Let’s get our focus right….


Good day to you all!

I hope and pray I find you all well.

I was watching something on “America’s got talent” the other day.

It got me thinking about how many talent shows they are now.

Do I even dare begin to name them all??  I think not.

But that show got me thinking.

I don’t think it’s possible to count the amount of talented people

there are in the world.

We have an endless supply of talented people.

There is always someone better, faster, intelligent, richer, and

stronger. There is no shortage of talent in the world.

 

We celebrate talent. We reward talent in ways people can only

imagine. Becoming talented has become the main goal.

We are no longer satisfied to be number two, three or four.

We have to be first. We must be recognized.

We must have the shoes, the car, the house, and more.

We focus on the external and forget about the internal.

We abandon character, integrity, modesty and other inner

things all in the pursuit of talent.

We have lost what’s really important.

 

“So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said,

“Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at

his physical stature, because I have refused him.

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the

outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:6-7

 

God had rejected Eliab! Samuel missed it. He looked at everything

on the outside and thought, “this is the man the Lord has

chosen.”

But the word says, God refused him!

 

God wasn’t impressed with the muscles and how many men he

killed in battle. He wasn’t impressed with how intelligent

he was. Eliab probably didn’t have a relationship with God.

He probably had a proud heart.

I don’t think Eliab worked on his inner man much.

I don’t think things like character and integrity were important

to him.  And because he didn’t work on the inner man God rejected

him!

Let’s look at one more scripture,

 

“You are blessed when you get your inside world – your mind

and heart – put right.

Then you can see God in the world. “

Matthew 5:8

 

Let God come in and put your inside world right.

God wants your heart.

He wants you to be a man or woman of character.

It’s okay to have talent, but don’t make it the main thing.

Blessings to you….

 

Rolain

The inside job!


 

new-birth

“So observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do

what they do, for they preach, but do not practice. “

Matthew 23:3

 

Jesus was speaking to the multitudes and his disciples about the

Pharisees. The things they did were so crazy.

 

“Now Jesus turned to address His disciples, along with the

crowd that had gathered with them.

The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in

God’s law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on

Moses. But be careful about following them.

They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it

into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all

spit-and-polish veneer.

 

Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer

shawls one day and flowery prayers the next.

They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking

in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance

of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting

called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend’.”

Matthew 23:1-9

 

They were all about the outward man. They

wanted to be seen, they wanted to be respected, and a whole

heap of other things but they missed something very

important – the inner man. They were not interested about who

they were on the inside. Let me share a scripture with you that

will bring more understanding of what I am saying,

 

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and 

heart-put right. 

Then you can see God in the outside world.”

Matthew 5:8

 

How much time are you putting into working on the inner man?

How much time are you putting into changing the way you think?

How much time are you putting into developing your character?

How much time and effort are you putting into loving God with

all of you?

The Pharisees focused on the wrong things.

Because of that they missed Jesus.

If we are to grow in our relationship with God we need to take

more time focusing on the inner man.

We need to be real with ourselves about who we are and bring

it to Jesus. Where is your heart? Where is your mind?

Are you becoming like Christ daily?

Let’s not make the same mistake the Pharisees made.

Let’s get the inside man right first.

 

 

What’s the point of being in a position of power and influence

but you lie, cheat, steal, tear down people, and gossip??

Who are you helping if you have all the money in the

world but are rude, arrogant, brash, cruel, angry

all the time, unloving, uncaring and so on???

 

Let’s take more time working on the inner man. You are blessed

when you do that.

Bless you friends

 

Rolain

 

 

 

Can God still use me??


 

image

Ever wonder if you can still be used by God? Well, a friend

sent me a poem that encouraged me so much regarding this

very thing. We can still be used by God, friends.

In fact, He is using us as long as we are open hearted and willing

to be used.

 

A USEFUL AND BETTER TOOL

 

If you want to be like those of old,

Who were sent to win the world,

Here’s the secret of their precious lives:

 

They held still enough, so Jesus’ words could be poured into them.

