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Be Careful and Don’t Be a Storm-Chaser?

Life is full of storms and troubles. The 2/20-21/2021 Stepping Stones devotion from Lighthouse Network addresses storms. I share it with permission.

Be Careful and Don’t Be a Storm-Chaser?

February 20-21, 2021

Transformational Thought

Some people get a high from drugs, alcohol, or even cutting themselves. But others find ways to get a natural adrenaline surge by putting themselves in challenging or even dangerous situations. Tornado chasing is one of these thrill-seeking activities made popular by the movie Twister, where both professional scientists and amateurs literally chased tornados hoping they would turn into life-threatening storms. The more dangerous the tornado, the closer they would get to being swept up into the funnel. At times they got so close that injuries occurred and their lives were definitely at risk. Obviously, some people are actually drawn to the storms. Most do it to take once in a lifetime photos. But those who do it solely for the thrill and the danger are adrenaline junkies.

One of our taglines at Lighthouse Network is “Guidance through life’s storms.” Many past Stepping Stones Devotionals reference “storms” in our lives. Storms are times of turbulence, anxiety, darkness, and usually, impending doom. The journey is tough and we might be pushed far from our intended course. The usual assumption is that storms come out of nowhere and hit us when we least expect them … that we have no early-warning signs or system. Oftentimes this is true.

But, if you look closely, there are certain people who actually create or chase after life’s storms. I have done that myself on occasion. Sometimes, we aren’t aware that we are creating a storm while making mistakes and poor choices out of ignorance. But oftentimes, we make conscious choices, knowing we are choosing the wrong fork in the road … addictions, eating issues, emotion management problems, sexual dalliances, gossip, tantrums, giving into temptation, staying up too late, etc. These behaviors lead us right into the eye of a storm. Not only do we create storms for ourselves, but the storms we create can also blast innocent bystanders.

Various reasons exist for repeatedly making these bad choices, but the bottom line is that we get some satisfaction or perceived benefit from them. The gain might not outweigh the downside of the decision. But in the moment we don’t care. That small gain is all we focus on. We feel we are invincible … or that the storm will blow in a different direction … or that we’ll be able to minimize the damage from this particular storm. 

Some storms arrive without warning and we cannot avoid them: catastrophic illnesses, car accidents, a fallen economy. There are also storms created by our poor decisions. Of course, we know that the enemy is constantly trying to influence us to make bad choices that damage our lives and souls. However, we must also accept that we were created with this beautiful thing called free will. We can always choose to avoid a storm, or to step right in the middle of a tornado.

Today, be honest and examine yourself. Identify the areas of your life where you are a storm-chaser. Bad habits, a loose tongue, a caustic attitude, guilt, anger, anxiety issues, addictions, impulsivity, relationship problems with a spouse, kids, parents, or co-workers. These usually have some element of storm-chasing. Do you make choices that once again place you smack in the middle of a storm? Consider choices you could make to avoid a storm. Think about how you might create your own great sunny weather. WITHIN REACH will help you examine your decisions, helping you step away from storms and into clear sailing. Whether you avoid a storm or you step right in the middle of a life-interfering twister is your decision, so choose well. If you know someone caught in an acute storm and needs any kind of treatment, call 844-Life-Change (844-543-3242) and we can usually find Christian options for you.


Dear Father God, I humble myself under Your almighty hand. As I truthfully examine my past actions, I see I am guilty of creating and chasing storms. I no longer want to seek storms. I also know that You are my lighthouse in the storms I cannot avoid. Help me, Lord, to stop chasing storms and chase You instead. Help me run away from storms by constantly setting my compass toward You. I pray in the name of my early-warning system, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the decision you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20

The post Be Careful and Don’t Be a Storm-Chaser? appeared first on Lighthouse Network.

You may also want to read “Got Trouble? by yours truly.

Until next time…”May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Disclaimer: As mentioned in my Welcome post, I do not necessarily endorse authors or organizations that I quote or repost. This also applies to Lighthouse Network. I am blessed by many of the Stepping Stones devotionals and they give blanket permission to share them. However, I have not researched any of their help resources and, therefore, I cannot personally endorse them.

