather, they are sent to grow you.
Your way [of escape for Your people] was through the sea,
And Your paths through the great waters,
And Your footprints were not traceable (Psalms 77:8).
Father,
  Thank you for my friends, family, and those who read these posts. I know that you have a plan for everyone on planet earth. When the storms ravage our lives, the Devil will always tell us “we are finished”; yet, you tell us “that’s just round 1”. Be with these good people today, my Lord, in everything they go through especially with those who are facing steep crisis’ in their lives. Being a child of God doesn’t grant us absolution from the trials rather, it just means more of them; this isn’t meant to scare us away from you rather, it is meant to develop us for all that life has in store for us.  Watch over my friends, family, and readers today and every day.
In Jesus’ Name
Mike

Morning Encouragement – Nagging Questions of the Heart – Where are the Promised Treasures

Morning Encouragement

The Nagging Questions of the Heart

Where are the Promised Treasures?

Good morning,
It is an odd thing about life it appears to us like the wrong people get the treasures of the earth.  When we read scripture, we might tend to believe we were fed a lie because it states that the righteous should get the treasures and the unrighteous cut off (Psalms 37:9). I’m not sure how many of you have asked God in prayer, “God why am I not getting what scripture appears to present” and, it may sound like “sour grapes” so, when you do ask, you are ashamed of yourself. Yet, I believe it is holy and just to ask that kind of a question because, when we ask the question, we challenge our conventional thinking and add substance to our faith (2nd Peter 1:4-5). We do not see all of the moving parts, so when bad things happen, or our plans fall apart, we get down on yourself (the lesson of Job). My encouragement for you today is, “do not be afraid to utter the deep concerns of your heart in prayer”. God does not get upset when we lay our concerns, pains, and/or frustrations before him as the case of King Hezekiah eludes to (2nd Kings 18:14-16). That said, we need to listen for his response and be obedient at all costs.

When I considered how to understand this (the success of the world in light of your word), It was too great an effort for me and too painful.

Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood [for I considered] their end.

Surely You set the wicked-minded and immoral on slippery places; You cast them down to destruction (Psalms 73:16-18).
Father,
  As humans, all we can see is what is before us. Unfortunately, what lies before us is a contrast because we see your promises and yet see the alternate outcome (Isaiah 2 i.e.). The Psalmist speaks the words that every child of God has pondered or spoken at one time or another in their life. The easiest thing to do is accept canned answers like what Job was being given by his so-called friends. Without a doubt, the circumstances of our life will either lead us to walk away from you, remain stagnant or, grow deeper in you (Luke 8:4-21); I pray for the latter for all who read this. Help us today, Father, not to be afraid to express the deep questions of our heart; we may not like the answers but, we will have closure in our life and will be able to face whatever wall that stands in opposition to us.
In His Name
Mike