They were weak enough, so that His light could shine through them.

And yet strong enough, so they could be used by Him.

Dependant enough on Him to pull them through.

And willing enough just to be His vessels and His tools.

 

Their torch has now passed onto you.

God’s purpose must be fulfilled.

If you are wondering what to do

and how best you can do His will?

The secret is still the same.

Close to Him you must remain.

And this is all that you must do.

 

Hold still enough, so Jesus love can be poured into you.

Be weak enough so that His light can shine through you.

Yet be strong enough so that He can use you

and dependent on Him to pull you through.

And that’s how He’ll make of you a better tool.

– author unknown

 

Blessings to you friends!!

 

Rolain

An occupied heart.


As the new year fast approaches I want to touch on something.

Last week I touched on the importance of humbling ourselves.

If you missed that post you can read it here.

This week I want to touch on the heart. Does God have your

heart? Why am I asking such a seemingly “obvious” question?

Maybe it’s not really that obvious……

 

It all started when I was singing, “when I lost my heart to you

Hallelujah“from Hillsong United’s new album Empires.

There is a line I kept singing which says,

You have my heart

 

As I kept singing that over and over I thought to myself,

Does He really have my heart??

As I look back at the year I see how I have struggled in my

relationship with Him. My heart has not been entirely here.

I have ignored Him A LOT, got distracted, had times where

I didn’t talk to Him, worshipped other idols…..shucks!

It’s been a challenging year and I allowed the challenges

to come between me and Him!

So as I sang that line I realised my heart was very occupied but

not with Him. God doesn’t want a part of my heart…..

He wants my whole heart!

 

“I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned

incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelery,

and went after her lovers; But Me she forgot, says the Lord.

Hosea 2:13

 

This passage depicts where I was at. I was the one who forgot

the Lord, I was the one who chased after other idols……

My heart was far from the Lord.

When I had a choice to seek the Lord I would

occupy myself with something else but Him. It breaks my

heart thinking about that. My heart is reserved for God and I

want Him to have it all!

In His mercy and great love He still chases after me! He

hasn’t given up on me. I don’t deserve His attention. I have done

nothing to warrant it yet He still pursues me!

 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,

will bring her into the wilderness,

and speak comfort to her.

 

She shall sing there,

As in the days of her youth,

As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

And it shall be, in that day,

says the Lord,

That you will call me, My Husband

And no longer call Me, My Master,

For I will take from her mouth the names of the baals,

And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

Hosea 2:14-17

 

Even though God’s people rejected Him and chased other idols,

He pursued them relentlessly. I am so grateful He chases

after me relentlessly! He is doing the same for you.

Don’t stop chasing after me Lord!

My heart is yours…..!!

 

Keep your heart with all diligence,

for out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

 

I was supposed to guard my heart, I was not supposed

to let anything in but I failed, I gave my heart away!

When I think of this scripture

I think of a husband and wife.

A true wife will guard her heart from other men.

She will not allow other men in because she loves her

husband. She doesn’t have to be taught to do that but out

of a deep, unshakable, love for him she will protect her heart

with everything in her. Her heart is reserved for her husband

and him alone!

So it is with her husband. He will not flirt with other women,

he will not entertain the idea of being with another woman

because he loves his wife. He too will protect his heart because

of his love for his wife.

His heart and affection will be towards his wife alone, and

he will not compromise!

 

As it is with husband and wife it should be so with me. If my

heart is truly His I will do everything to protect my heart.

Yes, I am a sinner and yes I will fail at times but I will fight

to guard my heart because He loves me and I love Him!

I won’t entertain anything else. I won’t give my heart away

to anything else that would take me away from God because

my heart belongs to Him!

 

I should be complete at this moment and not looking for

something to complete me. He should be enough for me!

He should be all that I need….because HE IS all that I need!

Because of the price He paid I am complete, I am

whole!

 

Where are you at? Does your heart fully belong to God,

or is it occupied with other things?

