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God first, others second.

“Why have you stopped writing?” 

I get that question a lot. And the answer? Because of responses like this.
No matter what I say, it seems, I make someone mad. 

I am so afraid to offend someone. I don’t want to write, or talk, or tell anyone what I’m thinking because if in my response I turn even one person away from Christ – I couldn’t bear it.

But how human I am and very prone to lashing out when my feelings are hurt – which is in direct opposition of what Christ’s response would be. 

Sadly, I’m sure I’ve pointed more than one away from Christ’s loving arms instead of into them. And this morning I was spanked, yet again, by an amazingly patient God – who continues to show me how off the mark I am. 

Still in Philippians this morning, He sent me to chapter 2 verse 21. #philippians2 #sworddrill #ispygod

Oh Lord, please help me to control my tongue; to stop focusing on my own wants and serve You by putting others first.🙏 #iamthird

“Follow Me.”

That’s all Jesus asks. Most Believers I know – if Jesus approached us, as He did the rich man in Mark 10:17, we would jump at the chance.


“BOOM💥Let’s do this thing!”


But would I really? 

Jesus knew this guy’s heart. Knew what he loved and asked him to give it – all his possessions – to follow Him…and the guy couldn’t. Couldn’t? Or wouldn’t?!

I balk at him! “Dude! Just sell your stuff already! How hard is that? All you need is Jesus!”

But isn’t Jesus asking me to do the same thing?

“Follow Me” He says. 

“Give up bread…”


Oh Lord, please help me to deny myself. To give up the god of my belly, pick up my cross and follow You.🙏

#ispygod #mark10 #sacrifice

What is your god?


Whoa. God doesn’t waste time, does he? Not even a chapter from where I have been reading, He hits me…#Philippians3

Is your god your appetite?!


Absolutely it is.

My biggest struggle is self-control; food, finances, temper…oh the list goes on. But temptation with food is the worst.

I have been really trying to be strong in my food choices by avoiding my food triggers: sugar, bread, pasta…but oh how the evil one tempts, and yesterday was HUGE in my arsenal of decisions to disobey.

Confession time:
On my way home from work I decided to give into my craving for a donut. I stopped quickly at the convenience store and literally walked into my accountability partner. I immediately knew it was God providing my “way of escape.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) #sworddrill #ispygod

But did I take it? No. I waited until she left to buy what I knew she would call me out on. #gluttonyisasin

Oh Lord, please help my focus not be on food but on You!

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”   James 1:19-20 (ESV)

I have been so angry lately.  At my husband Jax, the kids, my friends…

I have always had a short temper.  I remember one time in school when a friend ticked me off, someone asked what my problem was and my friend said, “don’t worry…that’s just Nicole.”

Which, oddly enough, didn’t make me mad!  I took pride in that fact and practically wore it around like a badge… the yes-I-have-a-short-fuse-so-you-had-better-not-mess-with-me badge.   But once I’m mad?  Oh, just leave me alone for a little while to cool down and I’ll be fine.  I have even told people that!  It was just who I was – there was no changing it, just deal with it.

My Dad had a short fuse, I have a short fuse.

Short-FuseAs I got older and settled into a career, I never really thought much of my temper.  There weren’t a lot of times I found myself really angry and if I did, it was in a setting where losing your temper was just unprofessional.

But when I got married and started having kids…

well, there’s another story.


I have been a Christian now for nearly 20 years and although I have heard the verses:

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.”
Proverbs 15:18 (NASB)

“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
Proverbs 14:29 (NLT)

“A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.”   Proverbs 12:16 (NLT)

“A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.”   Proverbs 29:11 (NASB)

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Proverbs 19:11 (ESV)

and all of them resonated with me.  Clearly I was that fool, and I swore I would memorize those verses and make a change.  Then three seconds later…


A friend of mine, a wonderful, sweet, Godly, gentle, woman shared her story with me.  She had a terrible temper and yelled at her husband and her kids often, but once she came to know Christ it all changed.

God, in His power, removed that from her.  Once she was filled with the Spirit, she immediately stopped acting out of anger.  She is one of the kindest, gentlest women I know and I can’t even imagine her raising her voice!  But even as I heard her story, I thought…

“Huh.  Well, that certainly hasn’t happen to me.”

I’d like to say that I felt my anger was justified, that my anger is ok…but I know that’s not true.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”     Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

As I have read, learned and studied this verse, what I have noticed is that so many of these Godly characteristics have eluded me.  I have so longed for many of them and are, in fact, the distinguishing traits in others that I admire and envy most.

Gees, I am sinning all over the place here!!

I have loved this verse so much that I made a point to memorize it and teach it to my children.  I knew I needed to learn how God fingerprints us and how His Spirit changes us.  Hoping, that as I wallpaper my mind with this verse, it would help me be more like Christ — that just knowing these fruit of the Spirit might rub off on me somehow.


