Do You Want to get Well?

Jesus healing the lame or crippled man

Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem is a pool that is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Jesus saw a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. He asked, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)

Wouldn’t it be apparent that the man would want to be well, to be able to walk and go wherever he wanted? Yet, for thirty-eight long years his income was from begging. Did he wonder how he would make a living if he were healed? Yet, he answered Jesus, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7).

Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” The man was cured instantly, and he picked up his mat and walked.


It seems to me that the man waited by the pool for many years, hoping that someone would help him. He was helpless and his situation was hopeless. Jesus wanted the man to look to Him and no one else, and when he did, he was healed.

Friend, have you felt helpless and without hope? I have. At one time I wanted to give up. I cried out to God and said I didn’t want to go on anymore. My life was a failure. Too many bad decisions led me into great loneliness and despair. As soon as I admitted to God I wanted to give up on life, I heard the Spirit speak to my heart. “Could you make it if I stay with you?” “Well, I guess,” I said, and as quickly as the invalid man was cured, I experienced God’s amazing love. For a brief moment I took my eyes off my situation. Even though my cry to God was desperate, He responded with His mercy. What reprieve! What blessing!


O Lord, help us to change our focus from our circumstances to you. Help us to experience your presence and trust you with all that concerns us. Thank you for your promise that you will never leave or forsake us. We rely on your help and healing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You Will be With Me

Three crosses on the mountain Golgotha representing the day of Christ’s crucifixion

Jesus hung between Heaven and Hell with a thief on His right and another on His left. One of the thieves insulted and ridiculed Him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” Jesus didn’t respond to his remarks, but the man on the other side of Jesus said, “Don’t you fear God since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then the second thief said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus assured this man: “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).


Even though the first man hung on the cross, he was not remorseful or repentant for the things he did. Jesus didn’t respond to his insults. The second man, however, did repent, and he asked for mercy. Jesus responded with His amazing love and assurance that he would be with Him in Paradise.

Friend, you can have the same assurance. God wants all people to be with Him in Heaven. The problem is that sin cannot enter God’s kingdom. That’s why Jesus made the sacrifice to forgive you of sin. Will you accept what He did on the cross on your behalf? If you have not done this, the alternative is more emptiness, loneliness, guilt, despair, and anxiety. Today is the day of your salvation, a day to experience God’s amazing love and abundant life (John 3:16).


Father God, I pray for readers who do not know you in a personal way. Send your Spirit on them to make them aware of your presence in their lives and your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Father, Forgive Them

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Wednesday last week was Ash Wednesday, and I saw people in town with ash crosses on their foreheads. It’s a solemn reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for our forgiveness. He had dinner with His friends, and then He washed their feet. He knew that Judas would betray Him and Peter would deny he ever knew Him, but it must have broken His heart to see His friends sleeping while He prayed with drops of blood for the Father to let His cup of suffering go away. The priests and elders of the temple took Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to Jerusalem and falsely accused Him. Pilate could see no reason to execute Jesus and sent Him to Herod who didn’t find any reason to kill Him either. Yet, the people kept yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Jesus was beaten, mocked, spit on and crucified. From the cross He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).


My heart breaks every Lenten and Easter season when this is the story. It is hard for me to imagine all Jesus experienced for my redemption. When He said, “Father, forgive them,” He wasn’t just talking about the priests and the Roman soldiers and the people who yelled, “Crucify Him!” He was speaking about me too. “Father, forgive her because she does not know what she is doing.”

“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Yes, Jesus died for me while I rejected Him. I chose my ways over His for too many years. “O Lord, I am so sorry for my rebellion.”

Brothers and sisters, no one is too far gone, too bad or sinful that Jesus will not say the same words over you: “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.”


Holy Lord, merciful Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for loving me even when I was unlovely, self-indulged and sinful. I pray for others that do not know your amazing love: “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they are doing against you. O Lord, send your Spirit on them to open their eyes to your presence in their lives and your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

What do You Say?

“At dawn Jesus was in the temple courts, and all the people gathered around Him. When He began to teach, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law brought in a woman caught in the act of adultery and made her stand in front of the group. They said, ‘In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. What do you say?'” (John 8:1-5)

These leaders used this question as a way to trap Jesus so they would have a way to accuse Him, but Jesus knew their intent. He bent down and started writing on the ground, but the men kept questioning Him. He stood up and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” ( John 8:7). Again Jesus stooped down to write on the ground. This is the only time the Bible records that Jesus wrote anything. Do you wonder what He wrote? A clue might be found in Jeremiah 17: “Lord you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the Spring of Living Water.”