Have other things crept in and taken His place?

In this coming year make a decision to consume yourself

with Him alone. He is our Savior and He wants all of us,

not part of us!

He pursues us because He loves us.

 

He has my heart! When I surrendered my life to Him all those

years ago I surrendered my heart to Him. What I need to do is

consistently check myself. I need to constantly check the state

of my heart because the truth is that the enemy wants my

heart as well. he will do everything in his power to have it but

it’s taken! My heart belongs to God and I must guard it. But

I am not alone because the Holy Spirit is with me. He will help me, ‘

and He will help you if that is your desire. And that is so

encouraging!

 

 

Prayer

I am so sorry Lord for occupying my heart with other things.

I am so sorry for chasing after idols.

My heart is Yours so I ask for Your help.

Help me to guard my heart.

help me to keep my heart set on You and You alone!

Take this occupied heart and fill it anew with You….

Just You Lord!

I love You.

Amen…..

 

Rolain

 

 

The arrogance of man….


And Saul built an altar to the Lord;

It was the first altar he built to the

Lord.  1 Samuel 14:35

 

Saul built an altar to God. It was probably the only

altar he built to God.

Why he built the altar is not really clear but the point

is this, he built an altar.

Saul building that altar almost seems out of context.

In fact, it’s so out of Saul’s norm that the word says,

 

It was the first altar he built to God.”

 

Building an altar meant on a very rare

occasion Saul remembered God, he honored God!

It was one of those very rare occasions where

Saul put God first, where Saul stopped to thank

God.

The altar that Saul built tells us a lot about where

his relationship with God was. He didn’t build altars

which meant something.

 

On the other hand let’s look at David.

Building an altar wasn’t out of context for him.

He built countless altars to God. That also said

something about his relationship with God.

David was a man after God’s heart. God was the

most important thing to him….

 

David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-5)

David kills Uriah (2 Samuel 11:14-23)

In both these situations David repented to God.

He confessed his sins and asked God to forgive him.

His heart broke because of what he did.

 

David counts his people (2 Samuel 24:1-9)

After counting the people the word says:

David felt ashamed after he counted the people

and said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in

what I did! Lord, I beg you, forgive me for my

sin. I have been very foolish.”

2 Samuel 24:10

 

Once again David humbled himself before God.

He confessed his sin to God quickly!

 

David wants to build a house for God.

(2 Samuel 7:1-18)

Even in peace David still sought the Lord.

He never forgot Him!

 

This is what I am trying to show you,

We need to be like David who built countless

altars to God. He loved God so much. Yes,

he sinned many times but he always turned 

to God. No matter how bad things got he

always turned to God and even in good times

he still turned to thank God!

 

Saul didn’t put God first a lot of the time.

Some would say he was proud. He believed

he could make it on his own. He was a skilled

warrior who was a “head taller” than everyone

else. (1 Samuel 9:2)

Whatever the case we must aim to be like

David who humbled himself before God.

He never relied on his own strength. Instead,

he relied on God and ALWAYS turned to

God, always……

The goal is not to be David but it’s to take

those things that made his relationship

with God stronger and apply them to

our lives.

The goal is not to discredit or attack

Saul but it’s to look at his life and

learn from his mistakes. We all sin

so attacking Saul would be foolish…

 

God wants us to put Him first….

Pride will always resist God.

We need to be humble and allow

God to lead us.

Rolain

 

 

Eleven days…….


 

It is [only] eleven days journey from Horeb by the way of

Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea [on Canaan’s border;

yet Israel took forty years to get beyond it]. Deuteronomy 1:2

 

I have heard so many teachings on this passage right here.

And in nearly all the teachings I have heard on this scripture

it would always be about how Israel sinned,

“Just imagine if Israel obeyed the Lord”, they would say.

Their journey would have taken eleven days, only eleven

days!!!

 

I think it is something to think about but at the same time I think

there is more to the story.