Morning Encouragement – Lord of a New Day

Morning Encouragement

Lord of a New Day

Good morning,
In scripture, there are multiple references to “the time of God’s favor”. But, what is the time of God’s favor? Is it Saturday evening, Sunday morning between 9 – 10 or, maybe Wednesday evening? It may surprise you but, the time of His favor is today, right now, at this very moment (2ndCorinthians 6:2).  This is good news to us because, it means that no matter what kind of day we had yesterday or, how bad we fouled up, today is a new day filled with God’s promises for our life (Lamentations 3:22-23). When we chose to live in yesterday or tomorrow, we lose sight of what God has blessed us with today. Consider, if you will, the beloved teenage mantra “I can’t wait until I am 21”. Then we turn 21, 31 comes fast and before we know it, we are into our 50’s wondering what happened to the time. For this reason, we are commanded in scripture to redeem the time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). The word redeem means “to gain or regain something in exchange for payment” (dictionary.com). when we redeem the time, we are using what is in our hands at the very moment. When it comes to salvation, the all too familiar refrain “I will accept God tomorrow” and never accept his gift until moments before death and, sometimes, not even then. The Evangelist D.L. Moody said, “I have learned that when anyone becomes earnest about his soul’s salvation and he begins to seek God, it does not take long for an anxious sinner to meet an anxious Savior”[1]. Conversely, when we do not embrace our savior in the time of his favor, he will not be found in our day (Isaiah 55:6).
For God to favor anything or anyone, that person or thing must first be set aside (sanctified). When we sanctify this very moment for the Kingdom of the Most-High, he draws near to us and we have fellowship with him (James 4:8). Tragically, many of us, including me, go through our day from one struggle to the next and, at the end of the day, we are exhausted, drained, and at the end of our rope. This is not God’s best nor, is it his desire; it is the alternate outcome when we do not redeem the time. In Jeremiah’s letter to the Exiles in the heathen land of Babylon, he spoke emphatically about living daily for the God of their ancestors by making right choices right where they were (Jeremiah 29). Understand this, the exiles were in a place they didn’t want to be in; if they had their druthers, they would prefer to be back in Jerusalem attending the Temple just as they had in the golden times of Solomon. Yet, Solomon’s temple had been destroyed and the great kings of old were dead. In the same way, many of you are in places you would rather not be, facing circumstances you would rather not deal with, and feeling the pressure of the world collapsing around you.  It is my encouragement to you today, “redeem the time for the days are full of troubles”. You cannot change the attitude of the world but, you can change your attitude and outlook by living daily for God.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come and the glory and brilliance of the Lord has risen upon you.

 
“For in fact, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness will cover the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory and brilliance will be seen on you.

“Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising (Isaiah 60:1-3 Amp).

Father,
  Please be with my readers today. May you be with them through all of the trials and struggles of their day.Doubtless, the world has ideas on how to live and many thrive in the world’s circus but, in the end, it all falls apart. Thank you for the powerful gift of daily salvation because, it lifts us up when all we can see is the mountains that surround us. While we go through our day, we may not understand why we are facing troubles but, help us to trust you through to the end that we may see the puzzle of our life come together for the world to see.
In His Name
Mike

[1]D.L. Moody. Tomorrow May Be Too Late. Bible believers. Accessed http://www.biblebelievers.com/moody_sermons/m4.html

Morning Encouragement – The Many Paths to the Changeless God

Morning Encouragement
The Many Paths to the Changeless God
Good morning,
Many of you, like me, grew up in strong Christian homes, went to church on Sunday, and generally believed what our parents believed about God and serving him. During our formative years, we followed our parents’ footsteps because that was the only road we knew. When we became teenagers, our worldview was altered by forces like, drugs, the pervasiveness of sexuality, and dealing with self-identity issues.  Nowadays, kids as young as first and 2nd grade are indoctrinated into the world’s ways through various media, bullying, and a constant stream of nonsense. Unfortunately, we become caught in the cross-fire. Is this the end of the world as we know it? No, it is not! The Devil says, “Just embrace the world’s ways as many people cannot be wrong”. Then, an amazing thing happens, our world comes crashing down on us and we see our ways that led to where we are on a collision course with the God of the Universe. You see, there is a part in each of us that was placed by God that drives us to want to know the God of the Universe (Ecclesiastics 3:11). When we come to the place where God is, he does not cast slurs on us, nor does he go into great detail why we were wrong; simply, he takes us by the hand and helps us to our feet and then holds us close to him.
When we get on the road to the Kingdom of God, it does not imply that the side roads of our life never existed; rather, they are paths for others to take to get where you are (verse – through patience can have hope). Why doesn’t God just remove every offensive path and create one path in the world? Because, God wants us to think for our self and to put the story of salvation in the infrastructure of our character; meaning, no one person comes to the Lord in the say way as another; each of us is different. The difference is present to remind us that we are human and are prone to mistakes in judgment, frail by nature, and in need of a forgiving God.
My encouragement to you today is that you will come to grips with the side roads that you have been down in your life. The messes of your life that brought you to the Kingdom, are not a badge of shame; rather, they are a powerful testimony to a dying world that, “just as I made it, so can you”. You are precious in God’s sight no matter where you are or where you have been; God’s one desire is that you come to the knowledge of Salvation and that your name is written down in the Lamb’s book of life despite all that you have gone through.
“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 Amp)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work] (Hebrews 12:12 Amp).
Father,
  Thank you for all who are reading these posts and finding encouragement through them. Doubtless, the enemy of our soul, the dragon of old, the serpent, and liar is telling the same old story to keep the people from knowing the truth about your love for mankind. Sin is a trap not a way of life and I know that you have loftier goals for our life then we can fully comprehend. May your good Spirit guide me, my families, my city, my state, my nation, and my world today.
All of my writings can be found at http://krierm.blogspot.com. I want to hear your prayer concerns, your hurts, and how can I possibly help to encourage you today and always. Feel free to leave a comment either in Facebook or by going to the link above. I look forward to hearing from you.
 In Jesus
Mike