Got Troubles?

In Matthew 6:34b Yeshua says that “Today has enough trouble of its own.” We see trouble in our own lives, in the lives of family and friends, or our nation. In Matt 6:34a, Yeshua tells us not to worry about what we will eat, drink, wear. This includes the many other troubles we encounter as well. So, what’s the solution?

The solution is found in the verse before, Matt 6:33: “Seek the Kingdom of God* and His righteousness.**” But, how do we do that? By just being a good person? No, it’s more than that. First, it’s accepting Yeshua as Savior. It’s allowing Him to be the ruler (Lord) of your life. It is in following His commands—living according to them, making Him the focus of our life above everything else.

Does this mean that you and I will never have any problems? No, Yeshua never promised that. He said that we would have tribulations (trials, distress, frustration) in this world. (John 16:33; Acts 14:22) However, He will see us through them (John 16:33; Rom 8:35; Rom 12:12) and will use them to help us grow in our knowledge and faith in Him if we allow Him to do so.

Life’s troubles can also be called “life’s storms”. The Stepping Stones devotion for 2/20-21/2021, “Be Careful and Don’t Be a Storm-Chaser?” talks about life’s storms. I think you will find it enlightening and encouraging. I will post it on this blog on 2/23/2021 at which time this link will become active.

Until next time…”May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

*The Kingdom of God is the coming time when Messiah Yeshua rules and to which all His followers belong.
**Righteousness is living a life of obedience to God (Gen 6:22). God makes the rules that define morality. Sin is breaking God’s rules. Righteousness is the opposite of sin.

He Shall Reign!

We sang “He Shall Reign” by Paul Wilbur in our 2.20.21 Shabbat service. I’ve heard this song many times, but what struck me this morning is the word shall. The song doesn’t say will, it says shall!

Shall is a legal word, used in legal regulations to express something mandatory. It is also used to express what is inevitable, determined, or absolute—it will happen without fail. Though usage in the English language varies, this usually has more force than the word will, which carries more of a meaning of desire, choice, or willingness, though it can express determination. However, although I’m not a lawyer, I think that you will find that shall is used in legal documents as opposed to will because it has a stronger meaning.

Regardless of which word you use, the point is that He, Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah and Savior of Jew and Gentile alike, will one day reign over the entire earth. This is promised by God in Scripture: Matt 16:28; 19:14; 25:34; Mark 9:1; 11:10; 1 Cor 15:24; Rev 12:10 and others. 

So, who will be part of this Kingdom? Everyone who is a member of God’s family! Who is that? Everyone who has proclaimed that He is their Savior and who has made Him the Lord of their life!

When will He reign? When Father God says it is time for Him to do so. While Scripture doesn’t give us an exact time, I believe that it is closer than we may think. I don’t say that because of all the problems we see on earth today. There are always problems on earth. We just may not be as aware of them as we are now. But when isn’t important because you must be adopted into God’s family while you are alive here on earth.

So, are you a member of His family? Have you acknowledged Him as your Savior? That was the primary purpose that He came to proclaim the coming of His Kingdom, died on a cross, and was resurrected.

If you are a member of His family, you can rejoice today, and every day, that He is going to reign in the not-to-distance future, maybe in your lifetime!

If you are not a member of his family, you can be adopted today, right now! Simply tell Him that you are sorry for disobeying His instructions (sin), that you repent (turn around, change your direction), and want to be adopted into His family. And He will do it! He will immediately place His Holy Spirit inside of you to guide you as you study His instructions (the Bible) and allow Him to guide your life, instead of trying to guide it yourself. Does this take away your free will, your ability to do whatever you want? No, it doesn’t, but it takes away the real desire to do so.

When you do pray and ask Him into your life, please let me know by commenting on this post. There are no strings, I am not a ministry that is going to ask you for money, but I will pray for and with you as you start your fantastic journey.

Until next time…”May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

Launch Out Into the Deep!