As human beings we will always sin. Yes, Israel went to the extreme

in the wilderness but sins are sins. They could off taken eleven days

if they were perfect but they were not and instead it took them forty

years!

Just imagine if they managed to make it in eleven days???

There would be no stories of disobedience and rebellion,

lack of trust and so on. Nothing would of being dealt with!

The Israelite’s needed the forty years! In that time there

was death, repentance, and a whole lot of other things

that needed to take place. This is how the word puts it:

 

And you shall [earnestly] remember all the way which the Lord

your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble

and to prove you, to know what was in your [mind and] heart,

whether you would keep His commandments or not.

And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you

with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know,

that He might make you realize and personally know that man

does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that

proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:2, 3

 

God LED Israel for forty years so He could reveal what was

in their hearts! More precisely He wanted to know if their

hearts were devoted to Him……

He wanted them to make Him first in their hearts!

The Israelite’s went through so much in the forty years. They

would of missed out on so much if they took eleven days!

 

Let’s bring this home……

Just imagine it took you eleven days to get to the place God had

for you??? A measly eleven days!!!

I was a mess and it’s taken me at least fifteen years to begin to

get out of it but there is still much work to be done! I fail God

daily, I abandon Him daily, like Peter I disown Him by my

actions a lot, when I should be praying I watch TV or

something crazy like that.

But the good news is, from the first step I took on this journey

there has been growth. My relationship with God has deepened.

I have seen Him in a new way. My faith in Him has become

stronger. The failures, the hard times, the times of doubt, the

chastening, have drawn me closer to God.

I needed the forty years, as hard and difficult as they are,

I needed them!

What about you? Do you wish it would take you eleven days?

God wants to know what’s in your heart. He will test you

in the desert. He will allow times of hunger so He can

humble you so you can know His words are all you need!

Know this, God has a plan for you in the wilderness!

You are not there by mistake……

God has allowed times of hunger to test you, will you look to

Him or will you complain and murmur??

Will you lose your faith in Him in those times??

 

Teach me Your way, Lord, that I may rely on Your faithfulness;

give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.

Psalm 86:11

 

What an amazing prayer! Lord, give me an undivided heart!

I have allowed so many things to have a piece of my heart.

This heart that should be ALL Yours!

So I pray, give me an UNDIVIDED heart Lord!

God wants Your heart. Not a piece but all of your heart.

Fight those things that have contended for it….He is all you

need.

 

Rolain

 

 

 

The Tuesday that changed everything……..


I have not written in a while. Not because I had nothing to write about, but because I was involved in a car accident! To be honest I didn’t want to write, I guess it was shock! It is not easy writing about the accident but after a week I know God has been challenging me to write about what happened!

 

Last Tuesday……

I was on my way to do shopping when a man ran out on the road unexpectedly! Thank God it was raining because it made me drive slowly! Anyway this guy ran out on the road and before I knew it he was in front of me. I tried to avoid him by turning sharply away from him but I was not successful. I hit him with the side of my bumper which sent him falling to the other lane.

But another car going much faster bumped him and sent him flying in the air. He landed on his head. I was not alone in the car so we jumped out of the car and ran to the man. We called the ambulance a few minutes after that. When they finally arrived they tried to revive him but it was too late, he had lost too much blood. He was declared dead…….

I can’t begin to describe to you the feelings and emotions that I went through. I was in shock! I couldn’t believe he had died! I just stood there in the rain looking at the corpse! I saw life leave him…….

 

God’s goodness……

During this traumatic time a few things happened which I can only describe as God’s amazing love. A friend who I had not seen for at least 5 years saw my car and stopped to help!! I had seen him earlier in the day which was amazing in its self but a few hours later in another part of town he stopped to help me! That was God indeed.