One by one the men went away, the older ones first. Do you wonder if they saw their names written in the dirt? Do you wonder what sin they might have been convicted of?

Only the woman was left with Jesus. He stood and asked her, “Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus said. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”


Jesus brought about justice and righteousness to the woman. He showed her love, but He didn’t condone what she did. He didn’t condemn her but told her to leave her life of sin. That’s what He does for you and me too. Christians are citizens of Heaven, but live in this dark world. It is important for us to live as if we lived in Heaven even while we are on the earth. Will you join me in praying for justice and righteousness for others, that they might come to know God’s amazing love too?


Father God, we pray that you bring about justice and righteousness to this world, even now, so others will experience your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

What God Can Do

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Today it is snowing at times and other times it is raining ice. I am at my computer considering what I might write, and I reflected on certain times in my life. President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 during my senior year in high school. I was married in 1966 and moved from Oklahoma to California. My son was born in 1968, the year Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated. Riots were the scene on many university campuses. The Manson cult committed a series of nine horrible murders in 1969. As a young mom with my baby boy, I wondered what my son would live through, what kind of world had I brought him into? As many of you thought at that time, I also thought it was the end of the world. How could it get worse?

Things did get worse. Roe vs. Wade won and abortion became lawful in 1973. In 1976 the Swine Flu hit America and President Ford called for a vaccination, which came faster than any vaccination in history until that time. Today things look grim with woke culture, critical race theory, millions of babies killed by abortion, and a virus that shut the world down and brought about more isolation, loss, depression, despair, suicides, homicides and vaccine mandates that divide communities and families.

In the midst of this darkness, I want to tell you some good news! God is on the move. None of these things surprise Him. Revival is happening across the United States, and it is starting in California. Yes, California, a state that was once the desired place to live but where, for the past several years, a big exodus has occurred and is still occurring, for which I was part of.

Today, shut in by the threatening weather, I looked on YouTube for something I could write about and came across a message preached by Mario Murillo at Destiny Church in Rocklin, California. Tears filled my eyes, and my ears were opened to see and hear what God can do. Take time to listen to Mario Murillo. You will be glad you did.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, for what you are doing in California and across our nation. Raise up your people everywhere to shine your light into this dark world, and share your amazing love to free the hearts of people from fear, anxiety, emptiness, despair and loneliness, and have new life in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Opportunity

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Have you ever felt inadequate, imperfect, weak or like a failure? Do you experience anxiety, anger, despair or loneliness? Does your health limit you from doing things you want or need to do? I think we all have had these experiences. Friend, our shortcomings and limitations do not surprise God.

Paul, called by God to preach the good news to the Gentiles and write many of the books in the New Testament, had what he said was a thorn in his side. He prayed several times for God to take it away, but the Lord said to him, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Paul didn’t get upset because God didn’t give him what he asked. He said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).


Have you considered that your hard times are God’s opportunity? Friend, He doesn’t want you to struggle aimlessly. This is what Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Imagine what it means to be yoked with Jesus. He is gentle and humble, yet willing to lead, willing to help you. Instead of being stressed, be blessed by asking Him for help. He waits for your prayer. He longs for you to be dependent on Him.


Holy Father, thank you for Jesus, willing to help in times of trouble. Open our eyes. Open our hearts to receive your great mercy and help. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bare or Blessed?

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Bare branches do not produce fruit and must be pruned so more fruit will grow. Trees have limited resources and energy. If they are not well tended, their energy will be zapped by the unfruitful branches. Pruning might give an initial appearance that the tree loses too much, but later the pruned tree produces more fruit.

It is the same in our lives. We might take our losses too seriously and wonder how we can go on with our lives, but we can actually benefit from our losses. When I have experienced the loss of a family member or a relationship, with God’s help, I have grown stronger. What about the loss of a job or a home? When I was laid off from one job, I found a better one. A man who lost his home in a hurricane, found these words written on the foundation of his home: “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” and it inspired him to want to know God, and he started going to church.


Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). His life flowing through us will make us more like Him–loving, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, helpful and giving to others. However, if we stop His life flow with self-centeredness, anger, anxiety, malice, bitterness, worry, or selfishness, our lives will not be fruitful. Seek God today and He will bless you. He will rescue you from the negative issues of life and give you a new and abundant life.


O Lord, help us not to settle for an ordinary or unfruitful life, but to trust you for a life flowing with your love to those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

It’s a New Day

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Happy New Year to you. It’s a new day and a new year. Thoughts of leaving behind the old and starting fresh fill my heart. The disciples had similar feelings after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. They had been with Jesus every day for three years, but everything changed. I think they were confused by the events of the last few days and how they interpreted the Scriptures.

