Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hang in There (part I)

I feel as though God is taking me and my family through some things right now.  The reason we are going through is so that we can be better prepared to do bigger and better things for the Kingdom in the future.  I have to tell you that this is not always an enjoyable process.  But God is continuously talking to me through other believers.  I have received several messages of encouragement over the past couple of months and this time I wanted to share a couple with you.  I don't know if you are struggling with anything right now.  But I do know that God is in control and He is right there with you.  The first message I received was from a friend on Facebook. I'll simply post it the way that I received it. I think that you will be blessed by it.

I was lost, but now I am FOUND! Got Jesus?
by Allen Mark Taylor

Matthew 4:1-4 - Man does not live on bread alone
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Notice the Scripture states that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. In ancient times, the desert is equated with a place incapable of sustaining life. Matthew (with Luke and Mark) is stating that Jesus was going into a place where His only hope would be in God. Notice that the journey into the desert was the first act in the ministry of Jesus after His baptism.

Do you feel like you are in a wilderness? We may think that we are being set up for destruction, but God is training us to live a life of dependence upon Him and not our surroundings. This was the path of Jesus and we should not be surprised that this is a part of our journey as well.


Back to Homepage

Hang in There (part II)

I received this one as an email from my brother.  It is a daily devotional called "Marketplace Leaders".  The message is below:

Jehovah Jireh

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2
by Os Hillman

"But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs" (Phil 2:25-26).

I got onto the bus with the other delegates attending a workplace conference in South Africa . It was a season in my life in which I had experienced many losses both financially and relationally. God was stripping away the old wineskin and creating a new one. One of the things He was teaching me was that He - not my skills, not my work - was my provider of financial needs during this season of training.

God provided me the means to attend the conference. One day before the registration deadline, a man came to my office and gave me $2500 and told me I was to go. Now, a man had just placed an envelope into my hand. "Here, God says I'm to give this to you. Inside are 10 crisp American $100 bills - $1000!" The man was from Kuwait .

Every believer needs to come to know Christ as their provider. Jehovah Jireh means God is my provider. When God called the Israelites from their place of slavery they had to walk through the desert. There is no way to earn a living in the desert. So God provided manna each day for them. Sometimes He even brought water from rocks. They had to experience a new way of gaining provision that was not rooted in sweat and toil. God had to demonstrate His faithfulness as Jehovah Jireh to His people.

There were times when Paul's tent making business was not the way God would provide for him. God often uses others as His instrument of provision. So, God sent Epaphroditus to take care of Paul's needs.

Do you know God as your provider? Do you have a need? Place your need before the Lord today and ask Him to demonstrate His faithfulness as Jehovah Jireh.

To subscribe to this daily devotional, click here: TGIF


Back to Homepage

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Christian Rapper of the Week: Evangel

video credit: FourthFridays

Album Credits:
Espository Journey (2008)


Back to Homepage

Monday, October 19, 2009



                                               picture credit by:  tdc1767

I am happy to report that I received a KREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD from my friend Anna.  All praise to God for this blessing.  Anna is the wonderful writer behind the Wrestling with God blog. Anna and I just became blog friends over the past week and she has quickly become a blessing to me. She was a little concerned about it being a girly logo, so I made it the "Man Edition"!  I hope I do not offend the original creator of such an honor.  Check out Anna's blog when you get a chance. I know you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award
2. Copy and paste the award on your own blog
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name seven things about yourself that folks may not know.
5. Nominate seven Kreativ bloggers
6. Post links to the seven bloggers you nominate
7. Leave comments on each of the blogs letting them know that you have nominated them!

Here are 7 things that you may not know about me.

1. I am a licensed minister that lives in the San Antonio area. I have been a minister since 2001 and it is my prayer that I will have the opportunity to pursue the ministry full time in the near future.

2. I am a car salesman in my secular job. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? I work for a high-end dealership in San Antonio. Always remember to be nice to your salesmen! There are a LOT of Christians in the business!

3. I am a huge football fan. I am originally from Louisiana, so my favorite collage team is LSU out of the SEC conference. My delima is that I married into a UT (Longhorns)family so I have to cheer for Texas as long as they are not playing an SEC school. So far so good in that one, but may God help us if LSU ever plays UT in the BCS championship! My favorite pro team is the New Orleans Saints (who are 5-0 as of yesterday!). Hopefully they will continue to play well this year.