In a few minutes of him leaving another close friend of mine who heard the news arrived! As a guy I was putting on a strong front for the people that were at the scene but when my friend came he understood. He saw through the front I had made. I broke down when he came. We embraced and he kept on telling me, “It wasn’t my fault”! Once again I can’t tell you what that did for me! God knew what I needed. It wasn’t something I could put into words but He knew. When I stopped crying my friend left. But those few minutes he spared were so crucial that day! Sometime after that another friend came. He was driving when he seen me. He turned his car around and came and asked if I needed anything. There was nothing he could do at that precise moment so he left but as I left the scene of the accident with the police he returned with a hot cup of coffee! I had been in the rain the whole time and I was freezing but I never noticed it until he handed me the cup of coffee….!!  God is so good.

 

Lessons learned…..

Things have changed since that day. My relationship with God has gone deeper. It’s crazy to think but a few weeks before the accident I would have days where I would get nothing from the word, just dryness! Nothing would jump out at me but after the accident, it was like I was reading a different bible. The bible I was reading was alive. Every day had something new and something for me, something I could hold on to. My prayer times where different. In actual fact they still are. Something has changed. It’s like the blinders have been taken off. I see God more clearly! When I read my word I see Him, when I listen to music (worship music) I hear Him, I see Him in people when they come to encourage me, and pray for me, when I spend time with Him I feel Him!

Whatever pain or tragedy you are going through know that God has a plan in the midst of the pain! He wants you to run to Him. And as you run to Him, He will comfort and deliver you. He will not leave you to go through the pain alone! He will be with you every step of the way! His hand will be on you……That’s a promise!

 

Today……..

I am still waiting on the police. They are still working on the case and I am waiting for them to come to a decision. They can press charges or let it go. I am believing for the latter! I would really appreciate your prayers in this time!

I am much better than last week. I realize I will never forget what happened that day and I need to make a decision how I go from here. I can live in guilt and blame myself and I can live in fear of driving and so on or I can trust God!

Rolain

Oh no….I lost the ‘list’!!!


You don’t know what you want” were the words ringing in my ears after speaking to a friend this past week. The words were a bit harsh but he was right. We were talking about relationships and the challenges I was facing finding the One. Have you written your “list” he asked? Off course I did. I wrote the “list” a long time ago.

“The list, for those that don’t know is when a single man or woman writes about the attributes and character of the man or woman they want. It’s a very specific list of things you want.  (Is she tall, short, athletic, adventurous, is he funny, caring and so on?)”

But as I recited to him the things on my list something shocking happened……..There were things I wasn’t sure about anymore!! I was undecided…..! I began to panic, what was I going to do? Was I double minded because if I was the word says, “a double man is unstable in all his ways and he can expect nothing from God”!

But upon further thought I realized why I was unsure. As I have matured and grown in the Lord and met and interacted with a lot of women there are things I have come to appreciate that I never did when I was younger. Upon further thought I came to another conclusion:

If the woman I wrote about all those years ago has changed doesn’t that mean the woman I write about now is going to change as I continue maturing? To take it even further, does it mean its pointless even compiling a list when I don’t even know myself that well?? A list is important, this I understand. It is so important to have an idea of what you want. This is one area where you cannot be clueless! But this is my point; the “list” can’t be all we go by. The “list” is flawed because we as humans are flawed. Only God knows what you really need! It’s okay to have a guide line for what you want. That guide line is the “list” but don’t let it be your final measuring line!

So here I am with an idea of what I want. It is very detailed but at the same time it’s not. There are things I can’t come to a final conclusion about but I am trusting the God who knows me better than anyone else in this world. I don’t have to worry about an incomplete list because God the One who created my wife will bring her to me and she will be everything I expect and even more. I pray she is not exactly as I picture her because that means God has succumbed to my low and flawed view of the “one”! I pray that is not the case. I want the woman He has for me, not the one I have created for myself!

Rolain.

The weakest link.


Today was a real eye opener for me. We have been teaching the kids about praise and worship for two weeks and today was the last week of the teaching. God really came down and touched the kids and I will boldly say we had a tangible manifestation of God’s presence. Words fail to express how amazing the service was.