I am afraid I am one big fruit mess.


But as I mentioned, recently I have been feeling so much more unappreciated, that my husband and children don’t care and clearly don’t know me… that I am only here to serve them and when is it my turn?!!

Little things have been setting me off over the past few months and I am becoming more and more angry, resentful and lashing out.

Last night I got angry over an expectation of things getting done around the house while I was gone that, of course, didn’t get done and I lost it.  I was done.  I didn’t even want to talk about it because what was the point?  So I went to bed.

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,”   Ephesians 4:26 (ESV)

When I woke this morning I had totally forgotten what I was so angry about until I realized that I don’t even think I said goodnight to Jax.

I immediately thought to myself:  “Oooh!  That worked pretty well!  So this is what I need to do…no fight, no lost temper…  Just don’t deal with it, go to bed and it will be all good in the morning!  Cool.  That is so much easier!!”

But that is so entirely not God’s plan!  You see, it’s the small details that matter.  Ephesians 4:26 continues…

“and give no opportunity to the devil.”   Ephesians 4:27 (ESV)

God brought to mind, in the middle of my not really liking my husband so much, what might happen if that was the road I chose.  He allowed me to see a very clear picture of how our life would continue, how things would get worse and worse until that breaking point when we wouldn’t know each other any more, or we would hate each other and stay married, or worse.

I found myself, right then, at a crossroads.


I grabbed my Bible and started reading through the Genesis account, yet again, and re-read the story of Cain when this verse stopped me…

“Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'”   Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)

Praise God how He works in our lives!!

I must take control of my anger and change my responses.  And instead of seeking fulfillment from such sinful creatures as my husband and kids, I need to find my satisfaction and fulfillment from the only One who can provide it!  What kind of example am I to my kids when I allow sin to rule over me?

This needs to stop now.

No, I don’t want to tell Jax that I’m sorry.  At all!  I don’t want to admit that I’m a fool and have allowed the devil to have a foothold in my life…but I must.  For the good of our marriage, for the good of our family, for the good of my relationship with Christ.



“If we would be angry and not sin (says one), we must be angry at nothing but sin; and we should be more jealous for the glory of God than for any interest or reputation of our own.”   – Matthew Henry


Related Articles:
Dealing with Anger  (
Crouching Like a Lion  (

I’ve been going through Genesis the past couple months reading and re-reading stories, choosing one Bible translation then switching to another.  And regardless of how many times I’ve read the Genesis account, or all of Scripture for that matter, God always reveals new truths… even through those old stories we heard over and over again as kids.


This morning as I started reading through the story of The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), I had to laugh.  You see, it took place after the great flood when all the people of the earth were all together and spoke one language.  It was here that someone had a brilliant idea to construct a city with the greatest sky scraper ever; something everyone could see, an awesome achievement and focal point of the city, a wonder of the world…

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.'”   Genesis 11:4

What’s so funny about that you ask?  Well, it just struck me the gall of some people… doing something so outlandish, like building this massive tower, to make sure they wouldn’t be “dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Doesn’t that just sound like a dare?  Yeah…what do you suppose God will do in this situation??!


A dear friend of mine has Trypanophobia.  It’s not what I would think of as a typical fear most girls have like spiders or snakes…  it’s the fear of injections or hypodermic needles.

She hates them.

She even had a discussion with God about them, acknowledging her fear but making sure He understood there was NO WAY she could deal with anything that had to do with needles…just don’t even go there.

Or, in other words…


Not too long after my friend had her ‘discussion’ with God, her daughter became very sick and was eventually diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Which means that the one thing which brought such trepidation to my needle fearing friend, is now the one thing she must have intimate knowledge of.  She must keep them in her home, in her purse, at her side, in order to inject her daughter daily to provide the insulin her daughter needs to survive.

Like the people building that tower to make sure they wouldn’t be “dispersed,” God clearly had other plans.

“…the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth…”   Genesis 11:8

Now don’t get me wrong, we can’t change or coerce God’s plan for our lives by sending out a dare… if that were the case, then my ‘don’t even try to let me win the lottery’ would have ended differently and we certainly won’t doom it by admitting our weakness or fears.

But it is God and God alone who is in control and He has a fantastic, yet sometimes difficult, way of teaching us that.

Don’t dare God.  Let Him dare you.  Admit you need Him in your life, to take control of it and work through it.   It is only through our weaknesses; our addictions, our mistakes, our fears…that He can be seen most clearly.