The following is a guest post by my wife, Sue…

Launching out is scary and it is risky. You don’t know what is waiting for you or whether you will be able to handle the unknown. You could be risking your life, your comfort, your security—many things. However, Jesus wants us to launch out when He calls us. If we want to know experientially who Jesus is and our destiny in Him, we must cast off our fears, leave our comfort zone, and launch out into the deep with Him. In doing so, we will learn more about Jesus and dive deeper into our intimacy with Him.

In Matt 14, Peter was told by Jesus to come and walk on the water. Peter risked stepping out of the boat but as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the waves, he cried out in fear. Immediately, Jesus was there to reach out His hand to Peter. Jesus said, “Come,” but Peter doubted that he would reach the boat.

In this life we face many trials. We invite Jesus into those trials but as soon as we are confronted with overwhelming circumstances, we cry out to Him for deliverance. The Lord wants to do more than deliver us; He wants to develop us! As with Job, satan has permission from God to bring trials into our lives in order to develop our character. In Luke 22, Jesus states that He had prayed for Peter. Jesus is our intercessor as well. He is sitting at the right hand of Father God, interceding for us! The Father always hears and answers the prayers of His Son.

In Luke 22:32, Jesus’ prayer for Peter was that Peter’s faith would not fail and that after the trial, Peter would strengthen his brethren. Our tests are also to test our commitment to the Lord. He wants us to realize the depths of His love, His power, His faithfulness, and His trustworthiness. Through these trials we can develop a deeper relationship with Him with a deeper faith at deeper levels than we have ever known.

We will never grow spiritually continually remaining on the mountaintops. In the valleys is where we find who we are and who Jesus is to us. The joy of intimacy is found in the risks of our journey with Jesus. He prepares us for service and to reach our destiny as we discover that He is there with us in the hardships of life. Our faith will grow under pressure. Our experiences will develop sensitivity and sympathy for others who are facing hardships. They will know that they can overcome life because they see that we have overcome!

In conclusion, the two benefits of testing are: spiritual growth and development, and sensitivity and sympathy to help others.

Launch out into the deep with Jesus!

Until next time…”May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)


Judging Life’s Events

(This popped up in my Facebook Memories. It is from Jan 11, 2016. I thought it was worth reposting, given recent events).

How do you, how do I, judge the events of our lives? Do you, as I, occasionally have difficulty judging them and then responding appropriately? Do we always respond in the same manner to all difficult events?

Ecc 3 tells us that our Father, the creator of all things, has made (arranged) everything to fit perfectly in the appropriate time. However, the amount of awareness He has given us is not enough for us to fully comprehend the full impact of what He does, of what He allows to happen in the world and in our individual lives.

Do we yield to the temptation to always respond in the same way to every event? Or do we seek out the appropriate response from His Word, by His Spirit? Yeshua promises us rest if we respond with humility and faith, seeking and expecting to learn from Him (Matt 11:29).

In order to respond in faith as He expects, we should rely on His Word and His Spirit to judge each event of our lives. I think that this includes what, from our perspective, is either good or bad. If we aren’t seeking to be aware of His purpose for what He is doing in our lives, we could fall into the trap of thinking that we are blessed because we are “good” or “sin-free”, or that things are tough because we are sinning or because the enemy is attacking us. Either or both could be true, but our Father is a teacher and is always molding us and will use everything that happens for our development if we permit Him to (Rom 8:28).

Until next time…”May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.” (Numbers 6:24-26)


Be Optimistic

“Seek the Father’s Kingdom, and everything will be provided according to His perfect will and in His perfect timing. We can be optimistic about that!”

Damian eisner

See Luke 12:22-31.

Until the next time…“May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom.”(Numbers 6:24-26)

Comfort, Peace, and Protection

Where do we find comfort, peace, and yes, protection today? Considering all the turmoil that is occurring all around us, it may seem elusive—especially, inner peace, inner comfort, and confidence that we are protected.