Morning Encouragement – Guard Your Heart

Morning Encouragement

Life’s Game of Compromise

Good morning,
If someone were to ask you what price you would put on your life, what would you tell them? This may seem like an absurd question but, consider the implications: If a price can be put on it, it can be sold for that price, pricing is always subjective, and once sold property rights are transferred irrevocably. When you have nothing holding you down, you might value yourself a little higher; conversely, when you are drowning in problems, you might value yourself a little lower. As I write this letter, I want you to consider the question and I will tie it all together in the end.
In the game of life, we are offered compensation to concede to the world’s ways in much the same way that Jesus was offered bribes for him to coalesce (Luke 4:1-13). The Devil is the Banker in this game and is never haphazard in any of his dealings; he always knows our triggers; for this reason, we are told “Guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23).  He knows all too well that we are valuable to God; only we our self are unaware of the real price of our life. Someone once said, “everything is for sale at the price is right”.  The problem is, our lives belong to God and we do not have the authority to sell it (verse). Once the Devil has us in his grips, it is not enough to just possess us, he destroys us until nothing is left but a shell. You might be thinking to yourself, “I would never sell out to the Devil I’m too ____ for that”. I tell you and most assuredly that every soul on planet earth given the right impetus would succumb to the world’s ways. It was John Bradford a 16thcentury clergyman who said, “There but by the grace of God go I”. Meaning, I am not immune to the traps of the world and I need Jesus every day of my life because, my family, my prayer chain, my church, and my nation depend on it.  When we sell out to sin, however small or unimportant it might be, we are opening the door for the enemy to come in. From that fissure, more choices are made to cement the failure. When you look across our great nation, you will see people on the streets so badly beaten physically and emotionally that they cannot look up. Sadly, some are there because of their own choices and others by the choices of the ones they trusted (Psalms 55:12). So much of what we do in life is done to bring value to our life like, building up our skillsets, the status of our bank account, and how many friends we have. yet, even with those precious gifts, mankind still seeks for more and by very nature fall into a trap. When you read in the Old Testament accounts of Israel, you see a people who were once considered God’s chosen people but, along the way something tragic happened to alter that relationship and that something, is sin. The nation did not start out with the intent to destroy their relationship with the God, it happened through a course of time and bad leadership decisions. In the same way, many of you who are battling demons in your life did not for a single moment think that you would ever be in the mess you are in; but, there you are, in over your head. Believe me when I tell you that the Devil knows all about you because, he has been studying you since you were first born[1]. He will promise you anything your heart desires, but you must first bow to him. I want you to write this down in your Bible “The Devil has no intention of giving you what he promises no matter how sincere he may seem”. Once you have you have committed to a course of action, all bets are off and there is no going back to undo them. The man in Proverbs who was heading right in the direction of the prostitute’s home was doing so on purpose; his intention, most likely, was to appear as a man. Notice how the female presented the young man with word pictures that played to his palate. When the curtain closed, the young man was going off for a night of fun not realizing the danger he was in (Proverbs 7). In the same way, when the Devil lures us in, like the prey to a trap, we see the bait and think it is real food when it is not.
My encouragement for you today is, grasp hold of the one who holds the keys to Heaven and Hell and never let go of his hand (Revelations 1:18). You are precious to God beyond anything you can imagine. In God’s eyes, there is no black, white, Asian, etc. we are all made in his image. What we do with the gift God gives us will determine our future. Make no mistake about it, the Devil hates you and he is a liar. The trappings of this world look good on the outside but, it is the inner workings that bring man down.  You will notice that in every enticement, it is not the motive nor the cost that is center-stage rather, it is the fun or the chance for sensual attention that is shown.
We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]. 20 And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world] and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:18-20).
Father,
  Thank you for all of the people who read this article. When your word says, “guard your heart”, it is with the intent to protect it from falling into the Devil’s trap. I find no greater tragedy then to see a man or women whom you love to become so infested by sin that he or she cannot see the forest for the trees.  The Devil destroys completely and irrevocably because, he has such a hatred for you that anyone and everyone is his target. God please forgive our foolish pride and arrogance and help each of the readers to glom onto the call you have upon their lives. Doubtless, much of what is said will be forgotten; but, let this not be forgotten that in Heaven lies a Great God whose only desire is that we treat with great respect the gifts you have given us. Thank you for the new day ahead and your good Spirit please lead us in the path ahead of us.
All of my writings can be found at