4. I have been married for 7 years to my beautiful wife and we have a 6 year old son (If you search through the blog you can find out what their names are). I can only imagine what life would be like without them... and it does not appeal to me at all. I do ask that you will pray for us all as we continue to strive to be the man, woman, and child that God would have us to be.

5. I graduated from Grambling State University in Louisiana with a degree in Marketing. Our mascot is the tiger (check the graphic above).  GSU has produced such great football names as Eddie Robinson, Doug Williams, Trumaine Johnson, and the Earnie "the Big Cat" Ladd. GSU is also well known for having one of the best four year Nursing programs in the state.

6. If you want to make me happy, feed me seafood. Give me fried catfish, gumbo, po-boy sandwiches, and dirty rice; and we will stay friends forever.

7. I truly want to be the man, father, husband, friend, and Christian that God wants me to be. It is through the grace of God that I have a wonderful testimony. And it is my prayer that I can share that testimony and God's love with as many people as possible.

Now, my seven favorite blogs. These are the blogs that I check out nearly every day. They are very diverse and they keep me well rounded. Here's my list in no particular order:

1. Different Frequencies...Same Radio. Dan is active duty Navy and full time on fire for the Lord. He is usually the first one to comment on my blog and I always know where I can get some encouragement.

2. I'm Speaking Truth. This one is not for the faint of heart. Truth is an advocate for challenging the church to remember what the true word of God is. Reading his blog reminds me that I have a responsibility to proclaim God's word correctly and live my life accordingly at ALL times.

3. Urban Resurgence. This is a blog that I have recently started following and enjoying. David is my brother from Austin, Texas (just one hour down highway 35). I definately admire his passion for the Lord and his appreciation of quality Christian rap music.

4. The Prodigal Daughter. This is Di's blog. It is best stated in her own words:
"A website offering a safe environment to share about the pain of pastoral sexual misconduct and the hope that exists within the healing journey." Di has given voice to the pain that a lot of women (and men) have felt as a result of trusting those who have proven to be untrustworthy. I keep her on my blogroll because she can help someone that I may not be able to reach because I have not gone through what she has gone through. Her blog is extremely important.

5. Two Common Thieves. Mark and Misty have the wonderful testimony of deliverance from addiction and are living witnesses that you can make it out. I second that testimony in my own life as well. Thank you guys for being so open and forthcoming. Check them out to find out how God changed them.

6. Solus Christus> Rev. Renaldo Mendes is a Pastor living and spreading the word of God in Brazil. His posts are always challenging and thoughtful. He is also a wonderful encourager of "All These Things".

7. Seth's Blog. This gentleman does not need the publicity, but his blog and books are an excellent source of business growth ideas.

Thanks again to Anna for the award and I hope you will go out and enjoy these blogs as much as I do. As always...

Peace and Love,

Rev Mike


Back to Homepage

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Litmus Test

What is a litmus test? I checked with and found the following two definitions:

1. In chemistry, a person uses litmus paper or solution to test the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
2. A crucial and revealing test in which there is one decisive factor.

picture credit: 1995-1996 NT Curriculum Project

It is the second definition that I want to address. My original intentions for this blog were to say the things that I felt like I didn’t have the platform to say in other areas of my life. I felt and still feel that my life experiences are beneficial to other people that may be going through the same things, and feel as though other people don’t understand them. And I know that other people have been blessed by reading the blog just as I have been blessed by writing it. That is a good thing.

But there is also a dangerous aspect to blogging that I have to watch out for. In my efforts to promote the blog, gain more “hits”, and build up my statistical numbers, I find myself constantly being reminded by God that this effort should not be about me. It should be about Him. I want gain one million hits on the blog. I want to to be on the top of every search engine. I want fifty comments on every post. But is that what God wants? If I receive a million hits and a book deal from this blog, will that bring glory to the Kingdom? That is a question that I don’t have an answer for yet.