Triumph of Christ and His Church

“As John nears the end of his vision, he sees the wedding of Jesus, the Lamb, and his bride, the church.  There is joy and honor bin being invited as a guest to the wedding supper.  yet even in this blissful scene looms the grim reminder of the destruction which awaits those who have been unrighteous.  As the father of all unrighteousness, Satan is finally and totally destroyed.  It is therefore clear that Christ and his saints will ultimately triumph over both Satan and his evil power.  That knowledge should be more than sufficient to comfort and encourage every believer in his ho9pe for the future.”

Read:  Revelation 19:6-21, 20, 21:1-8

Glory and Grandeur of Heaven

“God gives John a vision of what heaven will be like.  It is pictured as a Holy City, having a river flowing through it with a tree of live on either side.  The cares and sorrows of this life will not be known in heaven, and great joy will abound.  This vision of a new heaven and a new earth provides an exciting conclusion to a book whose opening lines told of the majesty of God’s first creation.”

Read:  Revelation 21:9-27 & 22

“So ends the revelation to John and the last of Holy Scripture.  In the teachings of Jesus there is abundant life; in the example of his divine Person there is love; and in the power of his resurrection there is hope.”

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Hope of the Faithful

“Throughout their epistles, Paul and the other inspired writers had continually reminded their readers of the glorious hope for those who would remain steadfast in their faith despite whatever pressures might tempt them to abandon it.  The messages now brought by three angels are strikingly similar in their appeal.”

Read:  Revelation 14:1-13

Judgment Against Unrighteous

“At this point John envisions God’s ultimate judgment on mankind.  The scene he describes is a harvest of the earth, upon which God’s wrath is imposed.  With the pouring out of seven terrifying bowls comes a sense of finality  God’s righteousness and holiness are manifested through a cleansing of sin from the world.”

Read:  Revelation 14:14-20, 15, 16

Special Judgment upon Babylon

“In the images of a drunken prostitute and an incredible scarlet beast, John sees the vision of what appears to be a special judgment of God.  Whatever might be the true identification of this ‘Babylon,’ its destruction is accompanied by terrible lament.”

Read:  Revelation 17, 18 & 19:1-5

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Wrath of God Against Evil

“Striking similarity exists between the trumpets which are about to be blown and the ten plagues brought against Egypt.  Hail and fire, water turned to blood, periods of darkness, and the appearance of locusts all seem to complete the parallel.  The sixth trumpet will bring death among mankind, just as in the Passover, when death came to the firstborn of each Egyptian family.”

Read:  Revelation 8:7-13, 9, 10, 11:1-14

Righteousness of God Seen in Coming of Christ

“With the blowing of the seventh trumpet comes the announcement of the kingdom of God through Christ.  This was the good news of the Gospel writers — that Jesus, the Word who had become flesh, had come into the world to establish his kingdom.  The signs of his coming are seen by John as being the opening of the temple, accompanied by earthquakes and various celestial disturbances.”

Read:  Revelation 11:25-19

Opposition to Christ’s Church

“John now sees God’s people as a star-crowned woman whose son, Christ, rules all nations.  Rising in opposition to the woman is Satan himself, who wages war against God’s people in two ways, Satan is first seen as a dragon, which seems to represent political oppression, and then as a beast coming out of the sea to make war against God’s people, which may represent religious persecution.”

Read:  Revelation 12 & 13

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

Majesty and Centrality of God

“The vision which John is about to receive begins with praise for God as the Creator of the universe.  Through the songs of various creatures, God’s great majesty is declared to be worthy of glory, honor, and power.  Significantly, sharing in that honor is he who is called ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’ and also ‘the Lamb.’  Both descriptions are obvious references to Jesus the Christ.”

Read:  Revelation 4 & 5

Destructiveness of Sin

“With the opening now of the seven seals, John sees four symbolic horses, the souls of Christian martyrs, and preparation for the blowing of seven trumpets.  In all of this is a reminder that, despite the power of sin, there is always a remnant of God’s people who remain faithful, even in the face of martyrdom.”

Read:  Revelation 6, 7 & 8:1-6

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.

The Revelation to John

“One of the most unique and intriguing writings of all Scripture comes as a fitting conclusion to God’s revelation to man.  It is a writing reminiscent of the recorded visions of Ezekiel and Daniel.  Its true Author by revelation is Jesus Christ, and the apostle John simply acts as scribe.  On a particular Lord’s day, as John relates the experience, he receives through an angel a revelation from the Spirit of God in which he is directed to write what he sees and to send it to seven churches in Asia.

What John sees and records sis a prophecy, both strange and moving, in which Christ as sovereign Lord engages in battle with the forces of evil and is clearly the Victor.  The account is couched in figurative language, supernatural imagery, and verbal and numerical symbolism that is not easy to fully comprehend.  Yet it stirs an excitement about the future for all Christians and gives hope that present sufferings will be lost in a victory so wonderful that the mind of man can only begin to grasp it.”

Read:  Revelation 1, 2 & 3

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.
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