So, where do we find this comfort, peace, and protection? Not in ourselves and our abilities. Not in our “security blankets” of jobs, bank accounts, or material possessions. Definitely not in our government and politicians. No, we find it where we’ve always found it—in the Creator of the Universe through His Son. He and He alone is our shelter, our strong fortress. His wings protect us like a mother eagle’s wings protect her young. (Ps 61:3-4; Ps 91)

Are you concerned, frustrated, apprehensive because of what is occurring around you today? Focus on Your Savior, Your God, who will shelter you.  If you are a follower of Yeshua (Jesus), look to Him for protection and comfort. If you are not a follower, turn to Him this very moment. He will give you peace that passes all understanding. (Phil 4:7)

Until the next time…“May the LORD bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; May the LORD make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; May the LORD lift up His face toward you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).” (Numbers 6:24-26)


Clickety-Clack Life

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack goes the train down the track. Places to be, stations to see, switches to choose, choices to make.

Ok, so I’m not a poet, but you get the idea. We are on a journey just like a train, just like the Israelites were during the 40 years in the wilderness. Traveling here, staying there. Making stops and then continuing on clickety-clack down the track, making many choices like a train when it encounters a switch enabling it to change tracks.

We all start life the same—we are born. Then there are enumerable stops or stations along the way such as learning to walk, school, rites of passage, careers, marriage, spirituality… and on and on. Our train may stop briefly at some stations and then move quickly on. It may pass some by, not stopping at all as the platform whizzes by. Or, it may stop and stay awhile, like a train on a siding.

In reality, the train analogy breaks down a little because, while a train can follow only one track at a time, our lives can follow several concurrent tracks. We have the track of marriage and family, the track of career, the track of interests/hobbies, etc. We also have the track of our spiritual life, which can be likened to the center rail on some model trains. Our spiritual life, or lack thereof, is the center track of every other track we follow.

But where is our train (my train, your train) headed? Throughout the years, it follows many different tracks, taking many switches, making many choices. Just as switches are the mechanism by which a train changes tracks, our choices determine which track of life we follow and where we end up. Sometimes, we get to choose which track we follow, sometimes the choice is made for us. We all hope that our train is never switched to the wrong track by choice or circumstance. But unfortunately, or fortunately, some do end up on the wrong track. I say unfortunately because we all make wrong choices that we have to live with. I say fortunately because, though the track may seem to be the wrong one at the time, it often proves to be the best one when we reach the next station.

Sometimes, the switch takes us down a sidetrack. These sidings can be good or bad. Some are for rest and rejuvenation, some are for growth, and some are mostly of our choosing and represent fleeting temptations and desires that can damage us spiritually and physically. Some of these sidetracks have a dead end, just like some train sidings. In that case, we have to back up to the switch to resume our travel. But they all work together to make us who we are and to prepare us for the rest of the journey (Rom. 8:28).

When we all reach the end-of-the-line, our train will have one more switch to traverse. That switch is pre-set by one important, life-changing, choice you make during your life – whether to employ Yeshua, the Son of God, as your train engineer (director, manager, Lord). If you chose Him, your switch will be pre-set to take you on the final correct track.  If it is not…

With Him as your train engineer, your train may still go down some tracks that you’d prefer not to travel, but He is always taking you through life to a higher calling (Heb. 11:1-16; 13:14-21; 1 Pet. 2:11; 1 Jn. 21:15-17) and He will always ensure that you still end up at the correct destination station.

If you have never accepted Him as your Lord, or need to recommit to following Him, do so now, today, this very moment. Just talk to Him, tell Him that you are sorry for the wrong actions and attitudes in your life (called repentance) and that you want to make Him your train engineer for the rest of your life. Then, get a Bible, start reading, and learn how He wants to direct your train.

Until the next time…May the LORD bless and protect you…May He give you Shalom. (Numbers 6:24-26)


Musings on COVID-19 #2

Musings on COVID-19 #2

Many have been looking to God during this pandemic; will they continue to do so afterward? Or will they slowly turn back away from Him as they slowly return to the old “normal”? We’ve heard testimony from pastors who are seeing a higher number of individuals attending their online services than attended in person. Some of these new attendees may be watching because their home congregation is not doing online services. However, will those who are truly new show up when in-person services are permitted again? Will they continue to attend online, if the congregation they are watching continues online services in conjunction with in-person services?