But I do know this. I have to hold up this work to a litmus test every time I put up a posting.  Does what I am doing bring glory to God or to me? If it brings glory to God; then great.  If it does not; then I run the risk of getting into trouble.  I read a statement recently that said that a minister should never say thank you if someone compliments them on a sermon. They should simply say “Praise God!” or “Thanks be to God!” This is because it immediately gives credit to the proper authority. If I preach a sermon well, it is because God allowed me to properly articulate His words. If I write a profoundly intelligent blog post, it is because God has guided my fingers. And If I screw something up, it is because I got in my own way.

So to everything you do from this day onward; give God the glory. Hold your words and deeds up to His litmus test. Then check out the results.  The answer you get will reflect your true intentions. Let every work of your hand bring glory to God. 

Peace and Love,


Back to Homepage

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Following My Wife's Spirit

Let me tell you about my wife. She works, takes care of our son the majority of the time, and tries diligently to be the Christian woman that God requires her to be. That can be difficult at times when you are married to a minister/car salesman. She does her best to follow my lead even when it does not make much sense. There have been many times when I have asked her to just "trust me" because I was doing what I believed God was leading me to do. And during those many times, she is able to do that because she believes in God and in me. But sometimes the shoe changes to the other foot.

My wife has a very generous and compassionate spirit. And from time to time she will look at me and tell me that we need to do something for somebody else right now. This has happened at least five or six times over the seven years that we have been married. And every time, I look at her funny because I have no idea where she is coming up with the desire to do whatever it is she wants us to do. Yet, every time this has happened, she has been right. Most of the time, it involves doing something for someone else who is completely unrelated to either of us (meaning a stranger or a distant friend). One such event happened last night.

I was driving home from work when she called me and told me that we had a friend in trouble and we needed to do something to help. I looked at the phone and asked if we needed to do it right then and there. She confirmed that we did. Now, I want you to understand that I did not receive any bulletin from God that we needed to do this thing. But I have been around my wife long enough to realize that she receives messages from God that I don't. And this time was no exception. So what did I do? I told her to let me get home so that we could figure out how we should accomplish the task together. By the end of the night, we had driven to the other side of town, assisted the friend in a way that was an immediate blessing to them, and spent two good hours together as a family with our son.

As we were driving home, I told her the same thing I do every time we have this type of adventure. I told her that every time she tells me that we need to do these types of things, I follow her lead because I know that she is following the direction of the Holy Spirit. It's not for me to understand, but to be obedient to the Spirit as it is leading her. It's happened many times over the years. And it has always been the right thing to do. So if I can give any advice to you from this story, it would be to trust your spouse as they trust and follow God. Believe me... it works.

Peace and Love,


Back to Homepage

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Five Simple Questions

I have five simple questions for you.  When you get done, please feel free to ask your friends and acquaintances.  You can even copy and paste them to an email and send them out if you want.  I have no ownership rights.

1.  Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God?
2.  Do you believe that Jesus died for all of the sins of the world; yours and mine included?
3.  Do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead?
4.  Are you willing to let Jesus be the Lord of your life?

Romans 10:9-10 states,"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Last question...

5.  Are you saved?

Check out the Roman Road to Salvation as a reference.

Peace and Love,


Back to Homepage

Christian Rapper of the Week: Dillon Chase

Video credit: TLRJF

The Pursuit (2009)
The Light (2006)


Back to Homepage

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Something Lite!

I placed this video on my facebook page and asked if the Pastor should have killed the kid or hugged the kid. Either way, it's pretty funny.


10/08/09 UPDATE TO POST: Please be advised that I do NOT condone the killing of young children:), but you have to admit that the Pastor looks a "tad annoyed".

Peace and Love (but no murders),

Rev. Mike

Back to Homepage

God's Voice...Can You Hear Me Now?

Every Christian should want to communicate with God. But sometimes the way that God speaks to us is different than the way we expect to be spoken to. Sometimes God whispers to us. Sometimes He uses a booming voice. I have found in my life that God very rarely communicates to me in the way that I want Him to. But I am also beginning to believe that God has a reason for communicating to us in the ways that He does. Sometimes, God whispers to us because he wants us to sit still and listen. And sometimes God needs to raise His voice to get our attention.

It’s kind of like the way that a teacher communicates with their students. Sometimes the teacher will get the attention of the student by simply standing silently and saying nothing. The teacher will usually use this method when the classroom is being too loud. The teacher will not scream at the classroom because there is something important that the students need to hear. At some point, the students will realize that the teacher is just standing there silently and will quiet down in order to find out what is going on. Then the teacher can say what needs to be said while knowing that he or she has the complete attention of the class.