 

But this was the eye opener for me – I never prepared sufficiently for the service. It was important for me to have planned because I am the one who decided on having a time in the year where we have a service specifically dedicated to teaching our kids the importance of praise and worship. I have been doing this for 6years and this was the 7th. But like I said, I did not plan sufficiently. I was not prayed up enough. I was not ready for today. I had feelings to deal with as well. I felt guilty for the sin I committed through out the week and thought it inappropriate to ask God for His help. I was not ready on all levels.

I realized how in this relationship I am the weakest link. I haven’t brought anything to the table. My contribution to this relationship is nothing…..I am the weakest link but unlike the game where the weakest link gets eliminated, God still works with me. He doesn’t eliminate me but bestows me with His grace. He covers my faults with His amazing grace and mercy. I was blown away today because God’s presence came down and touched the kids not because I had been prepared or prayed up, or because I was smart enough but He used me in spite of that! ! And thinking about that I realize how that happens everyday. We are the weakest link in our relationship with God but He stays with us. He still gives us a purpose that is bigger than we can imagine and loves us. He doesn’t tell us We are useless but instead makes us useful…….

Even though you are the weakest link in your relationship with God He will never leave. You will not be eliminated. It’s because you are weak that He will use you. You will do incredible things in your weak state because He will cover you. He will give you the wisdom you need, the strength you need……thank God for that. He is amazing.

Rolain

Purity and dating….What really matters here???


 

I had a thought the other day about my blog. I have rarely written anything

about dating. I have written a few posts here and there but nothing really substantial

about this very important piece of my life. It’s what I pray about constantly and talk to

God about. It’s an area I struggle trusting God in. If there is one thing I have

realized when it comes to finding the one, it’s we as people have no control over who we are to be with.

What I mean is God is the one directing us and guiding us in our relationships. He is involved

In the choosing process, it’s not just us. If it was up to me only I would of being married by now,

I would of chosen someone and that would have been that. But that is not the case for me. God has

really used this area of my life to teach me to trust in Him wholeheartedly! That is what I believe and

that is what I have experienced. This won’t apply to everyone. We are all unique and God works

differently in all our lives.

 

What is your point you might be asking??? Please bear with me a little longer. I am getting there….

 

I had a great week last week. It was great because God spoke to me about grace. I have always

known what grace is but last week was different. I got a whole new perspective on grace. But with

that perspective certain areas of my life were highlighted. The area of dating and relationships

was one of the areas that were highlighted in my life.

Let me explain. I have always prided myself in the values I have been taught concerning dating.

 

–         I have never dated in my life ever!

–         I have never kissed anyone passionately (That honor will go to my wife)!

–         I signed a covenant of chastity even.

 

 

There are others but this post is not about what my values are and getting the praise but about

what God showed me. These are the things that made me proud and even conceited. Because of the

values I had I thought I could dictate who I wanted. God, I want this kind of woman and she must

be that and and and………

I am so ashamed writing this because I was seriously misguided. This is not how God works.

One of the things I prided myself in...... But what matters is God's grace!

One of the things I prided myself in……
But what matters is God’s grace!

 

Last week He showed me how getting a wife was not because of all the things I had done,

and the high standards I had and the values I believed in but because of His grace!

It is because of His grace that I will find the One. It won’t be because of my intelligence and

how holy I appear to be and how together I try to be but it will be because of His grace!!!!

This is one area He will get the glory! He wants the glory in every aspect of our lives.

When I realized this I was dumbfounded. How could I have not seen this?

 

Please understand me here, keeping yourself pure and all those other decisions about purity

you have made or should make are important. But those things need to be done to glorify God.

I had that intension when I first started out but it changed some where. It became about me

some where down the line.I will meet the woman God has for me because of His grace. I won’t

have anything to add on and say to God “but it’s because I did this or that…..no!”

That is how amazing God’s grace is. His grace extends to every other area of our lives and not just in

our relationships.

 

Will you lean fully on His grace? Don’t rely on what you have done or what you can do and and and….

Rely on His grace!

 

Rolain