[1]Rex, Allen. Hindering, Tormenting, and Warring Spirits. Book forthcoming.

Morning Encouragement – Listening to the Still Small Voice

Morning Encouragement
The Still Small Voice
Good morning,
The continuing saga of the political circus is in full swing and we are hearing all kinds of rhetoric and promises all of which tend to leave us bewildered as to what to believe. To me, the noise sounds like finger nails on the backside of a chalkboard; it is meaningless, irritating, and its only purpose is to divide the nation. What precedes the confusion is always the rantings of a few? Consider the day Jesus stood before Pilot, the people were thrown into confusion by the voices of a few which compelled others to join in (John 19:6-11 and Luke 23). Similarly, the events that unfolded in Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41). The enemy of our soul puts on the circus to get us caught up in the confusion in order to draw our eyes away from the truth so that we cannot hear God’s call upon our life. Notice that everything the enemy sells us is supposed to meet a need in our life and it is always presented as “truth”. In the case of Elijah on the mountain of God, he was sent to the entrance of the cave in which three powerful things happened but, it was the fourth thing he witnessed that caused him to cower – the still small voice of God (1 Kings 19:11-13). It is that same still small voice that we need to listen today because, the noise of the world is the catalyst for marriages breaking up, ministries ending abruptly, and war. Unfortunately, all Elijah could hear was the rantings of his fearful heart. Elijah’s removal from the earth and the rise of Elisha need never have happened. If we are to hear the voice of God, we need to tell our fearful heart to be quiet (Psalms 46:10) with the same tenacity of Jesus when he told the demons to put a sock in it (Luke 4:33-35).
My heart breaks for my nation as I see the enemy compelling people to do the unbelievable not knowing how much they are being played or, how deeply he lies to us. If we learn nothing from history, it should be the results of violence leading to revolt and how quickly we will find ourselves in traps we cannot possibly hope to get out of. My encouragement for you today is that you will quiet your fearful heart and listen purposefully for the still small voice of God. If we refuse to listen to the noise and draw closer to hear the voice of God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is directed to the sons of men. 
“Oh you naive or inexperienced [who are easily misled], understand prudence and seek astute common sense; And, O you [closed-minded, self-confident] fools, understand wisdom [seek the insight and self-discipline that leads to godly living].
“Listen, for I will speak excellent and noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.

“For my mouth will utter truth, and wickedness is repulsive and loathsome to my lips. (Proverbs 8:4-7 AMP).

Father,
  Please be with my friends, family, and FB friends in all they go through today. With our world in turmoil, help us to listen ever so carefully for your voice in our life. It is so easy to get caught up in the noise of the world and to align ourselves with one side or the other. If we can take a page from the words you spoke to Joshua, you are not on our side, we are in your camp listening to you (Joshua 5:13-15).  When our ears are attuned to you, the still small voice speaks wisdom and light into our dark world and the threats of the enemy cease to hold power over us.
In His Name
Mike