Sometimes, the student is daydreaming about something other than the task at hand and needs to be brought back to attention. In this case, the teacher will raise their voice in order to snap the student back to reality. These are situations where the teacher is already communicating with the student and the student’s mind begins to drift. The louder voice is needed to wake the student up and bring them back to reality.

If you hadn’t figured it out by now, God is the teacher and we are the students. The way that God communicates to us is directly determined by the way we are acting at the time. Sometimes we are being loud and don’t realize that God is standing before us, waiting for us to focus on Him. Sometimes, we are so distracted by life that God needs to yell at us in order to wake us up. Check out these examples of God whispering and God raising His voice. It is my prayer that we will recognize when God is speaking to us, listen to His words, and apply His instructions from now until Heaven.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike


Back to Homepage

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Birthday To Ru

My son Ruben turned six years old today.  Please join me in wishing him a

Happy Birthday!!!



Mommy and Daddy love you Scooby!

Back to Homepage

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This is How Your Bible is Supposed to Look

I dropped off my son at school this morning and was driving home when I saw a book lying on the inside lane of the road. As I was driving past it, I realized that it was a Bible. Now, I couldn't very well just leave it there, could I? I immediately turned around and went back to retrieve it. It had been run over by at least one car (see tire mark on picture below), and about 60% of the pages had been crumpled. Fortunately, there was a name and phone number inside the cover so I took it home to see if I could unwrinkle some of the pages and call the owner. After all, a soldier needs his sword! I showed it to my wife and you would have thought that it was a wounded animal by her reaction. She is a self-proclaimed book nerd (she said I could call her that), and she was visibly upset over the fact that it had received so much damage.

I called the owner and left them a message that I had found his Bible and that he could call me if he wanted it returned to him. Then S. and I sat down and smoothed over the pages as much as we could. As we were doing so, I noticed that this Bible was pretty well used. Yes, it had received damage from being in the street, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about.  I noticed that there were several pen marks, notes, names, and phone numbers that had been written in it as well. You can look at the pictures that I took of it and see that many of the markings were made with different types of pens, pencils, and markers. Also, I figured that the owner must have had this one for a while because there was a date beside his name that suggested that he received in back in 1992. Now I don't know this for certain, but I think it is safe to say that this Bible has been read, studied, and used quite a lot over the last sixteen plus years. You just don't see that type of use in a Bible that stays in the closet collecting dust.

Well, the gentleman called me and we arranged to meet at a location so that I could give it back to him. He was extremely greatful and gave me a big thank-you. Mission accomplished. I was so impressed by the look of his Bible that I went home to check mine out to see how my "usage" was going. I came to the conclusion that i need to be reading more! How does you Bible look? Is it a coffee table decoration? Or is it a well-worned weapon used to complete the full armor of God?

p.s.  God gave me a whisper with the pages that I photographed.  Check out the following verses and see if they don't bless you:

Romans Chapter 1:1-25 (The Gospel Exalted)
1 Peter 4:12-14 (The Christian and Suffering)
Hebrews Chapter 1 (The Son is God's Revelation)

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

                              Tire track.  Had to remove some phone numbers on this one.

Romans Chapter 1:1-25 (The Gospel Exalted)

1 Peter 4:12-14 (The Christian and Suffering)

Hebrews Chapter 1 (The Son is God's Revelation)

Peace and Love,




Look what you did! More importantly, look what God has allowed to happen. All These Things has accomplished a couple of milestones over the past two months. The blog went over the 1000 visits mark in August! And during the month of September, "All These Things" registered 398 visits (a new monthly record!). Now I am well aware that some blogs are registering over 500 visits per day but I thank God that the blog is growing and will continue to grow. Thank you to everyone that has visited and signed up as a follower of the blog this year. This includes Facebook,, and Google followers as well as those of you that have signed up via RSS feed. Remember that you can also register your email address with the blog in order to receive new updates in your inbox that you can send to your friends and family. Just see the tab that says, "To receive "All These Things" via email, please enter address here," on the right side of the screen----->. Thank you again for your visits, comments, and participation.

Peace and Love,

Rev. Mike


Back to Homepage