Only time will tell. I hope and pray that I am wrong, but my “Doubting-Thomas” side says, “No, they will disappear into the woodwork until another crisis occurs”. My question for them is “what if you don’t have the opportunity to turn to God before the next crisis occurs nationally or personally and it costs you your life? Don’t say that it isn’t possible. Unfortunately, many in this world pass suddenly who have said, “Tomorrow I’ll commit to Jesus.” I am confident that many who died from COVID-19, died without the Lord as their Savior because they delayed the decision, fully expecting to recover. Besides, it isn’t just about being His disciple when you pass; it is also about having Him in your life today, to help you through crises in your life, major and minor.

If you are reading this and you have never made a decision to accept Jesus as your Savior, or if you made such a decision once but have grown cold towards Him, don’t delay another moment. It is simple, you don’t have to say or do anything special. You only need to tell Him, in your own words, that you are sorry for how you have lived, how you have ignored Him (that is called “repentance”), and that you accept Him as your Savior and want to make Him the Lord of your life. Then, start reading your Bible, find a congregation that supports your decision, and start learning how He wants you to live. When you make this decision to turn your life over to Jesus, or if you even have any questions, contact me by commenting on this post via my blog site. Provide your contact information and I will get in touch. Your personal information will be kept confidential.

Until the next time…“May the LORD bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; May the LORD make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; May the LORD lift up His face toward you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).” (Numbers 6:24-26)



HaShem Protects

An encouraging thought for you during this time of COVID-19…

As I was reading this week’s Hebraic scripture portion, I saw an analogy that I believe brings comfort in times such as this. I was reading from Exodus 35:1—40:38. The concluding verse, Exodus 40:38, reads:

For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in [plain view] of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. (ESV & [NET] Full quotations are at the end of this post)

This cloud was their guidance and protection. The LORD was always with them in the cloud and guided them by day and night, including providing the light by which they were able to see their way, as it says in Ex 13:21-22. 

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not remove the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people. (ESV & NET)

The cloud and fire were a physical manifestation of His presence. Notice that He never removed His presence from them!

I believe that the cloud also protected them as they traveled, just as it did in Exodus 14:19-20 as they prepared to cross the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his army in hot pursuit. He protected them, just as He had promised through Moses in Exodus 14:14: The Lord will fight for you…

Though we may not see a physical cloud and fire today as we walk through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is present with those of us who follow Yeshua as our Savior, our Messiah. The Ruach is our cloud by day and fire to light the way in the thickest darkness. As it did at the time of the Exodus, His revelation illuminates and protects the righteous, though it usually appears opaque and dark to those who deny Him.

Adonai knows the cure for this virus, just as He knows the cure for all viruses and other sicknesses.  He was not caught off guard by its appearance and He is in the process of revealing the medical cure. I am positive we will also hear of miraculous cures and protection as well. It will all happen in His timing and according to His purposes.  Our only responsibility is to trust Him, to keep our face turned toward Him, not taking Him for granted, but keeping ourselves clean before Him, just as we are keeping our hands clean with soap and water and sanitizer, and keeping “social distance.”

Stand firm in Him today and, if you have never repented and given your heart to Him, asking Him to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, do so right now! If you need to repent and rededicate your life to Him, do so right now! In your own words, ask His forgiveness for ignoring Him, for violating His teachings and guidance for life, and ask Him to be your Savior and to fill you with the Ruach Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit. He never rejects anyone who asks. In fact, He is just waiting for you to choose Him because He paid the price for your sin and He wants to give you the Ruach HaKodesh to guide and support you here and now.

Full Scripture References

Exodus 40:36-38

Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in [plain view] of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. (ESV & [NET])

Exodus 14:19–20:

Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night. (ESV)

Exodus 14:13–14:

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (ESV)

Scripture quotations are from:
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)
The NET Bible. (Biblical Studies Press, 2005).

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