Walking along, Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” The others followed and got into their boats. This is what they did before they walked with Jesus, so it makes sense that they would go fishing. However, these seasoned fishermen caught nothing that night. A man stood on the shore at dawn. “Have you caught anything?” He asked. The answer was a big fat nothing. He said, “Throw your nets on the right side and you’ll find some fish.” They did this and caught so many fish they had to drag in the nets. They counted 153 fish.

When the tired fishermen came to the beach, they recognized the man on the shore to be Jesus. He cooked their breakfast and they all ate. Then Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” He asked him three times, “Do you love me?” When Jesus was arrested and tried, Peter followed. Those around him said, “You are one of his disciples.” He denied it three times (John 21:16).


Jesus didn’t scold Peter or judge him. Each time Peter responded to His question, “Yes, Lord, You know I love You,” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep” or “Take care of my lambs.” Jesus wanted Peter to renew His love for Him. Only then could he serve Him, and that’s what Peter did. He was a front runner in the early church. Because of his teaching, you and I know how to love and serve Jesus today.

We all deny Jesus in one way or another, but He is merciful to us as He was to Peter. He picks us up when we fall and sets our feet on the higher ground. Don’t let failure destroy you. Let it be a stepping stone to a restored faith and service to God.

The significance of the number of fish–153, is the same as the number of nations in the world at the time of this catch. This gives impact to Jesus’ last will and testament: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Marching orders for the disciples and for us.


Thank you, Father God, for the gift of Jesus, His mercy and grace to restore us when we fall short of His glory. Help us to live in the light of our salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Mystery of the Magi

January 6 is the day during the year when we commemorate the visit of the Magi to Mary, Joseph and Jesus in Bethlehem. The Bible says in Matthew 2 that they came from the East–probably not as far east as China, but more like Babylon or Persia, modern day Iraq or Iran.

They are believed to be astrologers since they followed a star that led them to Bethlehem where Mary and Joseph lived following the birth of Jesus. Was the star part of a natural phenomenon or a miraculous event? It’s a mystery.

Another mystery is in the gifts the Magi gave to Jesus: Gold for a King, frankincense for a Priest, and Myrrh for a Savior. Did they know that the newborn king would be all these in one person?


Who is Jesus to you? King? Priest? Savior? Teacher? Comforter? Counselor? Friend? Although Jesus lived on earth only thirty-three years, He changed the world more than any one person ever has or ever will. His great love penetrates hearts and restores souls. His great act of forgiveness on the cross paves the way for us to have a relationship with a living God.

To answer my own question, Jesus his all those to me and more. He gives my life meaning and purpose. Hope has displaced despair. I have peace instead of anxiety and new mercies every day instead of feelings of apathy. Friend, all these are available to you through the amazing love of God. Seek Him. You will find Him. He promised that.


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the gift of Jesus, His amazing love and forgiveness. I pray for my friends who have not experienced your love–that you would make them aware of your presence in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Swaddling Cloths

Live Christmas nativity scene in an old barn – Reenactment play with authentic costumes. The baby is a (property released) doll.

Both Mary and Joseph were of the house and lineage of David so they both had to go to Bethlehem, the City of David to enroll in the census. “And while they were there, the time came for Mary to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6-7).

The shepherds in Bethlehem were of the priestly order, so many of the lambs born under their care were sacrificial lambs (one-year-old perfect male lambs). At birth they wrapped the baby lambs in swaddling cloths, which were from the temple–old priestly garments cut for this purpose. Then the lambs were laid in a manger, which was made out of stone, not wood, and protected the little lambs.


Jesus, the Lamb of God, was wrapped in swaddling cloths, strips of priestly garments, and laid in a stone manger. God protected Him at birth. And when Herod ordered the death of baby boys under the age of two, God also protected Him when He told Mary and Joseph to go to Egypt until after the death of Herod. Jesus is our High Priest and has been since He left Heaven and came to earth as a baby. The Son of God humbled Himself to be born as a baby. He grew in stature and maturity and knew the sin and circumstances we face. That is why He can be our compassionate advocate to the Father, merciful and forgiving. He promised He would always be with us, never to leave or forsake us. What comfort that is to a dark and dying world!


Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Son, born as a baby and a Priest, Savior and King. Help us to believe things we cannot understand and help us to become more like Jesus. In His great name, we pray, Amen.